ForÂ yearsÂ I admired the gorgeous embroidered wool blankets featured in Australian Smocking and Embroidery.Â Â The first timeÂ I was invited to teach in Australia, I treated myself to enough gorgeous and extremely pricey 100% wool OnkaparingaÂ (I just love to say that name–onka-pa-RING-a)Â to make Â a babyÂ shawl just like those Aussie blankets.Â They were definitely old fashioned.
AfterÂ stowing away several pieces of Â gorgeous wool challis for several yearsÂ andÂ less than a year after tenderly carrying home my Onkaparinga, I discoveredÂ moth holes in much of theÂ wool challis.Â It had been enclosed in a zip lockÂ bag and taken out onlyÂ occasionally to be fondled.
I was just sick about that loss but didn’t even want to think about how I would feel aboutÂ chewed upÂ Onkaparinga.Â So I double bagged it in plastic and packed it awayÂ in an airtight plastic bin, where it will likely die of old age and emotional neglect.Â Â Â What a wasted splurge!Â On my next teaching trip to Australia, IÂ indulged my fabric addition withÂ yards of divine Liberty of London Tana lawn.Â I can count on 100%Â cotton.
Polar fleece, however, Â is modern!!!!Â It gives the same look without all the worry about moths and laundering.Â Â FleeceÂ is just an amazing fabric—warm, durable, easy care and available in an unlimited number of colors and patterns, not to mentioned reasonably priced.
For some time now, I’ve been smitten with machine embroidered applique.Â When Amazing Designs came out with their “Plush” applique collections–Plush Lambs, Bunnies, Bears, Lions and more–I was enthralled.Â Â Using white polar fleece for the lambs gave me exactly the look I sought.
This blanket is a 45″ square of pink polar fleece edged with a quality Cluny lace edging.Â Earlier, I had learned that Cluny laces shrink considerably, so pre-shrinking is a must.
Joining it to the fleece had me stumped for a while, as my preferred pin stitch or earlier roll and whip method would be inappropriate on this fabric.Â InÂ the end, IÂ serged a narrow 3-thread overlock and then tiny zig zagged the cluny over the serging.Â Most cluny laces have a large header, and this one is no exception.Â So the header covered the serging and it looked very neat.
Then I sat down to the computer to ready my embroidery designs.Â There is text that accompanies many of the designs, all in a juvenile font.Â Wanting to personalize this for Laurel, I extracted letters from various sets of text until I had whatÂ was needed to write “Laurel.”
FourÂ years later,Â this blanket still is used for naps and wrapping up dolls.Â It looks surprisingly good for all the laundering and heavy use.Â Â IÂ doubt an Onkaparinga blanket would hold up so well toÂ 4 years of a pre-schoolers use and abuse, our Florida heat and year round moths.