The before story

20 comments
From far away . . . cute.
Close up - looks like?

A week or so ago my friend Jan (the painter) brought me 2 quilt kits for baby boy quilts. Jan and I have this great trading agreement and I'm building a trade for a new painting by making quilts. These quilts are for twin boys that will be Jan's grandnephews due in July.

Now I do love to make baby quilts and I was happy to make the quilts. The picture (far away) on the pattern looked pretty straight forward. It appeared to be sashed squares and because I'm a fan of squares I thought, "hey this looks fun and I can do it fairly quickly". Wrong. The picture did not show the real story.

The pattern and kits came from a store in another state that Jan's sister picked up, so this is totally not Jan's fault. Or her sister's, probably. If you didn't open up the pattern and read it you'd never know how weird the method is for making these quilts. I read the pattern the night Jan dropped off the kits and then the next 2-3 days I spent thinking "What have I gotten myself into?".

The pattern essentially calls for measuring and making a grid on the fabric top, cutting out squares, and then top stitching and quilting the squares onto the grid through all layers, leaving rough edges on top and loose threads exposed. I'm a pretty traditional quilter like most of us, so even Buggy Barn can throw me. I couldn't wrap my brain around this concept. I even called the quilt store where the kits came from to make sure I wasn't misunderstanding.

It took some time to even just draw the grid and prep the quilts so I won't say this is a time saving quilt method. (No offense Jan, you had no idea what you were giving me.)

And then it was pretty tricky to keep the blocks straight, stitching lines straight and machine quilt all at the same time. Anyway thats done, the quilts are bound and now the next step is to wash them. The instructions say to wash the quilt and then "clip the strings". I would normally call them threads, but I haven't seen what happens to these after washing yet - yikes. My fear is that the quilt blocks will fray past the quilting lines and into the squares.

So long story - here are the "before the wash" pictures. I have to say it is cute from a distance but I'm not really sure about close up. And of course I love Anne's Miss Emma fabric on the quilt tops.



I'll wash them now and we'll see what happens. - nanette
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20 comments

Sarah and Jack said...

Is it supposed to be a rag quilt? It looks like it, but with the corners sewn down it won't rag properly?

Lily Boot said...

Oooh - I can well understand your hesitation - raw edges, loose threads, wobbly lines - all the things we work at so painstakingly to avoid! I'm curious to see how it washes. For all the time and effort you've put in, I'm hoping it looks good! I too love that Miss Emma blue and brown spot - I have just used it as lightning sashing in a quilt - and ordered metres too much so now it is just popping up everywhere - good thing it's lovely. :-)

MM said...

I'll bet it is supposed to be a rag quilt, and the seam allowance clipped every 1/2 in., stopping a few threads before the seamline. Then it frays and looks fluffy. I've made several, but never assembled that way. Bet they will be really cute!

May Kristin said...

Love the colours in this quilt! Look forward to see it washed and frayed! I think it will look great!

Becky said...

I was talking to a woman in the fabric store the other day who was using this method with flannel. She said she calls it a 'rag quilt' and her grandchildren love them. The flannel makes it so soft and squishy for little people.

I actually think the look is a great look for little boys. But I'd be afraid, like you, that it would ravel to death.

Great job on a challenging project!!

purple and paisley said...

it turned out amazingly beautiful...how you had the patience and gumption to do this is beyond me...remember the old saying: everything will be okay once it comes out in the wash? how appropriate for this...=) godod job, friend...

Stephanie said...

Can't wait to see the after. I do love the colors and the pattern. Wishing you good results after washing.

pink-petal-designs said...

all worth it though, they are lovely !
Sarah x

Busty LaRue said...

I think it is cute. I could never do something like that. i just don't have the patience. Can't wait to see what it looks like after the washing! :)

~D Spack~ said...

Nanette: I love those quilts! A girl from our area invented the pattern. ...there was a lady loving that quilt, walking around the store with the original quilt trying to pick out fabrics and figuring out how to make one, then suddenly she AND the quilt were gone...nowhere to be seen. Yup, ripped off! :( I made one last Spring, I showed it on my blog a while back. When college daugher comes home in May we are making one for a table topper on the kitchen table. It should sew up just fine.

~D Spack~ said...

oops, I meant to say that yours should WASH up just fine, so long as you used 1/4 seams.

Thimbleanna said...

Wow, that so interesting Nanette! I would have never guessed there were raw edges from the first picture. I'll be anxious for your after-wash-report -- I'm kind of with Sarah in thinking with corners sewn down it won't rag a lot???

Erin said...

Wow - I'm not even a quilter and I think this is a little odd. It seems if they couldn't have come up with a stranger or more difficult way to quilt. Weird!! - But pretty!

erica e said...

wow, this has potential to be really cool. i love the colors, the overall pattern, and the idea of fuzzy edges. but i'm with you on being a little bit nervous about how it will work. sounds like, from all the other comments, it will be great though. can't wait to see pics of it finished!

Marilyn said...

My quilting buddy made this quilt and it turned out very cute. (Yes, it is supposed to be a rag quilt.)

eileen said...

I think too this is going to be really cute. But I don't envy you cutting all those threads after the washing. Sounds like a lot of work when you want it to be done. But these are popular right now.

Cheryl said...

I have made a quilt similar and yep it has the raggy edges. Love the fabrics and color and they are going to be wonderful when they are done!

Darlene said...

Love the quilt - it's a different technique but definitely a sweet quilt. I'll be anxious to see how it frays.

Kim said...

Wow what a great concept.
I'm guessing the fabric was unwashed to get it to fray well....
thanks for stopping by :)

Ginger Patches said...

They have a quilt hanging up like that at the Country Loft. It's really cute! In fact I have a friend who is just starting one.