Saturday, September 7, 2013

Tutorial Faux Chenille Baby Blanket With Riley Blake's Sasparilla In Teal

I can now check off faux chenille blanket from my to-do list !!!   Aunt Betty sent me directions to this blanket over 3 years ago.  It really was not a difficult project.  More time consuming than anything and hard on the hands with all the cutting.
I chose Riley Blake's Sasparilla in teal for the print and three coordinating flannels in red, teal and blue for the "chenille".  I purchased 1.25 yards of each.
My first step was to wash all the fabrics.  Since flannel shrinks quite a bit, I did not want any excessive bunching of the fabrics when I washed the final product.  I then laid the Sasparilla print face down on the carpet, stretched and smoothed it in place, then laid down the three flannels and did the same with them.  Once I had the four layers stacked and smoothed, I carefully flipped them over and smoothed out any new wrinkles.

The first step to start the sewing process is to draw a diagonal line through the middle of the fabric.  I used a measuring tape, a yard stick, two bottles of laundry soap and a fabric marking pencil.  The soap bottles were to hold the measuring tape in place.  I used the yard stick to get a straight line.....


After I had my line drawn, it was time to start sewing the 168 diagonal lines it would take to make the chenille blanket.  I first sewed over the blue chalk line and then used the edge of my walking foot as my guide to finish the other lines.
I thought this was a lot of work, until I got to the cutting part.  This was actually the easy step.
I bought a pair of chenille cutting scissors from Joann's.  You have to cut through the three layers of flannel but not cut into the fourth layer (my sasparilla print).  I was nervous with every line and had to flip the blanket over and make sure I was not getting into the fourth layer.  The cutting process was very tedious and hard on the hands.  The chenille scissors are very, very sharp.  I'll spare you the picture of where I stabbed myself in the thigh with them.  On accident of course!  I was working on the floor, and the scissors were under my leg.  Somehow when I reached to grab them, I pushed them into my leg and made a good sized gash that will take a while to heal.
After getting all the lines cut and squaring up the blanket, I rounded the corners using a dinner plate as a guide.........
I chose a teal colored satin binding.  I stitched it to the flannel side first and then to the cotton print side.



Two of my rounded corners turned out really well.  And the other two not so good.  The two where the lines ran this way were the prettiest.
This corner.............not so good !
I ran it through a wash/dry cycle twice and here is how the flannels did their "chenille" magic.......

I think it turned out pretty good for my first attempt.....



Lessons learned for next time:

I will use four layers of flannel instead of three.  But i will only cut through three of them.  You can see the white of the back of the printed fabric through the cut lines, so I want to try to avoid that next time.

I will also make my lines a little further apart.  This will make it easier for the cutting process and I'm hoping give a thicker and taller "chenille" look to the blanket.

I won't double the satin binding.  I think it's too thin for this blanket and will look better if it's wider.

I used this blogger's tutorial as a visual reference.  She gives an easy to follow step by step.

Scroll down to see who I have linked to this week.

6 comments:

  1. I've made similar quilts before and cutting through that fabric can be a trick! Looks like you had the right scissors for it. Fun blanket!

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  2. I really like it, I think I might have to make one myself :)

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  3. There is a special tool, I think I got it at Joann's that is plastic and has a blade. It kind of looks like an envelope opener. It cuts through the flannel so well, saved me a lot of time. Olfa chenille cutter is one, I think there is a generic that is cheaper!

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  4. I make a lot of these blankets and sell them on Etsy. I have a few tips that you might like. I use the 4 layers (including print) like you did and don't have a problem seeing the back of the print. I quilt the lines 1/2" apart, it's MUCH easier to cut. I also don't use a special scissors. After I quilt all the lines, I put on the binding right away. Much like you did, but I use flannel for the binding as well but zig zag stitch becuase the flannel pulls apart much easier. But before I put on the binding, I cut 1" into the three layers on the side, this way, once you have the binding totally on, you can go back and easily cut through the three layers.

    Good luck!
    www.midwestfamilylifellc.com

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  5. Thank you for your close-ups of the chenille! I've been researching this technique, but haven't seen a good view of the texture of the finished product :)

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