Hi there.. first I would like to say that this is not a pictorial and I am not offering instructions on the construction of a chenille quilt. I am describing the steps I took to make a cotton fabric chenille quilt. I do not have enough experience in making the chenille quilts to offer any kind of expertise. I hope you enjoy this Thread.
First, I chose a good quality cotton for 2 reasons. 1) The quilts were for gifts. and 2) I believe that the better quality cotton fabric you use, the better the chenille results will be.
I used the full width of the fabric and for this it was 45 ” wide including the salvage edge, which I have left on. It will be trimmed after the sewing is finished.
I cut the length of the fabric to 74″ each. Hoping to get as close to 72″ when all the stitching and shrinking are done.
I picked out a dark red pattern for the front panel and a light coloured small print for the back( Flowered). For the middle layers I chose another dark red to back the main panel and decided on 2 layers of the beige colour star fabric.
Starting with the flowered fabric and clearing out the living room floor( my biggest work area ) 🙂 I spread the fabric and smoothed it as I went, fabric face down. In after thought, masking tape here and there on this layer would have been helpful.
Then smoothing the next 2 layers of the star material on top of the flowered, also face down.
Then came the dark red checked, also face down. I think you get the picture 🙂
Now for the top panel of dark red print, this goes down face up. and I have my box of safety pins ready.
Before I starting stitching, I used tailors chalk and draw a straight line from top right corner to bottom left corner on the top panel. It will wash out. Using a burgundy thread on top and an ivory thread in the bobbin, I stitched right on the chalk line.
Turning the material at the other end I began to stitch 1/2 inch away from the first stitch line. I adjusted my needle position. and continued like this in an outward pattern. Smoothing the layers and removing the pins as I went along.
I used new garden gloves that have the tiny vinyl nubs on them which proved very handy in getting a good grip on the material. All that fabric together was quite heavy and my hands began to ache after a while. It took my about 3 afternoon sittings to get the sewing done.
Once the layers are stitched together I made a small cut in the bottom 3 layers to show how the dark red checkered fabric would show through and disguise the back of the front panel, also giving weight to the front panel.
I found it easier to snip the edges with a scissors. and finish using a chenille cutter using the 1/2 setting. My gloves were ideal for this too as I found that the pieces protruding from the chenille cutter stuck into the palm of my hand. But it glided along like a hot knife through butter 🙂
You can see here how the dark red checkered fabric shows through.
The next step is trimming the whole quilt, which is squaring the edges up and trimming off the salvage and the rough ends and loose threads. I cut 3 inch strips of light coloured fabrics to make the bias for the edges of the quilt. Sewing them together as you see in the picture. ( a bit over kill with the pics I know) 😀
Trimming to 1/4 ” seam and pressing.
I start somewhere along the side of the quilt with the bias, folding over the starting edge. Stitch a 1/2″ seam all the way around the quilt. I rounded the corners for an easier fit of the bias.
I do like my straight pins 🙂
Joining the start and finish of the bias. I hand stitch the bias to the top panel. once the bias is stitch on, its time to wash the quilt. Cool or cold water on a regular cycle and in the dryer until the chenille is fluffy. With the cotton chenille quilt the first washing doesn’t fluff up as much as the flannel will, but with every washing it will fluff a little more each time. I have also included a photo of a flannel chenille quit I made to show the difference in the results.
After washing and drying.
Flannel before washing and drying.
After washing and drying.
I hope you have enjoyed my post today. I am plugging away at my UFOs. I’m working on a crocheted throw right now and thought I would end with a sneak peek.
Happy stitching and have a great day.