Karen writes about life as a Quiltmaker in Austin, Texas; surviving in an empty nest, marriage, cooking, gardening and (did I say?) Quilting...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Quilting a Holiday

What better way to spend a few hours on a quiet Christmas day than to work on a Rag Quilt?

A couple of years ago, I made 5 or 6 of these easy, but arduous quilts. They were all the rage - patterns were everywhere. I looked them all over and settled on the RagTime pattern from Quilt Country in Lewisville looked simple enough. As you can see, it's just alternating plain blocks with 4-patches, with a 1 inch seam that is sewn on the front, then clipped to turn into a lovely raggy chenille like surface.

The problem is the heft of the flannel, which makes the final sewing of the heavy batting filled strips a real bear wrestling match. And then, there is the clipping.....

One of the scissor companies came out with a scissor especially designed to make the work a bit easier on the hand, but it's still requires thousands of snips... tick, tick, tick, goes the life clock.

I discovered an old pair of electric scissors in my collection of old sewing things, and discovered that it is the simplest way to clip those seam allowances - no wear on the hands, and does the job in a fraction of the time required with manual scissors!

I had two large blanket-sized bags full of pre-cut blocks, that have not been touched for two years - last year I laid off, and decided I'd given away enough Rag quilts for a while!

But, alas, one important member of my family had NOT received a quilt - my baby brother! 10 years my junior, he's just not someone I think of as one who sits around needing a lap quilt...

But that said, he recently commented that he "had NEVER been given a quilt".... and so, the mighty bags of flannel squares were resurrected from the depths of my stash closet. Some uncut yardage, which included some darker, more manly, and less Christmas-like fabrics were also enlisted in the efforts.

The old 1927 Singer 31-15 was more than up to the task of constructing the quilt, and those old electric scissors still work as well as I remember. If was a fun task to work on over the holidays.

So, for the past few days, I've tried to finish off the quilt. Tomorrow, I'll post a picture of the finished quilts.

I do hope you were able to take a few hours out to enjoy doing a bit of quilting this Holiday Season - and wish a Very Merry Christmas to you and yours!


Anonymous said...

Happy Holidays, Mrs. H! I hope John, Mr. H and the animals are well.

Mel said...

Wanted to let you know how much of an inspiration you are to me. I've nominated you for Make my Day award.

Donna said...

What year was your brother born???? and how much older are you??? And how old is Dad???
Just teasing you, you know, Ha, I made it to your web site again.
Rusty thought he had one of your rag quilts, but I think you just gave one to me or us in general, so I think he wants one of those when you get started on one for him.