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... make a blanket

Blankets come in many colors, fabrics, shapes and sizes. Some are quilted or made from flannel or fleece. All materials must be new, washable, and made in child or teen friendly colors or prints. Our recipient organizations have asked that quilts be made with a low-loft batting, such as Warm and Natural, and that fleece blankets be a single layer. We currently have limited ability to distribute knit or crocheted blankets, and welcome suggestions on organizations for us to contact that might accept them.

Please do not use scented laundry products or place donations in scented garbage bags. Items that have a fragrance or lingering odor of any type may not be able to be distributed due to the risk of chemical sensitivities or allergies. If you have pets, please make sure the blankets are free of pet dander, fur, or odor.

Blanket Specifications

  • Should be at least 36" x 36" for infants (small), 45" x 45" or 45" x 60" for older children (medium). Max size is about 54" x 72" (large)

  • Blankets must be handmade without embellishments, such as buttons, that could pose choking hazards.

  • Do not use recycled materials or wool; cotton material is preferable.

  • Special note regarding knitted or crocheted blankets: Due to changing needs of the participating organizations, we currently have limited ability to distribute knitted or crocheted blankets. However, we have an increased need for fleece blankets, including those with a crocheted decorative edging. We encourage you to consider making those as an alternative.

  • A crocheted border around a piece of fleece also makes a lovely blanket. A document with suggestions on decorative borders will be added to this website soon.


We have prepared simple one-page instructions for both the NICI blankets and the no-sew fleece blankets. Click the appropriate link below to download them. You are welcome to make as many copies as you need. 

NICU FLANNEL INSTRUCTION (click to download). For ease of reference the instructions refer to using two single cuts of fabric. However, either or both layers may be pieced from flannel to the size indicated, about 42" square.

NO SEW BLANKET INSTRUCTIONS (click to download). Even if you've made a fleece blanket before, please review our instructions before you start. As requested by our recipients, we ask that blankets be made with a single layer of fleece and fringed/tied only on the two narrow sides. 

Here are some additional tips for no-sew fleece blankets. 

  • The unfringed area of the blanket should be at least 36" x 36" for infants (small), 45" x 45" or 45" x 60" for older children (medium). Max size is about 54" x 72" . 

  • For fringed fleece blankets, 1.25, 1.5 or 2 yards of 54-60" wide fleece are recommended. 

  • "Minky" fleece is not easy to work with, so you may want to avoid it.

  • Trim off selvages. These are the curly long sides, thick rough looking with tiny holes and print. They are on the uncut sides of the fabric and must be removed.

  • When making the no-sew knot blanket, fringe only the two narrowest sides

  • Use a sharp scissors or rotary cutter to cut fringe 4-5" long and about 3/4 to 1" wide only across the two narrow edges of the blanket. The wider the fringe, the harder to tie!

  • Tie each single piece of fringe with an overhand knot close to the top of the fringe, not at the end. If you over-tighten the knot, you'll create "bows" in the blanket.

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