Friday, July 30, 2010


Even though I love fabric I struggle with colors
and patterns and perfectness.  I have
 been trying to use up all the fabric that I bought
over the years and never did anything with.  I only
buy when nothing else will do.  Some of my
favorite quilts have come from flannels purchased
long ago.  The Moon and Stars and the  Baby Blue
Whale quilts came from fabric that my daughter
Katie purchased to make a quilt for her then boyfriend. She got 2 rows done and broke up with him.  I disassemble all the squares and matched the patterns with some other fabric that I had and two of my favorite rag quiltys were created.

  I had a bunch of orange flannel from something I had planned a long time ago, probably something for Katie since her favorite color is orange.  I also had some plain cute baby print flannel with yellow zebras, blue elephants and orange lions.  I matched it with the orange and thought it might work until I saw the finished quilty.  I thought it was Ugly!!! It's sitting here next to me, right now and I still can't warm up to it.  I don't know what I'm going to do with it.  I may donate it.

When I lay my quilts out the pattern and positioning has to be perfect to my eye and most of the time I am pleased with the results.

I have had to make a few trips to the fabric store and those times have been where most of my struggles come from.  First I'm like a kid in a candy shop with all those fabrics.  I use my eyes and my hands to decide on just the right fabric.  I bring in the square I'm trying to match and I agonize over the decision of the perfect complement.  It's much easier when I bring my daughter Hayley.  She has a good eye for color.  When we have made the perfect fabric choice for the next quilt and I get that excited feeling of not waiting to start it, I know I will be happy with the results.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I love fabric

I didn't realize I loved fabric so much  until I started making my rag quilts.  After I buy my fabric, I slice it into either 9 or 10 inch squares and I pile it up all around me.   Looking at the neat rows of fabric squares and touching the softness of the flannel stacks gives me a wonderful, rich feeling.  If I could decorate with flannel stacks I would.  I keep my stacks color-coded in a big plastic bin and I love digging in to find just the right color combination for my next quilt.

First Blog - My three mistakes

I have been sewing for a while and never considered myself a great seamstress.  I've learned that I like straight seams, clean line patterns, bright colors, especially greens and pinks.  When I first discovered rag quilting I fell in love with the design and look.  My cousin taught me how to make one and I made a bunch for everyone in my family.  Unfortunately I did not make them very well.  Sorry Family!  I made 3 mistakes.

     1.  I only used 2 slices of flannel fabric instead of 3
     2.  I did not sew the "traditional X" to secure the slices of fabric
     3.  I cut the seams way too big -   so big that after 6 years they still haven't frayed nicely.

I wish I could take those quilts back and replace them with the quilts I am doing now.  All my quilts now have 3 slices with an X and are super fluffy!  I also double stitch the perimeter which give the quilt a very finished look.  I've learned to cut the seams to less than 1/4 inch.  I've been pleased and proud of my work.  I still don't consider myself a great seamstress but I'm absolutely positive I can make a beautiful rag quilt.

one of my first rag quilts