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Showing posts from January, 2009

Faux Chenille Links

My mother mentioned faux chenille to me a long while back-- over a year ago, probably. I'm interested, now, too-- probably because of my "experience" (oh, yeah, I'm so experienced! (g)) with rag quilting. (Rag quilting and making faux chenille aren't the same thing, but I think it's fair to say that they're related...) A quick search revealed at least a few good links with basic information. I don't know when I'll ever get around to trying it, but here are a few links to refer to, somewhere down the road:
"A Primer for Constructing Faux Chenille" (on Nannette Holmberg's site)"Creating GREAT Slash-Fabrics", by McKenna Linn"Faux Chenille", by Sue Bleiweiss"Faux Chenille Purse Tutorial", by "Butterflyspain"

All Ragged Out

I finally completed the ragging process on my lap quilt, this afternoon. Here's the detailed play-by-play, in case anyone's interested (and in case I should forget my own process, if it takes me another couple of years to get the next rag quilt ready for ragging):

First, I made a "blanket bag" for washing the quilt in, to catch the lint and loose threads that might otherwise clog the drain. I took an old queen size flat sheet, folded it in half, and pinned the two halves together. I sewed together two of the open sides, leaving one of the two shorter sides unsewn. I then removed the pins and turned the whole thing so that the seam was hidden inside. (That might not have been necessary, but it's a force of habit.)

I decided to try out one of the tips I recently wrote about-- that of throwing the quilt into the dryer on "air" (without heat) for a few minutes prior to washing. It did take out a fair bit of lint and loose threads, but I don't know th…

More Rag Quilting Links

I don't think I've linked to these pages before. . . The following are a handful of rag quilting-related sites and photos I came across within the past couple of weeks.

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I really like this type of rag quilt, with its "circles and diamonds" pattern. It's a nice change from the rows of squares you typically see. (Don't get me wrong-- I like the simple squares, too, but if you're going to be making very many rag quilts, you'll likely want to spice things up a bit, somewhere down the line.) This pattern reminds me of a stained glass window, for some reason.

(Incidentally, I'm pretty sure I've seen photos of that pattern done as a traditional quilt-- without exposed seams-- but I'm such a quilting novice that I have no idea what the design might be called. Anyone care to educate me? (g))

If you like the quilt, too, and are interested in giving it a try, then you're in luck; Cathy Brose has generously provided us with…

The Sticking Scissors Get the Oil...

I finished snipping my rag-quilted lap quilt last night, during the commercial breaks in the LOST season premiere. Now I just need to figure out how to wash it. I think I'm going to make a "washing bag" out of an old sheet. I've used an old pillow case before, to catch the loose threads from smaller projects. We'll see how it works for a small quilt. . .

The snipping wasn't too bad. Doing it in stages really helped keep it from becoming too much of a chore. Be advised, though, that when people talk about "watching TV" while they snip a rag quilt, what they really mean is listening to the TV. (g) It's best to do this with something that's more audio than visual. (As a matter of fact, I think I'll listen to an audio book the next time I have some snipping to do.)

The snipping went much faster and easier after I oiled my snippers. I wrote yesterday that they were sticking-- not springing open as much as they were supposed to. I tho…

Rag Quilting Tips

Here are a few rag quilting-related tips I stumbled across on a message board (I think) called something like "Craft Exchange Friends". I was only able to read them thanks to Google's cache, so I thought it worthwhile copying them down for future use, while they're still available:
"Cutting Tip: If you cut the squares diagonal on the fabric instead of on the straight grain of the fabric you don't have to spend all that time ragging the edges. After sewing all the squares together place the finished quilt top in your washing machine and dryer, the edges will come out fringed. This method is called Faux Chenille." --SharonI haven't tried this myself, so I can't recommend it from personal experience, but it makes sense to me. There might be times, though (such as when you're cutting squares from cast-off clothes), when it would be impractical to have to cut on the bias-- mainly because it takes more room. . . if you understand what I mean. (g…

Denim Rag Quilt: Progress!

I'm almost ashamed to admit how long it took me to finish sewing my first denim rag quilt. . . I started cutting the squares in November 2007, and I didn't finish sewing it until a day or two ago! Rag quilts are just about the simplest quilt you can make, I guess, and yet it has taken me a bit over a year to finally finish my first one. (g) (And it's still not technically finished, since I have lots of snipping to do-- not to mention putting it through the wash a couple of times to get it really raggedy.)

In my defense, once I started sewing at it in earnest, it didn't take me long to do. I ran into a problem-- a broken needle on my sewing machine-- early in the project (probably back in 2007). After that, I set it aside and was hesitant to pick it back up again, wondering if my machine (and I) could handle all those layers of fabric. It turns out I needn't have worried, though. I went through the rest of the project without breaking any needles.

All in all, the pr…

Interesting Books for Stitchers and Button-Lovers

Woo, fell of the face of the Earth for a while there, but I think I'm back, now. ;o)

So, maybe you received some cash over the holidays and you're looking for a way to spend it. No? Sorry 'bout that. . . Anyway, I've still found a few fun books while wandering around Amazon, and I thought I'd share.

Button It Up, by Susan Beal
This one won't be released until March, but that's not so far off. As you may have guessed by the title, it's about buttons. (I'm sort of obsessed with buttons-- have been ever since I started making them out of polymer clay-- and even before that I was semi-smitten with them.) The blurb says this book "details 80 fashionable projects including bold and beautiful pendants, rings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches, earrings, and more. Also included are instructions for an eye-catching assortment of accessories and housewares, from bookmarks and keychains to purses, market totes, and embellished curtains. Readers will find …