Joann's was having a fabulous sale this past weekend, and I was really looking forward to running up there one evening all by myself. I had picked out three sewing projects and even wanted to browse through the pattern books. After all, I've yet to use a real pattern, and I figure it's about time to try that.
Friday night I got swamped with... something. Geez, I can't even remember? I swear some days I've losing my mind. Saturday evening I came down with a huge headache. Sunday had to be it. However, Sunday evenings are spent at my parents' house, period. I won't give that up, especially since my mom is battling lung cancer again. So Sunday afternoon it had to be. That wouldn't be a problem, but I had already promised my eight-year-old that we'd exchange a Texas Rangers jersey he had bought at the mall with his own money. It was almost $100, and before I could wash it, I found a tiny hole in it and realized one of the letters wasn't stitched on properly. Seriously? I thought it was crazy when he and his dad picked the thing out. I haven't spent that much on an outfit for myself since I got pregnant with our first child let alone a single shirt. But it was his money, and he's a serious sports fanatic, and he got to have his own last name and number sewn on it. It's actually pretty cool... just not $100 cool. But I'm a mom. What do I know?
Well, I didn't want to hold off on returning this thing in case they'd think we messed it up ourselves through wear and tear, and he was anxious, so the only way I could make my trip work was if I dragged him with me. Eight-year-old boys in a fabric store? Yeah, that's not a great idea. However, he did amazingly well. He helped me pick out a fat quarter for an applique I hope to learn how to do for my nephews. Pinterest will be the death of me! He also cooperated rather well as I tried to pick out coordinating fabrics for some dresses I will soon be making for several little girls.
He soon got bored. No surprise. So in an effort to prevent him from racing down the isles in a shopping cart, I told him he could look at the sports fabrics. He found one and asked if the store would put that pattern on a soft fabric for a blanket. When I told him that's not how it worked, he was disappointed. I showed him to the row of fleece and suggested he search there. That's when he asked if I could sew him a blanket. The kid loves blankets, and while he's probably getting to that age where he shouldn't sleep with a blankie, he has two blankets he got when he was a toddler that he snuggles up with every night. One is a twin-sized monogrammed one that matches the colors of his room while the other is this John Deere tractor blanket that he really has outgrown, but every time we talk him into giving it up, he comes back the next day asking for it back. It's just so soft and cool to the touch. And why rush making him grow up and sleep with just regular bedding? He's managing to grow up on his own fast enough as it is. Just not when it comes to cuddly blankies.
I told him we could make a no-sew blanket together. He found some fleece fabric with footballs all over it, and we matched it with an off-white color. It wasn't my first choice, but there wasn't any browns or greens that matched perfectly with his football fleece. The lady who cut my fabric said two yards would work. With their sale and my coupon, I was going to be able to make his blanket for $15, and while he didn't need another blanket, I new making the project with him would be well worth that money. Besides, how could I say no to his precious big brown eyes after he had so patiently let me pick out pink flowery fabric for his sister?
We ran out of time to buy fabric for the two projects I wanted to make for myself. Go figure. However, I'm really looking forward to the ones I'll be making for my daughter, my son, and my nephews. Some day I'll get back to Joann's and someday I'll get to make something for myself.
To make this blanket, I followed this wonderful tutorial I found through Pinterest by Grits and Giggles. The only difference is I cut my strips just a tad over 1" apart simply because the lines on the football field were that distance, so I could cheat and use them as my guide for two of the four sides. I also only cut 4" deep because our PTO and students made about 1000 of these blankets at my boys' school to donate to Project Linus during our Valentine's Day party this past year, and I remembered cutting them only 4".
It took about 20 minutes per side to cut and tie the strips. We had 43 strips on the shorter sides and 48 strips on the longer ones. However, it was fun working alongside my son, chatting about football. He's excited about playing as quarterback and fullback for his first season of tackle football. As tough as this kid can be on the field, he's a sweet softy off, so this fleece football blanket is perfect for him!
Okay, so once we had made the blanket and he spent half the day cuddling up in it, I realized we had knotted it inside out. Take a close look at the numbers on the football field. I showed it to him after I tucked him in bed. He was bummed, but I promised him that I'd do all the untieing as long as we could work together redoing them. That's 182 ties, but thankfully, we can do it while we watch the Olympics together and continue to chat. Just chalk it up to another bonding moment or a good lesson on paying attention. Obviously, I hadn't done that when I lined up the fabrics. Oops. I'll focus on the positive side: lots of snuggly bonding time as we retie.