Sunday, January 10, 2010 2 Comments »

Polar fleece has got to be one of the greatest inventions of our time. For me, it’s right up there with the microwave, Pez dispensers and glue sticks.

This Christmas was the Festival of Fleece here on planet Pat. Niece and nephews (along with SOs), son, daughter, and grandkids all received fleece blankets to help them through the cold East Coast winter.

Thanks to a 50% off coupon and a promotional code from Joann’s Fabrics, I was able to score an entire bolt of NFL licensed Eagles Fleece for the Philly side of the family. Step-nephews were raised in New York, so they got NY Jets blankets. I even forced myself to make a NY Giants blanket for my nephew’s squeeze. She can’t help the fact that she was raised in a dysfunctional football family, rooting for the Giants. (just kidding, Jamie!) She was so tickled by it that she wore it draped around shoulders the entire day.

Sue and her hubby Mike got blankets with a golf theme to match their rec room décor and their love of the game. Santa brought son Andy & little Ian matching Eagles blankets. I discovered some double-sided Minky fleece in my stash that was once earmarked for bathrobes. Daughter Kate got a Minky blanky in blue; matching mommy/daughter pink Minkys went to DIL Jamie and little Belle. Belle opened hers up & shouted, “Look Ian, it’s a SOFTIE!!”

Son-in-law Paul’s dad was born in Mexico. His dad’s been here in the States since college, having married his American college sweetheart, but the family's Mexican heritage is very important. I found some great navy fleece on eBay with a Mexican flag motif, so Paul now has a custom Mexiblanket. I just ordered more of the same to make ones for his dad and his brother. And I’m on the prowl for some Phillies fleece for hubby and me.

The blankets were so easy to make. All I did was cut the fleece into blanket-length segments of 1.75 yards each, with a little extra length for the very tall guys in the family. I trimmed off the selvedges using a yard stick & a rotary cutter. I learned the hard way that fleece will chew up your blade, so I dedicated just one of my cutters for this purpose. I rounded the corners of the fabric free-hand using the cutter as well.

Fleece does not ravel, so I guess I could have left the edges alone, but there’s something about a raw edge that grates on my nerves; I hemmed them using my Bernina’s walking foot and the multi-stitch wave stitch.

Just one turn under is all that was needed. I know, I could have used the serger, but I just couldn’t get the stitching to look right & decided to let Bernie do her thing.

17 blankets in all, for well under $20 each. Probably a half-hour of time apiece. I even bought a huge chunk of plain fleece on sale, stitched 2 lengths together, and made a blanket for my king-sized bed. It's wide enough and long enough that even my cover-hogging hubby can't uncover me in the middle of the night.  Washes like a dream, provides tremendous warmth without the weight, and is ever so soft. Bad thing is that, combined with the thick flannel sheets, it makes such a cozy nest that I never ever EVER want to get out of bed in the morning.

Like I said, one of the greatest inventions of our time.


Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...


Kimberly said...

Pat -- You ROCK! This is quick, easy, and always a GREAT idea. Love those coupons from JoAnns. And you did a good job with the photos to show the stitch you used on your trusty Bernina!

Thanks for sharing....