Monday, March 21, 2016

Fleece Blankets with a Twist

Awhile back I was on vacation in a very small town and found myself checking out the local wares in the general store.  When I say general store that is exactly what it is.  It has a small amount of all those things you didn't know you just had to have until you see them all together in one store.  For me, I ended up falling in love with this cozy fleece and Sherpa blanket.  It was so soft and so cuddly I just had to have it.  After awhile I started feeling a little like Linus because it always seemed to be with me.

Soon the weather started to improve and I didn't have much of a need for a warm and snugly fleece blanket.  I didn't think about it again until I was trying to figure out what gifts to give my bridesmaids and attendants.  I had thought a beautiful quilt would be an awesome gift but with only a couple months to the wedding I knew they wouldn't get done.  But the blanket thought was in my head.  I was wondering around Joann Fabrics and saw that they had all their flannel and fleece on sale for a really good price and the blanket immediately popped back into my head.

I had just recently purchased a serging class through and one of the segments was on serging with decorative threads.  In this class Amy Alan walks you through different types of threads that can be used in your upper looper to give a decorative finish to your edge.  I figured these blankets would whip up in a breeze.  So I found some fun flannel prints that suited each of my bridesmaids and then got almost a bolt of the craft Sherpa.

I moved on to the yarn section looking for a 0-1 weight yarn that would match each of the blankets.  I found a very pretty metallic gold, silver and green.

The first attempt at these blankets didn't exactly go as planned.  The metallic thread, while very pretty, presented some very frustrating moments with my serger.  Also, the flannel fabric didn't quiet have the same luxuriously soft and comfy feel as the flannel did in my original blanket.  After a lot of cuss words and a few minor breakdowns I had all 7 blankets finished with a decorative thread on the top and normal thread on the bottom.  Each blanket also included an embroidered initial in the corner.

While not the super polished, incredibly expensive looking blankets I was going for, they were all finished and in time for the wedding!  Now that was a feat in itself.

After things calmed down a bit I decided to revisit this project and see if I could improve it and I did.  I kept an eye out for when Joann's had a sale on the blizzard fleece and snatched it up.  This time instead of getting the pretty metaallic yarns I went to the crochet thread and saw what they had there.  This worked so much better.  Once all of my supplies were purchased I set off to make a couple football themed blankets.

These turned out pretty well.  I didn't have the snagging issues or stitch skipping I did with the metallic yarns.  They also worked up pretty quickly.  I purchased about 1 2/3 yard of the fleece and craft Sherpa.  I wasn't too particular as I worked just tried to keep my lines as straight as possible.  It took only a couple hours to pin, set up the serger and weave in the ends of both blankets.

I would someday like to revisit shiny threads or some different techniques to jazz these up a little bit but they are great gifts and could easily be personalized with embroidery or other thread or ribbon choices.

For more information on using decorative threads in your serger I highly recommend Amy Alan's serging class on