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Editors’ note: We have a wealth of articles in the MDK archives that we hope you will find helpful. Here’s one that many knitters have used with good results.

Dear Kay,

I’d like 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.

Duct Tape

I know a lot of people do this already, and there’s a reason why—this goes faster than a stack of Thin Mints with a Friday night binge 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 colorway.

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.

Cream Cheese

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 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:


  • I’ll try the cheese method for a gift to a house with a dog, for added entertainment.
    Thanks for the “tips”!

  • Hahaha ! April 1. Good joke- i nearly believed the idea with the stapler, was thinking “wow, very brave!!!!!” Still laughing about myself

  • Cream cheese wins, hands down! Though using office supplies has always been high on my “make it work” list of handy tricks!

  • You guys are somethin’ else!:)

  • First April fool of the day! Thanks for the chuckles,

  • Good one!

  • you almost had me until the cream cheese!

  • Never not funny! Made me laugh all over again.

  • Very fun! I have actually taped hems temporarily in emergencies. Sad, but true. The Twisted Yarn had a really funny post for today as well. If you have not seen it, wander over there…

    • I’ve used staples myself.

  • What’s wrong with flavored? Sometimes light strawberry livens up an all white scheme. Sorta like subway tiles for girls. So your caulking can do double duty. One should never miss an opportunity to take full advantage of cream cheese.

    • Subway tiles for girls!

  • Ha ha April fool!

  • Thanks for the tips and reminder of today’s date !!

  • Still chuckling! Good one, Ann!

  • thank you !!!!!!!!!

  • The best ways, for sure. Thanks for the wonderful morning chuckles.

  • Got me! Just about to start a log cabin blanket so I was very eager to read about joining methods. With it being Easter as well, I forgot all about April Fools Day. Of course I do love cream cheese ………..

  • I immediately thought, Really? No? What? Then I remembered. Hahaha 🙂

  • am I the only one that actually fell for it… I kept thinking this is just so weird…. and it kept getting weirder

    • No you’re not the only one. This is the first time I’ve read her column and I thought I was losing my mind or something had gone very left field twilight zone on me. She got me!!!

  • Another hokey idea from a Cheesy operation?

    (heh, heh, heh)

  • Happy April, loved it…..

  • I knew this would be a great post, but I didn’t actually burst out laughing til the final photograph 🙂

  • Love your ideas, and yarns!!!

  • Clear caulk also works well. It goes really fast if you use a caulking gun.

    • Oh yes! Silicone: it’s not just for boobs any more! 😉

      • Snorting with laughter….

      • Good one! 🙂

  • Transformative! I may never sew in another end again!

  • But, but, but is the pirate cheese button story real?? My lurching stomach needs to know!!!

  • Ha, ha I love this! When I saw the title I thought I found another article I could save to my account using the handy dandy flag. Now I have to figure out how to unsave it.

  • I personally love the cream cheese method!

  • Happy April Fool’s.

  • I hate to tell you how long (think years, not months) my ministerial robe’s hem has been held up with masking tape along the back. Hey, if it sticks, why not?

  • Well, I AM referred to as The Queen of Duct Tape here at The Ponderosa . . .

  • Completely fell for it, thanks. A big smile spread across my face. It was the reference to the archives that did it.

  • Good one! For another good one, have a look at Redbox today!

  • HA! Totally clicked on this ready to LEARN. Thanks for the giggle.

  • Any old cream cheese, indeed! Would you subject your precious hand dyed indie yarn to just any common grocery brand? Only the finest organic, grass fed cream cheese please, preferably from that lovely little artisinal dairy farm upstate.

  • Ann, I know MDK promotes the use of natural fibers, but there are times when you absolutely need the easy-care properties of a synthetic fiber (ex.: a blanket for a Saint Bernard who drools and farts a lot). Super glue is fantastic for seaming these fibers! Just don’t glue your fingers to the fabric….

    And, can we get the recipe for the furry meatloaf in the first photo?

  • Hahahahahahahahaha! In our dreams!

  • How on Earth do you wash any of these sfgahns, blankets with duct tape? cream cheese? And Staples??
    Am I missing something here? Are these temporary until you finally figure out how to permantely stitch your hard work together? Or wait a minute ….this is an April Fool’s joke, right!!!

  • Thanks for the laughs!

  • I think you forgot about caulk– it is easier to apply than cream cheese and is available in clear.

  • Happy April 1 to you as well! Loved your “tips”!

  • LOL. Love the cream cheese as caulking tip. Good straight lines too! I kept looking for the disclaimer: no actual knitting was permanently harmed in the authoring of this post.

  • Even got my non-knitting husband to laugh out loud at this one. Good one Ann!

  • You guys got me, I recently was searching how to sew squares together for a blanket and I though this suggestion was a result of that. You guys really got me.

  • I got as far as thinking that you must have been going to use the stapled blanket as a wall hanging before it clicked! Well done.

  • Well, you got me too! I was too involved in hunting eggs to remember it was April first. What FUN!!!!!!!

  • Hahahahaha!

  • OMG! Hilarious! I will keep all these in mind for when I’m really tired of mattress stitch.

  • I like the cream cheese method. If I get peckish i can give my blanket a lick!!

  • I was smiling from the start, having come to the site to read what nonsense you came up with this year. Laughed out loud when I got to the cream cheese, and haven’t stopped yet. I had to stop drinking my tea while reading the comments, too—in danger of nose shots.

  • Happy April 1 – it was a good chuckle!

  • Excelllent use of the supplies and the calendar. Congratulations.

  • AW I thought it was for real until the cream cheese part. I am really looking for a good way to join my afghan squares:) LOL

  • LOVE IT!!!! Running to the fridge now to try the cream cheese method.

  • Oh my goodness this is just too hilarious!!!!! Cheese buttons LOL!!!
    This is such an adorable blanket. Is there a pattern for this???

  • Just THE best tips ever!!

  • Happy April 1st ☺☺

  • when I first met my husband he was a college student, he stapled his pant hems. lol.

  • You had me there !!!

  • Staples! Of course! I’ve always used safety pins but wasn’t that happy with the results. Leave it to Ann…

  • This is great! I hadn’t had a full cup of coffee yet and thought, this lady is crazy, those won’t work! Thanks for the giggle on a gloomy Cleveland morning!

  • Love it 🙂

  • Hahahah, April Fool’s Day! At first I thought that the staple was like quick basting–seemed peculiar but “personal preference” and all, but then came the duct tape and I knew I’d been had! FUN!

  • Ha! You had me going with the staples method!

  • Even easier, just pile the squares around you as needed

  • I howled with laughter! Thanks.

  • Lo❤️E!

  • I saved this in my reader for later, when I could really focus on the techniques. Sure surprised today (April 21!) Thanks for a great laugh.

  • Won’t the staples get rusty? LOL

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