A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Be A-Frayed, Part the Second

Now, I really adore the tactile handle and
softness of Chenille, but it has visual qualities that are desirable too..
One of the things I have experimented with is making imagery using the technique - this is not easy..
I'm fond of landscapes, and this seems like fields and grasses, perhaps
(Part of my Summer Landscapes piece)
However, in order to get any kind of imagery onto chenille, you need a degree of contrast which you may not imagine before you try. 
Here's Sample Two
I've used the same set of Oakshott colours and background as yesterday's sample, plus a top layer of the same dark purple as the base, and a leaf cut from a vivid eggy yellow.  The leaf is raw-edged, not sewn down, and placed so that the grain matches the underneath layers - this is quite important - make sure you decide which way you want it to go before you cut.  Note that I now have 11 layers (12 where the leaf is) - if you have a weedy modern machine you may find it has a coughing fit here; if so, take a couple of layers out.
Press, pin, sew, as before

This time I've kept the sewing very simple, just parallel lines about 1/2 inch apart

This time, I'm going to use The Technology - but I start every channel with a little snip from my scissors

And the very short channels will be cut like this all the way
Longer channels, however, are much easier done with a Slash Cutter

I honestly thought this was a majorly stupid buy until I had used it the first time..
What a nice toy..
Slip the cutter into the channel, push (along, not down) and it slices neatly through all the layers at once

Do check to see that you have reached the base layer in all the channels

All cut

And Washed again (note, this was photographed wet, so it looks rather dark)  Note how much the leaf has blended in, and the colours of the underlayers emerged...

Here's a cushion I made - the chenille is made from the 8 layers of the colours round the outside.. This one has a similar leaf, and change-of direction sewing

More tomorrow..


  1. This is a very nice technique, and the Slash Cutter must be fantastic for this kind of job. I never saw one before.

  2. I've never seen a slash cutter before, either. I love this technique, I'm going to have to try it. Wish I could find Oakshott fabrics, too, the only place I've seen them for sale has been Australian websites.

  3. Oakshott fabrics are available in the US from Pinwheels in New York, http://www.pinwheels.com/
    in the UK and worldwide direct from Oakshott Fabrics in Gloucestershire (linked in Part 1, or www.oakshottfabrics.com )

  4. A long time ago in a land far away I bought a slash cutter made by Olfa. NOW I am going to try this. I really love this technique. Thanks Helen. PS. I also appreciate your sense of humor...

  5. Helen, I am going to a large quilt show this weekend in New Jersey and one of the vendors listed is Pinwheels! I hope they have some Oakshott fabrics there.

  6. Found some Oakshott today at a large quilt show, but it cost $25/yard, which is a WHOLE LOT more than most any other fabric here in the US. I definitely won't be buying it, especially if I was going to slash it.

  7. what a great style, it not easy job well don.
    fine art drawings


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