Monday, November 26, 2012

homemade holidays: rag quilt

I have always wanted a Christmas quilt.

The cold weather of the Christmas season begs for warm blankets and hot apple cider. My favorite part of the season is when the Christmas tree lights are the only lights on and I'm curled up on the couch, peaceful and content with peace (and silence) of my home.

In order to accomplish this fantasy in the most ideal setting, I decided I needed a Christmas quilt.

I made two different kinds, and I'm still not sure which one I will be gifting and which one we will keep for our couch. It will ultimately come down to my husband, I'm sure.

I only have a tutorial for the rag quilt I made, since the other quilt is less complex and I didn't take any pictures.

To make a THROW sized rag quilt, here's what you need:
  • 1/2 yards of 9 different types of Christmas FLANNEL. This project will not work with cotton; flannel is a must. I bought all of my flannel at JoAnn's. I was lucky and found material I LOVED, so I ended up using only 6 different types of fabric and doubling the measurement to a full yard for 3 styles.
  • 2 1/2 yards of solid color flannel. I used white, but you can change it depending on your color scheme. 
  • 6 yards of quilt binding. You can buy 2 packs of pre-packaged binding (that's what I did) or make your own.
  • A sewing machine, coordinating thread, ruler, & rotary cutter or scissors. 
Here's how to do it:

Cut each half yard of your Christmas flannel into 2 six-inch pieces and 2 three-inch pieces. If you're doing any full yards, like I did, you'd just double that. I went back and bought my extra fabric after I had put together the quilt originally... it was then I decided it was too small and wanted more strips. That's why the first few pictures don't have all the material shown. Don't get confused!

Cut your solid flannel into 9 three-inch pieces and 9 six-inch pieces. You don't need to double these, as they are going to be in the middle of each patterned set. See below!

Sandwich one piece of solid flannel in between two pieces of patterned flannel. Use the same pattern; one side is the front, one is the back. It should look like this:

Pin down the center of your sandwiched pieces. Don't be stingy with your straight pins :)

Repeat until all of your 3 inch and 6 inch pieces are sandwiched and pinned. Lay out your quilt in a pattern you like. *It was here I decided it would be too small, so I went back and bought and additional half yard of the grey, white, and red snowflake flannel. Those additional stripes aren't shown here*

You'll have to use picture clues to figure this part out, as it is hard to explain. You'll want to pick one side of your quilt to be the FRONT and one side to be the BACK. One side will have the "rag" look, and the other will be totally smooth (like a standard quilt). It is important to pay attention to which side you are sewing together so this stays consistent. When you sew, be sure to leave a seam allowance of about a 1/2 inch. you will snip this part later to create a fringe. 

this is how to lay out your fabric to sew together

the rag side

the flat side.

The next step is the most time consuming thing you will ever do in your life. Get comfortable. After your blanket is all sewn, flip to the rag side and clip the fringe left behind on all the rows. You want to do this at about half inch intervals, though there really isn't a science behind it.

Bind your blanket around the edges.

Wash and dry! This part will really fluff the rag side, giving you a finished look.

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