Monday, March 11, 2013

Cranking Out A Flannel Quilt

At our last quilt guild meeting, our fearless leader handed out a couple of flannel quilt kits that were donated to a local charity.  The charity hoped we could make them up.  The kits were home-cut from cotton flannel.
The one I got was mostly pink.  The squares were cut 4.5 in.  There were also some red squares, that didn't really go with the pinks.
I laid them out on the kitchen table to figure out what to do with them.  Trip around the world just started happening. 
I added in the flowered fabric from my not-to-be-believed flannel stash.  I also added in the pink with small dots.  The hearts with the chocolate background were part of the original kit, and I think they really make the quilt.  (Good job, anonymous donor!)
My treadle sewing machines are all over the house (of course!) but my main sewing areas are upstairs in the extra bedroom and in the basement where I do my machine quilting.  So I really goofed laying this out in the kitchen.  Now I was going to have to move it to sew it, if I wanted to treadle.  This was a job for a hand crank!  I got my trusty Jones and got to work.
It was easy to keep the squares and rows in the right order with them right in front of me.  This is such a nice machine.  The bobbin is small, but it holds a lot.
A word or two about sewing with flannel: 
I have made flannel quilts for my three children, my husband, and my oldest grandson.  It's not hard to sew with flannel, but it's not a great fabric for precision cutting and piecing.  I use a 1/4 in. seam allowance, as usual, but I use a shorter stitch length, since flannel wants to ravel out.  Simple shapes are best.  I also wash my flannel before using it, because it shrinks quite a lot, more than regular cotton.
So what did I do with the extra red squares?
These are such fun prints.  I love the ladybugs and the dolphins.
Trip Around the World
About the pattern:  These quilts finish 36 in. square.  There are 9 rows of 9 squares each, for a total of 81 squares.  I didn't add a border on either, but it would look nice.
Here's the breakdown on the number of squares:
1 center square (solid red)
4 next round (ladybugs)
8 next round (solid red)
12 next round (daisies)
16 next round (dolphins)
16 next round (yellow bugs and butterflies)
12 next round (ladybugs again)
8 next round (solid red)
4 outside corners (daisies again)

If you wanted to make it bigger, you could keep adding rows.  Or just add a border, of course.
I quilted both of these on my Davis VF (no problems, knock on wood!).  The quilting is just a 4 in. grid in the ditch of the seams.  Both are soft and cuddly after washing.

The red quilt is finished with a red flannel binding, sewn by machine.  The pink flannel quilt was sewn to the backing like a pillow case and flipped right sides out with the batting inside.  I top stitched around the edge after I finished the quilting.
Here it is, finished.
What are you cranking out today?


  1. Thanks, MQuilter! I got her on Ebay a few years ago. She's my most reliable hand crank. And she has the best decals. I named her Grace, like Grace Jones. My White is named Betty. I really have no imagination.


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