How to Make a No-Sew Friendship Blanket and Astound Your Buddies

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Friendship blanket, with cat

Do you have a friend who needs an accent in their décor? Maybe they're going in hospital, and you'd like to brighten their stay. Or it could be that they just need a hug. Why not whip them up a friendship blanket? This easy-to-make accessory is always a welcome gift. The best thing about it is that you don't need to know how to sew. This amazing creation requires no skills you didn't acquire in kindergarten. If you can tie your shoes and cut a short slit with a pair of scissors, you can make a friendship blanket.

What You Need

Here's what you need to get started:

  • Two (2) squares of fleece fabric, about 4 feet (≅ 125 cm) on a side. 'Fleece' is a polyester fabric that is warm and wool-like1. It will make a really warm blanket. It's also washable. Fleece comes in a huge variety of colours and patterns: choose a solid colour for one side, and a complementary colour with a pleasing pattern for the other. When choosing your colours, take into account the age, personality, and expressed preferences of the intended recipient. Don't pick red, white, and black because you love Kiss if your blanket is going to Aunt Shirley, who prefers Elvis. She might like a nice Hawaiian pattern.
  • A pair of scissors. They can be rounded. They just need to be able to cut fabric.
  • A ruler or tape measure. You only need to measure a few inches (centimeters), so a ruler will do nicely.
  • Someplace to work. We recommend a table or bed without any cats on it. Cats tend to play with the fabric.

How to Make a Friendship Blanket

  1. Lay your two (2) squares of fabric on your work surface, wrong sides together. (The 'wrong side' is the side that isn't as pretty.) If there is a selvage (finished) edge, be sure to trim that off. All four sides should be the same.
  2. At each corner, cut a 5-inch (=12.5cm) square out of both pieces of fabric. This doesn't make sense now, but it will in a minute. You can let the cats play with these squares, because you won't need them. Or you can save them for another project.
  3. Now take your scissors and your ruler. All around the two pieces of fabric, cut 5-inch (=12.5cm) slits into the fabric at intervals of 1 inch (≅ 2.5cm, just make them all the same). Don't cut the slits where you've cut out the 5-inch (=12.5cm) squares! Now you know what they're for: the 'fringe' cuts are the same length as the sides of the squares you cut out! Light dawns.
  4. Now comes the work part. All that slit-cutting has resulted in 5-inch (12.5cm)-long strips, each 1 inch (≅ 2.5cm) wide. Tie the strips from the two pieces of fabric together. Don't get fancy – just tie them so they don't come apart. Do this all around the fabric until you have made one square blanket.
  5. Step back and admire your work. Who knew you could do this?

Once your blanket is made and duly admired, fold it in half, then again, lengthways. Put the prettier side out. Roll the blanket up and tie it with a ribbon. If you were lucky and had a selvage edge to trim off, you've got a ready-made tie – use that. Make a nice bow.

Insert a thoughtful gift card into your blanket, conveying a suitable sentiment expressive of your goodwill. Your friend or relative will enjoy the warmth and appreciate the gesture. They may also be impressed by your newly-acquired skill, since they never expected you to be 'crafty'.

1Fleece comes in different thicknesses. Any kind will do for these blankets except microfleece.

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