Saturday, May 16, 2015

Made It: Blanket Stitch Fleece Throw

Hello! A niece's open house invitation showed up in the mail yesterday, delayed several days by a misaddressing of the envelope. But we'd already been verbally informed of the early June date, so I've been working on a gift for the niece, a fleece throw:

Above, fleece in a licensed print for Grand Valley State University (GVSU), where the niece is headed in the fall.

A close-up of the stitched edge:

This is a work in progress - it can seem like it takes forever to do all the blanket stitching! I've completed one long side thus far. I'm just doing a bit a day so it doesn't get too tedious. 

This is the 11th such throw I have made thus far - they've gone to my husband, our daughter, and various younger and older relatives. The throws have been made as gifts for graduations, birthdays and Christmas, and for comforting a couple of young nieces who lost their beloved grandfather. Oh, and I made one for myself as well.

I know that fleece throws are available commercially, but if you live near a fabric store that stocks fleece in a huge variety of designs, as I do, it's fun to pick a "just-right" pattern for the recipient. 

This same fabric store, Field's Fabrics, also has a rack with free projects sheets, and this is where I'd picked up the directions for making all those fleece throws. 

To summarize the instructions, I began with a two-yard piece of fleece fabric and rounded off the four corners by cutting around a dinner plate placed at the edge of each corner. 

Next, a basting stitch in a contrasting color was sewn 5/8" from the edge; this became a guide for placement of the blanket stitching. I'm placing a blanket stitch every three stitches of the basted stitching guide,using a coordinated color of perle cotton. For the fleece throw I show off in this post, I used black thread for the stitching guide and am using white perle cotton for the blanket stitching. 

From searching the Internet, I learned there a number of ways to finish the edges of a fleece throw, from cutting a simple fringe, doing a sort of braided edge, crocheting, and more. Machine-sewn edges can be done too. 

On the Crafty website, I came across a variation on blanket-stitch edging that calls for turning up a short hem and then using blanket stitching to hold the hem in place. This technique looked like it gave a very nice finish to the fleece throwI think I'll try this method when I make #12.

You can view the Crafty tutorial here.  It has a simplified method for making the rounded edges for each corner of the throw as well. Wish I'd seen their instructions before I began working on my niece's throw. Sorry, Field's Fabrics - but I'll still buy fleece fabric from you!

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