Friday, March 28, 2008

Frayed-Edge Quilts

***Note from KZK:  I've moved this tutorial over from the "Bernina Boys Blog" that I used to write; it's written from the perspective of one of the shop owner's Labs***

I know it's been a while since we've posted, readers, and I do apologize. I've been able to give a lot of thought to what I want to post about, though, and think I've come up with a good idea. See.... Bristol and I want to post about what interests you. I mean... let's face it. If we posted about what interests us, it would be all about cookies, toys, and having our ears scratched. But Bristol's post of the Magic Nine-Patch tutorial got a lot of great comments, so I thought maybe I could do one, too. Using Bristol's technique of talking to our ghost writer, here's how it went for me.


ML (that's me ... Moseley): Ghost Writer? I want to do a cool tutorial like Bristol did! Something our readers can have fun sewing!

KZK: Great idea, Mose. What would you like to do an instructional post about?

ML: Hmm... well, we have some cool frayed-edge quilts in the Bernina Shoppe. Bristol and I even have our own.

Bristol and Moseley's frayed edge quilt

A lot of customers comment on them and say they'd like to make quilts like that. Can we do that?!?!

KZK: That would be TONS of fun. These are easy, quick, and lend themselves to all kinds of cool embellishments!

ML: Oh, great. Let's get going!

KZK: Decide how big you'd like your quilt and what size you'd like your squares. For the sake of this tutorial, let's choose 7 inch squares.

ML: What about batting? Can you use batting?

KZK: If you want to, but you don't have to. If you do, cut your batting squares 1 inch smaller than your fab -- 6 inches for our example.

ML: What kind of fabric?

KZK: Anything goes! I've used everything from denim to cotton to flannel to old Army uniforms! Here's Zim, being silly and laying under their Army quilt. You can see I used uniforms on the back!

Cut all of your fabs (for front and back) into 7 inch squares. It’s easiest to get everything cut at once. Again, decide how large you’d like the quilt, then cut squares as needed.

ML: This is easy-peasy so far! What's next?

KZK: Place your top and back fabrics wrong sides together; if you're using batting, center it inside your squares. Do some stitching to hold this block together -- sew a diagonal line from one corner to the other, an “X”, or any other design.

You could do a cool swirl using your BSR...

...or some criss-crosses...

ML: You know, you could do cool embroidery or something in there - like my favorite block:

frayed edge quilt detail

KZK: Exactly! In fact, if you go to our FlickR page, I uploaded some great shots of other frayed-edge quilts that are at the Bernina Shoppe!

Once you've sandwiched/quilted each block, lay them out in rows and decide how you'd like them arranged.

Working across the rows, take 2 neighboring squares and sew those 2 pieces together with backs together, using a 1/2" seam allowance (1/4" seam allowance is not quite enough for fraying the edges.) Here's a photo of that -- the ACU fabric (digital camo) is the front for this project!

ML: Uh... Ghost Writer? Do you have masking tape with a smiley face stuck to your throat plate?

KZK: Well... yes, but don't tell your mom. It's either that or drop pins down those two holes. I figure this is the lesser of two evils.

Continue sewing the rows together, then join the rows, matching up your seams. You can press those open, if you'd like, or just sort of smoosh them open as you go.

I like to put a pin in each intersection, then carefully remove it right before I sew.

ML: That's a lot of fab you're sewing through - especially if you're using denim. Any tips?

KZK: YES! I've found it extremely helpful to use my #8 foot. I can sew through really thick seams, without skipping stitches! Using a #90 sharp needle helps, too!

Once your whole top is together, stitch around the outside of the whole quilt, one half inch in from the edge. Sometimes, I'll go around twice, just "because".

Clip the exposed seam allowances (to include the outer perimeter) every half inch - making sure you don’t snip through the line of stitching!!!

It really helps to have spring-loaded scissors. Trust me.

Toss your project in the washer and then the dryer. The edges will fluff up nicely! The more you wash it, the better it will look!

Here's our project before washing:

...and after!

If you're doing a large project, check your lint trap frequently – even half-way through the first dry cycle. Depending on your fabrics, you'll have a LOT of lint build-up! Safety first!

ML: Was that example project a quilt? Can we see it?

KZK: It was actually a bag! But uses the same process. Here's the bag itself!

ML: Wow. You can use this technique for all kinds of stuff!

KZK: You sure can!


ML: Is that it, Ghost Writer? That was really easy!

KZK: That's it! It is easy - and fun!

ML: Best of all, you get a comfy quilt, too! Check out Bristol on ours:


KZK: He's totally adorable! Both of you boys are!

ML: Thanks, Ghost Writer! Did I do good on the tutorial?

KZK: Yeah ...


you did real good, Mose.


I hope you enjoyed my tutorial. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section, email us at the address in our sidebar, or stop by the Bernina Shoppe! And remember there are more pictures on our FlickR site!

Until next time,


PS: Just one more ....

Frayed Edge quilt