Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cute, Easy Rag Quilt

I currently have two good friends that are very close to having babies in September (one on the 18th and one on the 21st). Both of them are team green so I went with fairly gender neutral materials (even though I think they're both having girls).
I'd made a rag quilt before and decided that it would be perfect to snuggle the little babies in, especially during the cold winter and pretty easy to make given my two little distractions (thank you Joseph and Andrew).
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The instructions for each step are underneath each picture (please read all instructions before starting):

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I went to one of my favourite fabric stores, picked out four flannel fabrics (a set called Flirty Birds) and had them cut me one yard of each of the fabrics. DO NOT was your fabric before.

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The next step is to cut the fabric and batting into squares. You need to cut out:
14 9-inch squares from two of the flannel fabrics
16 9-inch squares from the other two flannel fabrics
30 7-inch squares from the batting

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I decided to iron my creases out afterwards (when I was cutting I made sure the fabric was pulled tight) because I was having trouble dealing with the large amount of fabric on my ironing board).

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Take one of your squares, place it right side down and place one of the batting squares directly in the middle.
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Take a second piece of the same fabric used in Step 4 and place it right side up on top to make a sandwich. I used 4 pins to hold everything together.
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Take the 'sandwiches' you made and line up one corner in your sewing machine. Sew straight from that corner to the opposite corner. Turn the 'sandwich' around, and continue sewing to make an 'X' through the square.
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Lay out your quilt to figure out how you would like it to look. I decided to go with a specific pattern, but you can decide you want to move square around so that it's not so geometric. Also, take a picture so that you remember what it looks like and you have a quick reference to see the perfect way you wanted it.
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Take two of your pieces and sew them together with a 1-inch seam. With this quilt, you aren't trying to hide the seam. In fact, it will be the 'raggy' part so you want it facing outward.
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Take the first row of your quilt and sew all 5 pieces together, with the seams all facing out. Watch when you sew them together that any fabric that has a specific pattern (in my case, the birds), is facing the direction you want it to. I had to double check them all before I sewed because I completely forgot about that part.
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Once you've sewn an entire row together, it's time to start attaching them to one another. You need to ensure the seams are down when you sew them together. Line up your seams on your two rows and when you pin, take the time to pin the seams down as well. It's one less thing to worry about when the fabric is going through the machine.
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 After you have all of the pieces and rows sewn together, it's time to create the 'raggy' effect. Take a pair of fabric scissors (spring back ones work best and don't tire out your hands or create blisters) and cut the seam leaving space between the sewn seam and the end of the cut. You DO NOT want to cut the areas that you have sewn or you'll be sewing again.
The last step is to wash your quilt. Because I made them for babies, I washed them in a very gentle detergent in cold water on a normal cycle. For drying, I used the normal heat, but I set my dryer for 20 minutes. My quilt didn't dry in the time, but I needed to go out and empty the lint trap. It fills up very quickly. I did two more 30 minute drying cycles (cleaning the lint trap each time) and then took it outside and shook it just to get those last few little pieces off.
Then, I wrap them up and took one to my friend's baby shower and the other friend I met for lunch and gave it to her there! They were both really appreciative and I can't wait to see the munchkins snuggled in them.
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There's also a video that I used to get some tips from. You can find it here.
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