Friday, November 28, 2008

Rag Quilt Instructions!!

Can you believe it has taken me since June to post something else? Anyway, I posted a quilt on my other blog www.flutterbyatomicbutterfly.blogspot.com/ and I promised instructions here. I stopped taking photos the further I progressed in the quilt because I doubted I would really post it, but I decided to in the end. If you have any questions, email me at kellyrory1@msn.com and I will try and answer them. The size of quilt that I will be posting instructions is a square baby size that fits nicely over a car seat or to lay down for play.


Before Beginning, you will need:

Cutting Mat and Rotary Cutter

Acrylic square quilting ruler as seen in my photo

3 yards total Flannel. I chose 3 different prints one yard each

*I like getting the best Flannel available because it doesn't pill easily)

good pins

Sewing Machine and coordinating thread (one spool will be plenty for this size of quilt)

Good scissors for clipping fabric

Washing Machine and Dryer


Step1: Cut your fabric into 5 inch strips and then into five inch squares using your mat and rotary cutter. You want to keep the fabric folded in half like it comes on the bolt so that when you cut your squares, two are together with the wrong sides together and the right side out. make sense?







Once you have all of your fabric cut, arrange them into piles for easy construction.



Step 2: Start Sewing! This is the funnest part because each square you sew you are that much closer to the end! LOL! I use a 1/2 inch seam allowance for these quilts. When putting your quilt together you can either start a pattern or grab them for a staggered pattern. With only 3 fabrics, I would suggest a pattern. If you choose more fabrics then you could stagger them easily. I always start my patterns going from lightest to darkest; I started with the blue dots, the brown stripes and then the dark chocolate with the animals. Each row has nine squares across.
After each square has been sewn together, I take my good scissors and clip each seam allowance every 1/2 inch or so up to the thread. YOU DO NOT WANT TO CLIP YOUR THREAD! This is not good....try and stay clear of the thread. Now...you do not have to clip at this stage, but let me tell you from experience that I would rather clip as I go, then have to sit and clip every seam at the end. Let me tell you, your clipping hand will be killing and you won't even want to finish the quilt. LOL! You can see my clipping in the next photo. *****NOTE***** Before beginning your next row, you need to figure out which pattern should come next. You will not begin with the same fabric as your first row. If you scroll down to the finished quilt, you will see that my squares move across in a diagonal pattern.








Step 3: Once you have two rows completed, it is time to sew them together. This is when it gets fun because you can actually visualize the quilt coming together. You can see how each seam allowance is clipped in this photo, also. Before sewing, I suggest pinning at each intersecting square. Can you see my little yellow pins sticking out on the right hand side? I like to pin them, so when the quilt is finished, all of the squares line up correctly. Some poeple can do it without pins, I can't. I learned my pinning technique years ago from a Fons and Porter quilting show. I have loved it every since. I didn't take pictures of that, so I am sorry that I can't help out a bit more with that. Also, when sewing over that much fabric, I try and have the top row clipped fabric go forward and then bottom clipped fabric go backward. That way, you aren't sewing over 4 layers of fabric. I hope that makes sense.


Step 4: When I sew my two rows together, I put my sewing machine in the needle down position. You can slow down as you near your pins, take them out, and it will still be held in place. It is a good idea to run your machine slower over these intersections as well because it gets quite thick. Once you have the rows put together, clip that entire seam allowance, just as you did your smaller squares. This quilt has nine rows across and nine rows down. Once the entire quilt has been constructed, you will need to sew a 1/2 inch seam allowance around the entire quilt. You will also need to clip around the quilt as well. This is when I put on a good movie that I have seen 100 times and just clip away.


Once that is done, you can throw your quilt in the washer and start to see the fruits of your labor. Some people take their finished quilt to a laundromat because of all of the fringe you get inside of your machine. My machine is old and so I don't bother with that. Once it is washed, clean your machine out and put it into the dryer. This is where you need to be careful. Clean your lint trap out completely and check it a couple times throughout the drying process. Once it is dry, ENJOY!!!! You are now done, unless you need to pull of extra fringe. This particular quilt took two washes and two dry cycles and it still needed a lint roller. Like I said, the better the flannel, the less lint it will leave. I really do suggest getting the best that is available. The extra cost is worth it in the end!!! Have fun! If you get around to making one, leave a comment and post a link to your quilt! I can't wait to see your quilts!!!!!