Monday, February 15, 2010

It's a Quilt!

It may be simple, but I think it still counts--it is a Rag Quilt so "quilt" is right there in the name.

This is one of the most satisfying projects I have ever made. It takes time, but it isn't hard and it looks so good as you go along that you can't help but love it. Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have of the finished product. I bribed my little Lady-Loo with fruit snacks to get this picture. Apparently the price is higher for more than one picture.

One of my all-time favorite gifts when I had Avery was a pink quilt like this that a good friend made for me. Avery still loves and uses the quilt. This one is a gift for a friend who had the cutest baby boy ever. He is her first baby and I wanted something special for her. She used to live next door to us and she and her husband have been so kind and generous with my children. I had lots of time to think about what I wanted to give her and when I thought about my favorite gift, I knew I wanted to make her this quilt. But, let me remind you: I have no idea what to do with boys! I spent SO long at the fabric store trying to find the right colors. In the end, I loved the colors and the way it turned out.

You will need 6 different fabrics for this quilt. The finished size is approximately 30x40 inches or 6 squares x 8 squares. I used 5 100% cotton prints and 1 chenille (it may be 100% cotton, too--I have forgotten). I bought 1/2 to 2 yards of each one because I wanted a lot of freedom. I think 1/2 yard each would work fine. All fabric should be prewashed in warm water to prevent shrinkage later. And, for this quilt, it will soften it and get it started on the fraying process which you will want later. Iron your fabric so it lays nicely when you cut it.

First, cut your fabric into 6 inch squares using your rotary cutter. You will need 16 squares of each fabric. I stacked mine two at a time, back to back, in alternating directions so the next step would go faster.

Place two squares of the same fabric back to back with the wrong sides together. Right sides will be out. Sew a line diagonally from one corner to the opposite corner. Do this in both directions so you have made a large X on your square. I eyeballed mine, but you can draw a line from corner to corner using a water soluble pencil if you want to use the line as a sewing guide. Be sure to back stitch securely at each starting and ending point. Because I knew I would be cutting through this later, I backstitched for about 1/2 - 3/4 of an inch which is a lot. Cut the extra threads at each starting and ending point.

When you have completed the X sewing on all of your squares, you should have 48 squares. I laid mine out in the design I wanted because I didn't want to end up with two of the same patterns right next to each other. I still had to rearrange them as I went along, but it helped to lay them out first.

Next, you are going to sew your squares together (1/2 inch seams) in groups of 6. The first two are easy because it doesn't matter which way they go. Just put them together and sew down the right side. Then open it out so the seam is on top (see picture on right) and place the new square under the one you just attached. Sew down the right side again. Then, open it out and repeat the process until you have 6 squares sewn together with the seams all on the top.

Here are three squares together--seams on the top.

Once you have two rows of 6 squares each, you can sew these together. You can also do this part at the end after sewing all of your rows (8), but I liked doing it as I went along because it seemed like it was going so fast and it kept me from forgetting which squares and rows I wanted together. To sew two rows together, put the sides with no seams back to back and sew together with a 1/2 inch seam. I flattened all of the seams down as I went along, but read somewhere since then that you should open them up as you go so they aren't so thick when you cut them later. Next time, I will open them up.

After sewing all of your rows together, stitch all around the outside of your quilt. I sewed each side in a separate line so I could backstitch at the starting and ending points just in case I cut through one side when I did the fringes.

Carefully snip approximately every 1/4 inch all around the edges of the quilt and each seam around the squares. You will cut from the edge towards the stitch line or in your seam allowances which are 1/2 wide. Do not cut through the stitching. If you accidently slice one through, bo back and sew over it to reinforce that space. Go slowly and carefully to prevent this. Using sharp scissors will help with this, too.

Be careful at the corners of the sewn squares; they are thicker and you have to find the right place to cut so that you make a fringe without cutting little rectangles out of each corner. I found it easiest to do all of the horizontal lines and then go back and do all of the vertical lines rather than cutting around each square individually.

This part was also pretty messy thanks to the chenille. I used regular-sized scissors and was fine although some people prefer little snipping scissors. I think I was interrupted enough times to give my fingers a break.

When you have snipped everywhere, lay the quilt across a table or clean floor and run your fingers over each "line" of cut edges to find places you may have missed. I found one missed area, snipped it, and then did it again and found another one. The is the best time to find them so check carefully. Once you are done, shake the quilt firmly several times to get out all of the loose threads and pieces of chenille. I shook over a large carpeted area so I could just vacuum up my mess.

Finally, wash your quilt again in warm water. Use a little detergent to help soften the fabric a little more. I also used a fabric softener sheet in the dryer. Dry in the dryer on a medium setting. You may want to check the lint trap halfway through. Mine was coated in little pieces of chenille. I cleaned it out so the dryer could dry more efficiently for the remaining time. The snipped edges of your quilt should be curly and frayed.

I am sorry to say I do not have a picture of the final part with the soft, curly edges--don't ask! I will see if I can get one and update when I do. I also made matching burp cloths that I will post next.


Sara Kelley,  said... February 17, 2010 at 3:00 AM  

tammy, tammy, tammy! oh how i miss you! we recieved your card today and i cried while reading it. i miss you so, so, so much!

jodi,  said... February 17, 2010 at 9:47 PM  

I love this kind of quilt. I made a denim/flannel one, but chenille looks so comfy.

Tammy @ she wears flowers,  said... February 17, 2010 at 10:03 PM  

Jodi--flannel must fray and soften perfectly! Avery couldn't stop "petting" the chenille, so I think it is a keeper.

Michelle Woodland,  said... April 19, 2010 at 5:02 PM  

So cute!!! I want to make one for my little girl. Her current blanket looks so sad, maybe she would give it up for one like this. :)

Anonymous,  said... November 3, 2010 at 8:10 PM  

question on this -- I'm a very beginner sewer, but I'm gonna make this one. In one of the first pictures where you've sewn the X on the square, it also shows that the left side is shown on the side. Should I do that too?


The Zaugg family,  said... September 2, 2011 at 11:22 AM  

I love this. can you use just any fabric or does it need to be flannel?

Unknown,  said... March 15, 2014 at 10:19 AM  

I have made two of these now. Both turned out great and both were for little girls. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I could not have done it without you. Even made a pillow to match with left over material :)

Unknown,  said... March 15, 2014 at 10:20 AM  

I have made two of these now. Both turned out great and both were for little girls. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I could not have done it without you. Even made a pillow to match with left over material :)

Unknown,  said... March 15, 2014 at 10:20 AM  

I have made two of these now. Both turned out great and both were for little girls. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I could not have done it without you. Even made a pillow to match with left over material :)

doogie,  said... March 15, 2014 at 10:48 AM  

The quilt looks beautiful, but I am lost as to the reason for the fraying. Is the fraying on the top? I am probably not thinking straight today, so forgive me if the question is stupid.:)

Shelley Olivier,  said... September 18, 2014 at 4:26 PM  

Hi there. Can I use track suiting fabric and would io need iron on violene. Thank you. For your help. And inspiration

Tammy @ she wears flowers,  said... May 24, 2015 at 8:54 PM  

This is a very simple, light quilt with no batting or muslin in it at all. You just stack two squares together with nothing in between the squares.

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