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How to Make a Fleece Blanket
Why Make a Fleece Blanket?
Fleece blankets are an ideal addition to babies room, and toddlers love to carry them around Linus fashion. Even Mom can enjoy an evening wrapped up all soft and warm while watching her favorite show or reading a book. A beautiful blanket can make a wonderful baby shower gift from your own effort and work.
Fleece blankets can either be made by hemming or tying the edges. Either way makes a very nice blanket, though tied edges can be a magnet for infants to chew on and toddlers to pull off. They can be made in a wide variety of sizes for many different uses from bedding to a throw just the right size for your youngster to wrap up in on cold mornings.
If you are making one of these blankets for your own child it might be fun and interesting to the child to accompany you when buying the fleece and being part of the process of choosing it. The material comes in a multitude of colors and patterns, from simple solid colors to movie and activity themes.
Sewing a Fleece Blanket
Fleece normally comes in 50" or 60" widths. If you are making a blanket for a bed you will need to make sure the fleece you choose is the full 60" width. Blankets for cribs or childrens beds may be smaller - measure the bed if in doubt. Blankets for a twin or full size bed will need to be about 2 or 2 ½ yards long with cribs again being shorter. Blankets for throws or just to wrap in may be shorter yet; a toddler doesn't need or want a six foot blanket to drag around the house. Fabric stores such as Jo Ann's carry fleece in many styles and even WalMart often carries some.
Once home use a good pair of scissors to cut the fleece square if it is not already square and remove any unwanted "fringe" from the sides as necessary. The only sewing necessary to make a beautiful blanket is to sew a hem around the edges so that the material will not unravel. It is possible to sew on a fancy edging around the blanket but it is not necessary. If you do want edging, think twice before using lace - stiff material at the edge will stick and poke sensitive skin and detract from the soft, fuzzy feel of the blanket.
A sewing machine is preferable, but the hem may be hand sewn with small stitches using a needle and thread. If a sewing machine is available you might want to consider a decorative stitching with a complementary color of thread.
Fold the edge of the material over, at about ½" width, and then fold again so that the raw edge of the cloth is completely hidden and stitch on the edge of the fold nearest the center of the blanket. Corners may be rounded off before hemming or may be left square according to your preference.
Once the fleece has been hemmed all the way around, cut off the inevitable lengths of thread left and the blanket is finished and ready for use.
Tying a fleece blanket with fringe
A fleece blanket may also be made by tying the edges. There are many methods of doing this, but two of the simpler methods are presented here.
1. Remove a square piece from each corner in a 4" square. Additional cuts are then made all the way around, at 1" intervals and are 4" long. Be aware that this will decrease the size of your blanket by 8" each direction; there will be a 4" fringe all the way around. Tie a knot in each piece of fringe as decoration and you are finished.
2. Again remove a square at each corner (if fringe is to be only on the sides but not the top and bottom omit this step) but make the square only 3" each direction. Cut strips again at 1" intervals, but make these cuts only 3" long. About ¾" above each strip cut a small snip in the material, centered in the strip. Each strip is then folded under the blanket and pushed up through the small snip, or slit, cut into the blanket. This makes a different and attractive fringe around the blanket.
Neither of these methods are recommended for small children. Infants will inevitably learn to chew on the fringe, while toddlers will pull and tear them off. If a no sew fleece blanket is intended for a crib, consider making the fringe on just two or three sides while hemming the top edge; this will make it a little more difficult for the infant to find and "eat" the fringe.
Making a fleece blanket, especially a fringed one with the second method here, can be a lot of fun and a great activity for your child to join you in as even young children can help to poke the strips through the small holes. Perhaps Grandma would help a little one make their own blanket and get some great bonding time with a grandson or granddaughter. Although neither method of making a fleece blanket is difficult these blankets are also available from a number of stores if you don't want to make one.