Dana gives a great tutorial with fabulous pictures that everyone should see, but I'll give you a run-down. The basic idea is to sew these five layers of cotton (must be cotton so it will fray, flannel works well also) together in lines a 1/2 inch apart diagonally across the whole blanket, and then cut through the four solid layers in between the sewn lines. Because they're cut diagonally/on the bias, the fabric will fray in the washing machine and create soft, wavy layers that feel like chenille.
Fact: if you're going to do this project, you should be warned that it takes for-ev-er. Not as long as the tote bag (haha... just kidding, that's only true if you're me), but definitely awhile. My back isn't the strongest so I had to split it up between several days of sewing. As per Dana's recommendation, I took all the fabric onto my driveway and glued them together with Craft Bond, a spray adhesive. This was a struggle because it was windy, but was definitely helpful in keeping my fabrics from shifting too much while I sewed. After putting some safety pins in random spots around the blanket, I used painter's tape to mark a line down the diagonal center of the blanket. I started sewing with this middle line and then out to the left side, and eventually flipped it upside down to the right. Luckily, I didn't have to use a ruler to measure each 1/2 inch, because that's what the little lines on my sewing machine are for.
A few days later (or probably about 4-5 straight hours of sewing), the lines were done! I knew cutting would be a challenge because a) I am left-handed and lefty scissors don't have the blades reversed so they are crap, and b) I was nervous I would accidentally cut through the matyoshka layer, so I was super careful and had my right hand underneath the blanket during each and every snip. I had ordered a slash rotary cutter just for this purpose, and it was due to arrive Thursday, but still isn't here (whoopsy, Amazon.com).
|the cutting begins.|
|blanket cut, pre-wash.|
|"layers upon layers of chenille!"|
|matryoshkas and chenille: a fantastic combination|
|fun times: my brother-in-law Doug and me at my mom's golf tournament. i'm dressed like a flapper under there||!|