I love flannel sheets, my mom bought me a set when I was a kid, and every year I look forward to getting ours out during cold weather. I think we would have been very cold this winter in particular had we not had a nice set (or two!) of flannel sheets. Some people don't like them, I AM NOT one of those people. Several years ago I bought a set with a fall leaf pattern all over them. I am a sucker for anything with leaves on it, and this set was really well made, fit the bed great and were wonderful to sleep on. I liked them so much that the following year I bought another set made by the same company in a different pattern. What a let down. First they didn't fit the bed well, but then over the years as I've washed them, they have become a mess. They pilled up a lot, and while they don't look horrible, they are like sleeping on sandpaper, blech. I wasn't quite sure what to do with them because they were still in good shape otherwise, they just weren't fit for sleeping against. I stuck them in a bag and thought on it for a while.
Several years ago a co-worker gave me a rag quilt as a gift. It is super warm, and if you know even just a little bit about sewing, they really aren't all that hard to make. You just need to know how to sew a straight line. I thought about it and decided that it would be a good use for these sad sheets. I hadn't really acted on it though, until a friend of mine got on a kick during the first Polar Vortex and made some of these for her kids and a couple as gifts. Hers are so pretty, it was just the motivation I needed to get started on mine.
Here are the monster sheets:
If you look close, you can see the pilliness............(is that a word?)
First I cut the elastic off the fitted sheet so it would lay flat when I cut it.
And cut out the seams that make this sheet fitted (supposedly,yeah right!)
And then I was ready to start cutting my squares. I cut these at 12 inches x 12 inches so that I would end up with 10 inch squares once I sewed it all together.
The pile of cut squares!
At this point it was time to start pinning squares together. When I started, I had no idea how many squares I would get out of these sheets since I didn't measure, but I ended up with enough to either make a 52 x 72 throw (which I chose) or a 62 x 62 throw. I definitely liked the idea of a longer throw one direction as opposed to square. In case you are wondering, these were queen sized sheets.
Once a front and back were pinned together, all I had to do was sew two straight lines from corner to corner so they had a big x on them. Since I was using flannel, I chose not to put anything between the layers, but if you were using a lightweight cotton quilt type fabric, you would want something to add warmth. The one I have was made using Warm and Natural quilt batting, but my friend who has been making them recently said she used polar fleece which to me made a whole lot more sense, it's lighter weight but just as warm. If you are making one like that, you just need to cut your batting/fleece 2 inches shorter than your squares, just making sure to center it when you assemble your squares.
After you have all of your x's sewn, then you start assembling your squares, using a 1 inch seam allowance. I know that seems large, but it will make sense later on, I promise!!!
Then start putting your rows together! If I were to make another one, I would assemble all of my rows in twos first, then put those together as it gets quite heavy, I made the mistake of just adding a row as I went and by the time I was done, my neck was killing me because it weighed a ton. Live and learn!
A view of the back--I did a different pattern on the back from the front.
After you are finished sewing all the squares together, sew a one inch line around the entire outer border. Then comes the hard part--not really, it just took me forever because I didn't have the right tools!
Using a pair of scissors, you will cut each seam about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in, about a half inch apart. BUY A PAIR OF SPRINGLOADED SCISSORS if you are in a hurry! This part is killer on your hands, I didn't have a pair of springloaded scissors and as a result, it took me forever to do this part. I own a pair now!!!!!!!!
Once you are all finished with that part, throw it in the washing machine. My friend recommended using the delicate cycle because it agitates it more, which causes the threads to become looser. This is what mine looks like after one trip through the washer/dryer. A few more trips through and it will get nice and fuzzy at the seams.
I am really pleased with the way it turned out, and the best part is it didn't cost me a thing, I recycled something, and the thread was some that I inherited from my mom's sewing cabinet. Freebies are a good thing, aren't they?!
I didn't have much left from the sheets when I was done--4 squares and the pillow cases. As you can see from this photo, the pillow cases didn't match anymore either after they had been washed several times, so I was glad that I didn't have to use them. Not sure what I'm going to do with the leftovers, probably just stash them away for a while until another idea comes to mind!
I think I would like to make another of these out of traditional quilt fabric with polar fleece batting that is big enough for us to use as a queen size bedspread. I will probably go with the old style tradition of it being a hodgepodge of prints and colors, kind of like the ones our grandmas and great-grandmas would have made. It would be a great way for me to use up some odds and ends pieces I have floating around here, hmmmm........................