No Felt Sweater Blanket

Awhile back I saw a few tutorials for making a sweater blanket out of felted wool sweaters. Felting sweaters seemed like too daunting of a task for me, but I really loved the idea of recycling the sweaters into blankets. Then, just 4 whole days before Christmas, I decided to try making one for my mother in law but without the felting... because who doesn't take on a project like that just 4 days before Christmas?

I was so pleased with the way it turned out. I have never done any kind of quilting before so this was a big task for me. I like quick and simple projects and I thought this wouldn't be. It really was pretty simple though!

Here's how I did it.

1. I picked up a pile of ugly sweaters at the thrift store. To my surprise they were 50% off too! So, it only cost me $12 for 6 sweaters. Not bad.

2. Cutting

Take one of your God awful sweaters and lay it flat.
Ugly... right? eeek.

Now cut the arms off at the seams.

Then Cut the shoulder seams.

Open the sweater and lay it flat.

Now you need to cut out some squares.

I bought this cheap, awesome little tool. It cuts a perfect square at two different sizes. The outside is 8.5" and the inside is 4.5". It made my life way easier.

Cutting both large and small squares, get as many squares out of each sweater.

Cut the sleeves open at the seems and proceed to get as many squares out of it as possible.

Continue until you have cut apart the mass of ugly sweaters.

3. make your pattern.

Then lay out your squares in the pattern you like. The best thing to do is assemble rows. I ended with 5 rows.

4. start sewing!

I sewed my squares WRONG* sides together so that the raw seam would be on the right side of the blanket. There are a few reasons to do this. Sewing knits together is a difficult task if your goal is straight lines. Leaving the raw edges out hides those wiggly seams beautifully!.

Start sewing your long strips together. I made each strip 7 large squares long. Once you get the 5 strips assembled, sew the strips together.

Once you have your blanket together, sew a large piece of fleece to the back of the blanket, WRONG* sides together. Now lay the whole blanket across your lap (rewarding, right?) and trim the raw edges to be the same length all the way around.

Then, YOU'RE DONE!!!!

*I stress the WRONG sides together because I screwed up on part of the blanket and mid way through, started sewing them right sides together. Pulling seams out of knits SUCKS! So, be careful!


Kim Taylor Kruse said...

The blanket turned out great! If you ever decide to try felting, I have some tips for felting and picking felt-able sweaters on my blog: http://sassycrafter.blogspot.com/2010/02/easy-fingerless-gloves-tutorial.html. I promise it isn't hard!

Another tip is that it helps to color coordinate sweaters before you felt them. That way any colored lint that comes off during the felting process won't stick and look weird on the other sweaters.

Jessica said...

wow! Love the different sizes of the patchwork. I was also a last minute Christmas crafter.

Sheri@childmade.com said...

I've been collecting sweaters to do this very thing! Well done! Thanks for sharing ... I'll be linking.

Emily Anne Knight Williamson said...

I made my first quilt this Christmas too. It was similar to this one but I used fleece yardage in the place of sweaters. I would have never thought to recycle sweaters this way! It would have been much easier than cutting quilt batting though. I also used squares on the back but sewed them right sides together. Did it work out ok without actually quilting the back panel to the front? I think I'll give this a try next time.
Thanks for sharing.

Sue said...

When you cut the sweaters, how do they not fray apart? That has been my fear.

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Unknown said...

did you wash the sweaters in hot or warm water to shrink them first? I can't wait to try this!!! thank you so much!!!

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Unknown said...

It is so sad to hear you call these sweaters "ugly". And really go to town about it... I am a knitter and have a deep appreciation for the years of learning that goes into being able to make a fairisle sweater by hand and the history of it is incredible. So they are all beautiful to me. Just because something isn't to your personal taste, that doesn't mean it's "ugly".