Best Ways to Join Blanket Squares Together
April 1, 2011
It’s so much fun to see all the Mitered Crosses blanket squares cropping up on Ravelry. It won’t be long before people start joining the squares together to make blankets, and O what a glorious day that shall be!
I wanted to share a few ideas for joining the squares into a blanket. People ask me all the time about what techniques work best. I’ve got several methods, so I’ll show you each one. None of these is hard. Personal preference is really what it’s all about.
At Your Desktop
I use a Swingline 500-capacity office stapler, mostly because a heavy-duty staple gun is too powerful. You don’t want the staples to blast through the yarn, and you don’t want those heavy staples that affect the drape of the fabric.
What you do:
Position your squares with front sides facing, so that the staples will be hidden on the back of your blanket. It’s like mattress stitch, only a heck of a lot faster. What’s great here is that you can do a bunch of this during break at work.
I like the textured effect the staples give. Kind of like quilting.
I know a lot of people do this already, and there’s a reason why–this goes faster than a stack of Thin Mints on a Friday night watching a boxed set of Colin Firth movies!
Lord knows there are enough decorative duct tapes out there that you can find pretty much any color you need to coordinate duct tape with your blanket’s shade of Noro Silk Garden. (Here’s an overview of cool duct tapes, especially Japanese ones.)
What you do:
I went with silver because it looks so cool. And this stuff is the real deal–my contractor left it in the basement after fixing our insulation, and I kind of like that whole reduce/recycle/reuse vibe coming off this. Didn’t cost a penny! (Except for that insulation job, I mean.)
This isn’t exactly rocket science if you’re all literal about it and just slap tape down. Do be tidy in your cuts–a wonky edge really shows up with this stuff.
There’s no end of art to this once you start playing around with pleats and herringbones and alternating colors. Have fun with it, I guess, is the golden rule with duct tape.
The secret here is that any old cream cheese will do, as long as it’s not flavored.
What you do:
It’s basically the same technique as bathtub caulking or cake decorating. Fill up a plastic bag with cream cheese, moosh it up so that it’s nice and soft, clip a corner, and off you go.
The most important thing is to keep a steady hand, and to make sure you’re getting cream cheese down into that first row of stitches.
Let dry away from direct sunlight.
You will be surprised at how pliable the cream cheese is once it dries. I knew it would stick well; I just wasn’t sure how flexible it would be.
I read in one of Clif’s pirate books about how pirates used to make buttons out of old cheese, and I remember being a) mystified by this and b) grossed out. Well, call me a pirate, but this stuff WORKS.
PS Kay’s ditto machine over at Ravelry is running overtime. If you’re looking to get a copy of her fabby Mitered Crosses Blanket pattern for Japan, here you go and thank you!
PSS One other technique I forgot to mention: sewing in ENDS. I can’t tell you how often we get this question. Here’s probably the best way you can cut your finishing time down to pretty much zero point zero: