Sunday, 13 September 2015

Faux Chenille Baby Blanket – Bring out the Elephants!

Faux Chenille Baby Blankets. When you look at the word ‘inspire’ than the first definition listed in the dictionary is to stimulate a person to some activity. And how can one not be inspired when such pretty examples of Faux Chenille Baby Quilts are around. Just have a look at Dana's blog MADE for a beautiful example or at Allie's version as seen on her blog Miss Lovie.

Anneliese from Aesthetic Nest created a very illustrative walk-through, and with her tutorial in mind I set out to make my own version for friends in Munich who had a baby boy on the way. 

Faux Chenille Baby Quilt Blanket Cotton Flannel Puppilalla

What impresses me, as much as it makes me jealous, is the sheer variety and availability of fabrics on offer in the USA and Canada. From what I have seen online, other quilters who attempted Faux Chenille blankets, have chosen mouth-wateringly pretty and matching tones of cotton flannel fabrics. 

Those are just not as available here in Berlin. For this blanket I checked out about six different fabric stores around town, that if they stock cotton flannels at all, each only had between 4 -10 different fabrics stocked. And from what was available, I saw mostly prints that did not coordinate and hardly any uni-coloured flannels. There was just simply nothing to choose from. I also checked online but the selection – at least in German online shops - is similarly uninspiring. To import from the USA however is forbiddingly expensive due to postage and import taxes. Thus, it came down to making do with what I could lay my hands on, which was a bit heartbreaking because I had a colour scheme in mind but was hampered by the lack of choice. *sigh* 

Faux Chenille Baby Quilt Blanket Cotton Flannel Puppilalla

In the end, I chose two blue and one red chequered cotton flannel, which worked well together. Differently to the suggestion in the tutorial, I decided that I wanted the frayed chenille of the final project to be held in place by not only one layer, the printed backing fabric, but by a second layer for more stability. Therefore, one of the blue flannels was arranged in a double layer as to make up a fourth layer of flannel stacked on the cotton print fabric. When it came to cutting the quilted channels, I cut the three layers of flannel from the second layer upwards and took care not to cut into the printed fabric or the first layer of flannel that made up the foundation. 

Instead of merely using one cotton print for the backing, I decided to have some fun with this side too. I matched the 'Safari Soiree - Ele Train Teal Elephant' print by Dan Stiles for Birch Organic Fabric with the cream coloured 'Ice Cream' print by October Afternoon for Riley Blake and machine embroidered another big elephant on top to keep things interesting. 

Faux Chenille Baby Quilt Blanket Cotton Flannel Applique Puppilalla

I had also cunningly gotten the name of the future baby boy out of the parents to be. At that stage I took a chance and applied the name in bright colours onto the backing fabric and hoped that ‘Jacob’ would not turn into ‘Frederick’ or any other name at the very last minute. 

Faux Chenille Baby Quilt Blanket Cotton Flannel Puppilalla

Thankfully, I got lucky there and the boy really was named ‘Jacob’ at birth. 

Faux Chenille Baby Quilt Blanket Cotton Flannel Puppilalla quilt lines

As you may be able to make out the quilted lines are neither strictly parallel nor always evenly spaced apart. On the chenille side this fact is hidden by the fraying and on the other side – uhm – I am banking on the brain's tendency to even out irregularities the eye perceives. (One advantage of optical illusions =) 

Faux Chenille Baby Quilt Blanket Cotton Flannel Puppilalla

I cut the channels by hand with scissors and can confirm other quilter’s reports of hurting hands and calluses forming in the process. 

Faux Chenille Baby Quilt Blanket Cotton Flannel Puppilalla finished

Here is the finished blanket: quilted, cut and seam bound. The flannel frayed nicely after having been washed and dried. Considering the (perceived) difficulties at the beginning of the project, I am pretty happy about how my Faux Chenille Elephant Baby Blanket turned out. 

My friends in Munich were delighted to find this unexpected present in the parcel post and have been using the blanket frequently, I am happy to report. 

Faux Chenille Baby Quilt Blanket Cotton Flannel Puppilalla Finished Project

So, bring out the Elephants!

1 comment:

  1. I love your baby quilt with the elephants. I read your post and was surprised to learn that fabric choices are limited in Germany. The printed fabric that you found surpass any flannel fabric that I've found in the states. Mary Maloney


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