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Faux Chenille Blanket Tutorial

I was so excited when I saw this blanket on the Aesthetic Nest, I shared it with you here.  And I am beyond excited to tell y’all today that I have finally finished it!  It’s not that it takes a long time to complete this project, it’s actually pretty easy.  I just had things going on… concerts to go to, family to visit with, a toddler that decided overnight to be independent.

Now, I made this little blanket for my baby cousin who will be coming into this world soon.  But this could totally be a blanket for an adult as well. Trust me, I would love to be curled up in one of these reading a good book.  As beautiful as this blanket is, it’s actually a good project for a beginning sewer (like moi) to start with.

This project, as easy as it is, is more like quilting in the sense that it’s time consuming.  What makes the chenille-like look is actually row after row of straight line stitches. This takes a while.  So grab you a drink, turn on the tv or some tunes, and settle down with your fabrics and your sewing machine.


Here is what you need:

  1. TOP – 1 cut of cotton fabric (quilting weight or home decor weight)
  2. BACK- 3 coordinating fabrics for the faux chenille side (technically, you could do as many as you want, though I wouldn’t do less than 3, and I would think more than 4 would become difficult to sew and cut).  I used flannel, but you don’t have to.  The purpose here is for the fabric to fray good for the chenille look.
  3. Safety pins on hand
  4. Temporary adhesive spray (can be found in the quilting section)
  5. Bias tape
  6. 2 spools of thread.

Which reminds me, be sure to pay attention to your bobbin.  There is nothing more frustrating than not realizing the thread is out on your bobbin.  Not that that happened to me or anything… I’m just looking out for y’all here!

Lay your printed Top Fabric out on a flat surface, face down. We are gonna go ahead and stack all our fabrics layer by layer.

Here is where you will need your temporary spray adhesive.  This will help each piece of fabric stay in place while you sew.  After you wash the blanket, which you will have to do before it’s done to get the chenille fray, this is washed out of the blanket.

The first go round, I sprayed the whole back of my fabric then laid the first piece of flannel (right side up if yours has a print) right down on the Top piece.

Then (cuz I’m sometimes slow to get it) I realized it’s much easier to lay the flannel piece down and get it into place.  Fold half of the flannel over, spray that half, then fold the layer back over where you sprayed.  As you do this, try to smooth out the fabric with your hands as much as possible.  Repeat for the other side.

Much easier!  Whew, that saved me some stress.

Once you have all your layers sprayed and stacked, turn the blanket with the “pretty” side facing up. Randomly pin through all the layers with safety pins. This is just some extra insurance that your fabrics won’t shift and slide around while you sew.

Now you will start to see the blanket really start to take shape.  You need to draw a line from one corner to the opposite corner in the center of the blanket.  This is so that you can sew the first line working from the inside out.  An easy way to do this is to get a piece of yarn, twine, or string…anything that is long enough and will give you a straight line.

If you are using string like me, it’s absolutely vital that you use Target brand canned goods to hold it in place or it just won’t work. Target is the only way to go!  That’s some inside information from me to you.

Use a fabric marker or pencil and draw your line.  You will be glad you took the time to do this, I promise.

Now that you have your center diagonal drawn on the blanket, you are ready to get to sewin’.

Be sure you sew with the Top Side of the blanket facing up.  This is the side that is really going to show, so you want it to look nice. The stitching on the Back Side (the chenille side) won’t really show because the fray will cover it up.

After your first line is sewn, then you will sew parallel lines until you get to the very corner of the blanket.  I spaced mine about 1/2″ apart, which is also the width of my presser foot. Anything to make this easier on me!

This is the part of the project that really takes a while.  If you need to stop half way through to break up the monotony, by all means, do.  But it really isn’t that bad if your like me and determined to finish once you start.  I enjoyed listening to reruns on TV as I sewed this part.

Here is what it looks like when all the lines are sewn.  It’s really starting to look like a blanket now.

And this is where the chenille part comes into play!

Asthetic Nest has the neatest little tool for this part. I however am not as professional or sewing savy, so I used regular ole scissors. You might feel like your thumb will fall off by the time you get to the last line, but don’t worry, you will wake up with two thumbs the next morning.

To cut, just place the blade of your scissors or cutter under the 3 layers of flannel.  Make sure you don’t go through your Top Printed fabric. Cut all the way down until you get to the other end. Repeat in between each stitched line.

DON’T FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO CUT PERFECTLY STRAIGHT LINES! Seriously! Once you throw this in the wash, and the flannel frays, you won’t see the cut at all.

