Friday, December 7, 2012

How to Make a Flannel Rag Baby Quilt

The best gifts for babies are ones that are keepsakes made just for them to treasure.  Flannel rag quilts are so soft and pretty.  I love to make them for family and friends.  Adding applique names make them even more special.



 
The latest one I made was given to my newest niece.  The finished size was 39" x 52".


Flannel Rag Baby Blanket Tutorial:

I used 2 1/4 yards of 3 different flannel fabrics cut into 8 inch squares.  You need 48 squares of each color.  That's 144 8" squares total. 


Each block in the quilt is 3 flannel layers thick.  I used a light pink square in the middle of the teal and also the flower squares.  This picture shows how to make the layers.  You will have 48 blocks of 3 layers.


Once the layers are laid out together, it's time to sew the layers together.  Every square is sewn in an x pattern corner to corner.  I use painter's tape to mark a straight line from the needle and just guide the corner  of the block along the tape.  There's no need to mark the squares.




Decorative stitches are a fun way to stitch the x pattern in the blocks.  Just stitch one line corner to corner, then stitch the other way corner to corner.  I used a flower stitch on the teal blocks and a wavy stitch on the flower blocks.


Lay out the blocks to position them where you want them.  The blank blocks in the picture are the ones that will be appliqued with letters. 



Personalizing the quilt is another fun way to make the baby blanket extra special. I didn't take pictures of the appliqueing process, but it's pretty simple. You will need extra fabric if you choose to add a name to the quilt. Just find a font on your word program on a computer and type out the name. The font I used was Berlin Sans FB at a size of 600. I've used a smaller font when the blocks are smaller for larger names. I usually plan the whole blanket around how many letters are in the name. Print the name and cut it out.  I just pin the letters to the fabric and cut out the fabric.  For each letter block cut one light pink letter and one flower letter. Layer the letters together so that the pink is under the flower fabric letter.  That's 2 layers of fabric per letter. This will make the letters nice and fringy (spell check says that fringy isn't a word, but I can't think of another way to say it).  I don't stitch an x pattern in the blocks with letters. Center the letters on the blocks and stitch around each letter. This is pretty thick (3 layers of block and 2 layers of letter fabric) so I use my walking foot to stitch the letters down. Stitch about 1/4" from the edge of the letter. My machine has a triple stitch I like to use on this to really make it sturdy because I like to fringe the letters by clipping the seam allowances. Clip around each letter about every 1/2".
 

 
Stitch all the blocks together right sides together with the seam allowances on top of the quilt with 1/2" seams.  The back of the quilt will not have fringe.  Here is a picture of how the seams go together.  Stitch 6 blocks across and 8 blocks up and down.  Press the seems open as you go.  I used to try to press allowances to one side and lock the seams, but that was too bulky for my machine. 
 
 
Once the blocks are sewn together, sew a 1/2" around the whole quilt.  Once again, I like to use a triple stitch on the outside to make the quilt stronger.
 
 
 
Now clip the seam allowance with scissors about every 1/2" and almost to the stitching but be careful not to cut the stitching.  (Learned that the hard way a long time ago).  It is better to cut about 1/2 way into the seam allowance.
 
Once the blanket has been clipped it is ready to be washed a couple of times.  This is not optional and should be taken to a laundry mat and done in a commercial machine.  If you have used nice quilt shop flannel, it may not be necessary to use a commercial machine.  Some flannels are messier than others.  I have washed and dried them at home the first couple times, but YOU MUST KEEP WATCH OF YOUR LINT FILTER IN THE DRYER.  After a couple of washings the blanket is all fluffed and gentle cycle washing will be great for the rest of quilts life.
 
 
I'm not great at explaining, so if you have questions feel free to leave a comment and I will try to explain better.  lol
 
Here are some other rag quilt posts:

 
 
Hope this answers some of those questions and doesn't confuse,











Linking up with:
 
Plum and June

Sew at Home Mummy
 
sew many ways

21 comments:

Glinda ♥ said...

Great tutorial and what a lovely quilt. Thanks for sharing, Carla :)

Carla said...

Thank you Glinda. You are so sweet. I'm getting a reputation as the Rag Quilt Lady. lol

Heidi Staples said...

This looks so cozy!

heart of charnwood said...

These look so cuddly and warm- can't wait until i get some time to make one! Thx for the tutorial. : )

Catherine said...

It was a really good clear tutorial and thanks for the tips about washing - I know I'm going to have to try making one of these one day because they look very snug:-)

Beth said...

What a great gift looks super cozy!

Mina said...

oh, that looks so soft and snuggly

Beth said...

That is so cute!

Carla said...

Thank you Heidi. I love making them for babies because they are so soft and cozy.

Carla said...

I love making them and I'm sure you will too. I love quilting but these are a way to make something for my loved ones that I can finish a little quicker. Thank you.

Carla said...

Catherine, this is really the first time I've tried to explain how to make anything. Thank you for the encouragement.

Carla said...

Beth, thank you. The best sewing projects are the ones I make for others. Thanks for the sweet comment.

Carla said...

Mina, thank you. I hope it keeps my niece warm for years to come.

Carla said...

Thank you, Beth. So sweet of you to stop by and comment.

Erin @ Sew at Home Mummy said...

LOVE the tutorial - I've always wondered how a rag quilt is made, and I've got a charm pack of marmalade flannels calling my name!
Thanks for linking up!!

Patrica said...

Very nice tutorial thanks for sharing.

Carla said...

Thanks Erin. I just love making these and hope you will too.

Carla said...

Thank you for the lovely comment, Patrica.

Sally said...

this looks so cozy and warm! my mom made a large size of one of these for her cousin, earlier this year. I'm hopeful that she may be making me one for Christmas!

Carla said...

Thanks Sally. I have only made baby and throw size but would like to try a larger one some time. They are so cozy and warm. Thank you for the comment and stopping by.

Flowers in the Window said...

Very pretty quilt and great tutorial! I found your blog through Sew Many Ways link party. Maggie xx