The Chenille Quilt

Faux 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!

Faux Chenille Quilt Faux Chenille Quilt

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!

Faux Chenille Quilt

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.

Faux Chenille Quilt

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!

Faux Chenille Quilt

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.

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  1. says

    I think it looks lovely! Plus you’ve learned a lot of good lessons to put in action next time! You always tend to have a muck up when you do something for the first time.

  2. says

    It is still beautiful Abby! I love it :) I want one for me…

    Do you think the blue came from the cotton used to make the bias or the from the flannel? If it was from the bias, you could prewash that with that colour run stuff. And leave the flannel to fluff?

    Anyways, chin up, once your gorgeous baby is all snuggled up under it, I doubt you will notice the colour :)

    • says

      Thanks Toni! It could have come from the binding, but then I would’ve though most of the run marks would be around the edges. I’ll do some testing next time and see.

  3. says

    I love your quilt. It doesn’t look anywhere near as bad as you think it does. Colour run is enough to make anyone cry! I’ve been wanting to do a chenille quilt. I am surprised that the colours ran on you. Perhaps flannel doesn’t hold the colour as well as quilters cotton does?

  4. says

    I think this quilt is absolutely lovely and I actually quite like the muted effect on the back and without any green robots. I can imagine though how you must have felt when the colours started to run. I have never cried over a quilt ( mainly because I have only ever tackled one about 15 years ago and its still up in the attic waiting for me to finish backing it – but I certainly have cried, screamed and thrown a bit of knitting around in the past! Certainly I agree with everyone else that if you didn’t know the story you wouldn’t know anything was wrong with it. You are a very clever and inspiring lady!

  5. says

    Love the quilt! I have to say , I don’t pre-wash any of my fabric. Just a bit lucky??
    Something you could try also is was it with some towels, and I use vinegar (white).

  6. says

    You are very brave to have tried it and you have done a great job Abby! Well done (regardless of your disappointment with the messed up colour which is not actually much apparent to a third eye!)! I am yet to find the time and the courage to try my hand at quilting. So much to learn from mistakes though. Thanks for sharing your tips by the way!

  7. says

    It’s still extremely lovely and I promise, if you didn’t mention it no one would know. My darling friend Marg recently made a quilt, which had appliqued flowers on it. They took hours and hours to do and one night she was getting tired but said to her husband “I’ll just stay up a bit longer and mark out the quilting pattern”. She picked up her washable marker and her ruler and proceeded to put big diagonal lines across her quilt where she was to stitch the next day…but then realised her marker was in fact permanent artline marker…not the lovely mauve washable one… there were tears.
    As my Mum always says “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried something new”
    I would never have attempted that quilt when you first posted about it, but now you’ve mentioned how easy it was, I’d be tempted to give it a try!
    Chin up. It truly is gorgeous. x

  8. says

    It looks wonderful anyway, even if it’s not quite what you had planned. How weird that the green robots disappeared! I love the style of the quilt and you’ve shared some great tips for others who want to have a go.

  9. says

    I think I would have cried too Abby! When I made my minoru jacket last winter I splurged on the lining fabric (which I don’t often do) thinking it will be a good investment, and the Amy Butler fabric was just beautiful. Then when I ore washed it with the denim for the outer the blue ran everywhere and I felt sick – I’d paid so much for the lovely fabric and it wasn’t lovely any more :-( I was upset and didn’t have pregnancy hormones going on! I’m sure you’ll still enjoy the quilt but I understand :-)

  10. Anonymous says

    I feel your pain. I made this as one of my first ever sewing projects (brave or stupid, not sure which) and learned after the fact that my tension was off on all the rows, and I didn’t use the fifth layer like you did so the channels gap horribly. Luckily it was for my best friend and she loves me. I hate seeing it when I visit though.

  11. Claudia Bettencourt says

    Hi, it’s been a couple of years but I just wanted to know if you got to try the blue and white soap I sent you.
    Best wishes and keep blogging, no matter the name you do it under !!!

    • abby says

      Hi Claudia! I am very sorry, I was so sure I replied to your message on Facebook. The blue and white soap was very helpful!! I think it got about 90% of the colour out. Thank you so much for your help and kindness!

  12. Claudia Bettencourt says

    And maybe you did and I forgot… This was around the time I was in between pregnancies and dealing with a 15 month old and a newborn and not sleeping well for almost three years in a row left me like Dory from Nemo, memory wise . I am so glad the soap helped though!!!

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