Rag Quilts {How to}

Baby Girl's Rag Quilt ~ from Me & My HouseMy babes aren’t the only ones that can snuggle in a soft and cuddly, homemade with love blanket. Even if you’ve never quilted before, you can make a baby rag quilt, like the ones I pictured in my last post–easily and quickly. No intricate cutting. No tricky piecing. No fancy sewing. Just straight cuts and seams.

Baby Girl's Rag Quilt {back} ~ from Me & My House

You’ll need:

(See note at end.)

Planning:

For a baby sized quilt either a 6×6 or 7×7 pattern works well. With finished squares of either 6″ (for the 7×7 pattern) or 7″ (for either), your blanket turns out at 42″ or 49″ square. 42″ is a good “normal” size for a baby blanket, and 49″ is a nice large baby blanket. (Smaller blankets can be made, but babe will outgrow them soon. I prefer these larger sizes, to wrap babe in, not just throw over.)

A 7×7 pattern requires 49 front squares, 49 back squares, and 49 “batting” (middle layer) squares. A 6×6 pattern requires 36 for each of the 3 layers. I use flannel for all 3 layers. (For a regular quilt, you could use actual batting for your middle layer.)  The squares are each cut 1″ larger than the finished square size for the front and back, and at the finished size each for the middle layer.

For a 42″ finished 6×6 pattern, you need to cut a total of 36  8″ squares for the front, 36 8″ squares for the back, 36 7″ squares for the middle/ batting layer.

For a 42″ finished 7×7 pattern, you need to cut 49 7″ squares for the front, 49 7″ squares for the back, 49 6″ squares for the middle/ batting layer.

For a 49″ finished 7×7 size, you need to cut a total of 49 8″ squares for the front, 49 8″ squares for the back, 49 7″ squares for the middle/ batting layer.

You could also make a larger 6×6 pattern with 9″ top and bottom squares that finish at 8″, (and 8″ middle layer squares,)  for a 48″ square quilt.

For a smaller, 6×6 36″, cut a total of 36  7″ squares for the front, 36 7″ squares for the back, 36 6″ squares for the middle/ batting layer.

9 Patch Quilt Pattern ~ from Me & My House.jpg

9 Patch

To determine how many squares you’ll need of each for different colors/patterns, you will need to either find a 6×6 or 7×7 pattern, or draw one out. (Some are included here. The patterns of my finished quilts pictured here are not exact, due to the amounts of fabric I had. i.e. the inclusion of the purple squares in the first pic.)

If your fabric is wider than 42″ (not counting selvages, and less than 48″) after pre-shrinking, you will get seven 6″ squares, or six 7″ squares, or five 8″ squares across the width.

Use this to determine how many rows of squares you need to cut from each fabric for your pattern. (Remember you need 1 more whole row, even if you only have one more square than the previous row. So depending on how many colors you are using, it may end up more than the base amount listed.) Then multiply the number of rows needed by the size of your squares to get the length you need. Remember that this amount will be needed after your fabric is pre-shrunk, so add a bit extra. Flannel usually shrinks a few inches.

The back of the quilt can either be all one color/pattern, or varied as my baby girl’s quilt is. If you are using all 1 fabric, you will need about 1 7/8 yards for a 42″ quilt, and 2 1/4 yards for a 49″ quilt. (This is after pre-shrinking, and if the fabric is 43+” wide.)

The middle/batting layer can be any color that doesn’t show through your top or bottom layers. You will need about 1 1/4 yards for a 42″ quilt, and 1 7/8 yards for a 49″ quilt.

Need ideas for layout? You can use a “scrappy” pattern, just randomly placing blocks, usually making sure that none that are the same are touching. Diagonal stripes is an easy one, that can be done with any number of rows – first picture this post. Or a 9 Patch (4 times for a 6×6 – repeat, or vary as above). Or a Trip Around the World pattern (shown in 7×7).

If you know how or learn to make Half Square Triangles, you will be able to do many other designs. (It will take just a bit longer.) I’ll show you how to do that with an easy technique in a future post – and many other designs. You can also take a peek on my Pinterest page. Many of the patterns there are just squares and HSTs.

 

Cutting:

When cutting from new fabric yardage, these quilts can be cut very quickly with a rotary cutter, ruler and mat. When using leftover/scrap fabric, that is not even strips, it takes a little longer, but the rotary cutter makes it much faster than cutting each square with scissors.

So, lay that fabric out, and start cutting squares. Be sure to cut on the grain of your fabric, and be sure your squares are squared up.

