Monday, January 26, 2009

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 instructions for making our own! As she mentions, you can substitute flannel and/or cotton for the denim. You could also increase the size of the circles and squares, for a different look (and less cutting and sewing).

I'm definitely going to give this a try, one of these days. I may try it for a sofa pillow first, though, just to get a feel for how much work it is. . .

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For inspiration-- a couple more photos of "circle and diamonds/stars"-patterned quilts:
If you know of any, feel free to link to other photos of this type of quilt, whether raggedy or not. I'd love to see them!

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Here are more free rag quilting tutorials to add to your list! (What? Doesn't everyone keep a list of these things?!)

--These written instructions take you through the production of a 48" x 62" rag quilt.

--Jen Yu's photo tutorial for flannel rag quilts.

--Kona's Zig-Zag Rag Quilt (which measures approx. 72" square) features Kona cottons, but you can easily substitute your own fabric choices to make this patterend rag quilt. (This type of quilt may involve more cutting, sewing, and snipping than the typical "rows and columns of squares" quilt, but it could be worth the extra effort.)

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A little inspiration:

--I like the "framing" effect in Brenda Miller's Maple Leaf Rag Quilt. (Another interesting feature-- it's ragged on both sides, unlike most rag quilts, which have a ragged side and a plain side.)

--A photo of a denim messenger bag (on theyellowroses' photostream). Reminds me of the bag I made, only that one had diagonal stripes instead of patchwork squares-- and it's not as roomy as this one appears to be. (Need to try making another one, sometime.)

--I like the looks of Patricia Wilson's American Flag Rag Quilt (either 35" x 50" or 45" x 60"). I've thought of making bags and quilts that look like flags, but when I considered the American flag, the field of stars was always a deterrent. This simplified/stylized approach works very well, I think-- and by leaving the stripes as strips instead of squares pieced together, you'd really speed up your progress. (It might also actually look better this way. . .)

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Rag-Quilted Pillows:

I've been thinking for a while about making rag-quilted shams for some throw pillows for the sofa. Here's a photo of one I stumbled upon (uncredited) on the Internet:

Yes, that's pretty much what I had in mind-- only I was thinking you could make a set of pillows in coordinating fabrics, but in slightly different patterns. Maybe one would be squares, like this one, but another would be stripes, and one would be in the circles and diamonds pattern, and so on.

If you're interested in making a simple pillow like the one above, check out these instructions for a Homespun Rag Patchwork Pillow, by Gayla Carlson. She writes that the pillow pictured was created in two hours by the eleven-year-old who's modeling it-- and it was her first sewing machine project! That should encourage the rest of us with a few more years under our belts to give this one a try! ;o)

It seems that many examples of rag quilting are "done up" in plaids and stripes. I like that rustic, "country" style look, but if that's not your cup of tea-- or if it just doesn't jive with your home decor-- keep in mind that you can use any patterns you like-- solids, florals, abstract patterns, even novelty fabrics with your favorite team's logo or those cartoon characters your kids love so much. The same pillow pattern can look bold and modern in a rainbow of eye-catching solids or femininely "shabby chic" in delicate florals and pastels.

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In the section above, I linked to Gayla Carlson's website. Well, she also has several other rag quilting projects available: a scarf, rag quilt square basics, a bib, an apron, a few purses/bags, placemats, a belt, a kitchen towel, and more. See? I told you rag quilting was good for more than "just" quilts! ;o)

Still aren't convinced? Check out these rag-quilted table runners from Country by Design. (I'm particularly fond of this one.) I like her use of 3-D embellishments/appliques-- flowers, pinwheels, butterflies-- fun!

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Well, that's all I have for you, right now. I hope your week is off to a great start!