Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Blooming Rag Quilt Tutorial

March 3 2011,

For this year's upcoming quilt show, the group challenged the quilter's to make something that speaks to "Where in the World...". These quilts will be silent auctioned and the proceeds will benefit several non-profit organizations. So here is my unfinished quilt named "Where ever..." with a tutorial.

I learned this technique from a quilter friend of mine, Susan (thank you Susan for spending the time with me to explain the steps). I do not know the formal name of this method, so I called it "Blooming Rag Quilt".

Please read through all the instructions first and understand the steps before attempting to do this. If you plan on doing a larger quilt, I would advise doing a small sample before attempting a large one. Pease feel free to ask questions through email or in the comments section if you have questions.

Materials List
- Four different fabrics, washed and pressed. The yardage depends on how big you want the quilt be. Mine was 16 1/2 by 10 1/2 unfinished (meaning the binding has not been attached.
- Fabric marker or a marking tool that will wash out of the fabric
- Pins
- Sharp scissors
- Sewing Machine Needle
- Thread
- Ruler
- Sewing Machine

Step 1:
Cut all four fabrics to the same size. The sizes should be in whole numbers and end in 1/2. For example, if you want to make a quilt that is 10 inches wide by 20 inches long, cut the fabric to 10 1/2 inches wide by 20 1/2 inches long.
Step 2:
Place the first three fabrics on top of each other, all right sides facing you. Because I did mine in Batik fabrics, there is no real right or wrong side
Step 3
With a marking tool, either pencil or pen, mark your first line a quarter inch (1/4 inch) from the end. The next line will be 1 inch from the previous mark (1/4 inch mark). Continue on till you get to the end of the column.

Rotate the quilt 90 degrees, and mark it the same way as above, marking the first line a quarter inch (1/4 inch) from the end and the next line will be 1 inch from the previous mark (1/4 inch).
The 1/4 inch gap is space for the binding step in Step 11.

Now you should have a one inch grid.

Step 4
Carefully pin the three layers together. The reason for pinning is so that when you sew the three layers together, the layers will not shift.

Step 5
Starting from the middle of the piece, you will sew all the three layers.

Step 6
Take the first row of grid, and find the center / middle of the grid and fold it in half. Pin the layers together to prevent shifting during cutting in Step 7. A trick to finding where the middle of the grid is, is to fold it in half, and pin through all the layers on the stitch line. Then look on the other side of the quilt and to see if it close to the stitching line. If it is, you are good to go, if not, readjust according.

Step 7
Using a sharp scissors cut a "V" shape starting from the middle of the grid to almost the corner. I leave an 1/8 inch gap between the cut and the stitching line. Do this through out the one inch grid.

You may want to cut 3 pieces of 1 inch piece of paper or scrap fabric and stack in on top of each other to do a test run before you cut through your piece.

The end result should be an "X" on each of the 1 inch grid.

Repeat Step 6 & 7 for all the rows on the grid.

Step 8
Take the background fabric and place it on the bottom of your quilted piece. For the background fabric, the wrong side will be facing you. The background fabric is the back of your quilted piece.

Step 9
Pin the four layers together so that it does not shift when you sew the four layers together.

Step 10
Sew the four layers together following the original grid stitches. You can use a different color thread for this step, but in this piece, I used the same color thread.

Step 11
With your scissors, make sure all the flaps are open and not stuck together. You may not have cut through all the layers in Step 6, so snip them gently.

Step 12
Using a steel brush (a toothbrush may work), brush the flaps open in all four directions. Choose one direction first and go through each row and brush it in that direction. Then choose another direction, and brush the flaps open on that row.

Note that if you are using regular fabric (not Batik) fabric, your piece might be more frayed. If you like the fray look, keep brushing it gently in all directions.

The following is the end result.

Step 11

Bind your quilt like you normally would. Here is a great resource on how to prepare a binding and attaching a binding
Remember the 1/4 inch mark I had you mark on Step 3, this is the extra spacing needed for the quilt binding.

I will post the end result when I have finished the binding on this piece.

Analyzing this quilt, the colors I chose for this piece ties to the challenge "Where in the world...". Thus, blue for the sky, orange for the sun, green for the grass, and brown for the soil, leading to the title, "Where ever..."

Happy Quilting,
Quilt & Bitch


p00lriah. said...

that looks really complicated.

Quilt+Bitch said...

It really isn't if you have the proper equipment. I did it in a few hours. It was brainless. It does look complicated, but you get the satisfaction of accomplishment quicker than a regular bed quilt.