Thursday, June 2, 2011

Good Grief! Complicated simple rag quilt

My family and I were at a local restaurant recently and the topic of conversation turned to my rag quilting.  I was beginning to try some different things and my children were offering up their ideas of what I should do next.  I had just completed a recycled/upcycled blue jean baby quilt and I was ready for my next challenge.

 My son, Tyler, suggested I make the American flag rag quilt which I filed away for a summertime project.  My daughter, Hayley, suggested I try a simple design, like what's on Charlie Brown's shirt.  That captured my imagination and I couldn't think of anything else.  All three of us took turns sketching it out on napkins:

       Finally, I had my pattern.  It looked simple enough.  Yellow for the top and black for the zigzag.  I chose a buttercup yellow cotton and unfortunately I didn't buy enough.  Of course they were out of buttercup at my local fabric store and also at the three others that I went to.  The 4th luckily had the dye lot of buttercup that matched mine so I was able to finish the quilt.

       I layered yellow fleece on the inside to make it thick and warm.  That's where the second complication set in.  I didn't want yellow to show in the black zigzag so I cut black fleece and positioned it next to the yellow in two triangles.  Then on the advice of my son, I used black thread on all the black squares and yellow thread on all the yellow squares.  I stitched the traditional X through all the squares even the two rows of half black, half yellow.  It took a long time to get it just right.  There was one spot that no matter how many times I took out the stitches and re-sewed I still got a bit of black thread showing on the one side of the yellow.

       Now it was ready to be cut.  I was so hoping that it would turn out the way I had envisioned. Here is a view of the quilt before it was cut:

And here is the fluffy side:

I think it turned out beautifully.  I heard that a choir director in CA received this quilt as a gift from cast members who had all signed the quilt.  They presented it to him after the final performance of You're a Good Man Charlie Brown.

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