Thursday, June 10, 2010

Taming the Fleece

I'm busy getting ready for our annual neighborhood garage sale this Saturday. We've got road construction to discourage people from coming. If we also have bad weather, it may be a tiny group of shoppers.

Since little crafting is going on, I'll tell you about turning yards of fleece into blanket sized pieces. I bought about 40 yards of fleece the day after Thanksgiving and other Project Linus donations were added to that. I had a collection of bags that looked like this.

yards of fleece in bags

Several yards of fleece does not fold compactly. It just flops around and looks messy. Half a dozen bags of fleece occupied a large spot in my guest room until I started cutting it up a couple of months ago.

cutting tools

Good tools make things much easier.

  • A large rotary cutting mat.
  • A 60 mm rotary cutter, big enough to cut through 4 layers of fleece.
  • A 3 foot long O'Lipfa rotary cutting ruler.
  • A 12.5" square ruler

Start by determining the length of the piece of fleece. Decide how many and what size blankets it will become. On a large piece, I do a rough estimate, cut off 2 or 3 blankets and measure again.

I lay the fleece, folded in half, on the cutting mat. I place the 3 foot ruler where I want to cut and use the square ruler to make sure the long ruler is perpendicular to the fold. Then I slice.

I fold each blanket-sized piece with the selvages together. I fold a second time, perpendicular to the first fold, so I have 4 layers, with the selvages all on the same side. I align the folds on the grid lines on the cutting mat. I cut off the selvages and trim the cut edges so the sides are straight and the corners are square.

Tip: when a rotary blade starts getting dull it pushes fuzz into the mat while it still cuts through the fleece. Some sticky package tape will pull the fuzz out. Or one of the sticky lint rollers.

fleece folded neatly

Cut into usable pieces, the fleece folds neatly and occupies less space. When I want to make a blanket, I pick a piece and get started. No wrestling with a large piece of fleece, cutting off selvages or squaring up the piece. No more unruly mess; the fleece is tamed.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tip for getting the fuzz out of the mat! blessings, marlene