Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ragged Hearts quilt

I made this design after our quilt retreat a couple years ago when we all made the quilt-as-you-go Christmas tree quilt designed by Karla Alexander of Saginaw St. Quilt Co.

I wanted to see what the possibilities of those diagonal squares might be and designed a Valentine’s quilt with heart motifs. When Janet said her daughter was having a February baby, I thought I’d like to make a baby Valentine quilt for her, but the quilt didn’t turn out very babyish because the fabric I chose for the hearts was too sophisticated and the background choice I made was too dark. I think she will like it, anyway ‘cause it was made with love for her baby. 

The quilt has ten columns and 14 rows of 4.5-inch squares. Each square is sandwiched with a 3.5-inch square of batting and stitched diagonally from corner to corner through the center of the block.

Some of the squares are made of 5-inch blocks that are made by placing the heart fabric and the background fabric  right-sides-together, and running a seam 1/4 –inch from either side of  a diagonal line marked from corner to corner through the center of each block.
Then you cut through the marked diagonal, press open the seam, trim the seam allowances to square up the block and proceed to make the sandwiches the same as with the plain squares.
Each heart is made of six solid blocks and eight diagonal blocks. To make these blocks you need 12 4.5-inch squares and 16 diagonal squares made from eight 5-inch squares of print fabric and eight 5-inch squares of background fabric. I made each heart of the same print fabric, but mixed prints would be pretty, too.
140 3.5-inch squares of lightweight quilt batting
72 4.5-inch squares of background fabric (approximately one yard)
48 5-inch squares of background fabric for hearts(approximately one yard)
Six times 12 4.5-inch squares of print fabric for each heart (1/4 yard )
Six times 16 5-inch squares of print fabric for each heart (3/8 yard)
44 4.5-inch squares of contrast fabric for border (approximately 3/4 yard)

Sandwich batting between two identical fabric pieces with right sides facing out, then stitch diagonally through the sandwich, using a long stitch with coordinating thread and a quilt foot that feeds the top of the sandwich along with the feed dogs on the bottom. Following this procedure, make:
  • 22 sandwiches of contrast fabric for border
  • 36 sandwiches of background fabric
  • 6 sandwiches of print fabric and 8 sandwiches of print/background diagonal squares for each of six print-fabric heart
Lay-out the sandwich pieces on a table, floor, or felt board and following the design shown in the layout photo further down this page. Begin to stitch the horizontal rows together using a 1/2-inch seam allowance.     
When all the horizontal rows are completed, begin to stitch the rows together by pinning one row to another, hand-basting the row, and then machine stitching over the hand basting.

When stitching is complete, begin to clip all the seam allowances, cutting fringes about 1/8-inch apart. You may also stitch the edges of the quilt 1/2-inch from the edge and fringe the edges, too; or leave the edges uncut and sew on seam-binding to finish the edges (as I did in this quilt).

Once your clipping is done, wash the quilt in cold water on gentle cycle and fluff dry in clothes-dryer on low setting. (This will ravel the cut edges to produce the pretty ragged effect.)

For the quilt layout, see the photo below.
Finished size, approximately 36 X 53 
Appearance of reverse side of quilt: