Thursday, May 7, 2015

Making a Rag Quilt

You will never believe what I am doing currently!  I'm trying my hand at making a rag quilt.  YouTube has numerous videos of how simple they are, and they would be if I could get my machine to stop breaking thread!! Ugh!  That is so aggravating.  Anyway, here is how I started.

First I got myself a rotary cutter and a cutting mat.  I had some fabric scraps, and bought some of the 18x21 packets of coordinating fabrics made especially for quilting.  I ironed the fabric, cut them into blocks 5 1/2" x 5 1/2".  I also cut batting into the same size squares. I have not tried to stack the blocks in a particular pattern, I am joining them randomly, and will make each row by randomly sewing them.  No pattern whatsoever.  What could be easier.  I have determined one thing....if I make another one, the squares will be larger, and therefore fewer of them.

I decided to sew 12 blocks per row, and will have 9 or 10 rows.  This will be the size of a lap quilt, not big enough for a bed.

I'm anxious to finish it, and use it.

Here are some of the block (sandwiches, as they are called) that I am using.

The only quilting done is sewing an X on each of the sandwiches.

Here is what the rows look like prior to being sewn together.

Notice how the blocks are sewn together leaving the edges raw, and pointing upward.  This will be the front of the quilt.  The edges are clipped every 1/2 inch or less, giving the quilt its "ragged" look.  The more the quilt is laundered, the softer it becomes.  Once all the rows are sewn together, the quilt is stitched all the way around the perimeter, then it is clipped all around the edges.
I worked on the quilt for short periods of time for a few days.  My 8 year old granddaughter helped by stitching the X's on the pieces.  She's a quick study, and did a great job.  After all the rows are sewn together, you have to clip the edges on every piece.  The patches end up clipped and ragged on all sides.

Here is the finished quilt.

It is the size for a good lap quilt.  I could keep adding to it to make it bigger, and I might do that at some point.

I like the various colors and patterns, and the randomness.  I turned the patches so that the patterns ran in different directions.

Like I said, if I make a larger one, it will have much larger squares.  This is NOT perfectly made. The squares are not all the same size (my mistake). Some of my seams are not exact, and I did add small sections to a couple of places, and one row doesn't line up at all.  But that's fine with me.

I have laundered it, and it has great texture and feel.  I guess the beauty of a rag quilt is it doesn't have to be perfect.

Working on this made me appreciate all the hard work that went into my mother and grandmother's quilting, which was mostly done by hand.  I have a new found appreciation!

Sharing here:

         Home and Garden Thursday @ A Delightsome Lif
              Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home
 Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
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