Toasty. That’s what this big blanket is all about. We combined a plush Sherpa style fleece with a rich faux suede: soft on one side, smooth on the other, then bound all around with the suede. The natural tones and classic Berber check give it the rustic look of a lumberjack’s coat. But the only hard work ahead for this throw is keeping you toasty by the fire.
Everyone at Sew4Home was crazy about this very cuddly throw, but we did observe the guys in the group taking special notice. It can be hard to find great gifts for guys, and this project not only has just the right cool factor, it’s also fast and easy enough to whip up in a single afternoon.
Even if you don’t have your own ski cabin or know any lumberjacks coming in from the cold, you can still throw another log on the fire and wrap up top to toe in our cozy Lodge Blanket. Because everyone gets cold tootsies!
This Sherpa Style fleece has the thick, warm nap of real lambswool. It’s short and dense, almost like a carpet but so much softer.
When you’re handling a project that’s big and a bit heavy, try to work on a large surface when sewing, such as a sewing table or just a kitchen or dining table in order to give the layers support as they flow out the back of the machine. It will keep your seams from pulling and distorting.
For more hints and tricks about working with plush and deeply napped fabric, make sure you check out our Sewing with Plush Fabrics tutorial as well as our Sewing With Faux Fur tutorial. It’s not a difficult fabric to sew with, but to create great results, it helps to know the best practices to follow.
Our blanket finishes at approximately 50″ x 60″.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Even Feed or Walking foot; or use your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system, we used the built-in AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system on our Janome machine
Fabric and Other Supplies
- 1¾ yards of 54″+ wide Berber Check Sherpa Style faux fur for the front; we originally used 58/60″ Sherpa Berber Check in Taupe from Shannon Fabrics
- 1¾ yards of 54″+ wide faux suede or similar in a coordinating solid for the back; we originally used 58” Shannon Fabrics Cuddle Micro Suede in Cappuccino
- 1 yard of 54″+ wide faux suede or similar in an accent solid for the binding; we originally used 58” Shannon Fabrics Cuddle Micro Suede in Black
- Heavy embroidery floss or thin yarn for the ties in a color to best match the suede backing; one – two small skeins
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Pressing cloth for working with the suede
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Tape measure
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Large safety pins; optional
- Straight pins or clips
- Hand sewing needle plus a large eye Chenille Needle for the floss/yarn ties
- From the Berber Check, cut ONE 50” x 60” rectangle, taking the time to center the plaid and cut carefully through just the backing. If you’re new to this cutting style for faux fur, check out our full tutorial.
- You also want to trim all the sides so your edges are straight and your corners are 90˚.
NOTE: Even though the Berber Check is quite wide (our sample was a full 60”+), so you could cut it 60” wide x 50” high, we do still recommend getting additional fabric in order to make your cut 50” wide x 60” high. This allows you the extra fabric needed to precisely center the check pattern side to side and top to bottom.
- From the backing faux suede, cut ONE 50” x 60′ rectangle.
- From the binding faux suede, cut FIVE 5” x WOF (width of fabric or 54″ in this case) strips.
NOTE: A rotary cutter was the best cutting choice for the faux suede to insure a smooth and even edge and sharp corners.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Layering and basting
- This is a big project. You need a large, clean surface on which to work. A clean floor (hard surface, not carpet) is often the best option for layering and pinning.
- Place the faux suede down first, right side down.
- Place the Berber Check right side up on top of the faux suede.
- The two layers are wrong sides together and the raw edges of both layers should be aligned along all four sides. Each layer should be as flat and wrinkle-free as possible. Pin lightly across the center and around the edge.
NOTE: You can also use large safety pins across the middle to hold the layers together. This is a nice option to keep the layers from shifting until they are hand-tied in place at the end.
- Attach a Even Feed or Walking foot or engage your machine’s fabric feeding system.
- Set up the machine for a basting stitch and sew around all four sides. This helps keep the layers flat as you stitch and wrap the binding.
Prepare the binding
- Find the five binding strips.
- Place the ends of two strips together at a 90˚ angle.
