Friday, February 25, 2011

Rag Quilts

So I have at least three friends who make rag quilts. Claire, Erin, and Chrissa. Over the course of the last couple of years these ladies have inspired me to try my hand at it.

First, Claire convinced me that they are a good thing to sew because they don't have to be perfect. That tempted me because I have been working on a regular quilt for Chance for years and it's imperfections are driving me mad.

Second, Erin showed on her blog how to do it step-by-step. She even included pictures and advice on how much fabric to buy.

So I went for it! Here is a picture of my first ever rag quilt. A baby quilt for our friends Jozef, Hollie and baby Sadie.

I didn't quite set out with the perfect plan. I cut the pieces and then started arranging them. I did Pink, Stripe, Blue, Stripe and that is how this pattern was born. When I had it laid out I loved it. I didn't think about the fact that I was using twice as many striped pieces. So when I got to the back I had to develop a new plan.

I still love it. It looks very beachy to me. Because of all the sewing you lose a lot of the size. This blanket is the perfect size for a car seat blanket. While she's still little it will be great for throwing on the floor to set her down but it isn't nearly as big as I expected.

Also, I put batting in between the layers. A lot of my friends don't. But I live in Northern Virginia and I wanted this blanket to keep baby warm. If you don't use batting the blanket has a flimsier look and feel which is great for warmer climates or summer babies. Because I used batting this project took on a new level of difficulty.

I had the front, back, and batting section of each square. Then I sewed an X across each one. Then I sewed the squares together to form rows. Then the rows together. It took forever! I got so discouraged. I was sure I wouldn't finish before the baby came. If it hadn't been for my church sewing group I may never have finished.

Now we come to motivator #3. Chrissa. She showed me how to make rag quilts without doing tons and tons of squares!

STRIPES!! Brilliant!

Here's a close up so you can appreciate the cuteness of the fabric.

This one is for Danny and Emily. They decided not to find out the gender of their baby but she loves monkeys. If you look closely the yellow of the bananas is much more bold than the pastel yellow I chose. If I went with the bright yellow it looked kind of like an ode to the potty. :)

Anyway, the stripes were a lot less cutting and a lot less sewing. I actually feel like you also get to appreciate the pattern of the fabric a little more too. In case you're wondering. It takes a yard of each fabric. The stripes are 3", 5", and 7" wide. Unlike my first quilt it is the same front and back. I had about 6" of yellow left over and I also had some brown left. So really you need 1 yard of pattern, 3/4 yard of secondary color, and 1/2 yard of the third. I would still buy extra if it is your first time (or second or third, hehehe) just so you have wiggle room to mess up. Plus I bought the fabric on sale and got the yellow and brown at 50% off or $2.49 a yard. So even though I bought a full yard of each it was only $5 total. I buy the crib sized cotton batting and I open it all the way. So one package of batting lasts me 2+ quilts. I either buy that with my 40% coupon or wait until batting is on sale. I don't pay full price unless I am desperate to finish on a deadline and I didn't plan ahead.

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