Monday, February 21, 2011

Rag Quilt with Chenille and Reverse Appliqued Stars

I made this quilt for my husband. It is made with Alternating Faux Chenille and Reverse Applique Stars. Each block is a finished 9 inch square and the quilt is 63″ × 81″; extra long for my tall husband. Each block consists of 4 layers of flannel, I’ve come up with my own method using freezer paper. First, I cut the freezer paper to 10 inches square, then I draw my stitching line 1/2 inch from the edge.

For the Stars: I drew an asymmetrical star in the center. Next, iron the freezer paper to the top layer of flannel, add 3 more layers to the bottom and pin the outside edges and one pin in center. With paper side up, sew the outside square at seem allowance and then sew the star on the drawn line. I used a 1.5 (very small) stitch legnth, so that the freezer paper could easily be torn off without pulling the stitches and breaking them. Carefully pull the layers of the star apart and only cut through the top two layers of flannel, trimming the reverse applique a 1/2 inch from the sewn line clip every 1/2 inch.

For the Faux Chenille: I also used the freezer paper and drew 45 degree, diagonal lines every 1/2 inch, starting at the center, and working out. Draw the 1/2 inch seam allowance also. I have found that the freezer paper stabilizes these chenille blocks very well, and you end up with a “square” block instead of a distorted one from sewing across the bias. Iron the freezer paper to the top layer and then stack the other three layers and pin. The way that I sewed these was to start sewing up the shortest line (in one corner), up to the seam allowance line, across that line, and back down to the the next line, sewing in a continuous line, zig zagging to the other corner, until all the lines are sewn. Do not sew the entire seam allowance line first as in the star block, you will need to cut up the channels to make the chenille. Cut the chenille channels before sewing quilt together.

Next sew all the blocks together as you would any other quilt, except the raw edges go on the top of the quilt. Clip all raw edges every 1/2 inch to make the rag part of quilt. I clip the raw edges about 3/8" deep, as not to cut past the seams.
Last step is to wash and dry it, so it fluffs up and turns to chenille. BE VERY CAREFUL WASHING, CHANGING LINT FILTER FREQUENTLY. I have found that it is best to use a very short rince and spin cycle, and empty dryer lint every couple of minutes.
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