Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Raggy Quilt

  Well, I have been gone for what seems like forever, and I have so much to say, however today is a response to a request. A friend has asked me to do a tutorial on how to make a raggy quilt. I have not made one in a while so there will not be any photos today, I will add them in a day or two.
  So lets get started:
Fabric requirements will be as needed and using scraps can make this kind of quilt fun and memorable at times. My family has several quilts that are made with scraps from the clothes I or my mom have made for us over the years.
   The number of layers you use will also be dependent on what your outside fabric is and where you live. If you are using flannel for the outside, you may not want to use three layers. Then again if you live where the weather is very cold you may want to use three layers of flannel. Flannel is the preferred center fabric in my opinion. There is another one that frays more, but I can't think of the name of it and I don't like it because it almost disappears it frays so much. 
  Size of squares is the next consideration, I have made them all different sizes.  I like a five inch block so I cut my squares six inches. This gives me the needed 1/2 inch seam allowance. As you may have guessed you add a full inch to the size block you desire, when cutting your squares. You will need to figure fabric for the top and bottom and if you plan to use three layers then fabric for that as well. I have used color coordinated fabric for the center and I have also used just plain white flannel fabric. I like coordinated flannel fabric best, since you can see it when you clip the seams. This time I even used two different sizes on the same quilt. I thought a border would be nice.

  Now that we have all that figured out lets get our layers together with the outside of your fabric on the top and bottom. Sew from corner to corner in a large X to hold the two or three fabrics together. I am very careful that all three (or two) layers are straight and line up perfectly. It may not be that big of a deal since we will be clipping the seam allowance any way, but I still line them up carefully.  If you are using a specific fabric for the top and bottom take the squares you have sewn an X on and put them together with the backing fabrics right sides together and sew a 1/2 inch seam.
  Sometimes I sew them in sets of two and then add to them to make larger sets. Other times I sew them one row at a time. When you add one row to another make a decision what you want to do with seam allowances (where four blocks come together) and stick with it. ( sew them open or folded to one direction or another) I sew mine open, but you can make that choice on your own.Quilting is fun don't stress over this, it is just a seam.
  Once you have all the blocks sewn together you have a quilt. Not completed of course but a quilt none the less. At this point you need to sew a 1/2 inch from the edge seam all the way around the outside edge of the quilt. I usually do this twice 1/2, and 3/4 inches from the outside edge.
  Okay get out those scissors and begin snipping the seams, and the outside edge. The closer together you snip them the more fringe you get. I do not measure this, but I try to clip about every 1/2 to 1/4 inch for a nice fray. Be very careful when clipping that you do not clip through the seams you have worked so hard to sew.
  When the clipping is done, wet the quilt a little, either with a water bottle or just run it through the washing machine, and dry it. You get a better fray if you get it wet before you put it through the dryer. The more it is washed and dried the more it will fray. Some times depending on the fabric you will need to give your quilt a little hair cut after it has gone through the dryer. Again be careful you don't trim too much and cut off the fray(seam allowance).
  I hope this is helpful.
Have a very raggy quilty day.

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