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Thread: quilts for christmas-questions

  1. #1
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    quilts for christmas-questions

    Hi I'm a newbie to quilting and have several questions. I have done some basic sewing before but nothing too complicated. Mostly pillow cases and baby blankets. A few years ago though, I made two small flannel "cheater quilts" with pre-patched fabric for the tops, and just fell in love with them. They are so soft and warm and cozy. I just love tucking my two babies in with them at night. My babies aren't babies anymore though and now there are three. :-)
    So I would like to make them all twin size flannel quilts for Christmas. Just simple patchwork quilts with an outside border. As basic as u can get, right? so, first I need to know how to find quality flannel fabric that will last for years through sick days, leaky diapers & plenty of washing. Also, how much fabric etc will I need for each twin size quilt? and I was wondering if anyone can tell me where I can learn the basics. Just what I need to know for a really easy quilt. We've all gotta start somewhere, right?
    So far I'm thinkin:
    1. cut out patches
    2.sew together in strips, and then sew strips together
    3. Lay out backing, batting and top backwards, sew together & invert.
    4. Close up hole and find some method of tacking (other than tied preferably)
    5. Add on border. Or should I do that to the top before I sew them together?
    But that sounds way to simple compared with all complicated instructions I'm finding out there. Am I missing some vital step? I'm sure that sounds incredibly clueless and Im terribly embarrassed, but I dont know anyone to teach me or where i should start to learn your wonderful art. so any tips or just a finger in the right direction would be very appreciated! Thanks for reading!!! - Christie
    Last edited by BelleInBoots; 10-29-2013 at 07:36 AM.

  2. #2
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    Would you consider making rag quilts? They would go together quickly and you wouldn't have to worry about quilting them as everything is done at once, (front, middle and backing plus quilting). You can get very creative with it or do something basic. It is a good beginner step.

  3. #3
    Super Member klgls's Avatar
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    I agree with ragquilter. Have fun whatever you decide!

  4. #4
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    Possibly... I was going for more of this lookhttp://www.potterybarnkids.com/products/sullivan-patch-quilted-bedding/?pkey=cboys-quilts&#viewLargerHeroOverlay

    Probably without the fancy stitching on top though, that looks complicated :-)
    But how is the "rag" part made? Do u just leave the seams out and let them fray on their own?

  5. #5
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    Rag quilts are squares, front back and batting or flannel inside. Sew these layers together with a big X. These blocks are stitched together with all seams on one side of the quilt. Clip the seams and wash to fray.

  6. #6
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Here's a click link to quilt you are looking at: http://www.potterybarnkids.com/produ...gerHeroOverlay

    That should be doable.

    Some tips:

    Flannel can shrink a *lot*. Especially since you don't intend to do a lot of quilting to hold the layers together, you will want to preshrink your flannel. It's a good idea to wash and dry flannel twice.

    After washing, the flannel will become awfully limp. Whether or not you prewash, it's a good idea to heavily starch flannel before cutting. Starch stabilizes the fabric so you get more accurate cuts. Plus, flannel has a disturbing tendency to stretch and distort as you sew; heavy starching will keep your piecing accurate. My method for starching is to mix a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water. I use a large wall painting brush to saturate the yardage with the starch mixture. Wait a minute to make sure that the fibers have absorbed the starch, then toss in the dryer. Iron with steam. Flannel can come out quite stiff this way which is ***good***. All of that starch will be gone when you wash the quilt after you are finished.

    It's a good idea to use 1/2" seams with flannel -- especially with the large pieces in the quilt you are looking at. Flannel has a tendency to fray, and using 1/2" seams will prevent that problem.

    Choose your batting carefully, especially if you will not be quilting moderately. Post here for suggestions when you get closer to that stage. It depends on how closely you will tie and/or quilt.

    #3 in your post -- I'm not sure what you are thinking of doing. I suspect it is a mixture of techniques. What I would suggest is doing a search on the QB for "spray basting" and "basting with Elmer's glue". Those are two very good ways to layer your quilt before tying/quilting. I would recommend tying/quilting, and then either adding a binding to the edge or (if you have left extra backing fabric at the edges when layering), pulling the backing fabric to the top to bind the edges.

    If you take it step-by-step and keep posting here, you should be fine!

  7. #7
    Super Member ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I agree with the others. A rag quilt would be easiest. I didn't do any fancy stitching on mine. If you want some warmth, some have sandwich a piece of batting between the two layers of flannel. Then I just stitched diagonally like an X thru each block. To connect the squares, I stitched them together backside to backside. The hard part is doing all the clipping of the seams. There is more details but that is the basic of making a rag quilt.
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    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  8. #8
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    Ok guys talked me into it. Ill try a baby size rag quilt for my youngest first. Couple questions: How household I make the patches? How big should I make the seems for proper fringe? And how exactly do I "clip" the seems? Downward toward the quilt, or lengthwise along it to remove the factory edge? Also should i leave a bigger seem where I will be cutting off the edge, or probably just cut it off first?

    Thanks prism, thats really helpful! Ill definitely try that next.

    Last question for now, does anyone know why my needle keeps breaking three times in a row?

  9. #9
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    Trim off all factory edges (selvages) before cutting squares....selvages will shrink differently than the rest of the fabric. I would sew all seams with 1/2" of fabric to the right of the seam as you are sewing. After all squares are sewn, then clip the edges...from the edge of the fabric just up to the seam, being very careful not to snip into the seam. I am guessing you would clip about every 1/4".

    Here is a link to a tutorial here on the board showing how to make a rag quilt.....it will help explain things

    Rag Quilt Tutorial

    Have fun and feel free to ask any more questions that pop up!

  10. #10
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    I bought this flannel quilt at a thrift shop and just love it. It is made from coordinating flannel fabrics in very pretty yellow with green and pink accents, it's so cute. It is made with just 6 inch squares sewed together with no border and a plain flannel back. It was quilted by machine by sewing across the quilt to anchor it down and I don't believe there is a batting or else more flannel was used as a batting. I think with all the cute flannel on the market now, you could actually piece all three of the quilts in one day if you cut them out ahead of time and chain pieced them. This washes and dries very well. Good Luck with whatever you do.
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