If you’ve not cut with a rotary cutter, mat and ruler before. Lay your fabric, folded in half with selvedges meeting (as it comes off the bolt,) making sure it hangs straight. Fold the fold up toward the selvedge making sure to keep this fold straight – use the lines on your mat. Lay your ruler across, perpendicular to your selvedges, near the end, and cut to line your end up straight. Then move  your ruler over the number of inches required, again lining up at top and bottom for a straight cut. Continue cutting these strips until you have as many as you need. Then take each strip and turn it sideways and cut at the same measurements to get your squares. Keep your cuts on your mat (or you’ll ruin your table) and keep your fingers out of the way.

Trip Around the World Quilt Pattern ~ from Me & My House.jpg

Trip Around the World

Stack ’em up:

If your back is all one color, you can just make a big stack of your back squares, and a big stack of your middle/batting squares. Your top squares will need to be stacked in the order they will be on the quilt. I turn each row catty-wompous in the stack, just to help me keep track. If your back will also have a pattern, you will need to lay it out with the fronts, to make sure you get the right ones together. (i.e. Make your 3 layer sandwiches ahead of time, and lay them on top of each other according to order in row.)

Sewing the Squares:

You will begin by sewing the layers of the individual squares together. This forms the “quilting”. You will make a sandwich of 1 back square face down, 1 middle/batting square centered on it, 1 top square face up.  You will stitch each “sandwich” diagonally, from one corner, through the center, to the opposite corner. And then stitch again, with the other 2 corners, forming an X across the square.

Tip: I sew all the squares of a row, in a string, with the first diagonal. Then, I go back and sew the second diagonal, all in a string again. I think this is faster than sewing an X on each square individually. I don’t worry about backstitching since these stitches will be sewn over.

Also, I just eyeball my diagonal seams. If you don’t trust yourself to get accurate diagonals, press the top square of each sandwich along the diagonal, then open back up. This press mark will create a line for you to sew along to get straight seams.

 

Sewing the Rows:

After sewing X’s through each square sandwich, grab a row of squares and stitch the sides together with 1/2″ seams, with backs facing, according to your pattern. (Since I sew mine in a string, I already have them in the order of the pattern for the row.)

Take the top right square of the pattern, put it face down, (making sure the top is at the top, if it has a pattern). Lay the next square for the top row on top of it, with backs together, lining up edges, (making sure its top is at the top.) Stitch the two squares together on the right edge with a 1/2″ seam.

Open these up and lay face down. Put the next square for the row on top of the previous one (at the right), lining up right edges (and tops and bottoms), stitch with 1/2″ seam. Repeat till you get to the end of the row.

 

Baby Boy's Rag Quilt ~ from Me & My House

 

Sewing the Columns:

After stitching the squares together for each row, lay out your rows in the proper order for your quilt. Grab the top row and the next row, and put their backs together, lining up long edges. I open the seams between squares, and pin through each intersection of the squares, before sewing, sew my intersections line up nicely. Sew with 1/2″ seams. Add the rest of the rows the same way.

If my seams are off a bit, I line up the center ones, then work my way out with pins, then sew.

After all the rows are sewn together, stitch around all 4 sides of the quilt with 1/2″ seam.

Cutting the Fringe:

Now comes the most time consuming step of the whole thing. Put on some music, an audiobook, or  a movie. 🙂 Snip (with good, sharp, pointed scissors – spring loaded ergonomic ones are best) about every 1/4 – 1/2″ along each and every seam, being careful to not cut through the stitching. (Like you are cutting fringe.) This creates the “ragged” look, after the blanket is washed a couple of times.

In fact, after snipping, run it through the washer and dryer a time or two, by itself, to begin this fraying.

Done!

There you have it. All done. Quick. Easy. Soft. Cuddly.

 

Note: Links are affiliate links to what I have/like. I’ve found these to be better quality that last, don’t have to be replaced, work well, prevent strain better than other brands I’ve tried.) Use what you have available.

 


 

Baby Quilts

This mama used to crochet afghans for all the babies, beginning with my first. I loved them having something special, handmade with love, that was soft and cuddly, that they could keep for years to come. I still have my own handmade baby blanket.

Over the years, my styles varied, and I didn’t always have a crochet hook in hand. Some got sewn blankets, some embroidered, some quilts. Lately, since my own baby is no longer a baby and I now have a little more time for other projects (sometimes), I’ve gone back into a quilting phase–quick and easy machine quilting that is, on baby sized blankets only–made of soft flannel.

I love working with patchwork. But I’ve not developed the patience for intricate patterns made of hundreds of small pieces. So large squares with simple patterns, or one pronounced pattern, usually define my designs.

