Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rag Blanket Project!!!

I am not really sure what got into me last weekend but after making some flannel receiving blankets for my sister in law, I was looking at some blogs and websites to get some other ideas and came across some really cute and simple quilting projects, rag blankets!!! OK, I have NEVER quilted or anything even close before but I thought, "hey, if I can make mittens, I should be able to sew this thing together!!!" The patterns I saw also used flannel but I wanted to use a soft cotton so that it wouldn't pill up the way flannel tends to do after several washings.

The best part of this project . . . . picking out the fabric!!!!!! Missy introduced me to a super cute little store, Hannah Johnson Fabrics, that carries all sorts of shabby chic patterns!! (best to keep the checkbook in the car! And shhhh . ... I do plan to visit there again VERY soon!) You wouldn't believe how incredibly soft and satiny these cotton fabrics are, and so, so cute!!! THANK YOU JANET !!!!

To make this blanket is pretty easy. It does take some time though, so make sure you have set aside a few nights for this one. After checking out a few patterns online, I cut 7" squares out of fabric and 5.5" squares out of thin batting.

Then I sewed an "x" through each square, pretty much just to keep the batting in place.

Once you figure out how many squares you need, just decide if you want a pattern or would just rather make a "hodge podge" design of random squares. I referenced two different blankets online to make this pattern. It helped me to lay it all out and make a chart of which fabrics went in each space, that way, the next step was super easy.

You have to sew the squares together in strips first.

Then start sewing the strips together line by line to make your blanket, keeping all the seam allowances on one side of the blanket.

Almost done, but this is the worst part. Once all the squares are sewn together, and you run around the outside of the blanket to make a 1/2" seam, you need to make cuts in all the seams, about 1/4" apart, making sure NOT to cut into the stitching. I wouldn't recommend trying to do this all in a single night if you are making a bigger blanket, or your fingers may fall off!

Last step! When the snipping is done, you get to wash the blanket which frays and softens the edges of the cut seams. Make sure you check the dryer often during this step to remove all the extra material that may clog up the lint trap. One of the online tutorials I read even said to use a industrial machine at a laundromat if necessary.

But now its done!!! WhooHOO!! And I read that the more it gets washed, the softer it will get!! I love it!!! It goes so well in my living room, accompanied in this picture by my favorite pillow . .. a purchase from one of the best little re-purpose shops - Snowman Hill !!!!

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