Many have asked and this weekend I finally remembered to take pictures of the process to show you all how we make our fleece-tie blankets for the baskets. (PS, we delivered number 260 yesterday CRAZY!)
If you’re wanting to get a group together to pick up a week for the 52 Week challenge or, if you just want to make 1 to donate or even to have for yourself, these directions should help out! Don’t know what the 52 Week Challenge is? Click on the link and see what we’re up to!
Step 1- Get two coordinating (Doesn’t have to match, just coordinate) pieces of fleece. Each piece needs to be 1.5 yards in length. Widths may vary, some are 58 inches, some are 60. Not to worry though, we can easily fix it if they aren’t the same width. Often times, the printed bolts are shorter in width than the solid color bolts.
Step 2- Piece your fleece halves together. The top side of each piece needs to be facing out. Meaning, the underside of the printed fleece and underside of your solid color (look at your fleece, you’ll see the difference between top and bottom) should be together.
Step 3- For your first side, cut off your selvage edges. A. They have manufacturer printing on them, and B. these ends aren’t good. They bunch up once the strips are cut and the blanket is washed. Plus, this helps square up your blanket so your strips are even. If one piece is wider than the other, just make sure to cut off the selvage of one and enough of the other (including the selvage) to have even edges.
Step 5- Cut a 5 inch long, by 1.5 inch wide strip on either side of the square you just removed. Take the bottom and top strips and tie them into a square knot. (This means tying it twice) This keeps your halves together while you prep the other side.
Step 6- Repeat steps 3-4-5 on the opposite side of your blanket. When you are finished. You should have 4 corners with squares removed, and two strips on each of those corners already tied.
Step 8- Working down the length of your blanket, cut 5 inch long by 1.5 inch wide strips. When it is folded in half like this, you reduce the amount of cutting you need to do because you can cut through all 4 layers at once.
Step 9- Once the strips are cut, tie the pieces (two layers, not all 4) together in square knots, just as you did in Step 5. Work down the top side and tie, then go back and do the bottom side of your folded blanket. When you tie your knots, be careful not to pull them too tight. They should be snug, but if you tie them super tight, the sides of the blanket bunch up. Additionally, with thinner fleece (Wal-Mart fleece is VERY thin) when you pull on the fleece it can stretch a ton, or with thin fleece, it can pull off.
Step 10- Unfold your blanket and re-fold it so that your uncut sides are now together. If you have used the reduced cutting method, this step is imperative. You cannot leave the blanket the way it is and then cut- you’ll end up with a giant strip smack in the middle of your blanket that cannot be tied. Also, this is a good time to square up those sides if they need it.
Step 11- Repeat step 8 on your newly folded uncut side of the blanket. Tie all strips.
** A couple of tips and thoughts.
- I have been using a rotary cutter and cutting mat (found at most places that sell fabric) but this is NOT a requirement. A kitchen table, folding table or other flat surface and a good pair of scissors does the trick just fine. That’s what we worked with for most of the year!
- Having a good pair of scissors really helps. If your scissors are dull, you’ll have a hard time cutting the fleece.
- If you can, have the fabric store cut your fleece into 1.5 yard pieces for you. (If you are planning on making more than one) It will save you the hassle of trying to lay out a super long piece of fleece and cut it down.
- Check out different places for fleece. Joann Fabric and Hancock Fabrics have a ton of cute stuff that rotate sales. If you watch, you can get fabric at 50% off or more) Hobby Lobby tends to have cute stuff too, and typically they always have a 30% discount on fleece going.
- Joann Fabric has a mobile coupon that is great. Text “Coupon” to 56266- you’ll get a prompt asking you if you want to receive mobile coupons. Once you reply “Yes” they shoot you an automatic coupon for an additional 20% off total purchase. So, if you go on a day that fleece is already 50% off and you use your 20% off coupon you can get a fabulous deal on fleece.
Know any more coupon tricks, places that have great fleece, or have questions? Let us know in the comments below!