- Draw a diagonal line across the overlapped ends. Pin along the drawn diagonal line.
- If necessary, re-thread the machine with thread to best match the binding faux suede in the top and bobbin. Re-set the stitch length to normal.
- Stitch along the drawn line.
- Trim the seam allowance to ¼”.
- Using a pressing cloth, press open the seam allowance.
- Repeat to add each additional strip until you have one continuous length.
- Fold the completed strip in half, wrong sides together, and press well (again using a pressing cloth) to set a center crease.
- Un-fold wrong side up. Fold back both long raw edges ½” and press into position along the entire length of the binding.
Attach the binding (two methods)
- Place the layered blanket faux suede side up and flat on your work surface.
- Unfold the binding along the center crease only – the edges remain folded.
- Starting at what will be the center of the bottom edge of the blanket, lay the open binding right side up on the faux suede. The raw basted edges of the blanket should sit up against the crease line underneath the binding. So, the binding is “straddling” the blanket at this point.
- Pin in place all around along the one folded edge that is laying on the faux suede.
- At each corner, make a diagonal fold to create a point.
- To finish the end, stop pinning a few inches from your starting point.
- Fold back the overlapping end and interlock the two top folds.
- Finish pinning over the finished end.
- The machine should still be threaded with with thread to match the binding in the top and bobbin. Lengthen the stitch slightly.
- Still using a Even Feed foot if possible (or with your machine’s feeding system engaged), edgestitch in place all around.
- Go slowly, especially as you pivot at each corner.
- Flip over the blanket and fold the binding down into position along its original crease line. The folded edge is now against the front (the sherpa side) and should just cover the seam line.
- Pin in place all around from the front this time, again making a pretty diagonal fold at each corner.
- Finish the ends in the same manner as you did at the back.
- Hand stitch the binding in place – as you might a traditional quilt binding, hiding your stitches within the deep nap of the Berber Check Sherpa.
Alternate binding method
- If you’d prefer to not do any hand stitching, you can machine stitch the binding in place with a standard blanket binding method.
- Slip the binding into place along the perimeter of the layered blanket. The basted raw edges of the blanket layers should sit up against the crease line of the binding.
- Pin in place all around, feeling through the layers to make sure your folded edges are lining up front to back and that the center crease line is staying perfectly centered along the raw edges.
- Make the same pretty diagonal fold at each corner and finish the ends as described above. The only difference with this wrapped method is that you are folding and overlapping the front and back at the same time.
- When pinned in place, edgestitch all around close to the inner folded edge, going slowly and being careful to catch both sides of the binding in this one seam. Remember to pivot at each corner.
NOTE: The steps above summarize both binding methods. If you are new to this technique, you may find it helpful to review one of both of our full step-by-step binding tutorials: A Complete Step-by-Step For Binding Quilts & Throws and Bias Binding: Figuring Yardage, Cutting, Making, Attaching.
- Measure for a balanced spacing of ties.
NOTE: As shown in the drawing above, our 24 ties are set onto the intersecting lines of the Berber Check, using the bolder charcoal gray lines as the grid. Following this more prominent color allows for the most consistent and easy spacing, but it does mean the floss, which is matched to the color of the faux suede backing, will slightly show on the front against the dark gray. We show you below how to trim closely to best hide the ties within the nap. If you’d prefer to leave your ties longer on the front, you can choose to place your ties within a color on the check that more closely matches the suede backing.
- Thread the chenille needle (or similar large-eyed needle) with an approximate 18″ length of embroidery floss or yarn.
- Insert the needle from the top through to the back.
- Then come up from the back to the top about ⅛” away from the original insertion point.
- Repeat, but with the new insertion points perpendicular to the first points…
- … in order to create the visible X at the back of the blanket.
NOTE: The X ties on the back of the blanket will indeed be visible so take the time to measure and mark for equal spacing, and make your X stitching as consistent as possible from tie to tie.
- Double knot the tails against the front.
- Trim the tails to approximately ⅛”.
- Fluff up the nap around the tie so it sinks down and nearly disappears.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild