Monday, June 25, 2012

Chenille, Chenille, Chenille

I'm so excited to share with everyone a technique that I've recently fallen in love with.

This is my new best friend:

So far I have used it to make pot holders & casserole dish pads, pillows and wall hangings. 

 The photo below is a close up photo of this casserole pad, so that you can see the effect of the chenille cutter once the fabric has been washed.

 This wall hanging has not yet been washed, but it gives you an idea of what it will look like once you have sewn and cut across the entire panel.
So how do you chenille exactly?
First you need to decide if you are going to chenille a panel (as seen in the casserole pads and wall hanging) OR you can chenille a regular piece of a cotton with a light print, as seen in the photo of the pillow.

TIP: if you are going to chenille a fabric that is NOT a panel, do not choose something with a large scale print. I have already attempted it and even though I "fussy cut" so that I got the same "repeats" within the fabric, it did not turn out. Once washed, you could no longer really tell what the print was. So in the pillow above, I chose a pink with tiny white polka dots, which can still be seen when looking at the pillow up close. Select a fabric that has a small print, something that you will be able to notice the print on the fabric once cut and washed. 

For casserole pads & wall hangings (or crib quilts):
Place the backing fabric right side DOWN on the table
Place your batting on top (for casserole pads use the fire resistant batting and make sure that the silver/shiny side is face UP)
Place your "base" fabric on top of your batting, right side up. (your base fabric should be a solid/neutral fabric that matches your panels, you will only see a tiny bit of the base fabric when you are done, but you don't want the base to be too dark or it will over take your main fabrics)
On top of your base fabric place THREE layers of your main fabrics (whether it is three identical panels or three pieces of cut fabric)
Pin or baste all these layers together

Stitch across your panel on a 45 degree angle, each row of stitching should be 1/4" apart (you can use the edge of your pressure foot as a guide)

Once you have sewn across your entire item, use your chenille cutter and slice ONLY the top three layers, inbetween each row of stitching. DO NOT CUT THE BASE FABRIC. 

Once you are done cutting, you can bind the edges as desired and wash your item. 
I recommend washing in cold water. 

Practice and play using different types of panels/fabrics and make different things. This works with both cotton and flannel. 

Have fun! :) 

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