Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baby Rag Quilt Tutorial

 Mom was here for a few days and really wanted to make a couple of baby rag quilts for a friend whose daughter is expecting twins.  We got two done in a day! Well, the washing isn't done and a little bit of clipping left, but pretty much done.

Baby Rag Quilt
Size 35" x 45"
the seams aren't clipped or been washed yet...but it's on it's way to SC to be finished!
Fabric Requirements

2/3 yard of 6 different flannels

Do NOT prewash the flannel.
Press each piece, wrong sides together, with the selvages matching up perfectly (like it comes off the bolt)

1. Cut (4) 6" strips out of each color

2. Make (3) 6" cuts out of each doubled strip. (which yields you 6 squares per strip and 24 squares per color) or 144 squares total. Leave the squares doubled and you'll be ready to sew! You'll have 72 block.

3. Sew an 'X' in each block (two squares, wrong sides together) so the fabric doesn't shift all over later after washing.  I chain piece this part. I start with the first square and sew a diagonal line from one corner to the next corner. 

Stitch an "X" in each block (2 squares wrong sides together)

NOTE: I do not mark a line, although you could if desired.  But try this first: Put your needle in the first corner and stitch a little bit.  Now let your machine do the work...on a slow to medium speed, let the feed dogs advance the material, barely guiding it with your hands. Believe it or not, your machine will stitch straight without you interfering!  And if you do have to gently guide it, look at the next corner where you are NOT look at the needle.  It's like driving a car, you don't look just ahead of the front of the car, you look down the road. 

4. Lay out your blocks in a 7 x 9 format in a pleasing manner.  I just laid them out with the blocks being in a diagonal row for quick way to be done. You could lay them out randomly all over as well.
blocks laid out randomly

 You will have some blocks leftover. You could always add them to make another row, if you would like a bigger quilt.

5. Lay Row 2 over onto Row 1. 
The photo below has the top two blocks of Row 2 laid on Row 1. Continue down the row.

Lay Row 2 onto Row 1

 Pick up the blocks, starting with the top block, and leaving them in order. Your stack should have the top blocks on top.  Take to the machine and stitch with 1/2" seam, chain piecing the whole row. (chain piecing is stitching each block and then adding the next block without breaking the thread in between the blocks). Do NOT clip the blocks apart after the row is complete.  It is easier to keep them in order if they are still connected by a thread. The front will have all smooth seams and the back will have big ol' seams hanging..that's okay, we'll take care of those later!

Stitch with 1/2" seam
6. Now pick up Row 3 in order with the first block on top of the stack. Take to the machine. Lay the top block of Row 3 on top of Row 2 and stitch with 1/2" seam. (Notice that the smooth seam of Row 1 & 2 is facing up) When you are done with that first block, pick up the second block of Row 3 and lay on the next block of pieced unit.  Continue until Row 3 is pieced onto the first two rows. 

Laying Row 3 onto Row 2. 

7. Continue in the same manner for all the rows.  They will all be connected in one big unit, with the horizontal rows being connected to each other by just by threads.

Sewing all horizontal rows together, leaving the connecting threads (as shown from the 'ragged' side)
8. Lay the smooth sides together (NOT the side with the big ol' seams hanging) of the first two rows. Stitch with 1/2" seam.  When you approach the seams, finger press the top seam UP and the bottom seam down and then 'nestle' them together to match the seams. 

making seams go in opposite directions to 'nestle' the seam

9. Repeat for each row, continuing until the rows are all done.  Do NOT worry that the seam directions are going all over the place!  We will clip them later, so don't stress about it now.

Stitching the rows together, photo show bottom rows sewn

10. Last step of sewing: Stitch 1/2" all the way around the outside edge to keep the seams from coming apart. 

Stitching 1/2" around outside edge of quilt

11. Now to the fun part: Clipping.  I'm not going to lie  sugar coat this. This is not the funnest part of this quilt to do. Although it is smaller than the regular size Rag Quilts, it still is a lot of clipping. My recommendation is to get a Rag Quilt scissors.  They are well worth the money if you are going to make Rag quilts.  If you don't want to invest in one, make sure you use a spring action scissors at the very least! 

Clip about 1/2" apart to ALMOST the seam line, taking care not to cut the seam.  If you cut closer than 1/2", the seam will get real ragged and almost create a ridge, so I recommend not to clip too close together, at least for a baby quilt. When you get to the intersections, just clip the fabric free from the seam to release it. Don't forget to clip around the edge of the quilt as well. 
(PS..sorry no pics...they all turned out blurry and the quilt is gone now)

12. Washing:  take the quilt to a laundromat and wash with a small amount of mild detergent.  When it's through the wash cycle, take outside and shake it really hard to get rid of a lot of threads. Trust me..take it outside!  Then put it in the dryer.  Take outside to shake again and voila! A soft cuddly baby quilt. 

Note: on regular sized Rag Quilts, I use Warm and Natural batting, but I don't on baby quilts as it makes it almost too heavy. Two layers of flannel is a nice weight.  Now go cuddle that baby!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Staying for a few days in PI

After all the girls left from the retreat, I stayed on for a few more days.  I THOUGHT it was to rest! HA!  I.....
......went to a great church service on 9/11/11 asking us to 'Remember'
......had iPad lessons with my parents all afternoon and evening
......had lunch with a new friend (our fearless tour leader to Israel) and had a GREAT Crab Quiche at The Chive Blossom in Pawley's Island

Crab Quiche

......spent the day doing errands with banks, electric companies, etc. 
......spruced up the condo and fixed things
......had lunch with my neighbor--thanks Martha!

