Saturday, November 26, 2011
A rag quilt has great personality with the little blocks and frazzled and frayed seams sticking upward into the quilt top. Making a rag quilt "by hand" means sewing seams together so the seams are on top, not beneath the project and then when that is all done, you begin the process of clipping a hundred gazillion snips to make fringe on each exposed seam layer. It's a hand breaker and most of the time my hands feel like they have been hammered. Thankfully I have an Accu-Go quilt die machine and delight of all delights, one of the die cuts (yes, just like Sizzix only bigger) is a rag quilt die cut which amazingly enough cuts every single little fringe piece on all 4 sides. I used sheeting for my quilt backing and actually to achieve a wonderful "matching" I ran the denim block and the sheet block through the die cut at the same time. This little wonderful Accu-go can cut about 5 layers of fabric at once. Once the 2 layers have been die cut, then you sew a big X from point to point which anchors the two fabrics nicely. When the stack has been done,the next process is to sew those fringed seams together with the fringe on the right side. It gets a little tedious trying to make the little fringes behave, to make sure each snip stands up and is not sewn into the seam. Actually at this point you are sewing 4 layers of fabric, and you sew your seam just about 1/2 or an inch beneath the clip of the fringe. I use a small stitch on this process. And most importantly, it is very easy to have a little fringe escape and get sewn in the backside. Rip out time.... When the intended rows of rag quilt blocks have been sewn together, then you sew one row to the next and you continue this process until your quilt has been assembled. The backside is nice and neat with lined up seams and pretty fabrics, the top side is a jumble of cute blocks and fringe. Next is the fraying process which is done in the washing machine....and cotton, denim...they fray like champs. Warning: your washer will be a hotbed of frayed threads and clumps. I remove the quilt, clean out the washing machine, and then I take the quilt in the backyard and shake it about 10 times. After the quilt is dried, you have....voila'....a cute frayed rag quilt. Thank heaven for my Accu-Go because otherwise....there would never be a rag quilt creation in this sewin' gal project bin.
Kuddos to my friend LeAnn who brought me the old levis to work with.