Monday, October 21, 2013

Update - October Finish

          I just finished the Methodist Cross and Flame rag quilt.  I really dragged my feet getting to this one because I just didn't want to do it.  You can read how hard the first one was for me here

This one had it's own challenges.  First I had to find colorfast red and black fabric.  I washed all the fabric beforehand which is something I never do when I usually make a rag quilt since you wash the entire quilt when it's done.

I re-made the pattern pieces using stiffer manila file folders.  They worked very well.  All the pieces were cut and fused just right but I realized it was much smaller than the original Methodist quilt.  Then I remembered that to make the first one work I had to layer the top 9" squares to 10" squares on the middle and the bottom.  So okay, the design would be smaller...I wasn't about to take everything apart and start over. (You can see the 5x5 design in the previous post).

When I was all done with the 5 square by 5 square design I realized 2 things:

1.  This was way too small for an adult size throw rag quilt - - I had to add more squares.

2.  I had measured in the cross' vertical line into the measurement of the cross' horizontal line so the cross looked lopsided - - I had to add more black to one side of the cross.

I actually made this quilt from the insides out.

I had to add one more square of white and one half square of stained glass to each horizontal row making the rows all 7 squares each.  This meant I had to open all the seams, sew the 1 1/2 squares and then resew everything back together 10 separate times...  Ugh!

Then I made the top and bottom all white rows with the 1/2 size squares of stained glass fabric plus add a 1/2 of a half square to make it all fit.  

So far so good doing it basackwards.

Then I had to wash the whole thing.  I must have pause that machine 6 different times to see if anything was bleeding.  Nothing was.  When it was all done I did notice a grayishness over the whole quilt. My heart sank.   I was hoping it was just lint and sure enough that's what it was.  

I put it in the dryer and gradually almost all the gray came off.  I spent the rest of my day today vacuuming and picking the leftover black fluffs off and out of the white fluffy seams.  Every time I walk by the quilt I see one or two more that I need to get off. 

 All in all, I think this quilt turned out gorgeous! 

 (The lady I made it for thinks her friends might also want one of these Methodist rag quilts but I may think twice or three times about doing this again.)

Friday, October 18, 2013

October WIP's and Finishes - 15 Custom Quilts

Here is my list of 15 custom quilts that I have been working on everyday since early September.

1. Granny's Rag Quilt:  I made this quilt using the housecoats of a grandmother for her granddaughter.  I thought this was such a sweet, beautiful keepsake but this was a very challenging quilt.  It's an optical illusion really.  It looks easy but it was spatially-a real headache.

2. & 3. Black and White Baby Rag Quilts:  (with red embroidered square).  These were made pretty fast.  I wasn't sure how the red middle square would look but I loved how they turned out.

4.  Black and White Throw-size Rag Quilt:  Even though I've done a dozen of these black and whites, I made this one a little different on the back.  I made black on black and white on white wihich resulted in stripes on the back.

5. 6. & 7.  Three  20-square T-shirt Quilts:  Still in the fusing stage


8.  Foxes Baby Rag Quilt:   I made this for a very nice young mama in KY.

 I liked the fabrics so much I sent her these too:

9.  The Methodist Cross and Flame Rag Quilt:  I did not want to do another quilt like this because the first was very hard to do but I finally relented.   The hard part is done but it still needs one more row of white and a stained glass fabric border.

10. 11. &      12.  Small, Medium and Large Handkerchief Rag Quilts:  The only one I have finished is the Large Hanky Quilt, the others are works in progress.  I was given 184 gorgeous vintage hankies in beautiful condition to make these quilts.  I fell in love with the first one but I'm really looking forward to the medium hanky quilt.

14.  Polo T-shirt Quilt 30 squares:  What a great idea this t-shirt quilt is!  It's made with all Ralph Lauren Polo shirts and bordered by plain simple navy strips.  This quilt looks very high end classy.  I finished the top so far and I'm thinking about putting a plaid flannel on the back.  (That's a pair of cat eyes in the bottom right.  He's always trying to get into pictures.)

15. Rock and Roll T-shirt Quilt 16 squares:  I will be finishing  the quilting on this one today.  I think the black and white check borders really set these shirts off in a very cool way.

What are you doing this month?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

3 Reasons Why Hankies Make Beautiful Rag Quilts

         I am working on an order of three Rag Quilts made from large, medium and small vintage hankies.  As I go through the process I am finding that there are at least 3 reasons why hankies make the best, if not the most beautiful rag quilts.

1.  They are already square.
You don't even have to cut them in any way so that saves a step in the quilting process.

2.  No matter how you arranged them, they always look perfect.
You can put different colors or patterns together and they never clash.

3.  Hankies are beautiful works of art to begin with so your quilt is guaranteed to turn out beautiful.
I think hankies are exceptionally beautiful, but extremely undervalued works of art, especially the floral hankies.  They are delicate, soft and oh so feminine.  Each square on a hanky rag quilt will be a "framed" (in fluff) beautiful work of art.

Here is the first of the three Hanky Rag Quilts that I have finished and the WIP's of the other two.

 Here is the layout for the medium hankies WIP

Layout for the small hankies WIP