Sunday, January 2, 2011

From Fabric to Rags

Last week I began my first quilt...a rag quilt. I got the pattern from a fellow teacher at school. It seemed easy enough for a first project, so I bought all the fabric on Black Friday and began the quilt after Christmas.

You need 1 yard each of 8 differnt flannel fabrics. I went with a winter theme, because that's the most of what I could find in the store.

 For the filling, a crib-sized package of batting. I actually ran short, but luckily I had some purchased for a project I haven't begun yet.
 And of course, a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler.

 The squares of flannel are cut into 8-inch squares, the batting 6-inch squares.

 That didn't take long.

Then match squares of the same fabric with a piece of batting in between and sew across on the diagonal, chaining the fabric squares as you go. Then clip apart and sew across on the other diagonal. Makes a lovely "X" on the square.

 The chaining wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

 All done! 64 squares.

 Next lay out the squares in a pattern pleasing to you. I liked the diagonal pattern here, but the lone red square in the corner was kind of sad.

 Sew each square to the next with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Then assemble each row to the other until you get your quilt--8 squares by 8 squares.

Now for the tough part...each seam must be clipped 1/4 inch. All of them. It took 2 days and my fingers are still numb.

Then wash and dry. Check the dryer vent every 10-15 minutes because this thing will SHED. A LOT.


My first rag quilt. I'll probably make this again. After I get the feeling back in my fingers.

Just what I need--a new craft. I enjoyed this, though. And Nicky has already put it to good use! That's nice...I'm glad he likes it. So do I.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Happy New Year Tree

Well, it was meant to be a Christmas tree. But time and other priorities got in the way of finishing this project.

I was visiting some of my favorite blogs a few months ago, and I found this very cool project at Polka Dot Pineapple. Lettie is a tremendously creative person and has the best ideas, most of them with fabric or paper. This was a ruffled fabric Christmas tree that I just fell in love with.

First, I had to create the templates. This was the worst part of the whole thing. Very tedious, but now I have them and can make many more trees!

 Fourteen different templates cut out of poster board!

 I bought this fabric several years ago with no idea what to do with it. Now I know. It has very cute, tiny trees all over it.

 Fourteen circles cut out of fabric to make the tree.

 Here's a closer view.

 The trunk of the tree was an empty thread spool covered in a scrap of fabric and glued into place. Then a regular drinking straw was inserted into the hole of the spool.

After cutting out all the fabric circles, I trimmed the outside edges with pinking shears and took a running stitch around the inside edge, pulling tightly as I went. Each of these forms one of the ruffles of the tree.

After stacking them in order (largest to smallest), I trimmed the straw to fit and topped with a jingle bell. With the tree fabric, a star would have been better, but I didn't have any. No still looked great!

 The view from above is very cute as well.

Check out Lettie's blog and you will find a great assortment of crafts to create! The link above goes to the tutorial for the tree, but clicking on the banner will take you to the most recent posts.

Enjoy! And Happy New Year!