The Ohio Star is one of my favorite quilting patterns, so 2 years ago I designed this “star” girly baby quilt for one of our new grand girls. (I think it is technically a Ribbon Star.) I loved it! And it got me primed for making more baby quilts.

Ohio Star Baby Quilt ~ from Me & My House

This past year I had 2 new babes to sew for, so I decided to do “rag” quilts, with exposed edges between the squares and around the sides. These wash up into such soft cuddly blankets with their frayed edges.

The girl’s rag quilt is a 6×6, like the Star. But the pattern focuses on a smaller center design, a pinwheel, with a more “planned random” pattern around it. (Only 4 half square blocks to work with instead of the 20 on the Ohio Star.)

Baby Girl's Rag Quilt ~ from Me & My House

The back of this one got a fun diagonal stripe pattern. (So that added the challenge to this one.) 🙂

Baby Girl's Rag Quilt {back} ~ from Me & My House

The boy’s rag quilt is a 7×7 varied pattern. Though there is an order to it, there is no pronounced design (and no half square blocks). A fitting pattern to go with the camo, I figured. 🙂 The back of this one is solid brown squares, except the center one, which is the green with the dogs. Just a fun little surprise in the middle.

Baby Boy's Rag Quilt ~ from Me & My House

I’ve really enjoyed working with the rag quilts. They go together pretty quickly, and are more forgiving than most quilts when it comes to lining up all those bazillion (it seems) corners. Not having to bind the edges also saves a lot of time. But also adds much to the cuddliness of these quilts.

In my next post, I’ll give instructions for the rag quilts. Even if you’ve never made a quilt before, these are easy enough for anyone that can sew a straight (or relatively straight) seam. (I told you they’re forgiving.)

Do you make quilts? Do you quilt by hand or machine (or send it out for the quilting)?


 

Revisiting Dollhouse Carry Along

Today we are revisiting a post from a couple of weeks ago, as a reader has asked for instructions. So here’s the Dollhouse Carry Along Tutorial.

Dollhouse Carry Along from Me & My House

Supplies: 

  • Plastic Canvas – 2 sheets 10.5 x 13.5″
  • Fabric Pieces (4 fat quarters will work, with leftovers. Choose colors for Roof, Outside, Inside, and Garden)
  • Poly Batting – small pieces
  • Small Hair Elastics – 5
  • Buttons – 5
  • Various Fabric Scraps (small pieces, various colors for decor)
  • Rick Rack and/or Trim Scraps (for decor, if desired)
  • Various Small Felt Scraps (small pieces for decor)
  • Glue gun and glue, scissors, sewing machine, thread and needle

Cut –

Plastic Canvas:

  • 3 pieces @ 4 x 6″ for front, back and floor
  • 2 pieces @ 2.75 x 6″ for roof
  • 2 pieces @ 4 x 6.25″ for sides
    • Cut Side pieces Roof angle as follows. Mark the center point on 1 short edge (2″). Beginning at 4″ up the sides (on both sides) measure 2.75″ up and in to that halfway point. It will be not quite up to the full 6.25″. (Hopefully this illustration will help this make sense.)

Dollhouse Carry Along from Me & My House

 

 

*Note: I used my rotary cutter and mat to cut the pieces, and cut the plastic along the outside edge of the lines, so no little nobbies were sticking out.

Batting:

  • 2 pieces for each plastic canvas pieces – cut 1/4″ larger –
    (6@ 4.25 x 6.25″, Roof 4@ 3 x 6.25″, Sides 4@ 4.25 x 6.5″)
  • Cut angle for Side roof pieces just outside the plastic piece edges

Fabric:

  • Fabric #1 for Outside of house –
    • 1@ 13.75 x 7.5″ for front, back, and floor
    • 2@ 5.25 x 7.5″ for sides (cut angle as for batting above, PLUS leaving your 1/2″ seam allowance)
  • Fabric #2 for Roof and Handles
    • 2@ 4 x7.5″ for roof
    • 2@ 10.5 x 2.5″ for handles
  • Fabric #3 for Inside of house –
    • 1@ 12.5 x 7.5″ for back roof, back wall and floor
    • 2@ 5.5 x 7.5″ for side walls
  • Fabric #4 for “Garden” flap – 1@ 8.25 x 7.5″
  • These fabric measurements are approximates. You may need to add an extra .25-.5″ depending on how thick your batting is. These measurements will allow you between .25″ and .5″ seams. My batting was not the real thick kind.

dollhousefabric

Step 1

Hot glue batting to both sides of each piece of plastic canvas, centering plastic on batting. Be careful pushing the batting and canvas together, the glue is HOT!

