Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Soft and Thrifty Cashmere Blanket

Mostly cashmere, that is. As many thrift-store--and personally worn-out-- cashmere sweaters as I could find, and I filled it out with very fine merino sweaters. Felted them, cut out rectangles as big as possible, and pieced them together.

Backed it with flannel, then used the eyelet embroidery stitch on my machine to "tie" the top and back together. Satin blanket binding on the edges.

Then indulged in giving it away as a no-occasion gift to a very sweet friend.


~ Shannon said...

Looks scrumptious -- and probably feels even better! What a lovely and thoughtful gift. I'm sure your friend feels blessed!

You really have such vision when it comes to thrifting!


Kate said...

What a lucky (~or should I say blessed~)friend! It is beautiful.


Tracy said...

If I was that friend I would be feeling very special! What a beautiful gift.

val said...

Okay these angled photos?

I want to see the whole blanket better.

As another blanky sewer, I want to see what you made.

love, Val

Margo said...

How cool! Life is lovelier with such indulgences.

I've toyed with "tying" using a machine stitch. How far apart did you go?

WendyBee said...

What a scrumptious idea! I'm filing this idea away for future..

I'm with Val though, please, please a whole blanket shot, and then a close-up on a seam -- how are the squares joined -- is it reversible, or does it have "sidedness" (raw seams on one side)?

Love this, can't stop thinking about it! Read it last night, and woke up this morning and had to wear my only (good) cashmere sweater today. (Hmmm...since I have other (bad) cashmere sweaters, I may be on my way to my own felted cashmere throw!

Anna said...

Sorry I can't post any more photos as the blanket is in the mail, but here are some construction details. I joined the squares just as if I were working with wovens--wrong sides together, straight machine stitch. Then I laid the pieced top onto my piece of flannel, just like putting a quilt top on a back. Did the quilting/tying, then bound with satin binding. So there is no "wrong" side, but there is a flannel back side and a wool front side.

I tied it about every 8 inches. Sometimes that would be the middle of a square, or for a more oblong rectangle I did two ties, each a third of the way in. A very large square (like the sweater back) might get six ties, two rows of three. I chose my tying spots based on the configuration of the squares, not in a grid that would make sense from the back of the quilt.

Feel free to ask any more questions. And I just remembered that I made Daisy a tiny version that I can photograph. Look for it soon!

Sarah said...

That must be incredibly cozy to wrap up in. My one cashmere sweater is my favorite article of cold-weather clothing, but thrifting for extras and sewing something nice from them is such a brilliant idea!

Anonymous said...

It's a beautiful gift that anyone would be blessed to receive! Imagining a smaller version for your Daisy makes me smile.


Margo said...

so you tied in the normal comforter fashion, or with the machine and the eyelet stitch? I so appreciate your answers - I admire your work.

Lisa said...

How warm must that be! I've seen those felted wool patchwork quilts (somewhere - a book, maybe?), and they're a great idea.


Anna said...

Margo, the eyelet stitch substituted for a hand-tied tuft of yarn or thread. Either one would work.

Roxanne said...

Anna--as a "guesstimate," how many sweaters (adult) would you think I would need to make a twin size one of these? Assuming that most of each sweater is usable? I'd like to make one for my son.

Our thrift stores in this area (New England) are NOT even close to being as good as yours. They think they're department stores price-wise and the selection is pitiful!

Thank you!

Anna said...

I think I used 5-6 sweaters--at least one of those was short-sleeved, and two of them had the best back pieces already used. And my blanket is just smaller than a twin bed would call for--you get a surprising amount of fabric out of your sweaters.

So for full coverage of a twin bed my ballpark guess would be seven full sweaters.

Roxanne said...

Thank you, Anna. That helps me have a plan of action!

The twin is actually a loft bed, so I don't want a ton of "hang-down" on the sides.

Looking forward to seeing Daisy's quilt!

Eleanor Cashmere said...

What a great idea. Nice that you felted them too, I think I would have just stitched them together into a mess of rags. Never has the patience for quilting!

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