Katie Brown Fleece Project

Katie Brown comes up with some of the neatest ideas – and they’re never difficult. A few months ago, I was watching a re-run of her show All Year Round with Katie Brown – it was the episode where she made a reverse applique baby blanket. The overall idea is so simple – I figured I could make the baby wrap with the measurements she uses, and also make the dimensions bigger for a separate adult-size blanket for long car trips or just whatever!

A few days ago, I got a mailing that Hancock Fabrics was going to have a big sale on fleece this week, so I went in earlier today and bought material for three different projects – two of the ones I finished tonight are below:

Here’s the adult-size reverse-applique blanket:

I bought two colors of fleece and asked to have them cut to be 2 yards long each. In the picture above, I’ve put one color fleece on top of the other, and started to trim them up so they’re an exact match in dimension.

Making Reverse-Applique Fleece Blanket

Second, I decided to make the reverse-applique a heart shape, so I made a template out of just regular copy paper.

Third, I drew the outline of the heart with a marker, then folded the material in half and cut it out (so it would be perfectly symmetrical). Remember to draw the template onto the color that you want to be the window – for instance, I wanted the heart to show up in pink, so I cut the heart shape out of the lime green.

Put the two pieces of fleece back together. I smoothed out the fabric and carried it to a table to do the gluing.

Fourth, I took my Aleen’s Tacky Glue and ran a bead of glue all around (under) the heart-shape cutout. I left it alone for a couple of hours to set (overnight would be a good idea too).

Fifth, I cut a five-inch notch out of all four corners (this makes doing the fringe possible). Then, I took my scissors and made a 5″ cut through both layers of the fleece, about 1-1/2″ wide (you don’t have to measure, just try to make them uniform). On the left side of the pic above you can see the fringe I haven’t knotted yet, and to the right are the ones I have.

Just tie the two colors of fleece together, all around the blanket. It will look best if you tie them all the same way – just make a knot, but do it in such a way that you always pull the same color out of the knot hole (so for instance, I pulled the green piece to the side, and pulled the pink side out of the hole of the knot, so the pink pieces are pointing ‘up’ all around the blanket).


…and here it is! It’s really nice and cozy, and because it’s fleece, washing it will be no problem (although I’ll wash it by itself). Neat!

Here’s the baby-size wrap/blanket:

Hancock Fabrics had some nice baby-themed fleece too, so I decided not to to the reverse applique on this project. This is a really pretty lilac fleece with embroidered teddy bears. I cut two squares of the fleece to 45″ squares and matched them together.

Next, I cut the notches – I made 4″ square cutouts.

Then, I cut the fringe, going through both layers of the fleece. I cut them about 4″ long, and about 1-1/2″ wide.

All the fringe gets knotted.

Fleece Baby Wrap

Finished! I think it will be a perfect gift!

The fleece I used for these projects was just the brand that was available at Hancock. I just noticed that Katie says that she used Polartec brand fleece – that’s made by Malden Mills. Malden Mills is the company that had a huge fire in 1995 and 3000 people were out of work – but the owner, Aaron Feuerstein, paid everyone their checks for months – $25 million total, and rebuilt the mill rather than just taking the insurance payout (60 Minutes story here). Next time I will *definitely* buy my fleece from their online store.

BTW, Katie Brown has a new book – it’s called ‘Katie Brown’s Weekends : Making the Most of Your Two Treasured Days‘ (I’ve got it on order now) and her website says that she will be starting a new show this coming Spring on PBS called ‘Katie Brown Workshop’. Great!

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