I love combining and altering fabrics–and turning them into chenille is one of the techniques I use.
Let’s take this large monochromatic cotton floral print in the upper part of the photo below. It was just a little to perfect for me, so I decided to distress it by making chenille.
First I sandwiched the print to a backing fabric that I wanted to show through. I used parallel rows of stitching with my presser foot as a guide. (This is a great way to practice straight sewing.)
Next, (carefully) cut down the middle of each row. Small scissors work fine for me, but if you plan to use this technique a lot, you may want to invest in a chenille cutter. Here’s a link for info about this speedy little tool.
After I wash and dry my piece, it has a nice fluffy texture and depth. Cool, don’t you think?
Here’s a closer look. Can you see the wavy blue underneath?
And here’s another recent chenille project.
I needed a yellow-orange “fur” for this appliqued cat portrait. Instead of shopping all over town or the web, I went to the thrift store. A silky orange print blouse, stitched over a yellow sweater and chenilled fit the bill perfectly. The fraying gives my portrait depth and interest, too.
I can see this technique used to create fabric oceans, waves of grass, even clouds.
Any other ideas? How would you use homemade chenille?