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Thread: making a rag quilt

  1. #1

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    I am making a rag quilt. How do you sew the blocks together and the rows of blocks together without the top block stretching and becoming longer than the bottom block. I tried using a walking foot, but with o luck. Is there a trick to cuting out the blocks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member judee0624's Avatar
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    What kind of fabric are you using? There should not be any stretch if it is cotton, unless you cut it so that the stretchy side is up. Did you cut parallel to the selvedge?

    judee

  3. #3
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    What kind of fabric are you using? Were the blocks cut on the straight grain or on the bias? Has your machine successfully handled piecing before without stretch?

  4. #4

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    I am using flannel cotton. I cut parallel to the selvage.

  5. #5

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    I cut parallel to the selvage and Yes my machine can handle the thickness. I have a Janome 625.

  6. #6

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    I am usisng cotton flannel. I fold the material and cut it across to the selvage into 12 1/2 inch strips and then cut that again in 12 1/2 inch blocks.

  7. #7
    bj
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    Super Member bj's Avatar
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    Did you prewash your flannel? It has a lot of give to it, and there is a lot of variance in how much flannel will give from bolt to bolt. Some flannels are a lot tighter woven than others and don't give as much. I confess that flannel is the only fabric I always prewash. It might help to work with smaller blocks. When I've made rag quilts I usually use an 8" block, sandwich each block and quilt (I just put a simple star or X to hold the layers together then sew around all four edges just inside where my stitching line will be), then sew the blocks together.

  8. #8
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I would prewash and dry flannel at least once (some people do it twice) to tighten up the weave. It usually shrinks a lot.

    When working with flannel I also apply heavy starch to stabilize it so it doesn't stretch while sewing. My method is to mix a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid starch with water, lay the fabric out on my kitchen island, and "paint" the starch on the fabric with a large wall painting paintbrush. When the fabric is saturated, I throw it in the dryer and afterwards iron it with steam. It sounds like a lot more work than it is; I actually don't mind doing this. The flannel comes out quite stiff and I can then cut and sew without any worries about stretching. The starch comes out in the first wash.

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