[personal profile] emmne
It has proven a little more complicated than I expected, partly because I had no idea what I was doing when I started, and I had not intention of having a back entirely made of 4 !/2 blocks. I've decided along the way that color blocks of about 5 or 6 blocks per row is good for the fabric mix I ended up with, and that's how big the backing blocks will be for the quilt-as-I-go stage. Machine sewing has helped especially for the initial strips, but sewing between the raised seams is no easy matter on the machine and would be easier if somewhat slower to do that part by hand.

It has been an interesting color exercise. I thought the least of my colors was greens, but I think it was an illusion due to the lack of variety - I had lots of scraps of the same greens, mostly solid, slightly bluish green, but overall there is lots of it, so I have made only one block of black and gray fabrics, but three blocks of greens and I'm not sure I'm done with them, yet. And that's not counting the certain spectrum of green fabrics that are waiting for me to remake an old green applique crazy quilt. The color blocks will be shifting in color from dark to light, blues to yellows, yellows to roses to purples. It's a true rag quilt to the degree of being years of leftover fabrics and not a purposeful selection. I have too much of certain fabrics I am working on finding ways to use up, not enough of pattern ones that will help blend colors that don't go well, but maximizing the mix within similar groups, the slow rainbow progressions have meant that so far I've only rejected a couple of fabrics that didn't look good next to anything else in the group.

I don't know that I would make another one, but I like to try at least all the basic types of quilts, and I hadn't done a rag quilt before but like the fluffy look of some of those I've seen. I don't care for the ones that have very short, tight seams, as if they were trying to look like chanile (sp?). It looks like I will not have lots of leftovers, so what I do end up with will probably be pillow shams or pillow cases, depending on how many I end up with, the fabrics, and the color spectrum. If it is much of the heavier fabrics, I'll make it a sham for a decorative pillow, as they don't make the best direct sleeping. A proper pillow case should be a light, smooth cotton weave or flannel, not cordiroy or denim or polyester, and this quilt has them all.

Rag Quilt

Jul. 9th, 2013 08:42 pm
[personal profile] emmne
Summer time is sewing time (when even sitting next to the sewing machine isn't too hot) and I have a couple going. One is a Rag quilt. In this case, more true than some. Over the past year, as I ended up with leftovers not much more than a 4 1/2 inch strip, or lots of irregular scraps from fussy cutting, I cut it into 4 1/2 inch squares or strips and added them to a pile. I have pretty bit pile so sorted them loosely by color family (blues, browns, rose-pink-red, mostly white, mostly black, a few greens, yellow-orange-cream), grabbed a pile and started sewing with about 1 inch seams. It is more challenging than one would think, mostly because I have to break all my hard earned sewing habits, stop, put back sides together, sew, do it again.

So, in case you don't know, a rag quilt is a quilt with inside-out seams, which make for a fluffy fringy top of varying degrees. (I've seen some with such small seams, it's hardly worth the bother, and some where there was so much fluff/seam allowance, the base fabric colors didn't matter. It was all the whitish backs of cotton prints showing. I'm assembling by blocks, top only, and plan to quilt as I go thereafter, maybe to a back, batting and front, maybe to a back plus a batting made of old towels, which should help the fluffiness and not need a surface between the blocks and the batting (for where it might show between blocks if I don't quilt all the way to the edges from both sides). It is common to have a back of blocks, maybe even down to the 4 1/2 or other piece size, and sew all the layers like piecing, with no separate quilting, but I'm picturing slightly poofy centers to the 4 1/2 squares, between the zig-zag cut fringes, so quilting of some degree, maybe even stuffing a bit with scrap batting or pillow stuffing.

I haven't decided quite what i will do with the colored blocks yet. Probably see how many blocks they make, then decide how to combine the leftovers, again depending on numbers of each color, to see if they are like half blocks or just onesy twosys for a center block, or some combination suggestive of a pattern or progression.
[personal profile] emmne
Off center squares-inside-squares.

Suggestion: use the same base color for all the outer squares.

Advanced: use different shapes inside or different sized outer squares and rectangles (e.g. 4, 8 12 or 3, 6, 9) Make a stack of each and fit them together.
[personal profile] emmne
http://home.earthlink.net/~wyverns/2013.06.01_arch.html#1370100416827 Today's blog post was mostly about writing, but along the way it draws some parallels and a couple of ideas for taking a scrappy quilt from the generic to the unique and interesting.


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