Tag: quilt’

My first Rag Quilt is finished!

 - by Jean

Rag Quilt wasn’t something I initially set out to make, in fact, I had no idea what it was until I stumbled upon some videos on Youtube about them. After watching and reading a few tutorials on rag quilts being a good beginner quilt to make, I’m on board, let’s do this! ย  ๐Ÿค—

The premise of a rag quilt is that you create a quilt sandwich which consists of a front piece on top of an optional smaller piece of batting on top of a back piece, all sewn together corner to corner forming an X. Then each sandwich is sewn together with a 1″ seam allowance turned to the front of the quilt. When all squares in one row is sewn together, then each row is sewn to the next row with proper seam alignment. Once all sandwiched pieces are sewn together, a 1″ seam allowance is sewn around the border of the quilt. After that you’re ready to use your handy Fiskars 8.5 Inch Softouch Spring Action Rag Quilter Snip to cut 1/2″ – 3/4″ snips into that 1″ seam allowance WITHOUT snipping the sewn thread. These snipper scissors are awesome!! :laugh: Sure my hand still cramped after 3 hours of snipping but I suspect it would have been way worse if I didn’t have them. Plus they are sharp and cut through the fabric without problems as long as you’re not trying to cut through 6 layers at the same time.

Here are some pics of my Rag Quilt process:

Making a Quilt Sandwich

Pinning Quilt Sandwich

Chain Piecing Quilt Squares

Sewing together Quilt Sandwiched Squares

Pinning and Clipping together rows of Quilt Squares for sewing

Using Quilt Snips

Snip every 1/2″ apart and 3/4″ deep WITHOUT snipping thread.

Snipping is done!

Finished snipping the Rag Quilt.

After washing and drying twice, it’s all fluffy!

The back of the Rag Quilt looks like a normal quilt.

Printed label here has been washed twice and it still looks great and the qr code still scans!

I ended up washing and drying the rag quilt twice. The first time, it’s important to check the link trap often during the dry cycle to remove the build up of lint. The rag edges really shred in the washing machine and dryer. I read people suggest using a laundromat the first time washing and drying the rag quilt, I can see why. It left a lot of shreds in the washer after the first wash, the second wash was a lot less. The same is true with dryer. First time drying, every 10 minutes you should check the lint trap to remove the lint, there’s a lot! Another good thing to do is to take it outside (so there’s no cleanup inside) and shake the heck out of the quilt to remove shreds/lint after each washing and drying. After washing and drying twice, the edges are getting more “raggy”, I’m sure it will look even better after more washings.

I did have to use a pill remover/fabric shaver to get the cotton pills off of the quilt. It seems that the nursery cotton flannel tends to fuzz up and pill. I just want it to look best for presenting since it’s a gift.ย  ๐Ÿ˜Š

Here’s the pertinent info about this rag quilt:

Baby Rag Quilt
Made for: My new nephew Bo
Pieced, Sewn, Quilted by: Jean Eng
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Date: February 2015
Materials Used:
Front & Back: 100% Nursery Cotton (flannel)
Batting: 100% Cotton Warm and Natural Cotton Quilt Batting
Thread: Polyester
Label: 100% Cotton

All in all, I’m happy with the way it turned out. It’s a lot of cutting, sewing, and snipping but in the end, it produced a nice looking quilt. I think moving forward, I would use regular cotton, not flannel cotton for making this type of quilt. Regular cotton being thinner may make it easier to work with and may rag better too. I would also cut my squares bigger for adult size quilts, this was cut with 7″ squares and 5″ batting squares. I may go 10″ with 8″ batting next time.

Jean

I made my first quilt for my new baby nephew Bo!

 - by Jean

I’m so excited on the new addition to the family! He’s living in a cold climate and what’s better to welcome baby Bo into the world than a snuggly baby quilted blanket? Well, I guess warmer weather would also be nice, I suppose.

Over the holidays I got a new Brother XR1355 Computerized 130-Stitch Sewing & Quilting Machine and so my current joy is learning how to sew. It’s computerized and works great, plus I got it at Costco at a really good price too! It’s leaps and bounds better than the sewing machine my mom has (probably 20+ years old) that I would sometimes borrow to make pillows or fix ripped seams. That’s about the extent of my previous sewing abilities, throw pillows and mending clothes.

I contemplated on getting a nicer sewing machine that I could grow with that can do embroidery but I didn’t have an extra $250+ bucks on top of what I already paid sitting around to buy a better one. Besides, I wasn’t sure how much use I’d get on it since I didn’t sew that often. Well, truth be told, I’m hooked on sewing and learning how to sew various different things I use, it’s actually really fun, frustrating at times but fun! Time consuming but fun! I’ve stuck myself so many times with pins but still fun! ย  ๐Ÿ˜Š

So far I’ve made pin cushions since I needed one (or 5). I’ve also made a draft stopper for my mom’s basement door, she was (is) using just a towel to keep the draft out, I haven’t given it to her yet. I love picking up random nice remnant home decor fabric just to use for stuff like this….and throw pillows. I also have made dog bed pads and cushy pad for the dog crate. Oh, I did make some dog booties but that will be another post. I had this crazy idea to make a baby quilt while my sister in law was pregnant. I didn’t tell her what I was planning to do since I wasn’t sure if I can pull it off.

