Monday, December 1, 2008

Rag Quilts stored away with the Christmas Decorations

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and found some great bargains shopping. As we were pulling out all of the Christmas decorations and supplies, I found my box of rag quilts that I kept for myself. Rag Quilts are such a quick gift to make. I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on what I like to do when making Rag Quilts as gifts.

Start hunting the Christmas flannel early. That's when you have the best selections. My all time favorite Rag Quilt is this Christmas Quilt I completed. It used the 9.5" blocks and ended up being 72" by 72" with seams.

Think big squares. I skip the small square Rag quilts and go for the larger block sizes that match my ruler squares. You'll be done with the quilt in no time. I just lay my quilting square on multiple layers of flannel and I have several cut out in no time as I swipe my rotary cutter along the sides of the square. My all time favorite size block to use is the 91/2 inch square block.

Consider using each square as a mini quilt and adding a quilting design to each square instead of the standard X marks the spot. Here is another Christmas Quilt I kept that each block has a totally unrelated quilted design on it. It really gives you great practice and adds variety to the Rag Quilt

    To add the design to the block I either chalk on a stencil, free hand draw a design with a chalk pencil or print out a design on the printer and pin it to the block to trace. This is easiest when using foundation sheets for paper piecing. It tears off easier. In desperation, I have used regular paper but I don't advise it. You end up spending way too much time removing the paper from the intricate designs. Stick with the foundation sheets. I found a bulk amount of foundation paper (at the bottom of the page) here Also, I've also seen wash away foundation paper. A little more pricier but here's an example.

Think optional fabrics as well. I've used fleece and cotton too. However fleece is great but it's a little difficult in keeping in the square form. It tends to want to stretch. I'm not sure why I packed this one away with the Christmas stuff but.... Here is a fleece Rag Quilt where I did not snip the edges and used pre-embroidered red fleece. I added random quilting designs to each square as well, it's hard to see in the photos small size. If I remember correctly, I did not use batting on this one since it already was pretty thick.

And finally, don't forget the basic cotton fabrics and the beautiful Christmas cottons available now. I remember making a Rag Quilt in Christmas cotton fabrics as a gift and it turned out beautiful. I was so excite to give it, I wrapped it up without taking photos...

Thanks for stopping by.

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