Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rag quilt construction 28 degrees with humidity=unconditional love

A work in progress...
The things you do for love -- here are the rag quilt blocks laid out and pined in their five by five rows.
I have been collecting the flannel remnants for this quilt for the past three years.
I did the first of my rag quilts for my daughter's dorm room, and I kept an eye out for some masculine patterns too, as I knew that one day I would be making one for my son's dorm room.
In days long gone, I would have been saving up old clothes for the project, but I don't think our cottons/flannel stand up to the same wear and tear as those of our ancestors.
I had cut out the blocks earlier this summer, when it wasn't quite so hot.
I am not a fan of the cutting process, and to speed things up, I made a cardboard template so I would rotary cut uniform squares more quickly than measuring them up. I had to do this because I was working with randomly sized remnants rather than goods off the bolt. Then it got quite warm around here for weeks on end, so I put the project aside. Bad mistake!
Fast forward to yesterday, when I realized I am now out of time (move in is next week), so hot weather be darned -- I had to quite literally get it together.
Ah, the joy of four layers of flannel on your lap as you feed them through the sewing machine on a 28-degree day (humidex 32). Even with the air conditioning (God bless it and keep it from harm), it was sweltering task.
It took me a while to do the layout, since I didn't have an over abundance of any one print. Once I got the rows pinned together, I numbered them using sticky notes so I would have the order right when I began construction of the rows.
Now that it is all together, I am using my ragging shears -- which are really cool little spring hinged snips -- to make tiny little snips on all the seams. I only got two rows and one edge done last night before I gave up for the night and a glass of sangria.
Here is a very comprehensive tutorial on the rag quilt process. I skipped using batting in between the flannel blocks -- so technically I have made a blanket. I also made my blocks huge because I am sort of lazy and I think it makes the blanket look more masculine with larger blocks. I also wash the quilts with a couple of towels using Ivory Snow. I find this baby laundry soap seems to help the seams fuzz (or bloom) better. But laundry is a far off dream right now.
The snipping continues...the snipping continues...the snipping continues...the snipping continues...


  1. Oh Yes the snipping but it is worth it in the end. I go to the laundramat to wash my Raggedy Quilts nd then out it in the big dryer.

  2. Oh girlfriend you need a cutting mat and rulers (I think you have the rotary cutter already?) - it would have made short thrift of cutting all those blocks - zip zip cut DONE!! May I suggest you also make him a couple of manly pillowcases to take with him? I asked my friend in Sweden what little gifty I could make for her daughter (going to college in California!) and she said that Amina would LOVE pillowcases - I bet D would as well!

  3. Yes, definitely pillowcases if you have the time or even later as part of a care package that week before midterms. While our son was in high school I'd made him a bunch of white pillowcases to go with his white sheet sets. He took everyone single one of them with him when he went off to college last fall. And the pillowcases I made for all our children for Christmas last year were a huge hit. Who knew something as simple as a pillowcase would be so loved.

    And your son is going to love that rag quilt too. Whenever I'm in the middle of a project, I often wonder if I'm ever going to finish it especially if I'm doing a tedious, repetitive step but it is all worth it once I'm finished. Just keep snipping and you'll get there. :o)


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