 .....had dinner with my good friend, Marilyn and her quilt group and then learned how to do locker hooking!  Something that's been on my list to learn. Thanks Donna for your great lessons!

 And look at Donna's curtains in her sewing room...too cute!

Donna's Curtains

and then I had to leave! Whew! I needed to head home to finally rest.  I did stop at a few antique malls along the way.  I'll post more later on my newest thing I'm collecting, but I just had to share these things.  

Cute tablerunner....not so cute price.. $185!  AND it was called a Double Wedding Ring runner! Just your chuckle for the day. 

and one final photo...

hello? Vintage? does that mean I'm vintage? These were my FIRST canisters when I was first married! AAACCCKKK!  And someone might want these?  Ah..the days of Avocado Green and Harvest Gold and that orange!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Final Day of Retreat

Final day of the retreat...

no projects

'clean out the fridge' meals

no adventures


Memories of a fun week!

Some of us did not get dressed all day and was able to work on projects the WHOLE DAY! what a novel idea for a retreat, huh?  :)  Actually, we were so pooped, that we didn't have the energy to drum any more excitement.  We'll save that for next year. I hear there are new plans for hijinks next year. I better start worrying now!

One final photo...sunset at Pawley's Island Beach...

Thanks girls for all the fun memories and adventures!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day #5 of Quilt Retreat

Day #5 of Retreat

Project of the Day:
Stitchin' on Island Time Clock


Hot Fish Club in Murrell's Inlet

The Girls of 2011 Pawley's Island Retreat

Adventure of the Day:
Sunrise at the beach

Loggerhead Turtle Nest Reveal

We happened to choose the right day to watch the sunrise! Not only did we have a beautiful view of the sun with no cloud cover, but it was the 4th day after the Loggerhead turtles left the nest. And that is when they dig up the nests to see how many turtles hatched and how many did not make it.  We didn't get to see any turtles though. :(  But it was kind of fun to be there.


Some girls couldn't get enough seafood, so they ate out at lunch as well.  There were a few extra 'ladies' hanging out so we offered their lonely machines to them.  They didn't do so well. :)

and so the retreat is winding down.  One group is leaving in the morning, leaving 4 of us for one more day. So all our projects are done.  wow..does time fly when you are having fun or what?  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day #4- Quilt Retreat

and back to the reports of the retreat..had to stop and pack up and come home!  but here was the rest of the retreat...

#4 of Quilt Retreat

Project of the Day:
Snap Bags
Snap Bag


Hot Chicken Salad
Cottage Cheese
Green Beans
 Green Salad
Apple Crisp

I think this is quickly becoming our Quilt Retreat annual meal. Marilyn served it to us a few years ago and now it's requested. Worth breaking the diet over, right E?

Adventure of the Day:
Beach Walking


Round TWO of quilt shops


yep, just a wee bit of sewing going on! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quilt Retreat Day #3

Day #3 of the Quilt Retreat

Project of the Day:
Sewing Machine Covers

Elizabeth's Sewing Machine Cover

Pot Roast**
no photo..but the most yummy roast. And easy too!  Just plop a 3# roast into a slow cooker, mix a package of dried onion soup, a can of whole cranberry sauce and 3/4 cup french dressing and pour it over the roast. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Fall apart goodness. It makes a bit of a gravy, so it's great served over mashed potatoes, noodles or rice. 

Adventure of the Day:
Crashing the Beach Crab Party......

Notice the time...and how dark it is outside..that's because it is 2AM in the MORNING!
 and we left at that time!

 We went to the beach at low tide....which happened to be at 2 AM!  We were hoping to find lots of great shells and some really wanted to find sand dollars, but we ended up crashing what appeared to be a Crab Party!  They were everywhere...scrambling to hide from our lights.  It was actually quite comical.  

 We also found other creatures as well....sea urchins...

 on the search...and boy was it didn't venture too far away from the group without a flashlight. Who knows what you would have stepped on!

 And what on earth is this crazy thing?  It appeared to be hollow, filled with air. Some type of creature...someone told us it was just some type of seaweed..but it didn't look like that either. Any ideas?

Round One of Quilt Shops


Both places were kind to us crazy ladies!


Random ladies make their appearance again

Someone asked if this was really a quilt we seem to be doing everything BUT sewing. But here's proof.  It seemed like most of our sewing was done in the weeeee hours of the morning. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Editor's note:  I just found this post in the draft file. Wonder why I didn't publish it?  who knows..but here is just one video of my Quilt Show that was the last weekend in August.

Day Two- Quilt Retreat

Day #2 Quilt Retreat
Project: Coasters and Coaster Caddy

This was a pattern out of the Summer Issue of Quilts and More.  Some ladies had so much fun making them, they went after more fabric.  They'll make great Christmas gifts.  MJK made 5 sets! Way to go girl!  Sure beats shark tooth hunting, huh?  

Shrimp Fest! 

Here we are, cleaning the shrimp. Some opted to clean up AFTER dinner, smart ladies! :)  But boy, was it all yummy. 

YUM! Shrimp cocktail, shrimp scampi and fried shrimp.  We used cornmeal in the batter and then rolled it in cornmeal, quite tasty!

Adventure of the Day:
Shark Tooth Hunting
It was a good week at Litchfield, we are able to find shark teeth as soon as we came down from the deck! Deb had a sharp eye and found the majority of the teeth.  

Memories of today:

3 AM sewing..and life just gets silly after midnight!