Wednesday, January 21, 2009

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." --Sharon
I 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) Still, it might be worth trying, if you find the snipping step tiresome.
"Instead of putting it in the washer 1st, I put mine in the dryer on "air/fluff" (no heat) for about 30 min, checking and emptying the lint filter about every 10 min, then I wash it. There's still a lot of lint threads in the washer, but I know there aren't as many as there would have been. Even after washing, I take them outside (WOW, are they HEAVY when wet!!!) and shake more clippings out, then dry it in the dryer." --Patty
I haven't tried this one, either, but it's interesting. I don't have a way (that I know of) to easily filter the water before it leaves my washing machine, but I can easily check and clear the lint filter in my dryer. However, since she says that there's still "a lot" of loose thread in the washer, I wonder how much help this would actually be. Something to consider, though.
Re: Fiskars rag quilt snipper scissors: "TIP: If while using the snippers and they start sticking, spray a little WD-40 on the blades hinge, then wipe the blades off. Pump the scissors a few times, then back to snipping and they will seem like new scissors again. I think the lint builds up and dries out the blades hinge and it just needs lubrication. Anyway, it worked for me!" --Patty
Aha! So maybe I can get my snippers back in good working order again! I'll definitely be giving this one a try, and I'll try to remember to mention whether or not it works for me, too.
"I make mug rugs the same way, only in a shape - heart, oval, etc." --Jazbo
I've never heard of a "mug rug" before, but it sounds like a coaster. Guess I wasn't the only one to think of that, then. (g) (Not that I'm surprised. I've long since given up on coming up with any idea that's totally new to the world.) However, as you'll likely remember if you're familiar with this blog, I make my coasters in square shapes with "appliques" in hearts, flowers, etc. Jazbo's idea of making the whole coaster in a non-square shape is an interesting alternative. (Personally, I think I prefer the squares, but to each her own way.)

So, that's it for the tips. Maybe someone else will find them helpful or inspiring, too. :o)