Step 2

Lay Outside Side pieces face up. Lay 1 Inside Side piece on top of each, face down. Stitch each together around sides and roof (leave bottom open.) Turn right side out, push corners out, press. Put batting covered plastic piece in each Side.

dollhousesides

Step 3

With right sides together: Sew Garden piece to one end of Inside piece. Sew Roof pieces to Outside piece, 1 to each end. Sew each handle piece into a tube, and turn right side out. Press each of these pieces/seams.

Step 4

Lay Inside face up. Pin handles (facing in) at each end, approx. 1.5″ in from each side. Pin Side pieces to Inside piece (Inside prints facing), just above the Garden piece, (roof point facing in,) lining up raw edges.  Pin elastics on each side of the Garden piece, at about .75″ and 4″ down the side (near the top of the roof, and just under the roof, of Outside piece – after seam allowances.) Your last elastic goes at the center of the end of the Garden piece (or other end). You should have just enough elastic on the inside of your seam allowance to loop around your button.

Dollhouse Fabric Layout

Step 5

Stitch around all sides, leaving an opening in the center of one short edge large enough to turn right side out. Be careful to not catch the points of your Side roof in your stitching. Turn right side out and press (not over the Side pieces, or the hot glue will melt and get on your fabric).

*Note: I backstitched over the elastics a couple of times, to make sure they were quite secure.

If I were to do it again, I’d leave the opening in the Back instead of front as my picture shows. I’d also probably put the last elastic loop on the Back of the Roof (instead of the Garden end), so the button would be on the front – but that’s purely aesthetic preference.

Step 6

Insert covered plastic pieces in this order, Roof, Wall, Floor, Wall, Roof. Topstitch between each of these pieces. (I did this piece by piece. Put 1 piece in , stitched close to it, added the next, stitched close to it, etc. making sure my stitches lined up with my seams for the roof and garden.)

Dollhouse Carry Along from Me & My HouseStep 7

Handstitch your opening closed, and your Back walls to Side walls, and back Roof to Side roof angles. (I did mine from the inside, then turned it out.) Position your buttons on Sides and Back of roof and stitch them on.

Dollhouse Carry Along from Me & My House

Dollhouse Carry Along from Me & My House

Dollhouse Carry Along from Me & My HouseStep 8

Decorate your house – however you’d like. I used both felt pieces, and fabric pieces that I’d ironed interfacing to. And a permanent marker. I hot glued the pieces on – except the bed is loose. My shapes were just cut freehand – and I am NO artist. (If I’d had more time, I may have used my Cricut.) The bed is made from card stock, as a box form, then covered with fabric. The “pillow” is raised by some batting under it. The mirror is made by heat embossing with silver embossing powder.

Dollhouse Carry Along from Me & My House

Dollhouse Carry Along from Me & My HouseI hope these instructions are clear enough to follow. I didn’t write down what I did as I did it, so I’m trying to remember step-by-step. Thankfully I did take several pictures along the way.

Enjoy!

I’d love to see yours after you make one.


 

So Sew!

Homestead Blessings: The Art of Sewing

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Expand your knowledge of sewing with the helpful and down-to-earth instruction The West Ladies are known for, and develop a wide assortment of useful skills that will assist in making wonderful sewing creations.

This program is full of useful sewing instruction and tips that will inspire and teach seamstresses of all levels. From pillow cases, to baby blankets, to blouses, skirts and rag quilts, viewers will learn a host of techniques. If you are just starting out, or expanding your skills with new tips and ideas, The Art of Sewing is the perfect tool.

Order Franklin Springs’ latest DVD in the Homestead Blessings series Today!

Fit and Fun – Clothes that Is

This week I’ve been teaching dd15 how to make sewing patterns. So far she has made her slopers. It’s kept her practical application of math up with all the division, addition, subtraction and measuring.

It is really quite simple to make your own patterns. I’m not sure why more sew-ers don’t do it. Once you have your basic sloper, all you have to do is make any variation you can think of. Perhaps it more has to do with envisioning the finished project. Perhaps it’s just plain easier to follow old habits. I’m sure that is what it has been a lot of the time for me.

I have 2 different pattern making book sets. One is from the European School of Design. Our oldest dd and I took a class, when she was a teen, from someone who came to our town. That was many years ago, pre-internet days, and I haven’t found these books online. They promoted the Lutterloh system, but that isn’t the books I got.

