Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Rag Quilts

I love quilts, but  they are very time consuming, and I like quick projects. My problem was solved when I discovered rag quilts! They are sewn with the raw edges out, so you can machine quilt sections on a regular sewing machine, then piece them together. This not only reduces the time involved, it saves a ton of money on paying to have your quilt long armed or hand quilted.


This was the first one I made. I found the pattern in a quilt book at Michaels. I have very limited sewing knowledge, so I was very pleased with the outcome of this quilt.


 This pattern required an applique square. I had never tried this before, but my machine had an applique stitch programmed on it, so it was fairly easy.

 I spent about $75 just on the material for this, but I had a certain color and fabric in mind, and had to go to the big name fabric store to get most of the fabric. Most of it was $5 per yard (yikes).

My sewing machine has a quilters foot. This means that it is free floating and you can move the fabric in any direction. This is how I achieved the meandering pattern, and ivy patterns you see here. The patterns are quilted on these strips before you piece them together, you can not do large sections on a regular machine (that's where long arm machines are used).

This is the back of the quilt, you use the same fabric on both sides when you do your sections, then the quilt looks the same on both sides. You do not use batting on rag quilts, but trust me, this quilt is very heavy.

Here is the backside of the floral block, a result of the applique pieces.

After it is all pieced together, you fringe the raw edges in quarter inch widths. Then you wash 
and dry it in your machine to get the frayed look.

This quilt took me 2 weeks to complete. That was working around my work schedule and 3 kids.
 It's still my favorite blanket in my house.
For your first try, you will want to practice your quilters foot on some scrap pieces, to get the feel for it. If you don't have a quilters foot, you could do straight lines through your blocks, but they won't look as fancy.

 The second quilt shown below was done with my regular sewing foot. I just criss crossed every other  block, and used a program stitch on the largest setting for the alternating blocks.


Here's a rag baby quilt. These are very simple and can be completed in about 3 hours.

I like to use flannel on baby quilts. It's super soft and frays really fun!


This is the reverse side, and the side you will want to lay the baby on, 
because the fringe will lose threads for a long time.
Here you can see the criss cross stitch in the blocks.

Again, this was all done on my machine. The swirly stitch is pre-programmed. 
These make great baby gifts in a pinch! I found the flannel on sale at Jo Ann's, and I stocked up. 
This quilt  only cost me about $4.00 to make.