Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Chenille Baby Blanket

So awhile back I saw a link somewhere, maybe Pinterest, maybe blogland, and it was a link to Aesthetic Nest's Heirloom Cut Chenille Baby Blanket. It's pretty spectacular looking and seemed relatively easy to do. So I waited for a reason to make one and I finally did it!

I'm not going to go step by step or anything because she does an awesome job at that. I will, however, post a few notes just to help folks along since I felt a little less than eager a few times during the process.

  1. You don't HAVE to purchase the slash cutter, but I would recommend it. I cut a couple of rows with scissors after I realized the cutter wasn't going directly down the center of my rows and my hand was cramping within minutes. The slash cutter just makes the whole cutting part of the process go faster and let me tell you, there's a lot of cutting to do! I bought this cutter from Joann's and used one of their many 50% off coupons on it.
  2. I didn't make my own quilt binding. Call it laziness, I don't care. Making bias tape is not easy despite what some people lead you to believe and you need a lot of it for this project so save the homemade stuff for something else. That did mean that my quilt had wider binding but it didn't bother me. The thin stuff does look good though so maybe next time. I bought two packs of this quilt binding in Oyster.
  3. DO NOT TRIM UNTIL YOU'VE FINISHED SLASHING! This is a mistake I made on the first half of the blanket. I'm impatient (ask my husband) so I stitched all the lines on the first half and then cut them open because I wanted to see what it looked like. I made the mistake of trimming the edge so the fabric all lined up because I thought it would be easier to get the slash cutter in there. Big mistake. Stitching comes undone. So wait until you slash the whole thing to make all the edges neat and tidy. Which leads me to my next suggestion.....
  4. Start each row of slashing by cutting a few inches with your scissors. I did this after the first few rows of cutting and it seemed to help the slash cutter get going to not have to break through selvage edges and such. It only takes a few minutes for this extra step and it's not completely necessary but I thought it made a difference.
  5. Don't give up. About half way through I could see all the mistakes I was making and how not straight my lines were and I thought "there's no way this is going to turn out good." But it does. 
  6. Buy lots of thread. And I mean lots! I bought some of that tonal orange-yellow thread because I couldn't decide which color looks best and I had to go back and buy more because one spool was most certainly not enough. So overestimate and save yourself a trip.
  7. Remember, all of your stitching and cutting and basically the entire project is done on the bias. If you hate working on the bias then don't bother. The fabric shifts and shimmies and is basically a big old heavy pain in the booty. So if bias=no bueno for you then this is not a project for you!
  8. Do your stitching with your pretty fabric side up. The ruffles will hide any imperfections on the flannel side so you want to make sure the pretty side looks nice.
  9. Experiment with layering the flannel in different orders. I chose to sandwich the bright color (yellow) between the two more muted colors and I like how it turned out. I saw a few from Aesthetic Nest's flickr group that I wasn't crazy about but might have liked if they would have changed the order of the flannel. 

And without further ado, here are some pictures! No peeking, Amie!

I had to add this pic so the first pic wasn't of the blanket. Isn't he a cutie?

Half way through with all the cutting. I stitched and cut one half and then stitched and cut the second half to break it up a little.

You can see where I used the scissors to get my slash lines started. 

The slash cutter I bought at Joann's. Definitely worth it.

Slash cutter in action. The small blue piece in the background is for slashing curves.

Stiched, slashed, bound and ready for the washing machine!

The finished product!

Look at those pretty ruffles!

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