2.24.2010

A Rag Quilt with Love

Back when I had the baby bug - pre-kids, mind you - my siblings started having sweet little babies whose lives I very much wanted to be a part of. As a military couple, we lived miles away from all of our family, and I took it as a personal mission to make sure these new little family members grew up knowing who their Aunt Janelle is, and that she adores them all very much! I decided that I was going to lovingly crochet/knit a cuddly blanket for each and every one of my nieces and nephews... a completely reasonable and special thing to do, right? Right.

Years went by and I would search pattern after pattern, score shelves for the perfect yarn and painstakingly make blanket after blanket. I even made a few for the occasional special friend whom the stork graced with a bouncing bundle of joy. I started having children myself and knew my kids could not be left out of the joy of a blankie made especially for them either... so off I went to buy more yarn.

As time went by, I'd begun to realize that perhaps I'd gotten in a little over my head... as babies kept coming, and much of my time was now spent chasing little ones of my own! But never able to bear the thought of leaving a single one of these darling children out, I've continued this tradition. Now, 10 years later, I have a total of thirteen nieces and nephews, with two more on the way!!! Never in a million years would I have guessed, when I began working on the first of these blankets, that I'd have 15 or more to make! As you can imagine, cute patterns and interesting yarns have become a bit scarce when you've made that many blankets. Oh, and boys are especially hard - no pink, no frills, no bows!! ;-)

When, most recently, it was announced to us that Collin's youngest brother Stephen, and his dear wife Paige, were having a baby boy and very first son, I knew I would have some work to do. Admittedly, I put off the project (I still have my newest niece, Shiloh, whose baby blanket is in the works) until I had a bit more time. I perused patterns and kept my eye open for a cute blue pattern of sorts, but yet... Nada. I started to worry. Until one day recently it occurred to me, I'd always wanted to make one of those trendy cool rag quilts - and hey, with my newly acquired sewing skills maybe, just maybe, that'd be an option for little baby "Pete." With a vintage train theme for his nursery, what could be sweeter than a rustic quilt in blues and reds for bouncing baby boy to play on? Angels must've been watching over me in my plight to gift a special creation to each of these babies, for I stumbled upon this tutorial for "the easiest quilt ever!" Hoorah! I could do this - I was PUMPED!! Off I sped to the fabric store in search of the perfect flannel fabric, and three stores later, I finally found it. So excited was I in this new venture that I rushed home to get busy, and within 2 days, had a completed rag quilt for my littlest nephew!

As a child I had a baby-sized quilt that I literally loved to pieces. I still have the cherished, tattered patches of fabric lovingly tucked away in Moira's closet today. So, dear Paige, it's not perfect, but I do hope you and he enjoy this quilt. I hope your sweet bundle spends lots of time playing on it, snuggling it and wearing it down until nothing but bare threads and love remain.

~~~
Below is the series of photos I took to document each step of the quilt... mostly for me, my sewing friends and the few of you that might actually be interested. A huge thanks to Connie at Green Apple Orchards for her amazing tutorial. Enjoy!


The perfect fabric: stripes, pale blue polka dot and red mottled flannel.


All the quilt "sandwiches" laid out in the pattern before seaming.

I even found a very cool variegated quilting thread in red, white and blue! Fun stuff!

The 8 strips of 6 quilt sandwich squares, before sewing together.

The back of the quilt, all sewed together...

...and the front with exposed 1" seams for cutting and fringing.
The quilt with fringe cut and ready to go in the washer and dryer!

After washing, this is what the fringe looks like all fuzzy and cuddly - it'll get softer with each wash. I also added a navy fringe and border around the outside to frame it all, and I think that was a good call.

Ta da - the finished product! I'm pretty pleased for my first quilt, and 3rd sewing project ever. It's not perfect, but I hope he loves it as much as I do. :)

21 comments:

Connie said...

Awesome job, and I love the navy blue border! Cute, cute fabrics. I can't believe you have so many babies to make blankets for! You are amazing!

Suzann said...

Wonderful! I think you might have hard time packing it up and sending it away, right? LOL Yeah Pete!!

Jessica said...

Oh that's cute! I may have to try that someday.

DW Hobbs said...

Oh my goodness, how adorable!! And in just two days!!! Wow. Once I really got going on Ian and Meghan's quilts it probably took me 3-4 days alone so I'm duly impressed!! :-) I do love baby quilts though, the size alone really allows for quickness which can be quite gratifying especially with so many little miracles to want to make beautiful things for!

Great job, sweetie, as always you amaze me. ;-)

Hugs!
D

E said...

Wow! It's wonderful! And quilting can be tough stuff. I've done a couple (baby & even a queen sized one) myself and it is certainly a labor of love!!!

Rebekah said...

great job... those are so easy to make and work up much quicker than crocheting a blanket :) and they are so cute.

gLORIous said...

What a beautiful quilt! Janelle, I truly believe that whatever you touch/create turns out beautifully!

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It sure does. Made with pure love.

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Not Supermom said...

I love it!

SweetPepperRose said...

Nice work! I am one of those folks that's not been too sure about the fringe-type quilts, but now that I see yours, I just might give it a try on the next quilt project I do. By the way I am currently doing a flannel play quilt for my grand-daughter and will post it in a couple of days to my blog. Check it out.

sweetpepperrose.blogspot.com

Happy Quilting to you!

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B. Chantel said...

LOVE the quilt... I do some quilting myself but have never done one with fringe. A 'must-try' for me now. :)

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