Friday, December 12, 2008

12 Days to Christmas Quilting Adventure

The other day I mentioned I had to go by fabric for a quilt I'm making for Christmas. Well, I've decided to share my 12 days to Christmas Quilting Adventure with you.

Maybe there is someone out there as crazy enough as me to take this on starting today :) And if not, maybe you will try it another time. But if you do decide to play with me, I want you to know I am no master seamstress. In fact, the measurements I'm about to give you I trust but there is a little bit of doubt that this is what I end up finishing with. At the worst I may be instructing you to get too much fabric. This is the part that always confuses me but I do have the technique down. I promise!

With that said, I'm really posting here so I will start now and not leave until next week when I will be sure to drive myself & my family crazy with obsession.

OK, so there is only one quilt I've dared to make - the rag quilt. Why you ask? Well, binding just scares me and this quilt has none. I made this for the first time about 5 years ago and when downsized is a favorite for mine for a baby gift.

If you are wondering what the heck a rag quilt looks like I found a cute one out on Etsy. Basically this is a quilt that has the seams on the outside so they unravel. What is fantastic about this is that your seams do not have to be perfect. It's supposed to be messy. Well, that is what I tell myself.

Here is the very first rag quilt I made. The messy is the front and the tidy is the back.
The first step is to decide how big you want your quilt.

I like to start with a template for 7feet x 7.5feet. The idea is your finished squares will be 5inches x 5inches. So, depending on how big you want it you add or take away rows & columns of squares. (In case you were wondering, 12 inches is 1 foot)

The second step is to figure out how much fabric you are going to need.

So, I take the same number of rows & columns from above but have the squares measure 6inches x 6inches. Why you ask? Well, your seam allowance on each side (how far in you go to sew your line) is going to be 1/2inch on each side. So, to end up with a finished 5inches x 5 inches square you need to add an inch on each side.

So, I add up how many inches I need and then try to get that into yards. (In case you were wondering 36 inches is 1 yard.) So, most cotton fabrics are somewhere between 42-44 inches wide. Which means, in the below example going across you can get 102 inches by having 2.5 fabrics that are 3 yards each.

This is the part that I'm not 100% sure my old notes are correct but at worst, I bought too much fabric. So, I take 2.5 by 3 and this gets you 7.5 yards of fabric for the front & 7.5 yards of fabric for the back.

The third step is calculating how much batting you need. Think of this quilt like a sandwhich. You have the front & back as your bread and the batting is the meat in the middle. So, if your finished square size is 5 inches x 5 inches then your batting needs to be cut the same. Basically you can get queen size batting and you will have just the right amount. But if your quilt is smaller you can go with full or even twin. When I make this for a baby gift I use the crib size.

Here is what I put together. The blue swirl & gold swirl are for the backing and they are flannel (7.5 yards total). The stacked fabrics on the right side are for the front of the quilt and are cotton (7.5 yards total). All was found in the quilting area at Joann's. I had the batting at home for another project and will be using the queen size of Warm & Natural Cotton Batting.

For your front & back you can really use any material that will unravel well but I really think that cotton batting is best.

Don't forget to pick up thread to match. I bought 4 spools of general thread in a blue. I plan on using it for the front & back (needle & bobbin).

If you would like me to email the template just leave a comment and a way to contact you. Or if you just want to ask questions go ahead and leave a comment and I'll post later.

Right now I have a birthday party to prepare for. We have 11 preschoolers invading our home in 5 hours and there are things to be done. I plan to start cutting this evening and will post next steps.


1 comment:

The Bethancourts said...

this is way too funny. you and I must be on the same wavelength. I just finished up a rag quilt last week for baby girl B. first time I ever made one and it turned out pretty cute. I'm going to post it on the blog eventually.