For this runner, I cut 9 inch squares out of the vintage denim. Each of those squares is rag quilted to a 8 inch square layer of batting and a 9 inch square of off-white flannel. The vintage denim is from my stash and the flannel is from fabric.com. All of the red and green plaid homespun squares are from my stash. Don’t remember where I got them.
I drew a pencil line on the diagonal on the vintage denim squares before I stitched the layers together. I stitch the 5 inch squares without marking, but I need lines for the bigger squares to keep my stitching straight. Then each quilted denim square is topped with a quilted square of the red and green plaid fabric. For these squares I use a 5 inch square of fabric, a 5 inch square of batting, and a 5 inch square of flannel backing. I don’t pin them together. I just stack them up and stitch across them on the diagonal. When I first started making rag quilts, I marked and pinned everything, but not any more!
Then I center the plaid square on top of the denim squares using my stitched lines to make sure the smaller square is centered. Sometimes I use a straight stitch to join the two squares, but this time I used a narrow, long zig-zag stitch, setting both the stitch width and the stitch length at 2 on my Bernina.
After I constructed the three denim squares, I constructed the smaller squares with 5 inch squares of the plaid fabric and the flannel with a 4 inch square of Warm and Natural batting in the middle. You want the batting to be as large as the finished square, but you don’t want it in your stitching line.
I know you could set all of this up like an assembly line, but I can put more love into each item if I made them one square at a time. So it’s two squares for the left side of the runner, stitched together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. It isn’t necessary to back stitch, but I like to on the seams that are going to be on the outside edges. Press the seam allowance open, then fold the two squares together and clip the seam allowance about every 1/8 inch, clipping close to but not into the stitching. Don’t clip into the seam allowance (1/2 inch) on each end of the seam.
Take those two squares and stitch them to the large denim square, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance and matching starting and ending points. I don’t pin this seam, but you do need to make sure that your beginning and ending points are going to be even. Stitch with the side with the most fullness on the bottom. Sometimes I will start at one end, but then turn everything over and start again at the opposite end. If all of your squares are perfect, and nothing is stretched out of shape, this won’t be a problem, but I’m not perfect!
Continue down the runner in the same fashion, stitching small squares together to add to the denim squares before stitching everything together.
After everything is stitched together and clipped you are ready for your border.
Have to go help hubby with something. More later!