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!
“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.
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.
- 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
- 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
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.