Sunday, July 6, 2008

Making a Rag Quilt - Part 4 - Laying out the design

Hope everyone had a safe and fun 4th of July! Luckily the weather held out here for a neighborhood picnic!

This part 4 to the Rag Quilt is definitely optional. It's deciding what to do with all your quilted squares. Now we know we sew the ends of each block to have the seams running on the same side to prepare for cutting. The seams should be a minimum of .5 inch up to 1 inch depending on the thickness of fraying you like between the blocks. You can take all your finished blocks and start laying them out on your floor until you find the design you want. Or, you can go the technical way using the Electric Quilt software. I'm using version 6.

Electric Quilt 6 is a software product that basically lets you design and rearrange quilts with ease. It does have a little bit of a learning curve, but there are many many books available. Plus, there are so many add on products such as blocks, fabric, thread, layouts and more that can help you avoid the dreaded seam ripper when you are not satisfied with the layout. Here's where you can learn more about Electric quilt. Or if you are just getting started, there's a beginner product called Quilt Design Wizard™ and here's where you can find out more about this product from the same company.

Here's an example of a layout and the actual quilt I finished. Sometimes, if the pattern is small, I'll even scan in the actual fabric I'm using to get a closer example.

So, here is the layout I have chosen for my Rag Quilt. I tried several layout designs and liked this one for the simplistic design it produces. This time I used just basic colors to represent the patterned fabric I have. Dark Blue is the Bear Fabric, Tan is Tan, Baby Blue is the plain Baby Blue fabric and the Medium Blue fabric will be the snowflake fabric I have.

Now, decide on the number of blocks per row you want and start sewing your blocks together using a 1/2 seam allowance. Be sure all the seams face up towards the same direction. Complete each row separately and then when all your rows are completed. You'll start stitching together the rows. Again, make sure the 1/2" seam allowances are facing the same direction as the blocks. Next thing you know, the whole quilt will be assembled.

~*~ Trish ~*~

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