A warm fleece blanket is easy to make at home from fabric and can serve as a blank canvas for needlework designs. Doing embroidery on a fleece blanket is essentially the same as doing any type of embroidery in terms of stitches and techniques. You do, however, need to take the characteristics of the fabric into consideration. To prevent your embroidery stitches from being concealed by the thick, piled surface of fleece fabric, you should use thicker thread and avoid smaller, delicate stitches in favour of bold ones. Choosing thread colours that contrast with the colour of the blanket also helps the embroidery design stand out. You need to use a stabiliser because fleece can stretch and distort your design.
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Things you need
- Fleece blanket
- Embroidery hoop
- Ribbon or fabric strips
- Medium weight stabiliser
- Regular sewing needle and thread
- Washable fabric marker
- Thick embroidery thread, such as Persian tapestry wool
- Embroidery needle
Wrap the ribbon or fabric strips around the inner ring of your embroidery hoop. This prevents the hoop from crushing the fleece fabric and leaving a mark when you remove it.
Place the stabiliser in the hoop so that it is taut. Place the fleece blanket over the stabiliser in the hoop so that the area you want to embroider is in the centre. Readjust the hoop and fabric if necessary so that all the layers are taut and smooth. Thread your sewing needle with cotton, and baste the blanket to the stabiliser, stitching around the inner perimeter of the hoop.
Transfer your embroidery design to the fleece with a washable fabric marker.
Cut an 18-inch length of embroidery thread, and thread your tapestry needle. If you are not using thick thread, use multiple strands of regular thread together. Because both sides of the blanket will be seen you don’t want to tie a knot; start by leaving a tail on the wrong side, then trap the tail under stitches as you embroider. Choose bold stitches like stem stitch, satin stitch, fern stitch and French knots for your design.
Remove the blanket from the embroidery hoop. If you can see marks from the hoop, try to rub them away with your fingers. If this doesn’t work, spritz a little water on the marks and rub them with your fingers. They should disappear when the fleece is dry.
Unpick the basting stitches, and cut away the excess stabiliser around the stitched area on the back of the blanket.
Tips and warnings
- For an easy homemade gift, embroider an initial in one corner of a rectangle of fleece fabric, then sew binding that matches the colour of the embroidery thread around the edges.
- If you have a scrap piece of fleece fabric, test the stitches and threads you intend to use to see if they stand out from the background. If not, consider using thicker thread, making the stitches bigger or using a bolder type of stitch.
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