Archive of ‘Quilt’ category

Rag quilts are fun and easy!

Rag Quilt Front

My  teen daughter (13) just loves Elmo. Don’t ask me why, I’m still trying to figure it out. Not that he isn’t just so darn adorable and cuddly and giggly, I just thought it seemed weird that a teen would still love Elmo. After all, her older sister who is 18 had her entire nursery decorated in Elmo!  Anyway, my daughter and her friends love Sesame Street characters!

For Christmas 2012 she wanted an Elmo lap quilt so I scoured the Internet looking for some good rag quilt tutorials and with a combination of tips from blogs and videos from YouTube I found enough information to finally begin my project.



I went to work looking for flannels that would fit the bill. I did end up finding some Elmo and Sesame Street themed flannels from Joann Fabrics so I went ahead and made my purchase. I also bought several bright primary color flannels in blue, red, yellow, and green.


I have NEVER cut that many squares in my entire life. And that includes all the paper I ever cut in Kindergarten and up. And then I cut the batting also into squares. I really don’t remember how much fabric I originally asked for but I cut up the entire amount into squares.


After the cutting, things started getting a little obsessive for me. I get a little crazy when it comes to patterns and numbers so I brought out my graph paper and my red, blue, yellow, and green markers. I counted all my squares of cut material and made a notation of how many I had of each color. With that number I figured out just how large my quilt would be (how many squares across and down). I created the quilt pattern by coloring in squares on my graph paper until it all came together the way I wanted it to. That took an entire day and then night. I drew tons of grids and then slept on it. When I found a grid that worked I used that as my blueprint. I referred to it while I sewed my squares together, and then my rows.

My plan of action


Fringes cut and ragged

And oh, the cutting (and cursing) that ensued. After my first night of snipping and created the raggy fringes, I went out and bought a pair of spring-loaded scissors. Best purchase ever. It took me about two weeks to finish cutting. I cut every night before I went to bed. I find it disturbing that even after showering and getting into bed I was still finding fabric lint and thread in places that it didn’t belong.



When all of the fringe snipping was finally complete I took the quilt to a laundromat next to my job and washed and dried it in one of the huge commercial machines. There was no way I was going to put that thing into my washer or dryer at home, it would have surely ruined it. Anyway, the pictures show the end result of a one-time rag quilt washing. According to the information I read on the Internet the quilt has a lot more washings to go through before it truly rags up but I am very satisfied with the end result.



The only thing I am really disappointed with is the pilling of the fabric. I have no idea how to get those balls off. I tried lint rollers but then haven’t worked. A fellow quilter recommended a lint shaver. I’ve yet to buy one but I think I may pick one up. Anyway, my daughter loves the quilt and THAT is all that matters to me.

Quilt Back
Closeup Quilt Back

What is it about tumbling elephants that is just sew darn adorable???

I made this adorable baby quilt for a friend and I am very proud of how it turned out. I used this pattern here from Happy Dance Quilting blog as my inspiration. I changed it up a little bit but I am extremely pleased at the end results. I purchased a layer cake from my LQS, Buttonwood Quilts, as well as some matching yardage for the backing. The fabric line is called Good Morning! and it was made by Me and My Sister Designs for Moda. I cut the layer cake into four charm packs and used one of those charm packs plus part of a white charm pack for the top. The pink polka dot was a fabric from Joann Fabrics that has been in my stash for years and I think it was a great choice for a border and for the applique. The purple fabric was also a purchase from Joann Fabrics from years ago. It is great to finally break out some of those pieces and finally use them! I used a 5″ tumbler template that I purchased from my favorite shop: Missouri Star Quilt Company.

Tumblers pieced with border
Finished product

Closeup of quilting and applique


coordinating yardage for back

folded, tied, and ready to be delivered!

Completed Table Topper

I finished this table topper a few weeks ago. This was my first fully finished quilted project and I am so proud of it! It started out as a lap quilt but of course I didn’t take into account the seam allowances and it ended up as a table topper. I learned a lot of things on the way to completing this project.
I learned the importance of measurements (as I ran out of binding), the importance of seam allowances (which will obviously reduce the size of your finished product if you don’t take that into account), the importance of ironing (which will make nesting and matching seams much easier), the importance of extra rotary blades (I messed up good fabric with dull blades), the importance of preparation (how many times I stopped to wind a bobbin and then ran out of thread), and so many more lessons.
This piece lives on a part of my desk in my cubicle at work where I keep my family pictures.
I bought the fabric from WalMart. I think I used one print charm pack and pieces out of a white charm pack that I had. I referenced several hourglass quilt tutorials to get the basic idea and then went to it. I used a solid matching backing piece.

The little contrast piece of my binding serves two purposes. It hides the fact that I ran out of binding and it is a  “signature”but I have to decide if I am going to hand embroider my name on it or fuse it to the piece.

Finally set up my Sewing Space!

Cork board/ white board

Storage unit and boxes from Target; printer on top; rotating spool holder will replace the bag of spools; puzzle magazines and quilt magazines in magazine holder

Lamp will be painted navy blue

Sewing table fully open; cross-stitch picture found at Goodwill; may or may not go on wall at some point

Annette’s Sewing Space

I’ve never had my own sewing space. My sewing table sat and served as a BAR for years in my dining room, with my sewing machine stored safely under it. Yes, it had an ice bucket, cups, wine, soda, dessert plates, and other stuff. It WAS in the dining room after all. When I started sewing again, my entire dining table served as a space. It wasn’t a good experience. BUT NO MORE! I moved my leather futon out of my extra bedroom/office and it is going to my mom’s house along with a desk and a computer! I rolled my sewing table in, bought the cutest storage unit from Target and picked blue, red, and tan fabric boxes for it. Screwed a hook into the side of the table to hang my cutting mats and rulers when not in use! Set my printer on top of my cubbies and once my DH has built my rotating thread holder, it will go right next to it! Hung a corkboard/whiteboard up, organized all my craft books and stored them in the storage under the table. Using my piano seat to sit on. The lamp you see was being tossed away at work so I grabbed it and will paint it blue to match my colors. I originally painted it purple b/c it was going into the kids’ room but they didn’t want it so I took it back! When the table is fully opened I will use the left side to iron on and the right side to cut on. That is the plan but I haven’t done a test run yet and I still need a power strip. The other half of the room you don’t see is my DH’s “side” because it has a tv and his computer. I’m thinking of bringing in my laptop stand in too so I can set up. It is a very tiny room but I love the space so much. My home theme is nautical so I think a lovely nautical wall hanging would make a nice touch! I am SEW excited!

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