Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Shabby Rag Quilt

Shabby Rag Quilt

The first thing to do is plan the size of the quilt and the size of your blocks. Each square would have two pieces of fabric with an additional inch for a half-inch margin. The bigger the squares, the easier. 7x7 squares is a good size (in my opinion) I play around with different fabrics and designs until I come up with something I love.

Helpful (but not necessary) Supplies: a rotary blade cutter, a rotary mat, a rotary ruler, Small, sharp scissors (for making the fringe). You will need fabric and batting (I prefer the thinnest, natural cotton batting).

DO NOT wash the fabric before assembly. Instead, just iron the fabric and start cutting your squares. The batting squares go between your two layers of fabric. They should be smaller than your fabric by two times your intended seam allowance plus a half inch. So... if my fabric is 7x7 inches and my seam allowance is a half inch, then I want my batting to be 5.5x5.5 inches. Don't make your seam allowance any less than a half inch, or else you won't have anything to rag.

When your squares are ready, create a sandwich with two pieces of fabric as the bread and your batting as the filling. Try to put the batting someplace in the center. Top the sandwich with the second piece of fabric (right side of the fabric facing outward). Quilt each square by sewing an X across the sandwich from corner to corner.

Next you want to sew your squares together in strips. Refer to your pattern, place the proper squares together and sew one side together. I used a half inch seam allowance. Remember to have all of the seams facing the same direction. Once your strips are done, pin two strips together. After all of the strips are sewn together and your quilt begins to look like a real blanket, you want to sew the same seam allowance around the border of the entire quilt.

Next, make cuts in the seam allowances (all of them) every quarter inch, as close to the seam as possible without cutting it. When you are done cutting the frays, it is time to wash the quilt. The fringes should be nice and fluffy looking. The more you wash it, the softer and fluffier it gets.

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