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Thread: Newbie with Rag Quilting Worries

  1. #1
    Member AllTheLovely's Avatar
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    Newbie with Rag Quilting Worries

    Hello Everyone! Thank goodness for boards like this... not too many people out there quilt anymore and I have questions.

    I'm making a rag quilt as a gift for my sister. Cotton top, flannel batting, flannel backing. I am also fairly new to sewing and this is only my second ever quilt (my first was a 'quilt' quilt and took me forever and almost mentally and emotionally killed me - I'm a perfectionist with horrible math skills... so I took up quilting for fun... ha! )

    Here's my question. As I'm making my rag quilt sandwiches and sewing the 'x' on each, I've got a lot of shifting of the 3 layers. I'm using a walking foot (which maybe isn't walking as well as it should). But nonetheless, I'm concerned that I should address this issue - trimming each sandwich by getting rid of the exposed layers before I start sewing my rows together. Make everything look neat and tidy, etc.

    This is where I would attach pics, but I can't figure that out either... I'm suprised my family lets me leave the house on my own...


    I've read that rag quilts are very forgiving, so I'm hoping this is just me worrying too much. I'd hate to spend all the time trimming, only to discover I've created other more serious issues that pop up later. Anyone else have this problem? Should I just leave as is and have a glass of wine to relax?

    Thanks so much!
    Sarah

  2. #2
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about trimming each square, when they are clipped and ragged it will not be noticable at all. Have a glass of wine and relax, quilting should be fun and not stressful
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

  3. #3
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    Please don't stress over this, you won't even know that it's not "square" by the time it gets through ragging, but one word of advice, take it to a commercial laundramat to wash and dry it.

  4. #4
    Member AllTheLovely's Avatar
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    Thank you! Feeling better, but if I could figure out how to post pics, you'd see that some of the worst edge/corners have almost a half centimetre of exposed flannel sticking out... I hope these quilts are as forgiving as I've been told they are.

    I was so careful with my cutting. I used a rotary cutter and the June Tailor "Shape Cut" tool for rotary cutters so I could make sure my cutting would be straight and I still ended up wonky. I think you either have the magic cutting touch or you don't. If this one works out, rag quilts may be my only future quilt projects.

  5. #5
    Super Member quilts4charity's Avatar
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    Can you loosen the pressure on your foot a bit???? That might help......

  6. #6
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    pin them together...or you also cound use a spray bast or glue.

  7. #7
    Super Member tesspug's Avatar
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    I put some little stick on rubber dots on my shape cutter to keep it from sliding. I've heard you can put sandpaper dots on the back too. After you wash and dry your rag quilt if anything is noticeable you can trim it then.

  8. #8
    Member AllTheLovely's Avatar
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    Good ideas, everyone... thanks again so much!

    How do I loosen pressure on the walking foot? I've been having trouble beginning my 'x' lines - the foot doesn't want to walk with so little fabric behind it - all the fabric starts binding/waving up. Lots of cursing in my craft room today. I've been holding the sandwich down tight on either side of the foot at the beginning of my 'x' to keep the fabric from waving. Then I can relax once the fabric is far enough behind the foot. But I still can't start the stitch line right at the beginning corner, or the fabric will wave up on me.

    How important is it that the 'x' reach the edge of each corner? I have maybe a 3 to 4 mm space before my stitch line begins on each sandwich (finishing the line is not a problem... the lines go right to the corner where I end my stitches.)

    I washed the flannel in hot water twice and dryed it hoping it would tighten up the weave a bit and I wouldn't have so many stretch issues with the flannel... guess it didn't work. I will have to try the sandpaper or rubber dots ideas. I did all of the cutting on our living room floor (hardwood) on a rotary cutting mat, with my body weight on top of the Shape Cutter or ruler to keep the slippage down. Guess that didn't work either.

    It's nice to know that you have all had these issues (you have, right!?) yet still love to quilt.

    Sarah

  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllTheLovely View Post
    Hello Everyone! Thank goodness for boards like this... not too many people out there quilt anymore and I have questions.
    This part of your question made me laugh. Take look at this survey from 2010. http://www.quilts.com/announcements/...0_OneSheet.pdf

    Quilting is a $3.58 billion industry, with over 21 million quilters. They estimate that 14% of US households are home to at least 1 active quilter. That's a lot of quilters!

  10. #10
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    Sometimes our machines want to "eat" the corners where we start the stitching, as in where you begin your X. Try holding on to your threads behind the foot, maybe pull a little, as you start to stitch until it gets going. Or try using a starter piece of fabric just in front of your block. Then you can start in the middle of the starter piece instead of a corner and just keep sewing right on to your block. I like pulling on the threads the best. Good luck!

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