Easy To Sew Fleece Blankets

Directions for making easy to sew fleece blankets, quilts, and reverse appliqued blankets. Also includes information on selecting fleece and washing.

Fleece blankets are warm and snuggly and best of all very easy to sew. Making your own fleece blankets can save you quite a bit of money and allow you the freedom to create just the blanket you want.

Polyester fleece, sometimes called polar fleece, is a fabulous fabric with some very unique qualities that make it an extremely versatile and easy fabric to work with. Fleece comes in several weights, all of which maintain the same unique qualities. Fleece is a breathable, moisture wicking fabric. What this means is that the fleece fibers pull moisture through it to its exterior surface allowing moisture to evaporate while still allowing air to easily pass through its fibers. This great combination of features makes fleece ideal for blankets or outerwear. Fleece will pull body moisture away to evaporate while still allowing for air circulation creating a soft, warm and dry covering. Because of the way fleece is woven when it is created and its fiber content, fleece will not fray when it is cut! Because of this you can do all kinds of neat sewing and cut work on fleece without having to worry about finishing raw edges, or raw edges fraying. Fleece comes in multiple weights that fall into three main categories: micro fleece, medium weight fleece, and heavy weight fleece.

Micro fleece is the thinnest of all the fleeces. It has a noticeable right and wrong side. The right side is extremely soft and smooth with an almost chamois like feel. It has a very short nap, and a soft drapey feel to it. The wrong side is fuzzy looking, and while soft does not have the velvety smooth texture of the right side. Micro fleece is excellent for double layer blankets, and lightweight single layer baby blankets. It's also great when combine with a heavier weight fleece when two layers are wanted without the bulk of two full layers of heavier fleece. Micro fleece comes in prints and solids, but prints are less common and can be hard to find.

Medium weight fleece is the most common and abundant type of fleece. Often mistakenly called Polar Fleece (which is a specific copyrighted brand of fleece made by Malden Mills) medium weight fleece is what most people think of when they visualize fleece. Medium weight fleece often doesn't have a right or wrong side. It is plush and soft with a slightly fuzzy texture. It makes excellent single layer blankets, or super snuggly warm double layer blankets. Medium weight fleece comes in a wide variety of prints and solids, both of which are easy to find! Some prints will have a noticeable right and wrong side, so check before using.

Heavy weight fleece is less common than the other two types. It is very thick, and generally has a deep, nubby texture. It is soft, but not as soft as the other two types of fleece. It makes excellent single layer blankets, and although a bit thick, can be used to make double layer blankets (especially nice when teamed up with micro fleece). Heavy weight fleece is usually only found in solids, and has no noticeable right or wrong side.

As with most fabrics the quality of fleece varies and the quality is often reflected in the price tag! Lower quality fleece has a tendency to pick up small pieces of lint in the wash and dryer; this is called "˜pilling'. Pilling doesn't hurt the fleece, but it does detract from its appearance and texture.

The amount of fleece you will need per blanket will depend on how big you want it to be. For an infant, one yard of fleece will make a nice sized blanket. For an older child, one and a half to one and three quarter yards will be plenty. For an adult, 2 yards is a good length. If you are making a double layer blanket you will need twice the yardage.

Super Simple Turned and Topstitched Blanket-

This blanket is so easy, and so cute. Pin two pieces of fleece right sides together. Sew around the edges of the blanket leaving a small opening for turning. Clip the corners of the blanket close to the stitch lines so that the corner points will be crisp when the blanket is turned right side out. Turn the blanket right sides out and push out the corners. Whip stitch the opening in the blanket closed (or do a narrow machine stitch close to the edge of the blanket). Stitch ½ to 1 inch from the edge of the blanket to topstitch and finish the edge, very easy and very cute. This blanket can also be reverse appliquéd using the directions listed below.

Easy Two Layer Fringed Blanket-

This blanket is cute and easy! Use coordinating prints, solids, or a print and a solid. Mix and match and have fun choosing your fleece! To begin pin your two layers of fleece wrong sides together. Trim the edges even removing the rough machine finished edges of the fleece. Sew a single line of stitching around the edge of the blanket the same length from the edge as you want your fringe to be. For example, if you want one inch fringe sew one inch away from the edges of the blanket. Once you are finished sewing, cut a square out of each corner of the blanket that matches the dimensions of your fringe. Using our previous example of one inch fringe, you would need to cut a 1x1 square out of the corner. Be sure not to cut through the stitching lines. Now all you need to do is cut your fringe and your cute blanket will be done.

Reverse Appliqué Two Layered Fringed Blanket-

Reverse appliqué takes advantage of fleeces non-fraying qualities to create a stunning and simple effect. Sew a simple two layered fringe blanket using the method described above. Use self adhesive quilter's stencils, or a chalk fabric pencil to trace around designs or draw freehand onto the fleece. Sew around your design creating an outline of the shape. Simple shapes are easiest to sew and have the best effect. In the center of the design, carefully pull the two layers of fleece apart and cut a small hole. Using the starting hole, cut around the inside of the design approximately 1/8 of an inch from the stitch line. Continue cutting until the entire center of the design has been cut out. The other piece of fleece will now show through creating a "˜reverse' appliqué effect.

For added visual interest, cut every other piece of fringe off around the edges of the blanket allowing the piece of fringe on the other side of the blanket to show through.

Single Layer Fringed Patchwork Quilt-

This blanket is so incredibly fun and cute it's worth the little bit of extra work involved in making it. To make this blanket you will need two or more different prints or solid colors of fleece. The easiest way to make this blanket is to use same sized squares of fleece, however, if you want to take the extra time to figure out the piecing arrangement different sized squares and rectangles can be combined creating a great effect.

For this example, we will be using 11x11 inch squares to create a 60x70 inch blanket. The 11 inch squares will be approximately 10 inch squares when finished. Begin by cutting out 42 11 inch squares. The fringe on this blanket will be one inch long (you can alter this length), so cut one inch squares out of all the corners on each of your blanket squares. To begin, sew two squares wrong sides together. The seam allowance of the two squares will be on the right side of the blanket, and will later be cut into fringe. Continue sewing until 6 squares have been sewn together, all of them with the seam allowance on the right side. Sew another row of squares together, and then sew the two long rows together. Continue sewing until all the rows have been completed and sewn together. Then cut all the seam allowances and all the edges of the blanket into ½ inch wide or wider 1 inch long fringe. Your finished fleece blankets can be machine washed and dried right along with your regular laundry making them as easy to care for as they are to sew.

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