May 3, 2012

Blanket Applique with Faux Chenille [and a mini tutorial]

Pin It
Mesmerized by the faux chenille baby blankets showcased HERE on The Aesthetic Nest and also HERE on Made, I knew I just had to try their technique. Except, the assembly process for an entire blanket seems quite tedious, so I decided to experiment with using faux chenille as an applique.
Faux chenille is made by sewing (on the bias!) three or four layer of flannel in numerous closely spaced rows. The top layers are then cut apart, leaving the bottom layer intact. During the washing and drying process, the top snipped layers will begin to fray and curl thus resulting in the faux chenille look.

These images were taken following the first washing and drying. With each subsequent laundering, the the layers will fray more and more, resulting in a fluffier and fuller appearance overtime.
My daughter selected this fabric herself. She's always loved stars, and is especially fond of her new "star blankie".

Mini tutorial for appliqueing with faux chenille.

It might be a good idea to refresh yourself on the faux chenille process in general, by reading either of the two links in the opening paragraph. Both were very helpful to me. The most important detail is to remember to sew on the bias. YOU MUST SEW AND CUT THE FLANNEL ON THE BIAS FOR IT TO FRAY PROPERLY.  Failure to do so, will result in a stringy mess during laundering.

1. Determine the bias. This is usually the diagonal dimension. If you are unsure, give your fabric a little tug. Fabric pulled in the bias/diagonal direction will have more give (will be stretchier). The stretchy dimension is the direction you want your rows to run.

2. Layer and pin your fabrics. 3 layers is fine, but 4 layers will make a fuller looking chenille. 

3. Sew row after row of stitches on the bias/diagonal. Both resources I read said to space the rows 1/2 inch apart, but for an applique I would recommend slightly narrower than that.

4. Cut out pieces to assemble your letter/shapes. Luckily for me, the "L" was very simple. The stars proved to be more tricky.

5. The next step can be done two different ways. You can either attach to blanket (stitch along the perimeter) and then cut the channels last, or you can cut the channels first and then attach to the blanket. I tried it both ways. Cutting the channels first, might have been slightly easier.

Just remember when cutting the channels that you need to leave the bottom layer of fabric intact. Do not cut through the bottom layer!

6. Because the letter "L" is non-reversible, I didn't want the stitch marks to show on the backside of the blanket. Therefore, I sewed all the appliques to the top layer only - before joining the two layers of star flannel.

7. Finish assembling your blanket.
8. Wash and dry to fray!



  1. BRILLIANT... that faux technique!


  2. What a fun blanket! I really want to try this technique, but have been too chicken to try a whole blanket. This is perfect!

  3. Fun blanket! I'm so glad you entered One Crafty Contest; good luck!

  4. Great job! I love this project.

  5. Just adorable. I love everything about it. I know your daughter loves it!

    Thanks for sharing this at last week's Drab to Fab party!

    This week's party is now live! Come on back and share more of what you have been working on! (Old or new)

    Have a great weekend! :)

    Amy @ Sugar and Spice

  6. That is so cute! I've never thought to use it like that. Definitely less intimidating than mine lol. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving the sweet comment. I'm going to be bookmarking this for the future! Following you now on GFC :)