How to Make a Fleece Tie Blanket
Making an easy no-sew fleece tie blanket is just the thing to start off the chilly season right. Do you agree? When it's getting colder, a cozy blanket is what I reach for when curling up on the couch in the evening. With the seasons changing and the prices of gas, oil and electricity going up, anyone will be happy with an extra warm blanket.
I know most of our readers and customers can sew, but this is a no-sew throw blanket. This homemade blanket can be a fun craft project to tackle with a child, grandchild or a friend. To learn how to make a tie blanket, just read the instructions below or watch the Youtube Sewing Video we made.
This tie blanket is easy to make, doesn’t require many tools. It makes a great gift for the holidays and you can even use fun holiday fabrics! I noticed that dog lovers like to make them for their pets and football fanatics use them a lot to get through a cold game in the stadium in wintertime.
What do you need to make a fleece tie blanket?
A tie blanket is extra warm because it consists of 2 layers of fleece. You need to get 2 pieces of fleece fabric of the same size and quality so when you wash them they stay the same size. I would advise to prewash the fabrics to minimize shrinkage. Polyester fleece shouldn't shrink in the washer or dryer. Cotton fleece can experience some shrinking. In general, fleeces are very easy to care for and quality fleece washes well.
The size of your blanket is entirely up to you. I would use at least 2 yards of fabric for a blanket for an adult. Make sure that the length and the width are in whole numbers so you can cut the strips evenly. You don't want to be left with half strips at the end. To measure these large panels of fabric, the ruler that is adhered to my sewing table came in handy. This project involves a lot of cutting. If you want to reduce some strain on your hands, you can check out our great spring scissors.
Personalize your tie blanket
To customize a DIY blanket a little, you can add a heat transfer vinyl design or embroider something in a corner. You can add a name or a simple shape... We have a heat transfer vinyl set available plus detailed instructions and complementary downloadable HTV designs that come with the bundle. You don't need a computerized cutting machine to cut the vinyl, you can get great results with some scissors and a hot iron.
I decided to label my blanket as Mom’s blanket, so there would be no ““-discussions-”” on the sofa :-) I’m guessing I will have to make 3 more for my 2 kids and hubby :-), well they can maybe all make one themselves with this great ‘how to’ :-)
Finishing the edges of a fleece tie blanket
Fleece doesn't fray as it is a knit, rather than a woven fabric, with a cross grain stretch. The technique of cutting strips and tying them together is a very easy way of finishing the edges and getting a lovely frilled edge.
To finish the edges and assemble the two-layered blanket, you are basically cutting strips all around the edges of the 2 pieces of fabric and then tying these strips together. You will end up with a super soft warm blanket with frilled edges.
Let’s get started!
How to cut the strips for a tie blanket
If needed, trim the edges with scissors or a rotary cutter to ensure both fabrics line up neatly and are exactly the same size. This was harder than I thought, as the fleece stretches a little. So I kept cutting strips off to get it right… I used sewing clips all around but maybe I should have also used quilt basting pins? The quilters among you probably have more experience with that, putting large pieces of fabric together.. Any tips for the sewers among us?
Next, use a ruler or measuring tape and a fabric marker to measure, mark and cut a 5-inch square from each corner of the fabrics. Cut through both fabrics. Having great fabric scissors that cut accurately is a must for a job like this.
Now cut 5-inch long by 1-inch wide strips along all four sides of the fleece, cutting through both fabrics.
Need a little measuring and marking hack to make sure you get the 5 inch without measuring and marking too much? Stick some washi tape all across the fabric at 5 inches from the edge. Our MadamSew ruler washi tape is perfect for this, as you can also use the measuring tape design to cut the strips width accurately.
As you have to cut a lot, you might want to consider spring scissors to reduce the strain on your hands. Or if you are courageous enough, you can even use the MadamSew Electric Fabric Scissors..... I was a bit afraid that I would not be able to keep them in control but it worked out just fine! You can see it in the youtube video!
How to tie the knots for a fleece tie blanket
When you are ready with the strips, you can start tying the corresponding strips - 1 from each fabric - together with a knot. Different types of knots are possible! I’ll explain 3 ways you can tie the knots.
1. You can take each strip separately and tie them together with a double knot. The frills will go everywhere with this method. It is a very playful kind of frill.
2. If you want the frills not to go everywhere, you can tie the 2 strips together as if you would tie a balloon. The 2 strips are held together while making the knot. Just make a loop of the 2 strips and pull both strips through. Make sure the knot sits as close to the blanket (the 5 inch line) as possible.
3. If you don't like to have the knobby knots and prefer to have the frills lay more flat, there is an alternative way of making this blanket without knots. I’ll explain this technique in detail below.
I personally prefer technique 2 and 3 and I finally went for technique 2 - the balloon knots - for my fleece blanket because I had enough of cutting for the day :-)
I finished knotting all the strips in front of the television and I got some help from my kids!
How to make a no-knot tie fleece blanket (method 3 above)
All the strips are cut, both fabrics are on top of each other, edges nicely lined up. Fold the strips of both fabrics over, on top of the top fabric. Now cut a small slit in each strip. It can’t be larger than ¾ inch. Grabbing the 2 fabrics together, cutting on the fold, centered, in the length of the strip, making sure the slit goes through both strips. So when cutting it, the slit is only ⅜ of an inch in length. When you fold it open you have a ¾ of an inch slit through both fabrics.
Insert the ends of both the strips through the slit and gently pull. Be sure to pull the strips snug. Be gentle as fleece stretches easily. This will make the strips lay flat. The result = no knots!
How to personalize a fleece blanket with heat transfer vinyl
It is something I wanted to test, whether the HTV (heat transfer vinyl) would stick to fluffy fabric like fleece. I tested on different types of fleece and washed them and they do stick. Because the fleece stretches a little, the HTV wrinkles a little when stretched but it doesn’t tear. Well, of course this is not a scientifically correct test but for me it was good enough to add a little something to my blanket. Now the whole family knows who’s blanket this is :-)))
We have a HTV bundle in our store if you would like to try this without immediately buying a computerized cutting machine. You can also buy the different things in this set separately.
This is a quick overview of the steps you need to take to apply a HTV design:
1. Draw your design on the shiny side of the HTV
2. Cut it out
3. Position the pieces on the fabric. If you have a lot of small pieces, you can attach them temporarily with heat tape.
4. Cover with a non-stick sheet and press the pieces onto the fabric with a hot iron.
5. Peel away the plastic top layer
6. Press again with the non stick sheet protecting the HTV
If you need more detailed instructions for working with HTV, check out our heat transfer vinyl manual.
If you are looking for more heat transfer vinyl inspiration, we have a blog post that explains how to design your own t-shirt with our HTV bundle.
I am very happy with my knotted fleece blanket! It is a heavenly,, snug and warm tie blanket and at the same time not too heavy. I tested it yesterday night and in the end there were 3 people under my fleece blanket. The whole family loves it! So I think it will become a “family” blanket instead of “mom’s blanket” ;-) But, I’m so ready for those cold winter evenings! And I think with this tutorial you now also know how to make a tie blanket!
If you have any questions how to make this tie blanket, don’t hesitate to send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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