the 15-hour-but-worth-it blanket

when i saw dana’s tutorial for a faux chenille blanket on her blog, made, (via jessica at running with scissors) it jumped out at me and said “make me”, so i saved it in my inspiration files for a future opportunity. that opportunity came from my cousin who is expecting baby jillyan in march and her baby shower (that i attended last weekend).

i went to my new favorite store, joann fabrics, in search of pink and brown fabrics, to match the nursery colors. as always, it took me forever to make a decision but i made one and came home with these:

fabric choices

yes, those are skull and crossbones, made adorable with hearts and the color scheme. i hearted it so much i couldn’t not use it (i have to admit, i was a little nervous about my choice and had to ask a friend for their opinion, and luckily she thought it was cute too). it was girly but with an edge.

(note: all fabrics chosen were flannel)

so i sewed. and i sewed. and i sewed. i seriously didn’t know if the sewing would ever end. but then i finished the first half  and moved on to the second half. to sew the second half, i rotated my blanket 180*, since my needle doesn’t have a left position (so the guide lines had to be on the left). here i am trying to demonstrate this:

not enough spacing(needle in center postion, can’t go left = not enough spacing using the right side of the foot/sewn line as a guide)

correct spacing after rotating(after turning 180*, needle in right position = same/correct spacing.)

(you can also see my wonky lines. everything turns out fine if not perfect.)

so i sewed. and i sewed. and i sewed. and again wondered if it would ever end. but it did, approximately seven and a half hours later (from the start of sewing, in multiple sittings). now, i’m not the most experienced, fastest sewer, and i did have hiccups here and there, but the point is, this takes a long ass time. i just want to be honest and prepare you.

lots o lines

then i cut and i cut and i cut.

cutting lines

and then i didn’t pay attention and cut through about five inches of the back fabric. and then i swore. and then i almost cried. and then i tried to zig zag stitch it together to fix.


and then i realized that was so not the way to correct the mistake (since i couldn’t cut through the stiches on only three of the four layers). so in the end, i just lopped of the mistake and one side is five inches shorter than planned (and now my secret’s out. but you wouldn’t have known otherwise).

i continued to and cut and cut. and approximately six hours later (from the start of cutting, in multiple sittings) i was done. again, just keeping it real.

i trimmed her up nice and even, added rounded corners, pinned the binding around the edges and then sewed on the binding (all together took about an hour and a half). then i put her in the wash to see the chenille magic happen. and it. was. awesome.

chenille closeup

so soft and cuddly, just the way a baby’s blanket should be. and super cool looking. cue lots of glamour shots now:

blanketblanket 2blanket 3blanket backchenille blanket folded

(i wish computers had touch-a-vision, because these pics don’t do it justice)

i love it times 1,000. it was totally worth the 15 hours i spent sewing and cutting (and complaining). though next time i will give myself a lot longer than two weeks to complete.

(note: dana linked to the aesthetic nest’s tutorial, which i also read before starting).

couple notes from yours truly:

-i did not use spray adhesive before sewing. flannel fabrics seem to “stick” together more than some other materials (that’s the impression i get). i don’t think my fabrics shifted so much that i should have (so the choice is up to you).

-buy three 250-yard spools of thread, just to be safe. i bought two and luckily had the same color at home, because i did use a little bit of the third (you may not need it, but better than having to run to the store).

-after re-reading the tutorials to write this post, i realized i should have sewn with the back fabric (skull and crossbones) facing up, because the bottom side is where thread mishaps can be seen, and the chenille side would be more forgiving.

-i don’t know if i have a small presser foot or what, but using the edge of it as a guide against the lines gave me a width of 3/8 of an inch, so that was my spacing, vs. the recommended 1/2 inch (close. but that extra 1/8 of an inch would have cut my time a little and made for slightly ‘fluffier’ chenille).

-as suggested by the aesthetic nest, a chenille cutter would have been extremely helpful. my hands were in pain after cutting (and i even used spring action scissors) and it probably save time.

i have to admit, it was kind of hard to part with it, after spending so long with it. but i can always make another (over the course of months, not weeks, to save my hands, my sanity and my social life).



10 thoughts on “the 15-hour-but-worth-it blanket

    • thanks! maybe rhimbus #2 can get one for his bday, that will give me plenty of time 🙂 let me know if you really want on for that. and i love beck, like a human son, as you know, but i. don’t. think. so.

  1. Loved it!! I’m amazed by your williness to take on such involved projects with so little sewing experience. Grandma W. must be in your blood!

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