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Rag Quilt ? Part 2--Sewing pre-snipped blocks--Possible without sobbing??

Rag Quilt ? Part 2--Sewing pre-snipped blocks--Possible without sobbing??

Old 02-20-2013, 11:59 AM
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Default Rag Quilt ? Part 2--Sewing pre-snipped blocks--Possible without sobbing??

First of all, I LOVE my Accuquilt Go Baby cutter. It slices through layers of heavy flannel like butter. I am using the rag block die for the first time on flannel and trying to sew the blocks together is really making me want to cry.

Trying to keep all those snipped ends under control while sewing these rows together is like wrestling a gazillion greased baby octupi. I am having to use a much larger seam to make sure I "catch" all the ends and still end up with corners not totally connected at times. I have to turn it over after every row and check every single intersection and no matter how careful I am, there is always a weak join somewhere.

The rag die seemed like such an amazing idea, BUT I am now very disillusioned with the whole process. I have discovered that it takes the same amount of time to make a rag quilt with precut blocks, just taking a LOT more time (and frustration) to sew together accurately, totally negating the time saved not having to snip afterward.

Any tips from you Accuquilt rag die users? I am using flannel but am still going to try starch before trying to assemble rag quilt #2. It's all I can think of to help keep this mess under control. Yikes!
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:44 PM
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I have no problems with my die cut rag squares. I follow the recommended 1" seam allowance and they're fast, quick and easy.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:51 PM
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I make a lot of rag quilts with the rag die. No problem at all sewing. The snips are not close to the needle at all, I sew 1/4" from the solid edge.

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Old 02-20-2013, 01:31 PM
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I'm making this for someone who asked for flannel with batting. I prewashed my flannel (shrinkage & all) and am using a very thin cotton batting. The largest rag die I can use with my Go Baby is 5 1/4" so I'm wondering if I am just experiencing a combination of "challenges" such as using soft prewashed flannel, smallish blocks making bulky flannel layers (and additional batting bulk) which all combined are hard to control when putting it all together. If there is anything I'm missing, I welcome your suggestions.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:58 PM
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I am assuming you sewed an X through the squares before sewing them together. The prewashed flannel would make floppy snips. I starch my pre washed flannel fairly stiff before cutting with the die. It may take some time but starching the squares to have straight snips may be the answer for you.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:32 PM
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Thanks BellaBoo, yes I did "X" them before sewing together. I am thinking that my flannel was too heavy and the prewash really made all those little tabs a floppy mess. I also think that the 5 1/4" squares are a little small for the flannel I am using -- just too much to control at one time. Will use a different "recipe" for my next rag quilt!
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by RavenLunaStitch View Post
First of all, I LOVE my Accuquilt Go Baby cutter. It slices through layers of heavy flannel like butter. I am using the rag block die for the first time on flannel and trying to sew the blocks together is really making me want to cry.

Trying to keep all those snipped ends under control while sewing these rows together is like wrestling a gazillion greased baby octupi. I am having to use a much larger seam to make sure I "catch" all the ends and still end up with corners not totally connected at times. I have to turn it over after every row and check every single intersection and no matter how careful I am, there is always a weak join somewhere.

The rag die seemed like such an amazing idea, BUT I am now very disillusioned with the whole process. I have discovered that it takes the same amount of time to make a rag quilt with precut blocks, just taking a LOT more time (and frustration) to sew together accurately, totally negating the time saved not having to snip afterward.

Any tips from you Accuquilt rag die users? I am using flannel but am still going to try starch before trying to assemble rag quilt #2. It's all I can think of to help keep this mess under control. Yikes!
I use a lot of painters tape when I sew, since it comes off so cleanly. Can you tape the edges before you sew? Guess I'll be finding out soon. Amazon sent me a note that my cutter has been shipped.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by RavenLunaStitch View Post
I'm making this for someone who asked for flannel with batting. I prewashed my flannel (shrinkage & all) and am using a very thin cotton batting. The largest rag die I can use with my Go Baby is 5 1/4" so I'm wondering if I am just experiencing a combination of "challenges" such as using soft prewashed flannel, smallish blocks making bulky flannel layers (and additional batting bulk) which all combined are hard to control when putting it all together. If there is anything I'm missing, I welcome your suggestions.

I'd never try to put batting with a rag quilt. I did once use two layers of flannel and 1 layer of regular cotton. Worked well----------and it's warm.

Can you baste the batting on one piece or the other, maybe?
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:29 PM
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I'm too far into it to change anything now, but I do think the batting is a bit much in combination with the particular flannel I'm using -- it's nice and heavy and far too soft after washing. I think the next time I use flannel I will use no batting or flannel for the batting and cut it all together so it's already straight and ready to sew -- sandwiching the flannel and batting was the beginning of the nightmare of trying to keep those small tabs straight.

On another note, you will LOVE LOVE LOVE your Go cutter! Which one did you order? I have the Go Baby which is the smallest one but it does what I need and it is SO nice having pieces of fabric cut accurately every time! I iron and fuss with my folds to make sure I get good cuts with as little fabric waste as possible and with a little trial and error I have a good system for it now. I have carpal tunnel syndrome in my wrists and a little arthritis too, so cutting lots of fabric with scissors or even a rotary cutter is not an option for me. My Go Baby is my VERY favorite gadget, hands down! I know there are lots of people who say they are a waste of money, but I am definitely NOT one of them! Whenever I have a little extra $$ I treat myself to a new cutting die! PM me if you want to chat about the Go!
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