Good morning.........I have decided to start sewing again, so I gathered up all my fabric that I had in storage, got my sewing machine tuned up, bought a new pair of very sharp scissors and I am up and sewing again!!!!
I am going to make baby quilts. I did some research and found that I loved the rag quilts that everyone is making. For years I made quilts that I would have to send out to be quilted with a long arm machine, well the cost of that is just to much for me to handle now a days.......so a rag quilt is right up my alley!!!
I cut all my fabric Friday night after work and got up Saturday morning and started sewing......by Saturday afternoon I had my first rag quilt completed. I love being able to finish a project in a day or two!!
Pic's of my little project...............
I cut the fabric for the front and back at 10 inches and the batting was cut at
8 1/2 inches. I found in my research that there are many different opinions on how many inches the batting should be cut. You can also use flannel as batting and cut it the same size as your front and back fabric. I think I will use flannel as soon as I have used up all the batting that I have on hand. From pic's that I have seen I think flannel gives it a great rag look.
Next you need to make a sandwich using your back, front and batting. Center your batting between your front and back fabric......notice wrong sides together. Pin it in 4 places, leaving clear space to sew an X across your sandwich.
I just eyeballed sewing the X across the sandwich. I am not that anal to mark the perfect X before sewing. In the end they weren't perfect but when all the squares are sewn together they looked great. I wanted this project to be fun, not a pain in the you know what to make!! Thats just me! Start and stop sewing your X about a 1/4 inch from the end of your fabric......making sure to backstitch at each end.
With all your X's sewn across your squares its time to lay out how you want your quilt to look. I messed with the layout a couple of times and then it was time to pin the rows together.
I started at the bottom of my laid out squares and pinned the bottom row of 4 squares together going across and worked my way up pinning 4 rows. So you will have 4 rows of pinned squares going across. I pinned this on my dining room table, so as to not mess up my rows I only picked up one row at a time to sew it. I know you can mark your rows with numbers and letters, etc........but as I said I wanted this project to be fun.......so I would take one row to the sewing machine and when sewn together I would bring it back, lay it in place and pick up the next row to be sewn and so on. Almost forgot......sew your seams at 1/2 inch.
This is how they look when sewn.......now its time to pin these 4 rows together going up and down. Start by pinning at the seams, match your seams as best you can, I opened my seams and pinned them, you can do it however you want. I've seen them done both ways. Once you have all your seams sewn together, you need to sew a 1/2 inch seam all around the edges of your quilt.
Now I have to confess I didn't take a pic of all the rows sewn together and the clipping of the seams.......I forgot!! I didn't remember until after I had tossed it in the washer......yikes, I opened the washer door and snapped a pic of the clipped seams. Once you have the quilt sewn all together, you grab your sharpest scissors and snip about 1/4 inch snips all along each seam. This takes some time to complete, be careful not to clip through your seam. Once all your seams have been clipped.....toss it into your washer and then dry it in a cool dryer......your seams will fray and become very soft. Each time it is washed it will fray a little more and become softer and softer. I did purchase a new pair of scissors for this process, I bought a pair of 6 1/2 inch rag quilting snips at my local quilt store. You can also get a less expensive pair at JoAnn's, just make sure they have a spring, much less stress on your hands as you snip!!
All finished........I do like the look of it, but I do think when I start using flannel as a batting I will get a more frayed look.
I don't think I mentioned that I did use flannel for the backing. The front is made using 100% cotton fabrics.
I hope you found this helpful. I'm ready to now go look through my fabric and start my next project. I'm using greens this time!!