Cut chenille baby blanket

I made one of those cut chenille baby blankets, and it was awesome! (despite many fumbles)

Pattern: Cut Chenille Baby Blanket from aesthetic nest, but there are other tutorials available for the same thing.

  • I didn’t make rounded corners.

  • I did use the fancy Olfa Chenille Cutter, which was really great! I thought one section of the blade would last me through this entire project, but found that I had to use two sections to get through all the cutting in this blanket.
  • I found it absolutely essential to use a walking foot in this project. Knowing that flannel is quite sticky, I stitched the first few lines without a walking foot. This was a mistake, but one I learned very quickly, fortunately.
  • If you think your machine is too old or too basic to have a quilting foot, think again. My Bernina is super basic and quite old, but I was able to find an off-label walking foot on eBay without any issue. Works perfectly!

Fabric: My shopping time is measured in nap-hours nowadays, and the recipient is due to be born any day now, so a quick trip to my local Joann’s was the best I could do. I would have preferred a more modern, bolder main fabric, but dinosaurs are still in, right? The flannel is teal, white, and light green. The binding is a solid Kona cotton turkey red, plus some remnants from this project.

I didn’t mean to use two separate fabrics for the binding, since the blanket is not really patch-quilty, but due to some creative off-grain cutting by the staff at Joann’s, I had no choice but to dig through my fabric stash-ette and pull out something that would match the Kona solid (translation: I should have bought more than a quarter of a yard, with the assumption that some would be lost in the process of cutting on grain).

For the binding, I followed this machine binding tutorial from cluck cluck sew, except I first attached the binding on the wrong side of the blanket, and then wrapped it around to the right side. I definitely found this part of the project very tricky, but I think the final product is passable if you don’t look too close.

Finished size: about 31″ square. This was my biggest fumble. I was aiming for a 36″ blanket, and clearly that didn’t happen. I bought a yard each of the three flannels, but when I pre-washed them, they shrunk to 32″ in length! I had no idea flannel would shrink this much. After sewing and squaring off, the blanket lost another inch on every side. I would definitely buy more generous cuts in the future.

On the plus side, the blanket is so very soft and beautifully textured. The mom of the baby-to-be absolutely loved it!

7 thoughts on “Cut chenille baby blanket

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  1. June

    I think I used to have an envelope cutter that was like 1/4 of the chenille cutter. Too funny! Yes, cotton flannel shrinks like the dickens, as does waffle weave and denim. If you ever have the urge to make crib sheets, wash and dry 3 times before cutting. Cute blanket!

  2. Jean Marie

    Very nice blanket!

    and, Ahh, JoAnn’s.

    It’s rare to come away with fabric from there that is truly straight. The ladies at my local JoAnn’s say that this has to do with how the fabric is handled and wound on the bolts (wet and stretched, apparently, if I’m remembering correctly). And sometimes it’s the person cutting. And I’ve learned to always, but always, pre-wash their cotton fabrics, they always shrink to some degree.

    Sigh.

  3. Sarah

    I love it! I am still quite new to sewing, but I think I might give this a go. I will have a new niece later this year, and I think she should have one of these blankets.

  4. Anna

    Yeah, I preshrink everything because the fabric I get from Joann’s is so often badly off-grain. Of course, I’ve experienced the same problem with fabric purchased from my local quilt store, so it’s probably just a problem of fabric in general.

    (I will say, there’s a couple ladies at my Joann’s who really do try when a fabric has a really obvious grain, like gingham or stripes. Makes life much easier.)

    I’ve made three or four of these blankets and I love them. I’ve always used a packaged binding, though, due to my pathological loathing of making bias tape (which I’m getting over, due to Dread Pirate Rodgers’ continuous bias strip tutorial). That and I like the contrast of satin binding on the chenille.

    Fun fact: you can make potholders this way! Really good potholders. Instead of a layer of quilting cotton for the back, use two layers of flannel, wrong sides together. Then use three layers of flannel on top, as with the blanket. My aunt makes these, and while most of them have the quilting like the blankets, she’s done some where she stitches an X across the whole, then echoes triangles in each quadrant created by the X. Very cool effect, and I’ve got some flannel waiting in the stash for this, because I’ve just about worn out the ones I’ve got. ;)

    (You can also insert a layer of insulated batting in between the back layers, but I found that to be really stiff, too stiff to use comfortably if you’re pulling a pan out of the oven.)

  5. dynnamae

    I made a couple of these blankets about 15 yr. ago or so. At that time, my instructions were to not prewash the flannel. Also, the backing was flannel too but I loved the cotton print fabric used at aesthetic nest. Your blanket is beautiful and with triplet great granddaughters coming next week, I think I will have to make some more of these blankets. Thank you for sharing photos and information to remind me of it all.

  6. Seanna Lea

    It’s a gorgeous blanket. I’m in the process of cutting my first quilt, so I can understand a bit of the process you went through with this.

  7. Jessica

    What a wonderful, brilliant idea! I remember putting my babies down on blankets, and wishing they were cushier and softer, for their bald little bony heads.. this looks absolutely luscious! I can’t wait to make one.

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