I am a bit ecstatic about this blanket! I have been thinking about making it for a few months, wondering if it would work, and it worked! It worked!
Ta-da! Chevron-patterned chenille on the reverse side!
CHEVRON CHENILLE BLANKET TUTORIAL
**Note that this tutorial builds on the original Heirloom Cut Chenille Baby Blanket Tutorial.**
This blanket is created almost identically to the original cut chenille blanket, for instance, with a 45" square of a patterned 100% cotton fabric (mine is this Premier Prints ZigZag) and three layers of 100% cotton flannel. (Next time I make one I want to try it with five layers of flannel--it would be even fluffier.) I layered them with the white against the wrong side of the chevron print, then the cobalt and finally the aqua blue. If you look closely you'll see that this results in the aqua in the middle, then the cobalt and finally the white on the outside of the chenille chevrons. Note that I don't prewash my fabrics for this blanket.
The key difference between this blanket and the original is obviously the pattern of the stitching: in the characteristic chevron motif. This relies totally on having an appropriate chevron printed fabric, because you can simply follow the edge of the zigzag with your presser foot and have perfect chevrons! I suppose one could stitch chevrons using some other method (perhaps drawing the lines first...) but that is a tutorial for another day, and probably another person! I would recommend using a fabric which has chevrons that range between .5" and .75" wide. Mine are .75". Makes the stitching go fairly quickly (though still 4-5 hours). If your chevrons are wider and you still want to attempt this you could do two rows of stitching for each chevron using your presser foot as a guide (split the height of the chevrons and use your foot to sew every .5" or whatever works).
I used safety pins to hold my layers together (I think I skipped this on the original but thought why not take the extra precaution) and started in the center of the blanket to minimize the shifting that can happen when sewing from one end to the other. To stitch the chevrons simply start sewing down the edge (between the aqua and white bands) until you reach a peak or valley...
...lift up your presser foot, and pivot...
...lower your presser foot and stitch down the other side...
...until you reach the next peak/valley.
Lift up your presser foot, pivot and repeat, repeat, repeat.
I would get to the end of a "row" or zigzag, and flip the blanket around and sew down the other direction. I worked equally on both sides of the first center zigzag line towards the edges of the blanket, so the first dozen rows of stitching looked like this:
And when all the stitching was finished, it looked like this:
I trimmed the exess at the edges before cutting. With the original Heirloom Cut Chenille Blanket I used a special cutting tool to cut between the rows of stitching. In the case of this Chevron Chenille Blanket I used scissors. I wanted to have more control so I could snip to the top of a peak and stop, pivot the scissors and cut down the other 45-degree angle. The goal is to have the cutting centered between and parallel to the stitching lines. I started by snipping one angle and moving down to the next row and so on. Then I switched to cutting all the way down a row or zigzag and then doing the next. Either way works, the idea for me was to keep it from being too repetitive. (Good idea to take some breaks too as the repetitive motion is hard on the cutting hand!)
Here's how the blanket looked after all the cutting.
You will end up with a triangle shape of flannel at the edges inside the last "row" of stitching. Cut a triangle shape out of this so that it will fray at the very edge.
After finishing the cutting I rounded the corners as per the original tutorial. With the original blanket I used a satin binding, but for this one I decided to use the chevron fabric (and a really cool method described in this tutorial!) to make a 2" double-fold bias tape binding. I sewed the binding to the right side of the blanket using a .5" seam allowance. I didn't pin first, I just aligned the edges as I sewed. (Don't forget to turn down the edge at the beginning of this stitching for a nice finish.) Using bias tape makes the binding curve so nicely around the rounded corners.
Sew the binding all the way around the blanket and overlap it at the beginning.
Then turn the binding to the reverse side of the blanket. The middle fold of the double-fold bias tape should be at the edge of the blanket and the tape should then be folded under wrong sides together on the reverse side of the blanket so no raw edges are showing. This creates a .5" binding. I pinned generously here all around the binding.
I think the top stitching looks nice and I don't mind it on the patterned side either where it fell just inside of the binding.
This is where it gets good! Throw the blanket in the washer and dryer. I washed on warm/cold and dried on medium and then did it again. I was thinking about my theory of the chevron fray as compared to the pinking technique for stopping fraying. Hmmm. It worried me for a bit. then I thought the length of the zig and zag must be everything. As it turned out there were little sections in the valleys of the flannel where it didn't quite fray. I cut into a few of these on the very edge where it was more noticeable but in general it wasn't noticeable at all.
That's it! I saw that as if this is a quick project but it's obviously not. However, I thought it was fun all along the way and so worth the effort! I hope you'll let me know how it goes if you give it a try. I'd love to see the Chevron Chenille blanket in some other color variations and with other chevron fabrics.