Happy New Year! It’s Stephanie here from the PAB Blog Team and let me tell you… I’m so excited to have 2020 behind me and am very ready to start the new year off on a good foot – with an easy no-sew project. 🙂
Today I’ll be walking you through how to make something fun, cozy, and best of all, simple… a no-sew fleece blanket (or throw). Put simply, we’ll be taking two pieces of fleece and tying them together around the sides. Easy day!
A quick note about fleece. When you go to the store or shop online, you will see tons of fleece – some labeled plush, velvet, or even Heavenly. Please do not use those fabrics for this particular project. They are not constructed the same way fleece is and will not work very well, because the fibers will flake off as you work with them. They are wonderful to use if the edges of the item you’re making is sewn or finished, but in this case, I highly recommend against them. To test if a fabric is good to use or not, rub your fingers along the raw edges of the fabric. If fabric fibers fly off – do not use it for this project. You can use that fabric for this Self-Binding Blanket, though!
Maybe you have a New Years Resolution to start sewing, or to make someone a gift, or you simply love these blankets but forgot how to do them! Either way, I’m glad you’re here today and I hope together we can make something lovely (I’m sure we will!).
So let’s get started!
- 1-2 yards of fleece for the front (main) – I’ll discuss below how to figure out exactly how much fabric you need. ((Check out KnitFabric,com‘s fleece selection!))
- Look at my note above – velvet, plush, Heavenly, and any other flakey fabric is not recommended. For best results, stick with regular ol’ fleece.
- 1-2 yards of coordinating fabric for the back
- Ruler/Acrylic Ruler
- Square Ruler (if you have one, otherwise a ruler or cloth tape measure will work perfectly fine)
- Scissors or a Rotary Cutter
Step 1: Determine your blanket size
If you read through my last couple tutorials, How to Make a T-Shirt Blanket and How to Make a Self-Binding Blanket, you may remember the blanket sizes chart I included. How much fabric you’ll need depends on how big or small you want your blanket.
Here is that chart once again to help you gauge what size you may want your blanket.
Keep in mind, however, that the typical width of fleece is 58-60 inches, so you can make it as long as you want, but only a max of 60ish inches wide. Another thing to consider with this blanket is that the blanket part will be 10-12 inches smaller length and width-wise due to the ties around the edges.
The blanket in this tutorial was made from 2 yards of fleece. It made a roughly 50x62in blanket. That is a nice big cozy blanket, but if you’d like something smaller, maybe start with a yard, which will make a 26x50in blanket.
Clear as mud?! 🙂
Step 2: Match up and trim the two pieces
Unlike most sewing projects, the two pieces of fabric in this blanket will be put together with wrong sides together. That means the right side of your main fabric (the top of your blanket) and the coordinating fabric (the bottom) will both be facing outward.
If you are new to fleece, there is a trick to figuring out which is the right side (the front of the fabric) and which is the wrong (the back); the edges will curl towards the right side, which is very handy when you have two sides that look identical.
In the image below, my thumb is on the wrong/bottom/back side of the fabric.
Lay the top and bottom pieces on top of one another – wrong sides together! – lining up the long and short edges accordingly.
(In the image below, my pieces are folded in half so I can trim them easier. It is actually twice that length.)
Using a rotary cutter and acrylic rule or scissors, trim the curled edges off, and cut the other sides as necessary to make sure the two pieces are the same size.
Step 3: Cut off the corners
In order to create the strips to tie, you must first cut a square off each corner the same length as the strips you’ll be cutting.
You can make your strips as short or long as you’d like. I don’t recommend going any shorter than 4 inches or you may have a difficult time tying them into knots. Longer than 6 or 7 inches significantly cuts into the size of the blanket (the part that will actually cover your body). I tend to use 5 inch strips.
Whatever length you chose, cut a square out of each end that same length. As you can see below, since I’m cutting 5 inch strips, my square is 5×5.
Done! Ready for strips?!
I pinned my corners together so that as I moved the blanket around on my table, they stayed in place with one another.
Step 4: Cut the strips
You can cut your strips however wide you want… this another one of those times where it’s up to you. I recommend no less than 3/4in, though. I stick with 1 inch just to make it easy to measure using a ruler and my cutting mat.
Lay your ruler across the side you are going to cut, however many inches from the bottom you’ve chosen to make your strips (mine are 5 inches), so my ruler is 5 inches from the edge, as you can see in the image below.
I use my square ruler a bit further down the fabric to ensure my ruler is indeed 5 inches up. (Does that make sense?! Maybe the image below will help)
Cut your strips, cutting through both layers at once, stopping at your ruler.
Have a cutting mat makes it easier to know where the 1 inch markers are. If you don’t have one, grab a second ruler or use your single ruler to make 1 inch markings along the edges.
Tip… cut one 10-15 strips at a time, then tie, then cut, then tie.
Step 5: Tie your strips
There are several ways to tie your strips (more decisions!).
I grab both layers, twist them around and then back through themselves, as shown in the images below.
Here is a closeup of my completed knots.
Another way is to separate the two layers and tie a basic double knot.
The double knotted version will result in longer tails than the first style. Like always… it’s your choice! 🙂
Either way, just keep tying and cutting, cutting and tying, all the way around the blanket.
Once you’ve tied all four sides together, you’re finished!! Easy day, right?!
I hope this was another helpful tutorial that inspired you to try something new, or to try something you’ve done before, but maybe in a slightly different way.
I’d love to see pictures of your blankets, so if you’d like to share them, please head over to the Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop Group on Facebook and post them for all to see and admire!