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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The T-Shirt Blanket

The beauty of living in upstate New York is that you experience all four seasons, each unique and special in their own way. I can always tell just when it is about to change too, it just smells different. Often just a slight whiff of tantalizing scent letting you know change is in the air.

Fall is our season now and with it are the hordes of people who love sweaters and leather boots, apples and crunchy leaves. I'll admit to being a fan, but I find that there is nothing worse then a rainy fall day. Cold and dreary, it makes a day feel drab and depressing. To combat these fall blues I find I must create diversions to avert the impending gloom. My usual cure is curling up under a warm blanket and reading a new book. Now, I have the perfect blanket to curl up under and I am going to show you how to make your own!

If you are anything like me you probably have a stash of old t-shirts hidden away in an attic box, pushed to the back of your closet, or perhaps stuffed in the drawers of your dresser. Treasures of years ago that offer glimpses in your past, or a lingering idea that one day you will fit into them again! I had the same idea until I spent the summer moving to a new city (moving does absolute wonders to purging through your stuff fyi!). When I found several t-shirts that I knew I needed to get rid of, I decided to come up with a project to use with them instead. The result, a blanket of t-shirts.

As fair warning, this is time consuming and if I did it again I would use squares and stay away from really stretchy shirts. They present problems in the long run.

-About 15 t-shirts. Really just depends on how big you want to make it. I had to use a few of my husbands big ones to make my blanket as large as I wanted it to be.
- Rotary cutter (saved my life)
- Sewing machine and thread
- Fabric to sew on the back when you are finished.

First you start out by cutting out millions of triangles. I had a plastic triangle that I used with my rotatory cutter to give me the exact same triangle each time. The end result was about 230 pieces which I mapped out on our living room floor in the pattern I wanted.

Then came the painstaking process of sewing together all the triangles into squares and then all the squares into rows. That took a lllllooooonnnggggg time!

After the rows are complete you can sew them all together. Be careful here and make sure they are all in the right order. If not your pattern will be completely messed up. Once that is done sew a back to it and you have finished! I used some flannel I found at a craft store a few dollars a yard and it took about four yards. The amount you need will depend mostly on how big yours is. Hopefully the end result will look something like this...

In no way is my blanket perfect however, I kind of like the imperfections in it. The points do not always meet, squares are crooked and it bunches at the wrong places. So often I try to be perfect at whatever I do, and it is nice to not worry about the imperfections. Instead I enjoy the warmth it provides and the memories it brings up as I look at different pieces. The best part of course is curling up with a favorite hot drink, a few journal articles, new book and get all warm and cozy on this rainy fall day!

Sounds like a good plan to me!

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