Now once all the lines are cut, the fabric will need to be squared off.

This is when one of those see through clear quilting rulers comes in handy, but again, I am not as professional or sewing savvy as most.  I am, however, resourceful. See how well I can use a yard stick?

Because Aethetic Nest rounded her corners, I did too. Why change a good thing?  She used the plate trick though, and because my studio is in the basement, I again had to be resourceful.  As long as you find something round, it’ll make you a nice rounded corner.

Repeat for all 4 corners.

It’s already lookin’ mighty fine, wouldn’t you say?

So, not sure if you noticed, but in the picture at the beginning of this post, I actually had single fold bias tape.  I actually wanted a thicker border, so I exchanged it for this double fold bias tape.  I liked it much better, aesthetically!

For this part, I was really nervous.  This was my first time using any kind of binding.  So I made sure to keep Aesthetic Nest close for any tips she may have offered.

I also had to get my mom on the phone here too.  She’s one of those professional, sewing savvy types.

With double fold binding, one side is wider than the other.  Be sure to put the wider side on the underside.  This is so that when you sew your stitch, it will have extra fabric on the underside to grab onto since you usually stitch close to the edge of the tape.

Pin the binding around the edge of the blanket.

I really had to take my time around the corners.  I don’t even remember how many times I pinned, then took the pins out, then pinned again.  I used lot’s of pins on the corners, can you tell?

Now here is the part where maybe you could help me out. I still am not sure if I overlapped my binding right.  Any tips on this part would be appreciated.

Once the pinning is done, stitch the binding close to the edge on the Top side of your blanket.

This is where having the wider part on the under side comes in handy.  You don’t have to worry about missing on that side.

Oh my goodness… so close to being done!  I know… I can barely take it either!

Once you have finished sewing on the bias tape, you are done with sewing.  Now is the important part.

Throw the blanket in the washing machine.  This is what makes the flannel fray and give it that faux chenille look.  If you are giving it to someone special as a baby gift, go ahead and wash it in some Dreft or Sensitive Skin Detergent.

Be careful though if you use the Dreft and you don’t currently have a baby of your own!  You will definitely want a baby after you get a good whiff of that stuff.

And as Little B would say… “Ta Daaaaa!”  I love how the flannel frays after it’s been washed and dried.  It really looks like chenille, doesn’t it?  So soft and luxurious!  I can’t wait to give this to Little Ansley. Hopefully she will love it just as much, and know how much her Lissy loves her!




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32 Responses to “Faux Chenille Blanket Tutorial”

  1. Amy May 3, 2011 at 9:03 AM #

    (Found you through Tip Junkie.)
    Wow, what a sweet blanket. Reading through your tutorial made me feel like maybe I could do it too. 😉 I agree with you about the Dreft smell, my youngest is almost one and I keep having to remind myself I wanted to wait longer this time before we have another baby. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • melissalewis May 3, 2011 at 9:09 AM #

      Thanks Amy, you totally have to give this a try if you like it! I’m tellin’ you, it truly was so easy. If you can set aside the time to do it, I say go for it! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

  2. Jackie Lewis May 3, 2011 at 9:10 AM #

    Love, love, love it! You did a great job!!

    • melissalewis May 3, 2011 at 9:12 AM #

      Thanks:) It was fun to make!

  3. Laura May 3, 2011 at 10:08 AM #

    This is so pretty! Please stop by http://www.laughloveandcraft.com and link up to my Share the Wealth Wednesday Link Party! I’m your newest follower!

    • melissalewis May 3, 2011 at 10:43 AM #

      Yea, Laura! I’m so glad you found me over here. I would be delighted to link up to your party!

  4. Samantha May 3, 2011 at 10:31 AM #

    Oh my! Melissa, you have out done yourself! This is BEAUTIFUL!! I LOVE it and I know a little certain someone who will LOVE it too! You have got to stop making me cry though… Everytime I read something you’ve written I cry! I just miss u so much! : )

  5. Stephanie May 3, 2011 at 11:55 AM #

    Your chenille quilt came out great! I’m currently working on one myself after seeing it on Aesthetic Nest and I’m finding that the quilting part is taking me FOREVER! I decided that I really need to just hunker down and get it done, since the baby boy I’m making it for was born this morning. I think your post might be exactly what I needed to inspire me to finish it today, thanks! (btw, I found you through Fabric Tuesday on Quiltstory. Check out entry #12 to see my entry)
    Stephanie recently posted..Accuquilt GO! Baby giveaway over at Sew Dang Cute!

