It is important in our family that we stress to our children the significance of giving back. Our kids are fortunate to have two parents who love them and four grandparents who spoil them (not quite to “rotten”, but close). But, as we all know, there are far too many children in our backyards and communities who suffer every day.
This year, after touring a local Children’s Center where abused children can go for specialized healthcare, we learned that each child left the center with a handmade blanket.
Aha! The icing on the cake was that the most popular blankets with the kids were those made of cozy fleece, which the Center Director told us were ”no sew”!
Did I mention that Dixie cannot sew? (you may remember “Sew What?”) Don’t let being a Domestic Square Peg stop you from feeling like you can “sew” or “bake” something special for someone less fortunate. Dixie doesn’t like to measure either — a double strike in this department . And don’t even try to explain what “notions” are.
No sew. No machine. No thimble. No sweat…not even at the fabric store
We didn’t even hyperventilate in the fabric line at Jo-Anns. Each blanket requires one or two yards of fleece. You can use one fabric and combine the fringe or back of two contrasting fleeces (one yard of each) and tie together for a thicker, cozier blanket. It’s really quite easy – even for a Domestic Square Peg like yours truly! After making the first blanket together, my ten year old is a pro at these now!
What you need:
- One or two panels of fleece
- Fabric scissors
- Cardboard square (not Dixie)
- Ruler or tape measure (nope-I use the ol’ good ’nuff measuring technique)
1. Choose two pieces of fleece. You can choose two pieces that are the same pattern, two different patterns, two plain colors or a pattern on one side and a plain color on the other.
2. Measure off lengths of each panel appropriate for the person you are making the blanket for. Recommended measurements are as follows: 1 to 1 1/2 yards of each fabric for a baby or toddler blanket; 1 1/2 to 2 yards of each fabric for a child’s blanket; 2 yards or more of each fabric for a teenager or adult blanket.
3. Align one piece of fleece atop the other on a flat surface. Trim off any extra fabric so both pieces of fabric match. Try to cut in a relatively straight line, but it doesn’t need to be perfect. Nothing ever is perfect anyway, right?
4. Measure and cut out a 4 X 4 inch or 3 X 3 inch square of cardboard or heavy paper (only if you want to – I didn’t). This will be the length of the blanket fringe prior to tying. If you would like longer or shorter fringe, use a larger or smaller cardboard square
5. Line up your cardboard square with a corner of your fabric. Using the square as a template, cut through both pieces of fleece around the square. Repeat with all four corners. (or skip steps 4 and 5 if you are like me)
6. Lay your ruler or tape measure along the edge of the fleece and mark 1 inch intervals. Use fabric chalk to mark, or cut a little way through both pieces of fabric at each 1 inch interval. You may also simply eyeball the intervals if you have an experienced eye or if you are like Dixie (who has fabric chalk anyway?). Cut the fringe at your 1-inch intervals along all four sides of the blanket. The depth of the fringe should match the depth of the corners.
7. Make the blanket fringe by tying aligned pieces of fringe from each piece of fabric. Complete one side of your blanket, and then each of the remaining three sides.
8. Enjoy and celebrate – you made a homemade blanket! Martha would be proud. More importantly, so will DIXIE!
Here is a funny and totally DSP video to help you see the simple steps on YouTube.
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