Simple subway tile quilt for a quick bedspread
I had a very specific Caribbean blue color in mind to paint the master bedroom. We aren’t planning to sell our house anytime soon, so I decided to go for it.
However, after the paint smell dissipated, finding a patterned bedspread to coordinate with the vibrant hue on the wall was impossible. Literally, I looked for a year and found nothing. Over that year, I was helping my sister make a Minnie Mouse rag quilt for her youngest daughter. So I decided to see if I could find something that would match the bedroom walls at the local fabric store (I didn’t and ended up going online, www.fabrics.com is fabulous). So, all that was left to do was tweak the pattern.
I knew immediately that I was increasing the size of her six inch squares! I eventually decided on rectangles, big ones. I cut the batting 16x10. I cut the fabric 18x12 (knowing that a 1" border all the way around would be ragged so I'd end up with a 16x10 rectangle after sewn together).
And since I’m a relatively novice sewer, I went with a subway tile pattern to hide any small imperfections better. Rather than sew around the edges to seal each rectangle, I drew an X with a fabric pen right through the middle and then sewed the X (see photo). At the end, I trimmed the outside of the blanket evenly and sewed a final border to keep everything together. It needs to be washed a few more times to fully "rag."
Here is the end result. It took about three full days. There are a ton of tutorials on blogs and through Pinterest that share the basics of how to make a rag quilt so I’ll skip the detailed instructions (try http://withourpowers.blogspot.com/2013/09/rustic-rag-quilt.html or http://www.imperfecthomemaking.com/2012/01/easy-thrifty-pretty-rag-quilt-tutorial.html).
But here are a few tidbits I wish I’d known before I got started.
In addition to the normal must haves you would expect like a sewing machine, fabric and batting, here are a few other must haves that working on my sister’s quilt taught me…
Get a rotary cutter, a large self-healing cutting mat, a sharp seam ripper, water soluble (not air soluble) fabric pen (for marking Xs on the swatches) and spring loaded scissors for the snipping at the end.
And buy at least one yard more of each of the fabrics than you think you will need.
Also, cutting will be a lot easier it you use templates rather than measuring. You could use foam board or regular wood, and cut two sizes (one for fabric, one for batting).
I’m pleased with the result. I had some left over fabric so I made coordinating clock tiles for the master bath.