When I think of cooler fall weather, I think of NFL Sunday Football. Although we live in Arizona, most of our neighbors are Packers or Vikings fans – crazy right? Perhaps that’s because most of the folks in Arizona are transplants from the Midwest.
I don’t really have a favorite team, but my kids will tell you that they LOVE the Vikings – they haven’t ever been to a game, but they have a grandpa that loads them up on Vikings gear on their birthdays. Being from Minnesota myself, I don’t mind that at all… I think it’s fabulous that we can root them on from the warmer Arizona weather and not the ice cold, snowy winters that Minnesotans typically have to endure.
I can’t think of a better way to spend the chilly winters in Minnesota than huddled under an oversized cuddle throw – perhaps the Vikings isn’t your team. That’s ok! You can whip up your own throw for your own favorite NFL team – two pieces of coordinating fabric and less than an hour later, you can have a custom gift that your recipient will treasure forever.
Cuddle blankets are so easy to make, and my kids will tell you that they are the perfect gift to give to cousins who might otherwise be hard to buy for. Your recipient will think you spent loads of time on the blanket when in fact you really didn’t spend much time at all.
To make a large NFL cuddle blanket you will need 2 yards of each of 2 coordinating fabrics – typically, NFL blankets are a little tricky to make, simply because there aren’t too many fabric choices.
- Snuggle Flannel — soft flannel, usually not widely available for every NFL team
- Cotton broadcloth – available for most of the most popular teams, hit or miss at Joann, but you can usually find at Walmart for around $8 per yard
- No-Pill Fleece – available for the most popular teams, this is usually used to make no-tie fleece blankets but can be a really nice, warm option for a cuddle blanket
- Tie Dye Fleece – fleece that is a little softer that has a tie-die look – not too thick but the perfect medium between regular fleece and snuggle flannel
I’m not sure if it’s because we are in Arizona, but we struggled to find NFL fabric at our local JoAnn, so we went with tie dye fleece because that was easier to find.
Since this blanket, we did several more – my kids made one for their cousin, then they realized that the blanket was so cuddly that they wanted one for each of them, too… needless to say we have been blanket crazy this past few weeks.
If you can sew a straight stitch and feed fabric through a sewing machine, then you can make this blanket – it really is quite simple.
- thread (preferably a color that matches the material)
- quilters pins (a pack of 250 or more for an adult size blanket)
- sewing machine
- fabric scissors
- 2 yards minky or cuddle fabric (Joann has a great selection, too!)
- 2 yards NFL fabric (tie dye fleece, cotton or snuggle flannel)
An oversized throw for an adult or an older child is typically 59 inches wide by 71 inches long – so you will want to pick up 2 yards each of 2 coordinating fabrics. For this blanket, we picked up 2 yards of minky dot in purple, and 2 yards of tie-dye fleece.
Lay out the fabric on a large floor surface – I find it easier to lay the dot fabric down first (right side up) and then the tie fleece fabric on top (right side down).
Trim the fabric as needed to make a perfect seam.
Minky fabric is normally very slippery, and combined with fleece it’s even more slippery — so pin frequently around the border of the blanket, every 1 1/2 – 2 inches, leaving at least 1/2 inch on the edge for the seam. Pin the entire blanket with the exception of a 6″ gap on one side.
I usually do this 6″ gap in the middle of one of the short sides.
With a straight stitch, sew around the blanket, removing the pins as you go. Do not sew the 6″ gap, I would recommend doing a backstitch on both sides of that gap to reinforce.
You will be pulling the fabric back through that hole and the backstitch will ensure that the seam doesn’t rip.
Once you sew around the entire blanket, ensure the pins have been removed, and then sew a second time around the blanket as a reinforcement, right over the top of the first stitch. Make sure you skip the 6″ gap.
Pull your hand into the 6″ gap, and gently pull out the blanket, making sure to push out the corners with your finger. Now, the blanket should be right side out, with a 6″ gap on one side. Trim any little bits of string, and make sure all pins are removed – once you sew that gap shut you won’t be able to get them out.
Finish by sewing the gap shut – using a 1/4 – 1/2″ seam allowance and a straight stitch.
You may want to sew the gap a second time as reinforcement, using the first straight stitch as a guide.
Finish off by trimming any loose threads, and admiring your work. You made a beautiful NFL cuddle blanket, which is a wonderful handmade gift idea for any football fan.
*When giving as a gift, I always wrap, and include a handwritten note with washing instructions – Wash on delicate cycle in cold water; tumble dry on low.
Are you an NFL fan? Who do you love to root for?