Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial - Introduction to Rag Quilting

I am going to make a bed size rag quilt and I thought it would be fun to make it a sew along with me series.   You can determine what size quilt you want to make.    It will soon be fall again and wrapping yourself up in a cozy lap quilt is wonderful on a cool fall evening.    They also make wonderful gifts and now is the time to get started for christmas gifting.

Are you an experienced rag quilter? Or would you like to learn to make a rag quilt?    Rag quilting is fast, easy and a great introduction into quilting.

I don't know who came up with this form of quilting but I was one of the first to jump on the bandwagon, quite a few years ago now. Some of my earliest pattern designs were for rag quilting.

Rag quilting isn't only for quilts though. It lends itself to all kinds of designs.
Purses and totes, mantle covers, book covers, stockings, treeskirts, valances, rugs,  just to name a few.

Rag quilting is pretty much like regular quilting only you sew your seams on the outside of the project and clip those seams into fringe that will curl up and soften with successive washings.
 It is very forgiving for the novice sewer as your seams don't show so no worrying if your seam isn't exactly straight.    It is mostly done with straight stitching so you don't have to be an experienced seamstress to try this.

Here are some of the essential supplies you will need to get started.

Lots of fabric scraps in light and dark values

A backing fabric ---Flannel is a great choice for a bed quilt.   Recycled Jeans are wonderful for rag quilts.  But any type of cotton fabric will work.     The amount of yardage you will need depends on the size quilt you want to make.   A lap quilt will take approx.  2 1/2 yards.

Batting----Warm N Natural Cotton batting,   again amount needed will depend on the size of your quilt.   Approx. 2 yards for a lap quilt.
        I am using a new batting for my quilt called Warm & Safe.   It is almost identical to the cottom batting but it is made from bamboo and is naturally fire retardant.
       Flannel also makes a wonderful batting fabric. 

Scissors ----I do a lot of rag quilting so I have a pair of rag quilting scissors.   Regular scissors will do but if you do a lot of rag quilting the special scissors will ease the strain of clipping seams.

Thread ---   Matching thread or for scrap quilting I use a neutral color like beige or gray

So that's it for this time.   Next time I will have the pattern pieces for you and the first lesson in making a rag quilted block.    I hope you will enjoy sewing along with me.

Thanks for visiting today.
Bette Shaw