12 December 2011

Faux Chenille Blanket (don't peek, Dad!)

Just like a kid peeking at Christmas gifts, I can't help myself but show off one of the gifts I've made for Christmas this year.  Dad...you can officially close your browser.  No peeking!

There have been several excellent tutorials on how to create a faux chenille look.  Dana's Chenille Blanket is excellent, as is Jessica's awesome chenille scarf.  I've known about this technique for a long time.  My mom made Big Sister a chenille blanket for her first Christmas, and another beautiful one when we were expecting Little Boy.  The amazing thing...my mother cut all that fabric BY HAND.

If you've read my ramblings for a while, you may have figured out that my parents have had a rotten run of luck when it comes to health issues.  My dad has had cancer for 6 years, and now has developed MS.  He spends a lot of time resting, and has nerve and circulation issues that make him cold most of the time.  The man needs a good blanket.  My brothers helped purchase the supplies, and the blanket will be a gift from all of us.

If you'd like to make a faux chenille blanket, use quilt basting spray to hold those layers together, once layer at a time.  In this instance, I used five different fabrics (each 1 yard in length).   Flannel for the top and bottom, a lovely cotton print to peek out from the chenille, and two layers of muslin.  Be patient, and don't worry if you have to spread things out a few times.  I marked out my sewing lines with a long quilting ruler and water soluble pen.

I love the heft of these types of blankets.  I spaced my stitching rows 1/2" apart.  My mom's original recipe is 3/8".  This is not difficult sewing.  It is rather tedious, and you can't get distracted, or you'll end up off like me and have to pick out 10 rows.  Not fun.

I rounded the corners by tracing a canning bottle lid and then cutting the shape I traced.  Simple and effective.  When I made my little winter pillow (pictured HERE), I cut through the fabric by hand.  Wow, my hand was sore.  One day, I happened to get an email from Amazon saying "you might like this"...

...and I thought, yes, yes, I would like one of those.  But I didn't want to pay $15 for it.  So, I watched ebay for a while and picked this puppy up brand new for $5.  Totally worth it.  One little piece of advice, snip a starting spot at the center between each row of stitching.  This helps you not to cut through the bottom two layers.

It was actually fun to cut this blanket up with my Clover tool.  I did get a little carried away, and few were a bit wonky.

After everything was cut, I sewed binding around the blanket.  I used the same method I teach in my Buster Bib pattern.  Here is the end result after washing and drying the blanket.  Isn't the texture fun?

I am so glad I picked a brown muslin for the inner layers, it looks more manly.  My brothers were here this past weekend to help us out with the house, and the blanket passed inspection.

I can't wait to see my dad open it on Christmas morning.
12 days to go until Christmas!  How are you doing with your Christmas sewing?

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8 happy thoughts:

Melissa said...

I've done a few small chenille projects and I have a cutter - so, very, very worth it.

I would like to try a blanket sometime - sometime...time - it is always about time.

I love the graphic fabric you used - adds tremendous interest.

Impera Magna said...

Wow! That is one GORGEOUS blanket/quilt! Great prints... I know your dad will love it and that it will keep him warm!

Thanks for the tip about the specialty cutter... has to be better than cutting all those rows with scissors!

Amy C said...

That blanket is beautiful, Chris. I remember when you had some of those for your older children, and I always wondered how they were made. :) I'm sorry to hear about your dad, cancer isn't fun (my mom and dad both had it) and MS isn't either (my MIL has it). I hope that nice blanket keeps him nice and warm!

Tiffany said...

Simply beautiful, job well done. The colors, the texture, the love, it all shows.

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

This is a beautiful blanket, Chris. Your father will love it. What a thoughtful gift. Love it!

Jessica said...

Looks so great, I love all the fabrics and prints, I'm sure he'll love it and what a cool gadget!

Liz @ LivingMySweetLife said...

This is so beautiful! I really want to make one of these, I might have to buy that tool! Your father will be so happy with his gift!

Unknown said...

Oooh. That's cool. I've never seen a tutorial for this technique. I love the texture. Such a special gift for you to make for your father. Sorry to read of his health issues and the fact that the poor guy can't get warm. :( This blanket looks cozy enough though! Thanks for sharing, Chris! I'll be featuring this. Oh, and I love that little tool. I have a rotary cutter but it doesn't have that little guard thingy. If I use it, I'm cuttin' through everything!

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