Sometimes I'll spend months thinking about a project before I ever even start it. This was one of those.
It all started when I came across a tool I'd bought at least 10 or 15 years ago and realized I had never used it. Not once. It's called a slash cutter, and it's used for cutting the lines to make faux chenille. I can't remember what I was going to make with it in the first place, but it was very handy for this month's entry in my mug mat series.
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Making a small faux chenille project wouldn't be bad using just scissors, but I can't imagine making something larger without this tool. In fact, now that I've finished this I'm anxious to tackle something bigger!
To make this, you'll need:
- one 8 1/2 x 11" cotton fabric for backing
- one 8 1/2 x 11" thin cotton batting
- two 8 1/2 x 11" navy cotton fabric
- one 8 1/2 x 11" medium blue fabric
- individual pieces cut from cotton fabric using this pattern
Cut the individual pieces by cutting apart the pattern and cutting the fabrics on the line. Do yourself a favor and keep the pieces in order, unless you're in the mood for a puzzle.
Lay the backing piece on your work surface, right side down. Add the batting on top. Cover that with the two navy pieces, both right side up. Finally, add the medium blue, right side up.
Once the large pieces are stacked, add the turquoise ocean piece even with the bottom edge. When that's in place, start on one side adding the sun rays. If they don't match up perfectly don't worry about it. A little overlap or gap here and there won't matter at all.
After all the rays are in place, add the sun on top. Again, don't worry about any overlap.
Pin well through all layers. When you think you have enough, add a few more. I used straight pins, but you could also go with safety pins.
Draw a diagonal line through the center at a 45 degree angle with a disappearing ink pen.
Stitch along that line, removing or repositioning pins as you go.
Continue stitching lines 1/2" apart until the surface is covered.
Just for reference, this is how the back should look.
Now for the magic. Find the space between the two navy blue layers. Carefully slide your scissors or slash cutter into that space and cut between the two lines of stitching.
Continue cutting all the way across. If you're using scissors, make sure you don't poke the tip through the layers below.
Continue until you've cut between each row of stitching.
To finish the edge, you can sew regular binding as you would a quilt. The other option, and the one I used, is to go with something with a look similar to the top. Stitch around 1/2" from the edge. Clip through all the layers in the same clipping lines used for the top, but stop just before the stitching line you just added.
To get that fuzzy texture that chenille is known for, wash and machine dry your mug mat. Clip any stray threads as needed.
I chose a sunset scene because I thought the blue would work well behind both the water and the sun, but you can piece together any picture you'd like using this technique. I almost went with an American flag, and that one might still happen!