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Vendor Spotlight and Giveaway: OLFA Chenille Cutter

Reported by Cassandra Darwin

I was very excited to have the opportunity to review the Chenille Cutter by Olfa, because I have a few crafty family members that recently went through a chenille craze.  I wanted to see what it was all about!  I ended up making a baby blankie for my little girl, and got a number of tips from those experienced chenille makers along the way.  I’ll share everything I learned so you can get started right away. 

 This is the chenille cutter as sent to me – instructions at the bottom of the package look easy enough!

Is it really just 4 easy steps to get soft and fluffy chenille?  Turns out the answer is yes (essentially).
The Olfa website describes the Chenille Cutter:  
Designed for both right and left handed use the revolutionary Chenille Cutter cuts multiple layers of fabric, as well as paper, cardstock, photographs, felt, fleece, and more! Features 4 channel guide sizes for narrow to wide widths and 24 new exposed blade edges all with one click. The ultra-sharp, double-honed edge blade is never exposed for extra safety.”

 I gathered my supplies for this project and opened the package to see what I had gotten myself into.  The included instructions were very concise, and easy to follow.  See below for front and back views.

Chenille Cutter instructions (front)
Chenille Cutter instructions (back)

 There were a few vital pieces of information missing from the packaging and instructions.  The first – what type of fabric should I be using?  TIP – A looser weave fabric that will fray a bit on its own works best.  I used flannel in my project, but linen is another great option.

I decided to do two different chenille blocks so you can see some different results.  Instructions recommended 4-8 layers of fabric, and the tool can cut channels from 1/8″ to 1/2″.  The green block has 8 layers of fabric with channels that are 1/2″ apart.  The pink block has 4 layers of fabric with channels that are 1/4″ apart.

I marked the top layer to indicate where I need to sew and pinned my layers together.

And here you can see that I have sewn the channels and started to use the tool to cut every layer except the bottom one.  TIP – It’s important to sew a fairly straight line, because if you have narrow parts in the channels the tool may not be able to squeeze through.  Luckily it has 4 widths so you can always go down a size if you need to squeeze through a problem area.

I ran into another problem with the way I was holding the cutter.  I copied the pictures in the instructions below, which worked okay (it was the 4 layer piece).

But when I moved to the 8 layer block I kept having trouble with the dial turning on its own, and blocking the cutting blade (see below).

Luckily my aunt saw what I was doing and said that she held it a different way and never had that problem.  So I changed my grip and had much better results.  TIP – Adjust your grip to hold the dial in place while you are cutting.  TIP – It also made my life much easier when my aunt suggested cutting through no more than 4 layers at a time.  So do one cut through the top 4 layers, then one more cut through the bottom 4 layers.  This made it smooth like butter!

 This all went pretty quickly, especially after I adjusted my grip on the cutter and limited the number of layers I was cutting through.  So I quickly got 4 blocks sewn together and pieced together a little blanket.  Put it through the washer and dryer one time and PRESTO!  Like magic I have a fun little blanket with lots of texture for my baby to enjoy.

Note the difference between the two blocks (above and below).  In the end, the green block with 8 layers and 1/2″ channels has a “depth” of about 1/4″and lots of texture.  It’s actually quite heavy because it has so many layers.

The pink block with 4 layers and 1/4″ channels has a “depth” of just under 1/8″ and feels very soft.

I also wanted to share a few online resources that Olfa has to help you with your projects.  They have instructional videos on their website, but I couldn’t get the Chenille Cutter video to load more than 30 seconds.  Luckily the company also posted it here on You Tube.  There is also a great selection of ready to print project ideas and instructions specifically for the Chenille Cutter.
Pros:
  • Small tool, but creates chenille fabric that makes a big impact
  • Much easier to use this tool than use scissors for the same purpose
  • Dial on this tool allows you to adjust channel widths (4 sizes) and gives you 24 sharp cutting edges
Cons:
  • Printed instructions missed some important info (best fabric to use, proper grip of the tool, etc.)
  • Once you use all 24 cutting edges you will need to replace the blade in this tool
  • A bit of an investment at about $30
I really enjoyed using the Olfa Chenille Cutter, and would encourage anyone to try it that is looking to add some texture to their fabric creations!

GIVEAWAY!
Our friends at Olfa have given us gift pack to give to two lucky readers. Leave a comment answering the following question to be entered:

Would you make your own chenille? What would you create with it?

