Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Fusion blanket

Relief.  This blanket has been months in the making. I am just so glad to have finished it. Kismet may have been at play; I had just enough blue yarn to blanket stitch and crochet borders around the fabric squares and stitch them all together.

This one was my interpretation of a blanket made by And the Little Dog Laughed.  Where the profit margin is in that blanket, I'll never know. Truly, the asking price is worth it for amount of time it would have taken to make alone, let's not even mention the cost of materials.

I started making my crochet blanket using a bobble stitch. It took me nearly two weeks to get the central colours to the size they are, and because of the blanket's slow progress, I lost interest in it, and put it away. Bad mistake. When I pulled it out again, I could not remember how to make the stitch so instead of a bobble, I ended up with a flat weave on the pink and grey borders.  I didn't mind how the combination looked, so I chose to continue with it.  You can view it in its unfinished state here.

Then it was time to work on the fabric squares. Selecting the fabric was easy. I love Aneela Hoey's collections, I used her Little Apples fabric in my quilt and when her Walk in the Woods line became available, I bought some charm squares. At the time, I had no project in mind for them, but this blanket seemed the obvious choice. The colours complement the yarn and give the blanket the snuggly, wintery feel that I was looking for.

Sewing the blocks together was not difficult, just time-consuming as I handstitched the openings closed.  I guess if I had thought it through, I could have made the seam allowances bigger and then machine topstitched the openings down once I had turned the squares out the right way. You should know me by now, I like to make things harder than they need to be.

Using my wool needle, I blanket stitched around the outside of each block in 1cm increments. They probably could have been spaced further apart. Then I packed them all away and didn't touch them for over a month. I guess I was struggling with how I was going to attach them to the blanket.

Somehow, and I can't believe it happened, the number of stitches I used and the v-stitches I crocheted seemed to work out and putting them all together was actually easy in the end. It took 13 hours to crochet the fabric squares to the edge of the main blanket using a flat-braid technique.

There are fusion blanket tutorials out there, and I think if anyone is considering making one for the first time, it would be wise to refer to them, if only for the sake of your sanity - unless you are like me and unwittingly embark on projects without a pattern because you are blissfully unaware of the potential difficulties.  That's always fun, and is, I guess, by definition, crafting dangerously.

Degree of difficulty: It was pure luck that this blanket came together relatively easily. This was a true sliding doors project - if I had chosen a different stitch to attach the fabric squares, made the fabric squares smaller, or even made the main crochet blanket any size other than what it ended up being, it could have resulted in a very large headache.
Time taken: Two months
Result: You would think that because this blanket combines both yarn and fabric, two of my most favourite-est things in the world, I would be thrilled with it. However, that tired, smug-looking child (but mostly tired) in the photo above was how I felt by the end of this project.

Linking up with Show and Tell and My Creative Space this week.

26 comments:

  1. I think it turned out really lovely. Sounds like an awful lot of work but worth it in the end. The fabric works perfectly with your yarn colours. Nice job!

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  2. I love it Leanne - its awesome when things just come together. Well done you - smirk or no smirk :)

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    1. I bet if I made it again, I would not be able to replicate it. I think I should start writing down the number and type of stitches as I go.

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  3. I am impressed with your perseverance. I have dozens of languishing projects. I am a procrastinator. I even joined the UFO club two months late. How does THAT happen? I love the fusion look of your blanket and I like the fabrics you chose. I love the retro/modern look. It reminds me of little drawstring purses a friend's mother used to make for us when we were in second grade. She started with bleach bottles, punched holes, then crocheted.

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    1. Your friend's mother sounded very resourceful. I laughed at your UFO club comment. I procrastinated on this, to my detriment. Starting and finishing one project before launching into the next works best for me, otherwise I forget how to make the stitches.

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  4. Wow - how gorgeous..I'm sure it will be well loved:)

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  5. You might be tired but my gosh it is so worth it! Just so beautiful! Great fabric choice and love the crochet!

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    1. Thanks Lucy. That's what I have discovered about crochet, the reward is so great because so much time and care goes into making these things.

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  6. I really need to come round for a crochet tutorial Leanne!

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    1. Any time Sara, mi casa su casa.

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  7. It works really well together...and love it even more because of the fabric choice!! Lucky it all came together so well :))

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    1. Thanks Laura, I love the fabric too - those foxes!

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  8. Wow - I love it!!
    All the time put into it was so worth it!

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    1. Thank you, Jennie. I just had a look at your Etsy shop, how fabulous are your creations? I especially love how you repurpose vintage fabrics and linens, the aprons on some of those dolls are divine.

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  9. It really is beautiful
    I made one last year and I hear you re numbers of stitches etc
    The one I made didn't have the wool in the middle just the fabric squares
    Yours is fabulous

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    1. I took these photos on a really horrible day here and I don't think I captured it very well, so I am glad you can still appreciate the work in it. I'd love to see your one, I'll check out your blog.

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  10. Wow! I've never seen a blanket like this before, it's fabulous!
    Love the Walk in the Woods fabric too, it's one of my favourites :)

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    1. Why, thank you! Just had a peek at your blog and read the article on bizarre beauty products -'Wowzas' is all I can say!

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  11. A beautiful blanket, the joining is a great idea. And I love love love the Marimekko table in your banner photo.

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    1. Thank you! I just visited your blog and love the yarn bombing you did - the photos made me laugh. Thanks for commenting.

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  12. I love Aneela Hoey and especially the Into the woods line- its just perfect for this blanket.
    Wellmdone sticking with it and finishing. Fluke or no fluke, it looks pretty perfect to me. Well done!

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    1. Thanks Juliet x. Hope you're keeping warm down there, it's cold enough up this way!

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  13. Love the combination of fabric and yarn; it worked very well indeed.

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    1. Thank you Rachelle, it's nice to have you stop by.

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