It’s pretty amazing what you can accomplish when you are trapped indoors by a monster snow storm in February! We see snow in North Carolina occasionally but not like the wallop of snow that was dumped on us this week. Nine inches of snow, throw in some sleet, and freezing rain…scatter a few power outages in….Thank God that part missed us and I was able to enjoy all the creature comforts that electricity provides. But overall, we were house bound for a couple of days so why not cook my brains out and make a quilt I thought to myself and so that is exactly what I did.
This is the first time I’ve tried making a quilt with those pre-assembled fabric squares of coordinating fabric. They were kind of fun to use because it made the fabric selection quick and easy and they were on sale and they happened to have two bundles with the same fabrics which I thought would be enough to make two Baby Quilts but in reality, it was enough to make just one with only a few extra squares left over.
As I have mentioned before, I like to make my squares 8 inches and cut 6 inch squares of batting for in between. To save money, I usually have a pattern side full of color and then use a solid broadcloth fabric in a coordinating color for the opposite side of the quilt. The broadcloth is usually half the price of the patterned fabric. Also, make sure you have lots of pins. An 8 inch square is a nice tool to have. And I am in love with the my rotary cutting tool which makes cutting the squares quick and easy…don’t forget the mat that has a measuring grid printed right on it and it will protect you cutting surfaces. These are only tips for someone new to quilting….and believe me….I am a basic sewer…but if I can make these quilts so can you. It’s easy, very forgiving, and so satisfying when you finish!
After I got all the squares cut, I sewed them together with a piece of lightweight batting in between a patterned square and solid pale green square. The pattern will be part of the top and the solid green will be on the back side. An easy method to sewing these squares together is to just sew each square on a diagonal tip to tip and to cut keeping feeding them into your sewing machine. No need to stop or back stitch. Then when they are all sewn together, snip them apart, and then sew them all again across the opposite diagonal until each of your squares is sewn together with an “X” across them.
I taught myself how to make these by watching a couple of videos on Youtube. You can learn to make anything with a good Youtube video!
Here are the links that really do a great job of explaining how to put one of these together.
and a link to my blog post on how I made my Colors of Provence Rag Quilt
After laying out all of your squares in a pleasing pattern, it’s time to sew the squares into rows always being aware the you want the ragged edge on the top side of you quilt and the smooth evenly matched seam lines on the back (and for me the solid side). And then you will sew all the rows together and form your quilt. You can never have to many pins for this. And I highly recommend the pins with the little colored balls on the end…makes your life much easier believe me.
For this baby sized quilt my rows were 6 squares across and 7 squares down on the long side. After it is sewn together, you will run a seam all around the outer edge of your quit and then it is time to let the snipping begin! You will be snipping all the seams in between all of your squares approximately 1/4 of an inch apart. You will also have to be careful not to snip into your seam and snip the entire outer edge of you quilt. This is messy but also kind of fun in a way. I highly recommend getting a pair of rag quilt snippers that you can get from the Fiscars website or I found mine at Hobby Lobby and used my 40% off coupon.
After all the snipping is finished, simply pop into the washing machine. I used a tiny amount of Woolite to wash it but it is in the washing machine (This is where the magic takes place here in the washing machine and in your dryer.) All of your snipped edges will curl and get that lovely textured “ragged” edge. I also like to take my fine mesh kitchen colander and swirl it around in the water before the water drains in between cycles to “fish” out a lot of the floating loose treads that will come off of your quilt in the water. Seems like a smart thing to do to help keep all of that out of my washing machine. Also, I recommend you also clean your lint screen in your dryer a couple of times too while your quilt dries. You won’t believe how much lint can come off of these quilts.
And here it is! It took me probably about 3 days of working on it off and on. I cut the squares one evening and then got busy with the sewing during the two snow days I was stuck in the house! I am going to save it as a gift for the next girl baby that comes into the world that I know. The colors in this one are so happy but seem a bit too girly for a baby boy. So, in the meantime, I’d better start looking for some baby boy colored fabric so that I can have a little boy quilt on hand too. Enjoy your Sunday!