Fall Nights and Fleece Memories

With a polar front sweeping across much of the US this week, here’s a throwback from last fall. Here’s to fleece, football, frothy mugs of hot chocolate and all things fall!

   I love fall!
The colors.
The leaves floating gently down
The crisp in the air.
The crunch of leaves underfoot.
The Friday night lights.
The families & friends rooting wildly for the home team.
The bundling up under blankets as we cheer on our favorite D-end.

I try really hard not to be “that Mom”. You know her. The one who screams like a banshee when her child does something on the field (court, mat, stage…) Somehow, I can reign it in for basketball & wrestling.

But, football? Nah! Never gonna happen. Out there in the open air, surrounded by the other Mamas, and Dads and siblings and girlfriends and … Nah! There’s no reigning it in when our guys take the field. We love our football family!

But there is that one particular #23 who stands a little taller in this Mama’s heart. Not because of his athletic prowess, though that is there.. but because he’s ours.

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Of all the dreadful things to do, showing up at a game without the school colors ranks right up there near the top. It’s right behind showing up in the other teams colors. Gasp! My solution, you ask?

Why stitching up a little team spirit, of course. With a slightly larger focus on my guy. A main requirement of this football fleece? That it be unique & a little more meaningful than the usual tied fleece. Apparently, I was rather caught up in the excitement of the process and didn’t take many pictures along the way. I’ll share the few I have & try to talk you through the rest…

There are loads of tutorials on how to print on fabric. My favorite method is cheap & easy, because that’s just how we roll around here. I have a big roll of freezer paper in my drawer & I started by cutting off an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece. For most of the projects I have done I either used a white broadcloth or even an old sheet. I want to branch out into some more textured fabrics, but that’s an adventure for another day. I ironed the sticky side of the freezer paper to what would become the backside of my white fabric. Be sure to use high heat and no steam for the best results. Then I trimmed the fabric to 8 1/2″ x 11″.

Next step? I selected, edited and sized my pictures to fit the freezer-papered fabric (I think I just coined a new adjective there!) I then inserted my freezer-papered fabric, with the appropriate side up, into my printer and pressed print. Voila! That’s it! Tough, huh?

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Here is the collection of pictures I used for my boy. It includes some of his memorable tackles & QB sacks *insert “Go Nate” squeal*, some team shots, and some wrestling pins & a trophy *insert a more socially-acceptable-we-were-inside-the-gym “Go Nate” squeal*.

After I printed them out, I trimmed them all up to the same height, spaced them evenly, overlapped the sides edges and ran a wide zig zag stitch between them to make a long strip. I found some great black ribbon with white stitching on the edges that almost made the collection look like an old-school strip of negatives. I stitched that ribbon down one side of each photo, separating them from each other.

I made this blanket double thickness and extra large, big enough to cover a twin bed & keep both my hubby and I warm at the games. The next step was to lay it out on the bed and find where to place the picture strip so it would land at the foot of the bed, and not down near the floor. I pinned the strip in place and stitched the other side of the ribbon on each picture to the fleece. Now they were secured on the blanket where I wanted them. At this point I added the ribbon all around the edge, folding creatively at each corner to get the mitered look I wanted.

To finish the blanket I laid the second piece of fleece right side down and centered the picture fleece right side up over it. I wanted the edges finished so I had cut the picture piece (the front of the blanket) a few inches larger all the way around, so I could fold it over and stitch. So, I pinned and stitched the front & back together.

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I laid the finished product out to inspect it and found myself doing a little happy dance. It was not completely unlike the post touchdown / post wrestling pin / post swoosh shot dance that I have been known to do. I love it when a project turns out to be as great, or even better, than the one I started with in my head. It’s not a luxury I always enjoy. Smile

This little blanket has proven itself to be very helpful in keeping my hubby and I warm this season, except for those times when we leap up, dance about & scream wildly because our guys scored another touchdown. But hey, we scoop it up off the bleachers & I can just toss it in the wash and we’re ready for the next game. This week happens to be round three of the state play-offs. Guess where we will be? Let’s go!

* If you’re not up for such an undertaking, you can always print off a picture of your pride-and-joy and add it to an already finished blanket, or pillow, or…. the possibilities are endless.

**We ended up losing to the team that took states last year. But as @HCHSDevilsFB tweeted, “That was maybe the most gutty performance I have ever seen from a high school football team. No one gave us a chance but we made em sweat! Only 1 team will win their last game but if you gotta lose, you lose while playing your guts out and leaving it all out on the field!”

About Beth Moore

A Christ-follower, wife, mom to 4, lifestyle blogger, seamstress and seeker of daily glimpses of God's grace and redemption.

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