Monday, December 11, 2017

How to Make a No-Sew Tied Fleece Blanket

This tutorial is so easy that apparently I decided that you don't even need nice photos for it, and I just shot what the kids were doing as they made a few more of these no-sew tied fleece blankets for our local animal shelter.

These blankets make great animal shelter donations, because you can make them to fit specific kennel sizes (we were asked to make one size for the cat kennels, and another, larger size for the dog ones), and the fleece is easy for the staff to wash. The fact that the blankets can go home with the doggies and kitties when they're adopted is a big bonus!

These no-sew tied fleece blankets are actually good gifts for people people, too, though, not just for fur people. It's a bigger project to tie a lap blanket, or even a full-sized blanket, for a person, sure, but it's also a project that can be easily done while one watches Netflix.

Season 2 of The Crown just came out, so I am a BIG fan of projects that can be completed while one watches Netflix! I'm sewing SIX variations of mermaid/shark/mermaid skeleton lap blankets, and let me tell you that I am binge-watching SO much dishy Queen Elizabeth II drama! And Philip! I can't even!


To make this project all you need are two pieces of fleece, cut to identical dimensions. Make a cardboard template that is 1"x2", and use that to fringe all the way around each piece of fleece. You need the template so that your fringes are identical, as well:

To make those larger cuts out of the corners, just completely cut away two of the cardboard template dimensions, to make a 2"x2" square cut from each corner.

Now all you have to do is put the fleece wrong sides together, then tie them together by matching the fringes and tying them together with a square knot:

A square knot is just the simplest knot you know, but you do it twice, once with your right hand dominant, then again with your left hand dominant. So if you tied the first knot going left over right, do it again right over left:

My Girl Scout troop taught the square knot to several Brownies early this semester (as well as teaching them how to braid to make these dog toys, and how to make these pumpkin and oat dog treats!), but on another day the kids and I were teaching an activity at the Children's Museum that required tying ribbon to chopsticks, and I was surprised at how many older kids, even teenagers, couldn't tie a knot, or didn't want to try.

I always make them try twice before I help them, just in case you previously thought that I'm nice.

Of course, even knot-tying goes faster when you have a sister to help you!

Even better when you turn it into a sing-along!

When you've tied all the knots all the way around, your blanket will likely look horrifyingly wonky, because you've just naturally tied your knots with varying degrees of tension. It's an easy fix, though--just stretch it by hand all the way around, and it'll straighten itself out. You'll probably need a buddy if you're making a larger blanket, but regardless, when you're done, it will look nice and perfect just like this:

This particular blanket went to a cat at the animal shelter. I'm hoping that it's long found its forever home along with her!

Want to do a little more with your no-sew fleece blanket? Here are some other ideas on my radar:

  • I like the look of this different method that doesn't use knots, but it does require cutting a slit into each fringe, so that feels like the same amount of work, and also less kid-friendly.
  • I've seen weighted blankets talked about around the internet, and it's always been kind of casually on my to-do list for the kids (and maybe for me!). This tutorial for a no-sew weighted blanket, using bean bags stuffed with poly beads, looks like the easiest tute, and a great one for a kid, as you can add more beans as she grows.
  • This braided-edge fleece blanket is even more work, but again, the edging looks quite lovely, and looks harder to make than it is.
  • You can use this same knot-tying method to make all kinds of fleece projects. I like the look of this patchwork blanket made by knotting all of the pieces together--it has so much dimension, and looks so snuggly!
If I have any fleece left over after sewing two mermaid tail blankets, two mermaid skeleton blankets, and two eaten-by-a-shark blankets this week, I might try one of these and let you know how it went!

And after I sew all of those, I'll also be able to catch you completely up on The Crown!

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