    • melissalewis May 3, 2011 at 7:53 PM #

      Oh Stephanie, you best get to working. That precious boy needs his blanket! Hope you let me know how beautiful it turns out and thanks for stopping by.

  6. Bree May 3, 2011 at 12:56 PM #

    beautiful! I’ve seen these floating around and really just need to suck it up and give it a try!

    • melissalewis May 3, 2011 at 7:54 PM #

      Bree, if you have the slightest bit of sewing skills, you gotta give it a try! It really is easy and the end result is so worth it!

  7. Sew.What. - Kerri May 3, 2011 at 1:03 PM #

    Glad you posted this. I’m starting to see this all over the web, one more example and I may just need to make one for my son!

    Stopping by from QS.

    • melissalewis May 3, 2011 at 7:56 PM #

      Thanks Kerri, you should make one for your guy. He would love it!

  8. Mary Jo May 3, 2011 at 1:08 PM #

    This is just gorgeous! I love this blanket and would love to try it. All that cutting looks a little intimidating to me! I love Aesthetic Nest too – you did a great job on this…and such pretty colors!
    Mary Jo recently posted..Some giveaways that I found today

    • melissalewis May 3, 2011 at 7:57 PM #

      Mary Jo, don’t be intimidated by the cutting at all. That’s the easiest part! The cuts don’t even have to be pretty ‘cuz you are going to wash it and fray it anyway!

  9. Mrs. Hearts May 3, 2011 at 1:09 PM #

    Beautiful! I can just feel how cozy it is!
    Mrs. Hearts

  10. caroline @ c.w.frosting May 3, 2011 at 4:13 PM #

    Beautiful blanket! I don’t own a sewing machine but always admire others’ handywork =)
    caroline @ c.w.frosting recently posted..Milk Glass-ish

  11. Mary Beth|Cupcakes and Crinoline May 4, 2011 at 7:09 AM #

    I love this/just beautiful! Those colors are my favorites….if I didn’t have all boys I would have my whole house decorated in pinks and greens. : )
    Mary Beth|Cupcakes and Crinoline recently posted..Brownie Pops

    • melissalewis May 4, 2011 at 12:03 PM #

      Mary Beth – I know. It’s a good thing my cousin’s are having girls, I can fulfill my girly creative desires:)

  12. Jean Gross May 4, 2011 at 8:04 AM #

    Melissa –
    So pretty. The pretty mama will love it as much as the baby.
    For finishing the binding – fold the top layer over to the inside before overlapping (the same way we did for the cording on your pillows). Since it’s bias, it shouldn’t fray, but folding it over will give a finished edge!
    Great job!

    • melissalewis May 4, 2011 at 12:08 PM #

      Thanks Jean:) I couldn’t have done this without all your help and inspiration!!!!!

  13. Tiffini May 4, 2011 at 6:01 PM #

    This is FANTASTIC! I love it! I would so love to have one to fit my bed but I bet that would take forever! just beautiful…really! Where did you find your fabric. That is where I always get stuck. Picking out things that ” go together ”
    Tiffini recently posted..word woman wednesdaygifts that touch the heart

  14. Mimi May 4, 2011 at 8:56 PM #

    Melissa, you done a good job . IKnow baby Ashley will love to sleep with it’ I am so glad you love to sew. LOVE you.mimi

  15. QuiltStory May 7, 2011 at 5:51 PM #

    I cannot wait to try this out! LOVE this look, so cute!

    • melissalewis May 8, 2011 at 7:42 PM #

      Wow, thanks so much!

  16. Mom May 9, 2011 at 6:26 PM #

    I am so excited that you have picked up sewing along with all the many other wonderful talents that you have. I love this blanket and I know that Samantha and Ansley will love it too. I can not wait to see the ones you are making for Emily and her twins.

  17. Stephanie March 18, 2012 at 8:47 PM #

    Found this link through pinterest and so great to see your step by step. A friend’s grandma makes these and she had one made when my daughter was born and I adore this blanket/quilt. Now, I will know how to make them!

    • melissalewis March 22, 2012 at 8:39 PM #

      That’s so great to hear Stephanie!

  18. Susan April 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM #

    This is beautiful! Your fabric choices really make this stunning and you can “feel” the softness through the monitor! You did such a wonderful job. I always cut my own binding but I thought I might try the double fold (didn’t realize one size was wider, hmmm) Thank you for sharing=)

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