How-Tuesday 12: how to make a lined fleecy blanket



hiya, y'right?

Happy Easter, readers.  This weekend went too fast, right? Just zoomed by, and all my plans for a total craft-in did not really come to pass.  Possibly being a bit ambitious, I had planned:

  • Two bags, one for me and one for Out of the Blue
  • A T-shirt or sweatshirt for Junior with reverse applique detail - more on that later
  • Some mending
  • A prototype oilcloth wrap-round bib/cape/cover-up from an existing original
  • Finishing the Kindle cover commission which has become temporarily derailed by physics (two layers of oilcloth plus one of wool felt equals total rigidity, apparently, who knew...)

By Sunday morning,  I had achieved nada, zip, zilch, bupkis on this list. I had tidied and planted up the garden, bought a vintage G-Plan mirror for the hallway, had a houseful of kids for Saturday, done an Easter egg hunt and cooked for a total of 27 people over the course of 48 hours, but no sewing... I decided to get a move on.  This meant I had to clear a path to my work table through the gathered detritus, none of which was mine.  This saps my mojo every time.  Do you have to do this too, or do you have a beautiful private space that you can lock so that no one uses it or dumps stuff there? Big jealous sigh...

I cut the pieces for the bags using my lovely new quilting ruler, which made it super-fast and easy.  Then Junior wandered in: "Watcha doin? Can I help?". I suggested she went through my stash pile to see if anything appealed to her. She teamed up a light floral cotton (one of my Walthamstow finds) and a fleece blanket and asked if we could stitch them together.  The colour combo was so attractive that I left my project and we went to it!

The fleece blanket was one I'd bought from John Lewis, 150cm by 200cm (c.60' x 75') which was soft duck egg blue but with nasty, cheap visible seams.  I'd been meaning to edge it or something  for years.  We decided to cover one side entirely with the cotton fabric, leaving just an edge of fleece visible on that side.  The cotton was 156cm wide which was perfect! 

So, here's what we did, super-simple:

  1. Cut the cotton fabric with a 3cm seam allowance (it had already been washed and ironed btw)
  2. Press those 3cm seams all around, mitring the corners
  3. Lay the fleece on the floor wrong-side up and smooth it out so that it is wrinkle-free but not stretched.
  4. Lay the cotton fabric on top of it so wrong sides are together and pin all round.
  5. Choose thread to tone or contrast with the fabrics in question: we had a pale blue on the bobbin and a light tan on the reel
  6. With wide zig-zag stitches and quite a low tension, overstitch round all sides of the cotton fabric.
  7. Lay your blanket on the floor again and mark out lines on the cotton fabric in pencil or chalk at 50cm intervals  in both directions (or whatever regular intervals works with the dimensions of your blanket), making a squared grid.
  8. Pin all the intersections of the lines and at regular intervals up and down them, ensuring that both layers remain wrinkle-free.  This is a total faff but essential for a good finish - Junior lost interest halfway through this stage and wandered off, if I'm honest!
  9. Using a straight and relatively large stitch, stitch up all the lines to quilt the layers together. Take care and go slowly so that you don't get bunching and puckering of the fleece. DON'T rush this stage as unpicking this is a total pain.  As I can testify.
  10. Snuggle up on the sofa under your beautiful new blanket in front of some great Easter telly.

What did you do this weekend? Hope it was a good one!

S x



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