One comment per person per article (this is the third of four, over a two-day span), please. Winners will be chosen on Saturday, July 9, 2011.


Disclosure


Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

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Cassandra has been scrapbooking and stamping for more than 15 years. Paper is her passion, and she says that she grew up wanting to own a stationery shop. She describes herself as "crafty" and enjoys projects ranging from card making and photography to quilting and crafts for kids. She was previously in corporate marketing but now spends her days at home with her young daughter. You can read more about Cassandra's adventures in crafting at the fresh crafts blog.

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22 Responses to Vendor Spotlight and Giveaway: OLFA Chenille Cutter

  1. catnap July 6, 2011 at 7:38 am #

    I’ve seen it demonstrated on tv, but I’ve never tried chenille myself. I don’t think I’d try without this tool to make it easy. I think I’d try experimenting with a wall hanging, or pillows. Since this tool makes it easy, it looks like great fun.

  2. KanataNewf July 6, 2011 at 7:41 am #

    With friends and relatives still having little ones, this would definitely be a great addition to my baby blanket making arsenal of tools!

    thanks for the chance to win!

  3. Life On the Scrappy Side Store July 6, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    OH wow I love this! My mom makes quilts and hangings of all kinds and she could really use this for added textures! I do scrap booking and would be interested in seeing how to use it in that. thanks for the chance to win!
    Barbara

  4. Kelly Sas July 6, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    I love making chenille and have a chenille cutter made by a different manufacture. I had no idea Olfa made one!!! That is why I love Craft Critique; I learn about products I MUST have! Thanks for the great review.

  5. Tamara July 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    I bought this tool for myself last year using some money I got for Christmas, but I haven’t pulled it out of the package yet. Hopefully this summer I can put it to the test and use some of your tips!

  6. Kayla and Samuel July 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    I have never used Chenille before, but this gives me courage to do it! I would be a copy cat and try a blanket for my new nephew who will be born in November. I was given a blanket very similar to this one, and my kids LOVE them, so I will attempt to make one as well! Thanks so much for your helpful blog!

  7. McStamper July 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    I love chenille and would like to give this a try. Don’t know if I would be successful as I am sometimes a little impatient, but the examples are great.

  8. funkycrafter July 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    i think cutting my own chenille would be fun. i would use it for decorating homemade gift bags and whatever else i wanted to glam up.

  9. Callie Callender July 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    This looks like such a great tool to make my aprons and other fun crafts!!

  10. Lori July 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    It seems like it’s a nice way to ditch some old scraps. I think it’d be a fun alternative, though I can’t think of any specific projects I’d use it for.

  11. Justin and Kitara July 6, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    I would love to make my own! I think the first thing I would make would be a baby blanket, but I also think throw pillows for my couch would be fun too!

  12. j*e*n July 6, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Love this type of project & have wanted to try my hand at it. My kids love super-soft things & would really enjoy a blanket to curl up with. Thanks for the chance to win!

  13. withlovexox July 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    This is the first time I have ever seen a chenille cutter! How did I not know about this wonderful tool? I love playing with textures, and would use the cutter on a few decorative panels of a loose fitting, flowy top to create a one of a kind piece.

  14. Larissa Heskett July 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    WOW!! I would like to try this on a cute little stuffed animal!! =)
    I think the blankets that you maade are SO CUTE and would make fun presents!! It would be fun to do the babies initial on a blanket for a gift!! THANKS for sharing and for the chance to win!!
    Have a FABULOUS DAY!! =)

  15. rush July 6, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    sure…i would make my own chenille. i think it would look great on a jacket.

  16. Georgee July 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    I would love to make my own chenille for some sewing projects!!! Would dearly love to have one of these Olfa chenille tools.

  17. Sue D July 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    Would love to try this–I would probably make a baby blanket.

  18. Shaaron July 7, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    Chenille is one of my favorite fabrics but to buy it is costly. This tool is just awesome. Now I could use chenille much more often.

  19. rudie2shoes July 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    I’ve never worked with chenille before so this was awesome to read about. Looks like a really great product.

  20. Maya July 8, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    This tool looks like it makes beautiful projects, and I would love a chance to try it out. I am very inspired by your review and OLFA’s youtube video. I am looking forward to going through their other ideas as well. Thanks for the chance to win!

  21. Charo July 8, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    I had no idea that this product existed, what a great tool,

  22. Crystal July 9, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    I’ve been really wanting to try one, I’d love to make chenille blankets for my daughters’ rooms!