Saturday, February 20, 2016

My First Rag Quilt

I know a lot of quilters start out by making rag quilts, but the truth is, I had never made one, until now that is. DD#3 is always cold, very cold. I wanted to make her a warmer quilt to use on the couch. Even with two quilts piled on her, she's still cold, so I decided I would make her a four layer thick flannel rag quilt.

I had purchased six yards of Wonder Woman fabric a couple years ago, planning to make her a pair of pajama pants and a couple pillowcases, but those never got made. It's just as well, because I used all of that Wonder Woman fabric in her rag quilt. In fact, there are 24 yards of fabric in her rag quilt.

Here is the front of her quilt. I had read several tutorials on making rag quilts, and one of the suggestions made a lot of sense to me. They said if you were making a large rag quilt, to clip the seams as you assemble, so you aren't stuck clipping all the seams while the quilt is fully assembled and hard to move around. I sewed all the rows across, then joined those rows into pairs. Once that was done, I clipped as much as I could. I sewed the last four seams on the quilt, sewed around the outside twice, then I clipped the last four seams and around the outside. After getting the clipping done, I was very glad I had listened to that advice. Having to clip all the seams once it was all assembled would have been much more difficult. It is a HEAVY quilt.

Here is the back of the quilt. I had recently read a post about washing rag quilts in a front load washer, which is what I have. There was a note to check your filter on the washer, because a lot of loose threads get caught in the washer filter. I was so glad I read that, because sure enough, my washer filter was full. I knew the dryer lint filter would be full, because the burp rags I make have ragged edges. I had to empty the dryer lint filter halfway through the dryer cycle, and it was still full again at the end. I was very thankful I already had the spring loaded scissors designed for ragging quilts. The shorter blades make it much easier to clip the seams without going into the stitching.

DD#3 loves her new quilt, and hopefully it will help keep her warm. I always get her Wonder Woman stuff, because she is 5'10", and so I started calling her my Amazon woman. Wonder Woman is a Amazon, so it made sense for me to get her Wonder Woman stuff.

Aside from working on this rag quilt this week, I finished 17 burp rags, cut out 14 pairs of pajama pants, 2 scrub tops, and 6 swaddling blankets. I am so used to using leaders/enders, that I used some of the pajama pants as leaders/enders while assembling the rag quilt. I now have 5 pairs of those ready to hem and make elastic casings. I could have had them all at that point, but I only sewed up the ones that worked with the thread color I was using for the quilt.

Now three of my eight deadline quilts are done for the year, and I have a jump start on some garment sewing! So far I am on track for what needs to be done.

All those pajama pants and scrub tops took 45 yards of fabric off my shelves, but now I have a bin of scraps to cut up. Garment scraps can be a pain to process into quilting pre-cuts, because the pieces are so oddly shaped, but I think I'm going to do the same thing I did last year when tackling several years worth of scraps. I just cut everything into 2" (1.5" finished) strips. I use that size a lot, and at that size, the pattern on the fabric makes little difference, it's just a color at that point.

DS the Elder and his family are flying in today, so no sewing for me for the next week. I'm happy as can be to forego the sewing and spend time with my family!

1 comment:

phxquilt said...

That leader-ender habit is hard to break...but then who wants to break it.