A favorite part of my family's holiday season is when we take a break from the festivities to tie fleece blankets to donate to Primary Children's Hospital. My son spent some time there when he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. (* A portion of our profits benefits JDRF and diabetes research).
As he was checked in to the pediatric ward, the nurse offered him a fleece blanket with puppy paw prints printed on it. She was hesitant as it seemed a little young for him, but she didn't have many left and chose the best she could. As an almost teenager, we weren't sure he would receive much comfort from it or be too interested in keeping it as a reminder. But it was quickly apparent that the simple fleece blanket, lovingly tied by a stranger, provided not only physical comfort in a cold hospital room, but also emotional comfort during an overwhelming time. Two years later that puppy paw blanket still sits on his bed. We will be forever grateful for the comfort that this simple gift provided him at such a turning point in his young life.
This is my favorite method for creating a tied fleece blanket.
Choose your fabric. Start with 2 yards of soft fleece 60 inches wide. I often hear that neutral colors or prints that appeal to boys and/or teens are donated less frequently. Consider prints that would be widely appealing. You can use either one or two layers of fabric. I prefer a single layer of thicker fleece instead of a double layer.
Prepare your fabric. You may not need to prewash your fabric, but check with your charity to see if they have a preference. Choose hypoallergenic detergent and skip the softener if you do choose to wash it. Cut off the selvedge edges. Square up your edges if needed.
Cut the fringe. Remove a 5 inch square from each corner of your blanket. Then begin cutting a 5 inch deep fringe at 3/4 inch intervals into each of the 4 sides. These strips will become your ties.
Tie each strip. You can tie two strips together, or tie a single knot in each strip. (For younger children tying two strips together is often easier than a single knot in each strip.) Pull each knot snug without stretching the fabric. Continue all the way around your blanket.
Your finished size should be about 72"x58".
Gift to your favorite charity!