Prepare the Fabric
You can wash the fabric prior to cutting, but you really don’t need to. I generally don’t wash it first although this fleece does wash up very well.
First, you need to take the two squares of fabric and lay them flat on top of each other like two pieces of paper. Most fleece doesn’t have a right or wrong side, so it doesn’t really matter which side you use, but if for some reason, you have a one-sided fleece, you are going to want to put the non-patterned sides together.
You’ll notice that each piece will have two raw edges – called the selvage, where the material was attached to the loom. This will need to be trimmed off. It’s easier if you match up the selvage edges on both pieces, so you can trim both layers at once. As you can see, it has a tendency to curl, so you’ll want to flatten it as much as you can while you’re cutting it.
|The little dots indicate the selvage edge|
You can tell where to cut because there will be a fine line of tiny holes like a dotted line. Cut just to the inside of the dotted line. The left and right sides of the blanket should match up pretty much exactly, but depending on how precisely they cut the fabric, you may need to trim the top or bottom slightly. I find it easiest to line up and pin the three sides and then do any needed trimming on the fourth side.
Cutting the Fabric
Once you have the selvage cut off and two pieces of fabric trimmed to the same size, you are ready to start cutting. You are going to cut about a 6″ square in each corner to allow you to miter the corners. Then you will cut 6″ strips through both layers of fabric about every inch and a half to two inches.
Thankfully, there is an easy template on hand for the corner cuts. Your basic paper dinner napkin is just about 6″ square. You might need to trim off about a half inch off one edge, but then they are a perfect template. If you don’t have a napkin handy, just grab a sheet of paper and cut it to 6″ square. Then just lay your template in each corner, mark off the corner section with a couple of pins and cut through both layers of fabric. Eeesy peesey!
Then, to give myself a guideline for the strips, I just lay a yardstick along each edge and pin at the top every few inches. That gives me a nice guideline to see how deep to cut the strips.
Then just cut the strips every couple of inches to the 6″ guidelines. You don’t need to be terribly precise – you just cut them reasonably even and somewhat straight. Because of the way the fabric is made, two of the sides will be a LOT stretchier, so try to be careful not to stretch it out of shape.
|See how I do the guidelines with pins at the top? Cut through both layers of fabic at once.|
In the next section, I will show you a couple of different ways to tie the knots.