Cheap And Easy!

How ironic: today, Labor Day, my horoscope told me to relax, be lazy and slow down my pace.

So I did just that, indulging in a second newspaper of the weekend, where I also learned that Northeast Ohio may be gaining a new slogan: “NEO: Cheap and Easy” thanks to our high standard of living for less monies than most other cities and what is apparently an easily understood transportation system (?!!??).

Anyway, in a sudden burst of inspiration after a spurt of inactivity, I dug into my JoAnn’s stash and pulled out a bolt of fabric calling my name.

The fabric is a super soft suede from the discount rack behind the cutting tables at the University Center store. This weekend the rack, already significantly marked down, was an extra 50% off. With my frequent customer reward of an extra 10%, I knew any project that came from this suede would be a good one! BONUS: since there was only 1.75 yards of fabric on the cardboard when I discovered it, that .75 yard was an additional 50% off from the 50% off from the already reduced price! I know! Mind boggling savings!

(As an aside: my other notable accomplisment of the day was running into CVS on my tour of Shaker Square where my bill of $37.00 quickly came down to $13.57 with my coupons. If that savings of $20+ isn’t impressive enough, after the receipt printed $28.99 worth of store coupons, $18.99 to spend on anything(s) my heart or health desires, I essentially walked away from the store richer in products and money than when I walked in! Couponing really is a legal form of stealing – the thrill is there, too! So yeah, I guess when I get paid to shop for ten minutes in a store that is actually delightful to move through, I can definitely agree Cleveland is cheap and easy!!!)

The fabric caught my eye – along with a few others, but more on them another time! – because of print. Yes! An embossed, multi-tonal suede cut would easily be $20-30 a yard even with all these insane discounts, not the $2-3 I ended up shelling out. The buttery smooth suede is a tactile delight and draped over the back of my cream colored couch; and I know the visual pattern that elicits the look of heavy, expensive, textured suede will be stunning, too!

So. Enough with the backstory.

You already know it is super cheap.

Now I’ll show you how super easy it is, too!:

Project:

No-sew cozy blanket for crisp Autumn nights.

Materials:

fabric. Any cozy fabric will work; most people will choose a fleece. The best fabrics, like the one I chose and also fleece, are the ones that won’t fray when cut.

scissors. mine claim to cut denim. and well, they cut carpet, so I believe them.

Steps:

1. Fold your piece in half, good side out. The size you use is really up to you. Most bolts come in a width of 42″, 48″ or 60″ inches. You’ll need somewhere around 2 yards to make a throw that sits nicely on the back of a full size couch and covers you while you feast your eyes on the new series out this September!

2. Start cutting any corner, slicing 3-5″ towards the center, cutting strips approximately 1″ thick. Your accuracy is truly less important here than in most other creative endeavors: A crookedly cut strip will not be noticeable after you tie it off!

3. When you finish cutting one side, start tying. Double knot two strips together to ensure your throw stays together in the event it is thrown around 😉 FYI: It’s easier to tie and cut as you go… all the stray ends could get tricky!

4. Stuff it. This part is totally optional. If you’re looking for something to add a little more warmth or to use this technique to make a body pillow, cotton filler – or better yet, Kabok Fiber: a Japanese lighter and softer alternative to cotton stuffing that may actually become cheaper than cotton due to the floods in Pakinstan and Australia – can also be found at your local fabric supply store.

5. Cut and tie 3 or 4 sides of the throw; depending on how tired your fingers are as you work your way to the folded side!

6. Display and/or use! If your having a night like we are in Cleveland – unseasonably cool at 60 degrees! – you’ll want to snuggle with your project asap! Done and Done!

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