Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Frayed Edge Fun! - A Quilting Tutorial
To make this quilt, each piece is the same size, cut at 4" x 10". Layer the backing, wrong side up, a piece of batting (cut at 3" x 9") centered on the backing, and then the top piece. Pin each one together and quilt these mini pieces as desired. I simply criss-crossed the piece in my quilting to make sure that that center, smaller batting didn't move around or bunch up once this was washed. Take a look at the back on my second picture here and you can make out my quilting.
After piecing and quilting all those rectangles, lay them out and stitch them together with the wrong sides together with a 1/2" seam allowance on the right sides of the quilt (this is the area that is cut to give the fringed look. Piece it row by row, and then I added a gold border around the entire quilt (you can't see the top row, as it's hidden on the deck). Keep in mind that in order to create a perfectly fitting border, your rows across need to be dividable by 3 (including the border rows). Mine is 18 rectangles across (and each rectangle becomes 3" x 9" once it has the 1/2" seam allowance showing on the front on all four sides). It doesn't matter how many rows tall you make your quilt (mine was 7 rows high); only the width needs to divide by 3. Next, clip up to but not over the stitching line at about 1/4" to 3/8" intervals. This will take a while and can get messy!
Last step is to wash/dry the quilt. Be prepared for A LOT of threads and fabric strands in both the washer and dryer. Clean that dryer vent several times, as this quilt will "shed" for several washes. A good shaking outside and the birds will love all of those fabric threads for their nests!
For me, the longest part of making this was in laying out my rectangles. I had a lot of remnant flannel that had a pattern to it; however the reverse side of the flannel was white (the printed design was only on one side). If I would have stuck to using the flannel with a pattern on both the front and back of each rectangle, the fringe would be whitish, and that can detract from the overall tone of such a dark colored quilt. As it was, all of my solid flannel pieces were the same color on both sides. So I used a solid piece behind each patterned piece, and vice versa. The white of the frayed patterned flannel fabric is not even noticeable!
I've made several frayed edge quilts over the years, and I really love the colors of this one! I made and chenilled this frayed edge flower quilt for my daughter's bed. The fringe on this quilt is longer, 1".
And this one is a lap quilt I made (I think this was one of my first frayed edge projects). Notice how the frayed edges have a whitish look? This is because the flannel's colors were only printed on one side. Unfortunately, due to my choosing a poor quality flannel the pink fabric in the flowers is fading a lot. It really pays to purchase good quality fabric!
A couple of other important things about making a flannel quilt. I don't prewash my flannels, since I want that frayed effect on the finished product and I prefer to cut my flannel while it still has the factory sizing on it. Flannel fabric creates a lot of dust to work with, and I find that my throat gets sore after working with it for too long. So I really took my time in making this quilt and took lots of breaks from the tedious sewing, pinning and cutting process. After having made so many of these, this one is the first one that didn't create a sore throat or any sinus pain.
Because there are so many layers to the piecing, I used a Jeans size 18 needle for the entire project (only went through 2 of them!). Lastly, be sure to use quality thread that is strong. I used the Signature brand cotton variegated threads in the tones of my fabrics. I also back stitch over all seams when joining the pieces together for added durability. I have never had a seam rip or come loose on my flannel quilts...and believe me, they get pulled and tugged a lot around here when this house gets cold!