My first attempt at making a quilt has been a challenge. There is so much information online and I must’ve watched 2 dozen youtube videos on quilt making and spent hours reading tutorials and gawking at pictures of baby quilts. Well, they don’t call it home made for nothing…it’s definitely not perfectly stitched straight and I’m learning as I’m going. Initially I wanted to make a regular quilt but then I saw these rag quilts that looked interesting and had read they may be a good beginner first quilt to attempt. So I did a bunch of research and did some calculations and set out to cut out all my squares, front squares, back squares, and inside batting. It took a long time to pick out the fabrics and took longer to cut them all out, and even longer to figure out how I want them placed. Then I realized that I actually had enough fabric to do two quilts so one would be more of a thinner blanket and the other is thicker with batting. Back to the store for other materials, buying fabric is addictive, I think I may have a problem…

I ended up using some extra squares of fabric to make a super cute quilted pillow to go with the quilts. I wasn’t sure if it would be cute, it was an envelope style and first time piecing quilt squares together so it was either going to be a major disaster or the cutest pillow ever! Glad it was the latter. ย  ๐Ÿค—

quilted baby pillow

Quilted Baby Pillow

back of quilted baby pillow envelope style

Back of Quilted Baby Pillow Envelope Style

It was really good practice for me and I also did a rag quilt sample to see how it looks. I haven’t started on sewing the pieces of squares together for that quilt but have all the squares cut out. I hope it goes smoother than the quilted blanket I almost finished last night. I spent most of the day working on it, pinning and repinning. The snuggle fabric (minky type) I bought was hard to work with since it’s so soft and stretchy. Any mistakes I made sewing where the backing fabric bunched up slightly, the seams had to be ripped out and resewn. I think it took 3 times longer to rip the seams out than it did to sew it in the first place. And I learned a lot working with that material….the main thing I learn is to not use it, haha.

Here’s what I learned about working with snuggle fabric:

  • Always use a rotary cutter for cleaner, less snowy cuts of this fabric.
  • Always cut the fabric slightly bigger than the front piece by at least 1 inch all around. I made the mistake of cutting it to the same size and when it pulls and stretches, it totally was skewed. No matter how many pins (straight and basting pins) I stuck in the fabric to hold it in place, it would shift and lay slightly crooked by the time I got down to the bottom.
  • When “quilting” the front and back together, never pull, stretch, lay the weight of the blanket off the table where it will leave you with extra back fabric. I learned that the hard way. I sewed a line down the middle, and then a cross line intersecting. Well the intersecting line bunched and i overlapped my sewing. Taking out stitches from the snuggle fabric side is a major pain in the ass. I think it literally took me an hour or more to remove those two lines. The next go around, I relaxed the fabric all around and not force anything. I let it feed through slowly. I’m probably not the best person to explain this. Sewing 9 lines through the quilt took me hours to do and it was ok once I was painstakingly done.

After all that, I realized that the super cool looking multi-toned blue thread I bought was really sewn all over the place and very visible against the lighter patches of fabric. Oops! On the pillow, I used a cream color thread and it barely showed my mistakes. Blue thread was probably not the best choice and I didn’t really notice how terrible my lines were until I was done. ย  ๐Ÿ˜ฉย  Hey, they don’t call it handmade for nothing! I can find other things to obsessed over, like the label (sigh).

basting quilt

Basting the Quilt Sandwich together, so much sewing and pressing

quilted baby blanket

The almost finished Quilted Baby Blanket

snuggle minky fabric back on baby quilt

Snuggle (Minky) Fabric back on Baby Quilt

baby blanket and pillow set

Baby Blanket and Pillow Set

In that last pic, you can kind of see what I mean about the blue thread seams on the blanket vs the white thread on the pillow. For my first quilt, it didn’t turn out too bad, it’s cute ๐Ÿ˜Š

Last night I was obsessing over labeling the quilt. I did add a label after the fact that was hand written with fabric ink on white cotton but I am rethinking it and testing a printed version. I just have to figure out how to make the ink not bleed nor fade from laundering. I have an idea of using a qr code on the label to correspond to the blog post that talks about that particular quilt so if you found me by scanning the qr code on a quilt label, yay, it must’ve worked! Here’s the pertinent facts about this quilt:

Quilted Baby Pillow
Made for: My new nephew Bo
Pieced, Sewn, Quilted by: Jean Eng
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Date: February 2015
Materials Used:
Front & Back: 100% Nursery Cotton (flannel)
Pillow Form: 100% Cotton
Pillow Fill: Poly-Fil
Thread: Polyester
Envelope Style Pillow case is removable for laundering

Quilted Baby Blanket
Made for: My new nephew Bo
Pieced, Sewn, Quilted by: Jean Eng
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Date: February 2015
Materials Used:
Front: 100% Nursery Cotton (flannel)
Back: Snuggle/Minky Fabric (polyester)
Label: 100% Cotton
Thread: Polyester

 

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Thanks for visiting!

Jean