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Wednesday, 15 December 2010

If you're looking for a way to make fleece blankets without those bumpy knots and losing so much to the fringe, this is it!

I picked up a bunch of fleece at Jo-Anns Black Friday sale ($3 a 20% off that with the coupon).  Since then we've been drowning in fleece blankets.  We've been making them to go with other gifts for kids on the Giving Tree at Firecracker's school.

I have to confess that I've never really made fleece blankets before.  Our kids have plenty of them, including some special ones given to them by their birth families, but I've never made them...because I'm more of a quilt person.  The need to mass produce them easily and the sale with $3 a yard, drove me to fleece...and it's actually been kinda fun.  I wanted to find an alternative to the knots though, because the knots can be a little uncomfortable to lay on.  I've tried out three different ways, but I thought I'd show you my favorite one first.  This is just a little different than any other ways I've seen...but I'm probably not the first person to think of it.

So I present...the faux braided edge.  This method is for a fleece blanket from a single layer.

Updated Nov. 2011 - If you're looking for a way to make a braided edge for a double layer fleece blanket, check out my new tutorial here.

I like this one because there are no bumpy knots, and it uses shorter fringe (only 2 inches).  That way more of your blanket ends up being blanket rather than fringe.
I made two blankets and two scarves out of 3 yards of fleece. 

I folded the 3 yards of fleece in half "hamburger" style.

Even out the edges and cut off the salvages.  You'll also cut right next to the fold to cut your fabric in half. 

Then I trimmed of a 6-8 inch strip for the scarf of one of the salvaged sides.  (Finish the scarves but cutting fringe 3-4 inches deep and about 1/3 of an inch wide.)

Then cut a 2 inch square off each corner.

Then I used painters' tape to mark 2 inches in from each edge. 

Then I used the markings on my cutting mat and cut fringe 1 inch wide and 2 inches deep.  The painters' tape does a nice job of helping you to stop at just the right place.

Then you cut a little slip at the top of each piece of fringe.

Then you'll need to unbend a paperclip, so it's just a piece of wire bent in half.  (Or something else that's stiff with a loop that will fit through your slits.

Stick the paperclip through one of your loops.  I started in the middle of one of the sides.

Put the fringe next to it through the loop in the paperclip and pull through.

Stick the paperclip through the slit in that piece of fringe and repeat going all around the blanket. 

The corners will just take care of themselves as you go around.

When you've pulled the last piece of fringe...'ll need to cut it in half. 

Then use those two halfs to tie a knot around the first loop you started with.

Tuck the knot underneath so it doesn't show.  That's it!

And for another fun variation, you can round each piece of fringe. 

This will give your blanket rounder braid look.  Although to be honest, I didn't think that this one looks SO much better that I wanted to spend the time to round all of the fridge after I'd tried it out on this blanket...especially since I had so many fleece blankets to make.

This method also works for a Braided Fleece Scarf.  Tutorial here...

And if you're looking for something else a little different to try with fleece, you might like these fleece fitted toddler sheets.

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