Thursday, March 4, 2010

If You Like to Make Rag Quilts....

OK, I'll confess -- I've never made a rag quilt! You know, those fuzzy quilts that are made out of flannel with little slits all around each block so that they fray when you wash them.

However, the people I know who have made them LOVE them! They are soft and warm and flannel comes in a million different colors and prints now, so every one is different. It doesn't have to look as if it was made for your mountain hunting lodge anymore.

In fact, the biggest complaint I have heard from people making these is the pain that they experience in their hands from using a pair of shears to cut the kazillion little slits all around the edges of each block through the layers of flannel.

With that in mind, I watched a Bernina webinar yesterday morning showing the use of the Bernina 830 machine to embroider a block, use the cutting tool to make all those little cuts, and then sew the quilt together. You don't have to have the newest Bernina, though; check with your dealer, but I believe the cutting tool fits most, if not all, of the models that are equipped for embroidery. There is a list available on the Bernina website,

In the above illustration, you see the block in the hoop after the embroidery is done. Then a piece of Hydrostick stabilizer is put on the underside just to add some crispness to the fabric to accomplish the cuts with the cutting tool. You don't need to adhere it to anything because once the cutting is done, you just peel it right off as it hasn't been sewn to the block, just used to help the cutting tool do a really clean job.

Above you see the blocks after the cutting tool is done....

and then after being assembled by machine. I thought this was a wowie zowie way to use that new tool!

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