Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cotton chenille

Alisa and I took a class in making cotton chenille scarves from Cindy Jones at Lake Street Mercantile in South Lyon, Michigan on Sunday.

We each bought our own Olfa Chenille Cutter and a yard-and-a-half of cotton fabric. We cut five-inch-wide bias strips about 40-inches long, stacked them, and sewed 3/8-inch channels down the length. You really need a walking foot for this job.
We made our scarf double-sided by stacking seven layers of bias strips with a slightly longer piece in the middle position to act as a foundation for both sides. Then we used the chenille cutter to slice three layers open in all the channels on both sides of the foundation, leaving the center layer to hold the scarf together.

Once the scarf is washed and fluffed dry in a dryer, the bias frays and creates the distinctive chenille nap.

Cindy showed us a cute baby blanket that was chenilled on one side only. The stitched channels create a quilt effect the un-napped side. Lots of interesting patterns and textures could be created using this method -- just make sure to stitch and cut on the bias of good quality cotton to achieve the best effect.

There's a nice basic how-to for chenilling at Quilt Bus.