Thursday, May 13, 2010

My first (of many?) rag quilts

My talented cousin (yes, YOU, Joni!) made me some wonderful blocks on her embroidery machine of trucks/tractors/and such. While on a buying trip, I found a bolt of Blank Quilting fabric that just seemed to scream: "YES! I AM WHAT YOU NEED!" (I am sure you've heard that voice...) The rest, as they say, was history! I put together a fun quilt for my grandson's upcoming birthday and just have a few snips left to go ~ then it's off to the washer and dryer!

I thought other's might like to see it and perhaps give it a try! The directions are below. I posted this on my Facebook page, but one never knows ... things do go missing! If you'd like to give something like it a try, I have a kit up on eBay with the Blank Quilting fabric, flannel for the lining and two different flannels for the back. I only have one available at this time.

Just need some of the Blank Fabric? Drop me a note ~ I have a bit left on the bolt (It's $8.50/yard) Have the fabrics you need? Here are the directions to make it yourself! Oh...and if you do, that makes it a DIY ~ give it for the holidays and YOU are on your way in our DIY Holiday Club!

Tooling Around Rag Quilt

For this project you will need:
• 16 of the “Tooling Around” Blocks by Blank Quilting (#BTR4777) OR, if you can do machine quilting (or know someone who can) you can make up a set of 8 of the Construction and Service Vehicles from Embroidery Library at and do 8 vehicles and 8 tools
• 16, 8” flannel blocks for the “batting”
• 8 + 8, (2 sets) 8” blocks of coordinating flannel OR 16 of all the same color

1.Cut out all your blocks, 8” x 8”. Put each in their own pile.

2.Lay out the tool blocks on a large surface, like the floor, and create the design you’d like. Take them up IN ORDER, off the surface and keep in a pile.

3.Now, you are going to make “sandwiches.” If you are using 2 different flannels for the backing, it is important to alternate back and forth for the design on the back, so be careful to check each time that you are taking the correct color. Take the backing flannel and lay it on the table, face down (right side DOWN on the table), lay a piece of the batting flannel on top if it and finish with your tool block RIGHT SIDE UP. (See photo below.)

Make up all your block “sandwiches” by sewing a ½” seam all around the block, sewing all 3 layers together.

4.Take a moment, before sewing the blocks together, to lay the blocks out and be sure you have the overall design you want. A minute or two here can save a great deal of using a seam ripper! After checking your design, pin each row of 4 blocks together to make 4 strips. Sew the blocks together just inside the seam you made when creating the sandwiches.

5.Once again, lay the strips one above the other to check on your sequence/design. All good? Let’s sew the rows together! One of the tricks here is to line up the seams FIRST, then go back and pin the beginning edge. When you pin them have the bulk of the fabric to the left away from your machine. When you get to a side seam, fold the TOP edge TOWARDS your needle and then bottom one (underneath) TOWARDS you. That way, you can see the seam and hold it down more easily than trying to keep an eye on the one underneath. (See photo) Sew each of the seams across the quilt.

6.Once your blocks are all sewn together, it’s time to SNIP! And snip you will! I was working with denim in the photos, so when it was time to snip 6 layers of fabric, one being denim, I snipped the denim first and then the other 5 layers. Snip the intersections first, to relax the seams a bit. (See photo) Then, begin snipping about every ½ ” along EVERY seam (including the outside edges)! Keep your hand underneath where you are snipping so you don’t cut anything you DON’T want!

7.Now it’s time to toss your quilt in the washer and dryer. Doing so is what gives the ragged look to the frayed seams! Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the compliment, but honestly, it WASN'T my fault, getting hooked on machine embroidery!! ;-) I went to Nashua Sew N Vac to purchase a new sewing machine when my 32 year old Pfaff died, can no longer get parts for her...sad sad...and when trying to pick out a new machine, I was fascinated by all the embroidery you can do with the embroidery units that fit onto your sewing machine...needless to say I got sucked into the whole world of machine embroidery and have loved every minute of it! When Carrie and I went to the Sewing & Quilting Expo I think Carrie was impressed too how much embroidery is "out there now too!"