Recently, I moved into a condo that puts Tailored Touches in a much better position to grow and prosper. But as with all new homes, there can be a wart or two. As you can see in the picture to the left, right inside the front door is the electrical panel box in all of its ugly glory! Yikes! The more I looked at it, the more I knew something was needed to cover it up, but what?
The rest of the condo has such charm with exposed brick walls and huge wooden beams that are original to the building that was built in 1895. So this glaringly obvious modern panel looked so out of place. Maybe a picture or mirror? ...nah, too big...hmmm, what to use?
Rag quilts are really comfy and cozy types of quilts that only get softer in time after many washings. Instead of sewing the seams with the fabric edges inside, a rag quilt exposes the raw edges of the fabrics. As the fabrics fray over time, the seams get fluffy and softer.
Most times, rag quilts are made with flannel fabric since they are super soft and fray well in time. I chose the batiks for the pop of color and because most batiks do not have a right or wrong side (the color and pattern is the same on both sides). Since I was going to expose the raw edges of the fabric, I wanted both sides to have the same color intensity.
As with any custom creation, a lot of thought goes into what is needed and how to make it fit. Figuring on filling the space with a quilt that was about 30"x 36", the fabrics were chosen and laid out ready to start.Once I decided what fabrics to use, each was cut into 6" squares and laid on the floor in the order that I wanted to sew them. The polka dot batik was used as the back so lots of those were cut! A total of 84 squares were needed in the batik fabric. In addition, white flannel fabric was used as the middle batting to give the quilt some body and to accentuate the batik colors with the stark white...so yep, 42 of those were cut as well! (And I won't bore you with the story of my finger and the rotary cutter battle....let's just say a couple of band-aids were needed...)
Sewing the quilt together is pretty straightforward. My quilt needed to be 6 squares wide by 7 squares tall. Each square is made by placing the backing fabric face down, lining up a white flannel square on top and then placing the top square face up into a "sandwich". Then take 2 sandwich squares and place them back to back, sewing them together along one side with a 1/2" seam. Add another sandwich until you have a row of 6 squares sewn together. Make 7 rows total, making sure you maintain your original pattern that you designed when the fabrics were laid out.
Once the rows are sewn together, each row is sewn to the adjoining row along the long side of the rows by placing the backs of each row together. Once all your rows are sewn together into a 6 square by 7 square patchwork, sew along the outside edge to secure all the loose fabric edges with a 1/2" seam.
Once all the sewing is done, each exposed seam needs to be cut perpendicular to the seam stitching about every 1/4". Just get crazy with cutting those seams since that is what will cause the fabric to fray into a soft, fluffy edge! Be careful that you don't cut the stitching line though! Toss the quilt into the washer and wash with cold water and fabric softener. Dry in the dryer to fluff and voila! A super snugly rag quilt...
Awww, doesn't that look better than the ugly electrical panel? I think so! It is the perfect size to use as a baby quilt when made up in soft flannel baby prints.. Guess it's time for a trip to the fabric store to get some more flannel in cute baby prints. Check out the Batik quilt here...or the Baby quilt here...
Now where are my car keys??? :)