I read many blogs and newsletters written by shops all over the country. This month, most of you have a sale on flannels. And, why not! Flannels are most popular in the winter, and if you don’t sell them soon, they will be sitting on your shelves until the first snow storm next fall.
But, it occurred to me that there may be a better way. Instead of putting these fabrics on sale, why not teach classes that feature these fabrics? Consider adding a rag quilt to your class schedule! The inventory will be gone in no time!
A rag quilt is a quilt that is quilted as you go. In it’s simplest form, squares of fabric are cut 2″ larger than a square of batting. The batting is centered between two squares of fabric – placed wrong sides together. Then, a simple straight stitch is sewn across these squares – usually in the shape of an “X” – to hold the layers together.
These squares are then sewn together with a 1″ seam. This exposed seam is clipped approximately every 1/4″. When the quilt is washed, these clipped seams fray and add interest to the quilt.
Because these quilts are quilted as you go, it is the perfect beginning project. If you would like a quick mother/daughter class, why not do a 24″ floor pillow? Cut 8″ squares so you can cut five squares across the width of the fabric. You will need 32 squares – 64 if you are making it reversible. (1 3/4 Yards of two different fabrics).
This project does not even have to be bound. The pillow front and back can be sewn together with a 1″ seam and then clipped so the pillow will have a ragged finish.
We have several books and patterns on our website that takes this simple concept to a whole new level – but the result is the same. Instant gratification!
Item #HPC212 Retail $7.50
This quilt is reversible – which means all of the seams show on the same side. The back is totally flat like a traditional quilt. Notice that, again, there is no binding. The outside edge is clipped. All your customer needs to know is how to sew a straight seam!
Item #SB122 Retail $7.00
This quilt takes it one step further. The blocks are strip pieced – and then sewn together with a seam that is then shagged.
These quilts – which are quilted as you go – are the perfect beginning quilt. They are at their best when they are made out of woven flannels. Since woven flannels look the same on both sides, the fabrics look great when they are washed to create the “raggy” look. And, it is a great way to use up scraps of batting that are laying around in your shop! Just cut them down to 6″ squares and “kit” them for your customers!
There are at least three different scissors designed to clip these quilts. They all have a spring in the handles to make it much easier to clip without the wear and tear on your hands! My favorite – and the cheapest – is this pair by Tooltron. They have a very comfortable rubber grip and easily cut through several layers of fabric. You won’t find a better pair of scissors for twice the price!
Item #TT0588 Retail $14.95
If your shop sells the Go! machines, they make a die that “snips” the outside edges of these squares for you. You simply run the fabric through the machine – and it cuts it into 8 1/2″ squares that are clipped around the outside edges.
Item #ACQ55013 Retail $49.99
You could even kit some simple quilts or pillows for a Mother/Daughter demo day. This is the perfect way to get tweens into quilting! And, what mother can resist a daughter’s enthusiasm???
If you sell embroidery machines, you could even embroider a design through the fabric and batting instead of quilting it. What a great way to “quilt” it – and show off your machines! Those flannels are gold!!!