Saturday, 30 March 2013
The Chenille Quilt
About a month ago, I posted that I was all set to get started on my first quilt, a Faux Chenille Baby Quilt. You can see the post here. I was so excited to do this quilt and it all went so well until the last step! It's actually been ready for a couple of weeks, but I needed some time to get over the disappointment! Have I sucked you in yet?...keep reading!
To make the quilt, I followed this tutorial on Aesthetic Nest. The first big task of stitching the lines went quicker than I thought it would (about 4 hours all up) and was also not as boring as I thought it would be. Next, came slashing the rows. The chenille cutter made this a very easy job and it was done in about 20 minutes flat!
I decided I wanted rounded corners on the quilt, which meant I needed some bias binding. I'd never made it before, but that also turned out to be a fun task. I made continuous bias binding using this tutorial and this chart to figure out how much fabric I needed to use to make it. It's not a pretty tutorial, but it was the clearest explanation I found.
After squaring up the quilt, rounding the corners and making the bias tape, I then put the binding onto the quilt. I decided to machine stitch it onto the chenille side of the quilt, then hand stitch it to the other side. This did take a while as I'm not very quick at hand sewing, but the result was worth the effort. It's lovely and neat and sits perfectly. I knew that if I machine stitched it on both sides, there would be wonky stitching and I would not be happy.
Ok...if you're still reading then well done! Now, comes the horrible bit! All that was left to do was wash the quilt. Against my better judgement, I went with what I had read in several places and DID NOT pre-wash my fabric...you know what's coming next. I even bought some colour catchers to be on the safe side. After the first wash (using cold water) the quilt came out a little yellow along with the colour catchers. While it was still wet, I put it back in for another cycle (still with cold water) with even more colour catchers. It gets worse from here...This time it came out blue! The colour catchers were nice and blue, but obviously not enough to catch all the dye. You can see in the picture below that there is a bit of a blue tint to the white background of the fabric.
I left it to soak in some water and had a good cry. Sadly, it didn't make me feel much better or magically make the dye come out. Anyone else cried over a quilt? I tried soaking it in Colour Run Remover and Napisan and all sorts of things with no luck, so it went on the line to dry.
A couple of weeks later, I've now come to terms with the whole ordeal and can look at the quilt without instantly wanting to throw it in the rubbish! I did love making it and think I will still tackle another Chenille Quilt, but will definitely be pre-washing my fabrics! Keen eyes will notice that before I washed it, my quilt had some green robots on it. The yellow has run out of them and now there are a lot more blue robots on the quilt. Roman asked me where the green robots had gone...queue another tearful episode. I blame the pregnancy hormones!
Here are some other tips I picked up along the way:
- Pre-wash if you think your colours will run (I know I already mentioned this, just don't want you to forget)
- If the fabrics you are using for the chenille are printed, then the colours will be muted when it's all cut. When buying my flannelette for the chenille layers, I picked printed flannelette (so the back is actually white) as I could only get the colours I wanted in prints. Once the chenille is cut and fluffed up, you can see the back of the fabric, so the white has muted the colours a bit. Also, because my flannelettes had a printed pattern (the colour and white) this has also muted the colours. If you're after a bright quilt, try to pick plain dyed fabrics.
-Next time I would actually use 4 layers of fabric for the chenille or make my lines closer together, or even choose a bright fabric as the backing. There is a bit of a gap between the chenille lines once they've fluffed up, and the backing fabric shows through. I chose white, but would pick something brighter next time. By backing fabric, I mean that I chose to add a layer under all the 'chenille' layers that was not cut when making the chenille. So, my quilt has 2 un-cut layers.