Thursday, September 14, 2017

Welcoming fall with my Halloween rag quilt

autumn halloween rag quilt, handmade fall blanket by refabulous

Is it starting to feel like fall where you are?  Cooler mornings, shorter days. . . ?  It is here, even in west Texas!  Well, except for today.  Today we have record-breaking heat -- 102 degrees, to be exact.  What the hell, Texas?  But that's not stopping me from looking forward to all things fall . . . .

fall aisle at Michael's; my Halloween rag quilt post by refabulous
my favorite season!

. . . and by extension, to Halloween!  Our past few years of autumn months have been consumed by the births of Monkey 9 and Monkey 10, followed by multiple surgeries, and then last year's craft fair fiasco.  With so much going on, we haven't had a chance to really ENJOY an autumn season or a good Halloween in a long time.  But this year, I'm going to be ready!

Two years ago, I fell in love with Sew Can She's Halloween Rag Quilt, by Catherine Critchfield.  Friends, it's just plain adorable.  SERIOUSLY.

However, two years ago, we were sitting around in hospital rooms, so sewing a quilt was out of the question.  Next year, I told myself.  Next year. . . .

Well, Next Year came around, and I decided to give it a try. . . .

For my quilt top, I only wanted to use fabrics in my stash.  Given the shameful size of my stash, it wasn't hard to dig up enough fabric for an entire Halloween-themed quilt. 
Disgusting, I know.

The tutorial calls for a layer of fleece and a layer of flannel for the rag part.  However, fleece would be very heavy for this part of the country -- stifling, even -- so I decided to use two layers of black flannel for the batting and backing (rag) part of the quilt.  (And I'm glad I did!  The quilt is still quite heavy and warm without the fleece.)

I managed to get the quilt squares completely cut out, and even laid out. . .  

halloween orange and black rag quilt layout, autumn fall blankey, handmade by refabulous

Aaaaaand that's it.

So I took a picture of the layout, put all the fabric in a plastic bag, and set it aside for almost a year.

The NEXT year (this year). . . .

August (2017) rolls around, and I decide to try again, and not wait until late October to try to throw it together.  After all, I wanted a long autumn season to enjoy it in!  Since the quilt was already cut out, and I had a photo of the layout, the construction came together very quickly.
Like, in a single afternoon.  YEP.  It's SO easy!

halloween rag quilt, autumn fall handmade blanket by refabulous in orange and black
 it more than covers my queen-sized bed

But the ragging part: OH. MY. GOODNESS.  Please, please get yourself some spring-handled scissors if you attempt this project.  Snipping the seam allowances (ragging) is the hardest part of this whole quilt.  Thankfully, someone had recommended a cut-as-you-go method to me.  Finish a row, cut.  Finish a row, cut.  Even then, your hand will cramp. . .

cutting rag quilts, in-progress, halloween orange and black handmade autumn rag quilt by refabulous
actual photo of my hand cramping. it hurt.

and maybe blister. . . .

snipping a rag quilt blisters, handmade autumn halloween rag quilt by refabulous

but the finished quilt will so be worth the pain.  However, I weep just thinking about snipping an entire quilt at once, especially without the spring-loaded scissors.  Don't even attempt it without a pair if you value your hands.

orange and black halloween rag quilt, handmade autumn blanket by refabulous
halloween orange and black rag quilt, autumn blanket by refabulous

Once it was all snipped, I washed and dried the quilt a couple of times (the lint trap will be most satisfying to clean out after you've dried it) and the flannel ragged beautifully! 

orange and black halloween rag quilt, handmade autumn blanket by refabulous
 so soft and puffy
orange and black halloween rag quilt, handmade autumn blanket by refabulous

The kids LOVE it.

orange and black halloween rag quilt, handmade autumn blanket by refabulous

Henry says it's our snuggle blanket. . . .

orange and black halloween rag quilt, handmade autumn blanket by refabulous
That's just fine with me.

This type of quilt is very forgiving in the piecing/accuracy department, thanks to the ragging, making it the perfect project for a beginner like me.  Next, I'd like to make a Christmas-themed one, made from fun, random holiday prints (already in my stash, of course.)  I'd better start on it soon, so we can enjoy it this year, and not two years from now.

Will you be trying one of these quilts?  What projects/UFO's are you neglecting that you really want to finish up and enjoy?
I want to hear from you!  :)


  1. So cute. I love it. Wish I had the drive to start .... and finish.. one like it.

    1. Thank you, Barbara! It's so worth the work... even if it takes a long time to finish. I hope you'll give it a try! :)


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