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Monday, June 25, 2012


Bunk beds and bedding for "friends"

Last week my home was invaded by some of my favorite people in the entire world. One rainy day eight year old Jack decided he wanted to make bunk beds for two of his “friends.” After the bunk beds were crafted with scraps of wood, we tackled the bedding: mattresses, pillows, and blankets. Since I had some scraps of Polartec, I showed Jack how to make knotted fleece blankets.

The next day Jack had a brilliant idea: he’d make knotted blankets for himself and Chase, his 21 month old brother. I thought this was a great activity. Jack would be able to make the blankets nearly entirely by himself, practicing his cutting skills and his knotting skills. We headed off to the fabric store where he zeroed in on a bolt of Lightning McQueen fleece. We purchased 5 yds. of fabric, 2-1/2 yds. of Lightning McQueen and 2-1/2 yds. of solid red for the backing. 

The blanket in progress

Once home I cut the fabrics into two pieces each, one for Jack and one for Chase. That’s when disaster struck. Remember that old saying about the best laid plans? Remember Murphy’s Law? We were walloped by a double whammy. I’ve used fleece for many projects in the past, everything from costumes to bathrobes to pillows. I’ve never before come across a fleece that left a mountain of fuzzy residue in its wake with each scissor cut. Lightning McQueen’s fuzz covered me, covered Jack, and covered my living room floor. No way could I use this fabric (nearly $70 worth!) to make knotted blankets. This was a fabric that needed all raw edges finished.

Jack with finished, non-fuzzing Lightning McQueen blanket

So there went the great project for Jack. After several minutes of making nasty faces at Lightning McQueen and mentally cursing him out while biting my tongue because I’d never use such language in front of Jack, I came up with a solution. I trimmed the Lightning McQueen fabric three inches shorter in both directions and centered it wrong sides together over the red fleece. Then I folded up the red fabric and pinned it to Lightning McQueen around all four sides, mitering the corners. Using a zigzag stitch, I sewed around the cut edges of the red fabric. Jack got to help by working the sewing machine pedal as I fed the fabric through the machine. Not exactly the project I’d had in mind but still a project.

Moral of the story? If you want to craft a knotted fleece blanket, make sure you buy fleece that doesn’t fuzz off at the raw edges.

Stop back next Monday for directions to make a knotted fleece blanket.

Meanwhile, have you ever had a project that didn't go at all as planned? Let's hear from you. Post a comment for a chance to win a copy of a book by our Book Club Friday guest author.


Di Eats the Elephant said...

Oh my gosh, yes! I had decided I wanted to make this quilted pillow top, but had never done something like this before. I bought a stretchy blue fabric to go with my printed cotton, and ended up with mismatched edges because of the stretch. I found a matching piece and had to sew it into the side. Then I tried to use the stretchy fabric to make prairie point edges. It also became a favorite food for things we never see, so eventually little holes developed in the stretch fabric. Still, I enjoyed it and am glad I did it. I might not have tried it if I'd tried to learn all I needed to know first.


Sometimes ignorance can be bliss! Thanks for stopping by, Di.