Lesson II ~ Chenille Appliqué Basics
Hi, I'm Deonn, and I work/play/dream/design over at Quiltscapes.
This is a bonus tutorial, in a series of Appliqué lessons. Last Month's Raw Edge Machine Appliqué Basics can be found HERE. Next time, we'll explore freezer-paper methods.
I remember sleeping under a chenille bedspread at my Grandma's house. Soft, fuzzy caterpillar-like channels were stitched into a design on the blanket. And interestingly enough, "chenille" is actually the French word for "caterpillar."
Today, we'll make our own chenille strips, then use them to appliqué a design and finish the edges for this great little pillow ~ a vintagey technique using Lori Holt's adorable vintagey "Daisy Cottage" line.
In addition, Riley Blake Designs has a wonderful collection of SOLIDS that work perfectly for this project! A lot of the time, my inspiration comes from the fabric itsself, and this project is no exception. And you'll be amazed at how EASY it is from start to finish! Just takes a few supplies, and a little (ok, maybe a lot) of elbow grease!
Supplies3 Fat Quarters of your favorite adorable prints (approx. 18" x 22")1 Fat Quarter solid woven (not printed) fabric; no wrong side/right sideStiff-bristle brushMatching threadInstructionsTo make chenille strips, CUT the solid fat quarter into a square. FOLD in half, diagonally; we are creating bias chenille strips.
Pin together if desired.
STITCH channels, 1/2-inch apart, beginning about 1/2" from the fold line, with matching thread. I used my quilting guide to gauge the distance, or you may wish to mark the lines.
PRESS, then CUT between stitching lines, into 1/2" strips.
SQUARE up your favorite fat quarter you'll use for the pillow top; between 17" to 18" square. DRAW or TRACE a design on the right side of the print. The other two fat quarters will become the backing.
Begin to STITCH, backstitching at the beginning and end of each strip.
ALIGN the stitched line over the drawn lines to apply appliqué strips.
These bias strips are flexible and bend pretty easily around curves. If you'd like, you can add a few pins to secure.
If you need to add another strip, make sure to overlap strips about 1/4". Keep adding strips until your design is complete. Another nice thing is, these strips are very forgiving. Don't stress if the ends don't line up exactly! It will all "come out in the wash" - literally!
You can BRUSH out the design, or save that step for later.
Make the pillow back flap by FOLDING the remaining two fat quarters in half horizontally. Overlap a few inches with raw edges toward the outside.
Place the pillow top and back WRONG sides together, adjusting and trimming sides to make square. PIN in place.
STITCH through all layers, using 1/4" seam allowance.
Add remaining chenille strips to raw edges of pillow; front and back. STITCH along center stitching line as you go.
Remember to BACKSTITCH at beginnings and endings, and overlap 1/4" if necessary to join strips. You may use up all of your strips, even the small pieces.
Use a stiff-bristle brush to fuzz up the chenille, or throw the whole project into the washer to get the look. Since the print is cut on the grainline, expect some fraying. TRIM off.
Add an 18" pillow form, and your Chenille Appliqué Pillow is complete!
Try using chenille strips to outline existing appliqué shapes, to outline blocks or add an accent border on your next quilt, to stitch words, or for any other "appliquétion" you can think of to add a little furry dimension to your project!Meanwhile, you are always welcome to stop by Quiltscapes, online any time!