For ages, I've been wanting to try my hand at making a quilt. The problem is, I'm not very precise when I sew and I'm not really patient enough to spend weeks or months on a sewing project. I thought I might never get around to actually making one until I saw this gorgeous baby rag quilt at Do It Yourself Divas. I went right out and picked up some coordinating flannel fabrics. I did mine slightly differently than my inspiration piece and I'm so thrilled with the way it turned out.
When I tell you it's a great beginner project, it truly is. Because it's simply straight cuts and straight seams, I was able to make it in just one evening. (Granted, I started it at 9 pm when the kids finally fell asleep and finished at 2 am, but I still consider it a one-night project!). Some of my seams aren't perfectly straight, but because it's all ruffled and ragged, you really can't tell.
Here's how I did it
(excuse the poor photo quality, since this whole project was done after dark!)
1. Gather your coordinating fabric pieces. (I picked mine up when they were on sale for just $1.99 yard, so I went ahead and got a yard of each print.) It's also really helpful to have a cutting mat and rotary cutter, but you can definitely make do with just a ruler and some scissors.
2. Decide on how you want your fabric arranged on your quilt and cut your strips. The size and arrangement is totally up to you. After playing around a little bit, I decided to make my stripes varying widths with some wider and some narrower. You'll just want to keep in mind that your finished stripes will be 1" shorter than the width of your strips. (Mine ranged from 6 1/2" to 5 1/2" to 4 1/2" to 3"). For each stripe on your quilt, you'll want to cut two equal strips of fabric.
3. Next, for each of your strips, you'll need something for the batting on the inside. Since I got such a good price on the patterned flannel, I just used two pieces of the extra fabric. (However, you could also use plain white flannel or cotton batting.) Also, because I didn't want my seams to be too bulky, I cut the inner flannel pieces to be 1" narrower than the outside pieces. (So, if the regular strips were 6 1/2" wide, the inner pieces were cut to 5 1/2" wide)
Once you have your four pieces of fabric cut for each stripe, layer them together into a fabric sandwich ~ the two outer pieces right sides out with the two inner layers in the middle.
4. Then, just sew a seam down the center of each fabric sandwich. I found that I did not have to pin the fabric pieces together at all (which is great because I really don't like to pin!). The center seam does not have to be perfectly straight, but to help me stay on track, I put a small piece of tape on my sewing machine to use as my guide.
5. Continue with the rest of your strips until each has a seam down the center, then lay your pieces out in the arrangement you want.
6. Pin your first two strips together, and sew a 1/2" seam. Then grab your next strip, pin and sew a 1/2" seam. Continue until all your strips have been sewn together. One side will have the exposed seam sticking up, the other side will be flat.
7. Next, you'll want to even up the sides of your quilt if necessary. (You can see I wasn't too exact when cutting mine, so the edges were all different lengths. One quick pass with the rotary cutter solved that problem.)
8. At this point, you can bind the edges of your quilt or just sew another half inch seam around the outer edges. (I chose the 1/2" seam option!)
9. Woo hoo! Now all the sewing is done and your quilt is almost finished!
|Here's my quilt with the smooth seam side up.|
|And with the exposed seam side up!|
Just snip, snip, snip away until all the seams between the stripes and along the outer edges of your quilt are done.
11. Next, you'll want to wash and dry your quilt so those snipped seams get all nice and raggedy!
NOTE: Be very careful with this step! I saw the tip on several rag quilt tutorials to use a commercial washer or be very careful because you'll get a lot of fuzz coming off in the wash. I figured I didn't have to worry because my quilt was fairly small. I stuck it in the washer at 2 am and went to bed. Big mistake! I came down in the morning to find my laundry sink completely clogged with pink fuzz and the laundry room floor totally flooded.
Since I don't have one of the gorgeous, picture-perfect laundry rooms I've seen on so many other blogs, I'll spare you the picture of the whole sopping wet floor. And since this is a family-friendly blog, I'll spare you the not kid-friendly language I used when I discovered the mess!
Just take my advice and either use a commercial washing machine, or be close by your washing machine on the rinse cycle to clear out the drain-clogging fuzz!
12. Despite my laundry room fiasco, I was thrilled with the way the quilt turned out! Look at all those pretty, ruffly and ragged seams. So soft and cozy!
And here's the finished quilt...
Now you might be wondering, since my own "baby" is already 6 years old, who did I make this pretty baby quilt for? The answer is this little cutie, my cousin's sweet little baby Cadence.
I love getting to hold sweet little babies again,
without having to wake up with them
in the middle of the night!
The quilt was really simple to make and I'm already on the lookout for fabrics I can use to make some bigger ones for my own kids this fall.
Sharing our fun rag quilt at: