Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Birthday Blanket

Now that my eldest has received her birthday blanket, I thought I'd post some pictures of the process of making it. Mrs. Jones, helpful as always, is posing with the finished product on my daughter's bed. I guess she wanted it seen in the context of being enjoyed!

She was most helpful throughout the entire process, seen here anchoring the 2 layers of fleece so they won't fly off the living room floor.

To make a blanket for an adult you need about 2 yards each of contrasting or complementary fleece. We picked white for the backing and a brown & turquoise pattern for the front. You really need a large space to work. We laid both layers down on the floor. Our white piece was slightly smaller so we put it on top and trimmed and squared the patterned piece to match. Cut the selvage (the curled edge with small holes) off and make sure your 2 pieces match up. If not, Mrs. Jones will give you this look.

The 2 layers of fleece are always kept together, from start to finish. That is very important.

The first step is to cut a 3 inch square out of each corner. This keeps things from bunching up. Next you are going to cut 3 inch long, 1 inch wide tabs all the way around. To keep mine consistent, I cut a 1 inch wide piece off the square left over from the corner.

Here is the guide laying on top out of position. You can see that the tabs I've cut are the same width as that guide.

I laid it beside the empty corner space and cut the first tab. Then I just kept moving it over and cutting. When I was about a foot from the next corner, I skipped over to that corner and worked backwards, figuring that if I had to have some fatter or skinnier tabs to make it work out, I'd rather them be in the middle of a side rather than at the corner.

Check out this shot: scissors in one hand and camera in the other!

Once you have tabs cut on all four sides, it's time to start tying them all together. A plain square knot works just fine. (that's the kind you use as the first step to tying your shoe laces, just do it twice) I tied the 2 knots on each side of each corner of the blanket first. This keeps the whole thing together while you're working on it and if you come up with 1 tab left over (which we did twice) you'll know which side to look for the skipped tab on. If you miss one, you'll need to untie until you get back to the skipped one (which will be the other color than your left over one) and start tying again.

Here's L taking a break from the strenuous job of tying blanket tabs.

Here is the finished product draped over our couch. And yes, that is Mrs. Jones in the background on the right edge of the couch. She is always where the action is.

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