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The joys of raggy flannel quilts

April 27, 2009

After I made my first one I said I’d never make another because they aren’t “real” quilts. But it was too late the snowball had started rolling and here I am still making them. My nieces and nephew have one each, so do my own boys and hubbie and from there they’ve spread to a wider family group and dear friends. No two quilts are ever the same, except they were made by me. My sister says that people who have them belong to an exclusive group… which is really sweet of her.

From raggy flannel quilts I progressed to raggy Christmas tree quilts, with a flannel back and cotton top – fun snuggly and great for the settee at Christmas time and yes they’ve gone to some of the same family and friends. The group I quilted with made one for several years as a fund raiser for the PTA at Christmas time. The PTA gave us the seed money and we donated the 25 hours or more it took to cut, sew, snip,wash and dry these treasures. Last year I made one for the middle school band booster group I belong to and we raised over $400 for the marching band.We even made one as a leaving present for the elementary school principal who never won one at Christmas time. It was two rows larger and every child and adult who had anything to do with the school signed the back on the white squares and I think it still hangs in his not so new office.

There is a little saying “When life gives you scraps make quilts!” that my other sister gave me as a fridge magnet and I ran with the idea with the flannel scraps which have accumulated over the years. I now make miniature raggy Christmas wall hangings either as presents or to sell. The left over regular flannel I experimented with and made receiving blankets. Just two layers of flannel and 6 inch squares. 7 rows by 7 rows, ideal for a shower gift. So soft for a new born baby whatever the weather.

You’ve guessed I can’t stop there…We are trying to decorate and sort out an incredible room that would be an ideal family room come office and I could make my own sewing corner and free the dining room table! I found my flannel scrap bags when I was looking to make a dolls quilt for a friends daughter. Oh what fun I had throwing together scraps randomly and it was hard to make it random. but what fun quilts they turned out to be.

So I decided to continue my theme of recycling and make some receiving blankets from the smaller left over pieces, now cutting just the pieces or roughly sizing them up so they fitted together. But I found myself standing at the kitchen counter this morning, (just the ideal height to cut) rotary cutter in hand just straightening up all the yellow scraps._Media Card_BlackBerry_pictures_IMG00908My pile of yellow scraps to be incorporated into the latest receiving blanket and it will be for sale at Art in the Park, in Redlands, Mother’s Day weekend. So have I kept the scraps from these quilts… I nearly did but the inch wide strips are too small for quilts and snipping and I gave myself permission to throw these away. Has it made a difference to the flannel bags? No but it might over the next few weeks!

So what am I really saying … just have fun and make quilts either for yourself or friends. They don’t have to be works of art,  or hard or complicated. I have a friend whose mother decided to make a crazy quilt from her own old clothes, all that wonderful 69s and 70s crimpolene with the most incredible embroidery, but it will be treasured because it was made by her mother. I guess the nicest thing about raggy quilts is because they’re not works of art I tell everyone to use it and enjoy it. It wont last for ever but it will be loved and used in the meantime. One day Candy I will start dying my own fabric, and try my hand at art quilts. But in the mean time I shall enjoy yours and finish with my flannel.

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