Elsie is a medical social worker. She is definitely not a sewer, so this no-sew tie fleece blanket was the perfect project!
During my kid's chilly baseball season last year, I noticed a friend of mine all cozied up in the cutest darn fleece blanket I'd ever seen. After complimenting her on her blanket, she was proud to tell me she'd made it herself! She explained it was a no-sew fleece tie blanket—and that she had made it in a single afternoon. I asked her for instructions, which were promptly waiting in my inbox by the time I got home.
I am NOT a sewer; in fact, I'd say I have a sewing machine phobia. I'd really like to learn, but it somehow just intimidates me. One of my earliest memories was my mother (who's very proper and never cusses) sitting on the floor in front of her Singer, foot on the power peddle, yelling and cussing like a truck driver. I suppose that was the moment I decided sewing was not in my genes.
Anyway, I scanned the instructions from my friend and was surprised by how easy this project seemed to be. I was relatively sure there must be something I was missing, in fact. But, off to the fabric store I went to pick out my fleece. Sure enough, I completed the project that very day—granted my hands were a little sore from tying—but it was one of the most satisfying crafts I've ever done. Total instant gratification!
Materials and Tools
First you need to gather what you'll need. I make do with the bare minimum tools, some people may prefer additional ones, but I use what I have.
You will need:
- Sharp pair of scissors: When I say sharp, I mean very sharp! The bad news is the project will definitely dull them in the process since they have a big job to do! You can also use a rotary cutter, some people find this easier. But, I prefer an old-fashioned pair of scissors. The cuts don't need to be completely pristine and perfect.
- Fleece fabric, of course. You will need to decide how big you want your blanket to be and whether or not you want the blanket to be different on each side, which I personally recommend. For a baby blanket you will need 1 yard of each fabric (so, 2 total yards). For a child's blanket, 1 1/2 yards works well (a total of 3 yards). And, an adult-sized blanket will require 2 yards (4 total yards).
- Yardstick: For measuring.
- 4"x4" piece of paper: This is optional, but it makes cutting the first corner easier.
- Some sort of cutting surface: I must say, I totally wing this one. I've done it on my kitchen floor twice now. It's not particularly back-friendly, however!
No Sew Blanket Making
- The first thing you will want to do is to lay the two pieces of fabric together, with the wrong sides together. Obviously, you want both the right sides showing on both sides of your blanket. Align them the best you can.
- Take your yardstick or any straight edge and cut off any ends so they are the same size. You don't have to use a straight edge, but I find it easier to keep my cutting straight this way.
- Use clothes pin, paper clips, pins or anything to keep the separate pieces of fleece together and straight. Let me say, the first time I made a tie blanket I blew off this step and it ended up being a big problem. Let's just say what was going to be an adult blanket had to be cut down to a kids-sized one. So, don't skip this step!
- Cut out a perfect 4"X4" square from one of the corners. This will prevent bunching in the corners, will make it look tidier and make it easier to tie. If you have that 4X4 paper handy, it will help. If not, just measure out the square with the yardstick and lightly draw on the square. Cut it out and save it.
- Use the square you cut as your template for cutting out the remaining three corners.
- Now you will begin cutting out the uniform slits, they will basically look like fringe. Cut the slits 4 inches long into the fabric. You need enough fabric to tie the knots.
- Cut the slits evenly at one-inch intervals. Use your yardstick or a tape measure to assure they're evenly spaced. It will look funny if some are an inch apart, but others are 2 inches apart, in other words. This increases the chances you'll get bunching. Continue to cut the slits around all four corners.
- Begin tying the two slits together. You have a choice here, you can either do a standard double knot or "square knot" or you can do what is called hand or overhand knots. The latter ends up making the knots look more professional and tidy. Square knotting makes the blanket look more fun and whimsical.
- Pull the knots down just a little bit from the top of the fringe. This will make for a clean, crisp line and will avoid tugging, bunching and a misshapen blanket.
- Finally, grab two corners of your blanket simultaneously and stretch out the blanket. This will help get it flat and in the right shape.
More About Tying the Knots
As I previously mentioned, you have choices regarding how you tie the knots. You method will change how the blanket looks. For example, if you've chosen a pattern and a solid color, you may want the knot to display the pattern on the solid side and vice versa. Here's how to achieve this:
- Take the bottom strip over the top strip and make the knot.
- Then take the top strip over the bottom strip and tie the knot.
You can also just wing it and pay attention to what you want showing on the top and bottom. There's really no messing up, but just make sure you are making double knots here.
Alternatively you can do a hand knot. Just grab both strips simultaneously and loop them around your index and middle fingers and make a knot. Take a look at the video as it illustrates how to do the hand knot. Plus, the girls are just so darn cute I thought they deserved some airtime!
As I mentioned, the hand knot makes for a tidier look. But, how you tie will depend upon your personal preference.
Tips and Notes
- I would caution against buying the cheapest fleece. It doesn't keep its shape and it's harder to tie. Trust me, I like being frugal so I've made this mistake.
- When your blanket is finished and you find your fringe is uneven, you can trim it. I've never done this myself, but if you're looking for perfection then trim away. A straight edge would come in handy here.
GreenMind Guides from USA on November 11, 2015:
Hey this is a great hub. You really write well and I think you explained the process of making a tie blanket really well. Well done and I think HubPages could use more writers like you. Thanks!
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on March 12, 2015:
What an unique and interesting idea. Thanks for sharing. Voted up!
Jay Varez on December 12, 2014:
i want that exact blanket can someone help me out?? like seriously that same blanket! plz and thank you
anglnwu on February 27, 2012:
I hate to sew too but I don't mind making these blankets. In fact, I wrote a hub about making these blankets as well. It's always good to learn different ways of doing the same thing. Thanks for sharing.
Crystal Tatum from Georgia on February 25, 2012:
I've seen these and they are super cute. I'm considering giving this a shot, though I'm not crafty at all. Very thorough, clear instructions. Voted up.
grinnin1 from st louis,mo on February 12, 2012:
I love this. My daughter is really into fabric, sewing, etc, and I am so not gifted in this area- so thank you for something that maybe even I can do and share with my daughter!
Elsie Nelson (author) from Pacific Northwest, USA on January 30, 2012:
Thanks for coming by, Stephanie. It really is a fun, easy project. Let me know if you end up doing it.
Stephanie Bradberry from New Jersey on January 30, 2012:
Thanks for sharing this project. I have seen directions for blankets that require little sewing, but not a completely no sew version. I am bookmarking this hub!