Polar fleece conjures up comfort, cosiness colour and cleverness, and also happens to be the best material for creating the easiest range of projects you might ever like to make. You don’t have to finish the edges as it will never unravel, it can be shaped and cut effortlessly, and it’s sympathetic to small inaccuracies. So fleece is the perfect option to use that’s quick, simple and oh-so affordable.
Just cut, butt and stitch
(as seen above) Want the most fabulous blanket in an instant? Make this patchwork throw in a few hours. Just follow the instructions in Snazzy and snugly inside and out, but substitute its colours as follows – 8 squares each in orange, dark brown and olive green, 5 squares each in camel and donkey brown, and 7 squares each in yellow and lime green. Using orange yarn, embellish the seams with crosses.
This effective snip-and-pinch technique on a two-tone cushion makes it a stand-alone beauty. Enlarge template (below). Pin it to wrong side of a 35cm square of fleece. Slice along cut lines with a rotary cutter. Turn fleece over. Working with adjacent slits, pinch and fold back fleece at each marked fold. Catch folds together with a small bead and thread, forming petals. Sew a button in the centre.
Using a wave blade rotary cutter or first tracing semi-circles around a five-cent coin, cut scalloped edging. Centring, machine zigzag this piece to right side of a 45cm square piece of contrasting fleece. Cut a 45cm square piece of fleece for the back. Then, withright sides facing, use a 1cm seam and stitch front to back, leaving a 30cm gap for turning. Turn right-side out, insert cushion and slipstich closed.
Starring roll template To enlarge, set copier at 400% and then 182%
Snazzy and snugly inside and out
Mix and match colours for your lovely blanket and make sew-simple cushions to match. For the cushion, using two contrasting colours of fleece, cut two pieces to suit size of your cushion insert, adding 5cm extra all around for a scalloped edging. Using tailor’s chalk, mark a stitching line 5cm in from all sides. Using a 20c coin and pencil, trace semicircles around all four sides, then cut scallops. With wrong sides facing, and leaving a 30cm opening, topstitch along chalk line. Insert cushion, topstitch opening closed.
For the throw, cut a total of forty-eight 23 x 23cm squares of polar fleece – 8 in purple, 7 squares each in royal blue, dusky blue, olive green, lime green and yellow, and 5 in khaki. Arrange squares on the floor, 6 across and 8 down, moving the coloured fleece around until you’re happy with the grouping.
Keeping to this grid-like arrangement and working one row at a time, butt squares up to each other and machine zigzag them together. Keeping to your grid, stitch the rows together in the same manner. Working on the right side of the blanket, work evenly spaced crosses across the seams, using yellow yarn and a sharp needle. Work crosses 2cm in from the raw edges,
all the way around the throw. Trim excess fabric up to the crosses or hem it – the choice is yours.
This is a great use for any offcuts of fleece you may have. On the wrong side of fleece, trace around a large serving plate with tailor’s chalk. Then, using a 10c coin, trace semicircles around large circle, to create a scalloped edge. Snip neatly around curves with sharp scissors. If you like, make a few coordinating coasters.
Spell it out
Add pizzazz to your windowsill by giving papier-mâché letters a fleecy face. Position each desired letter face down on the wrong side of various colours of fleece, and trace around each with a pencil. Cut each fleece letter. Using double-sided tape, fix these to the appropriate papier-mâché letter.
For the cushions, simply cut two 46cm squares of fleece (cushion front and back) and nine 6cm square patches of contrasting coloured fleece. Arrange the nine patches, grid like, on right side of cushion front, securing each with a large yarn cross-stitch in the centre. With right sides together and using a 1cm seam, stitch front to back, leaving a 30cm gap for turning. Turn right-side out, insert cushion and slipstitch opening closed.