Friday, October 29, 2010

Rag quilt

Phew, done. This beautiful 'rag quilt' for Hugo.
Easy as, simply cut squares of fabric, either two or three layers depending on thickness, I was told a layer of cotton, flannel in between, and cotton again on the back is recommended. Don't use stretch fabrics, I tried some stretch merino wool and it was a mess, the quick-unpick ripped out some tangled seams.
Quilt with an X.  

then stitch together in your desired pattern. I found it easiest to complete rows first, then sew rows together. If the corners were too thick (or not matching up as well as you'd like) I suggest doing what I did sometimes - stitching square by square, reinforcing seams with backstitching. Otherwise, if things were looking good I'd lay the top seam facing forward and the underneath seam facing backward and push it through the machine. The fabric caught by this needs to be snipped out to freely fray, if you get what I mean...

 Now down to business. Trim the sides into fraying notches. If you have spring-loaded scissors, use them now. I didn't, and it wasn't bad at all using regular sewing scissors (they must be sharp though).
Throw into the washing machine, then the clothes dryer (regular cycles).
The more you wash the greater it looks (more frayed).
[with flash]

[without flash]

Some details:
Fabric is by Heather Bailey, her Nicey Jane line. The lime green with birds and flowers is by Patty Young for Michael Miller (Hummingbirds in Lime, some available here on NZ site trademe). Love these fabrics, the colours are sorta juicy, edible, and they go so well with the walls. Tried to choose boy colours, but young boy colours and they had to please me and Georgia too (who shares a room with him).
The size is for standard (American) cot size, 1300mm long. The squares are 20cm with 1.5cm (1/2 inch) seam allowance. I used 48 squares (8x6), so used 5 colours, 40cm (1/2 yard) each with one colour using only 8 squares while the rest used 10.

The backing is some micro-fleece I bought to make Hugo a dressing gown. The grandies bought him one so I didn't need to make one. I had nearly enough, so made up the rest of the squares withe some vintage blue felted wool and I cut up a yellow baby's sleeping bag I didn't use. I laid them using a quick sketch plan of colours, randomly placed with an attempt to have one colour each row somewhere. Didn't look at the back, but I knew it would work out ok because the fronts were planned and mainly used just one colour for each different coloured backing fabric. But really, was just random.

Can you believe I almost cut up this  cutie little vintage yellow baby's coat? I didn't use it for Georgia and it's been stored away since, but actually I think Adelaide will be the right size for it next winter. So glad I kept it.

The thread is this Metler poly sheen multi, 100% polyester, Japan made, no.40 - and it changes from blue to gold to brown as you go. It added interest and something special to the handmade appeal of making your own quilt. If nobody else notices it, at least I'm glad I used it.
Apparently these quilts are popular at the moment. I can see why. They look snuggly, they ARE snuggly! They are beautiful, they show off your favourite fabrics. Quick and easy to make (mine took approx two mornings plus cutting time) and they are a good introduction to quilting. You can use a regular sewing machine, and you don't need to quilt the thing in its entirety, just square by square.
This is my first quilt. I think I'll be making more of these, in girl colours. I can't wait!

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