The other is from Sew with Sarah. I got them a few years ago to learn more, (since I’d done very little with the first ones,) when I wanted to design some maternity and nursing clothes. I’ve got the Quick and Easy Pattern Making . She has several websites, but that is the best link I’ve found for ordering this online in either download format or in print. There are links to her other books there too. I plan to get the one for making children’s patterns.

I’m looking forward to getting dd into this as she is SO creative. I think once she gets started she will love it.

It’s a Quilt! It’s a Pillow! It’s a Quillo!

Greetings from Me and My House,

Today I’m moving on from nutrition teaching to a simple sewing project. Keep up your Good for You-Natural! lifestyle of eating though.

Quillos are a favorite around our home. Each child has their own for wrapping up in to take a chill off or laying around on. They are super for taking on trips. A quillo is a quilt that folds into a pillow, that is simple to make.

Quillo folded into Pillow {sewing instructions} ~ from Me & My House

You will need 4.5 yards total (after preshrinking) cotton print fabric. Homespun plaids work great, as do any type of novelty print, quilting fabrics, or flannels. You can use all one fabric if you want, but I prefer to use differing fabrics for the front and the back. The pillow/pocket can be made with both sides the same as the one of the other fabrics. If you want the two sides to be different, you will need another 1/2 yard fabric. The instructions here are for an adult size, aprox. 45″ (the width of your fabric) by 72″. (A child/smaller size is the width of the fabric by 60″, and a smaller “pillow/pocket” is made. A baby size can also be made – 36″ by 45″.)
This one is child’s size:

Quillo {sewing instructions} ~ from Me & My House

Supplies needed:
So for your adult size quillo, you need:
2 yards preshrunk fabric for the back
2 1/2 yards preshrunk fabric for the front and pillow/pocket
These should be compatible prints – different, but look good together.
2.5 yards batting – any batting that does not have to be quilted at small intervals. I prefer an all cotton or wool batting.

Thread that blends with both your prints.
Scissors/Rotary Cutter & Mat, Pins, Sewing Machine, yardstick, removable fabric marker.

Instructions:
Blanket:

Square up the ends of the fabric and cut (I prefer to use a rotary cutter) the front and back blanket pieces each 72″ long across the width of the fabric. Cut 1 piece of batting the same size.

Layer (by spreading out on a large flat surface) the batting, then one of the fabrics, wrong side down on the batting, then the other fabric right side down (on the right side of the first fabric). Smooth all layers and pin around all edges.

Sew around all 4 edges (I prefer using a walking foot) leaving a 10-12″ opening in the center of one end to turn. Clip corners. Turn right side out and press seams, including pressing the opening seam edges in.

Pillow/Pocket:
Cut 2 18″x18″ squares for the pillow/pocket out of the remaining front fabric (or one square from each fabric, if you are using both). Cut one piece of batting the same size. Layer and sew exactly the same as the blanket part, only about a 6″ opening is needed.

Alternative pillow/pocket:
You may also use an 18″x18″ quilt block as one layer and your front fabric as the other layer. After sewing the edges, turning and pressing, quilt your block before attaching to blanket in next step. When attaching to blanket, be sure to sew with the quilt block side facing the blanket side, otherwise when you fold your quillo into a pillow your quilt block will be inside and unseen.

Quillo folded into Pillow {Click for sewing instructions} ~ from Me & My House

Attach Pillow/Pocket:
Find the center of the open end of both the blanket and the pillow/pocket parts, and match them up. Make sure the center of the other end of the pillow/pocket is lined up with the center of the blanket. Pin the ends of blanket and pillow/pocket together and pin the sides of the pillow/pocket to the blanket. Stitch a narrow seam across the ends of both, attaching the pillow/pocket to the blanket, and closing up the open ends of both.

Lay quillo out flat. Measure in from each side of the blanket onto the pillow/pocket about 1/4″ onto the pillow/pocket. With removable marking (disappearing or wash out marking pen), mark this distance the entire length of the quillo, on both sides of the pillow/pocket. In other words, you are going to sew on the pillow/pocket sides, but you are going to extend these seams the entire length of the quillo. After marking, pin through all layers along each line while quillo is still laying flat. Stitch along both lines.

You’re finished! To fold quillo as a pillow, fold into aprox. thirds along the stitching lines you just made, with the pillow/pocket facing down and your folds on top. Then fold the top down twice to a point just above where the top of the pillow/pocket is, then fold again, over the back of the pillow/pocket. Turn over and reach inside of the pillow/pocket, grab through all layers of both bottom corners and flip the whole thing inside out. Your folded blanket is now inside your pillow/pocket. Smooth and you have a nice pillow.

Simple, but pretty, and certainly practical.

For Me and My House,
At Jesus’ feet,
Lisa