Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chenille Blanket



My friend Alli made chenille blankets for her kids.  The weight and snuggle-ness of her blankets caused me to search online for tutorials.  I ran across this blanket at Aesthetic Nest which I just loved enough to jump right into this project.  Unfortunately long lengths of stitching at a machine is quite possibly one of my least favorite activities.  I’ll happily hand quilt, embroider, smock, and bind but running long lines across quilts is painful.  I started this project on my old machine and had to really push to get half done with the quilting—at which point I put it away for at least a month.  I thought it would live in UFO-land forever. Then I bought my new machine and thought of it as the perfect way to run through some strait stitching.  I enjoyed it for three passes.  The new machine brought it out of wretched to bearable and the wee blanket was finished just in time for the arrival of a dear friend’s new baby.  I made it with Joel Dewberry stashed prints (birds and binding) and three layers of cheap flannel I picked up on sale.  When it was finished I nearly couldn’t part with it.  The weight, the soft parallel (mostly) lines, one of my favorite prints, and the movement made me forget about the pain and start a second one right away.  The brown and orange bird blanket I stitched with lines just under 3/8th inch apart.  The new one I did a generous 1/2 inch spacing.  I love the thinness of the tighter lines but I can’t take the redundant time at the machine.  Bird loves using the second one as a TV blanket.  I gave the first one away before she noticed, otherwise, she would have protested.  She really likes these and the magic of taking it out of the dryer for the first time and seeing the colors blend together in the chenille will probably seduce me to make another again. 

Which brings me to: OH. MY. HECK. I bought a new machine!  Yup, the days of sewing on the Toyota are over.  It was with me through a lot of projects—beloved projects that turned out splendidly, but it just wasn’t cutting it anymore.  I wanted a machine that had a large variety of model specific feet available, that had precision stitches, great buttonholes, and was a delight to sew with.  After an agonizing month with many many hours spent mostly with Berninas and Pffaffs before I settled on a Pfaff Expression 4.  She’s a beauty.  I’m enjoying her a lot, while trying to get used to her at the same time.  Little things bug (like the extra step before engaging the security stitch at the end of the stitch) but I think when I get used to those things I won’t even remember them.  I’ll have to be reminded to update on how I’m taking to her.  Things I love now:

Feet and attachment options

Stand alone sewing machine—I’m not really into all the embroidery options other machines are built for

Thread cutter, lovely

Pivoting with the half foot lift (I sensed there was something missing in my life)

Long throat length

IDT (Pfaff, you rock my world)

Needle positions to spare

Long long stitch length to baste/gather


  1. It turned out even more awesome than I thought!
    Which kind of sucks, because now I really want one...

  2. Thats amazing!! LOVE the print! You are one talented lady...