Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Deck the Halls....with a cute Rag Wreath....

fa-la-la-la-la....la, la, la, la.....I couldn't resist the tune:) Well, 576 fabric strips later...I finally finished my 1st rag wreath! Actually, I should multiply that by 10 more that I cut for the wreath class last week- hence the late post!! Needless to say, I am pleased with the outcome and from the feedback I've received, so was everyone else who made one. It was fun to see the variety as several ladies chose their own fabrics:)
Unfortunately, I do not get to personally enjoy the one I made. BUT, the friend I gave it to was very happy with it! The great thing about this fabric is that it can be used year-round for anyone who has decor to match! I love the subtle greens and the deep red really 'pops'. I'm actually in the process of making another one to give to my mom.
Not sure if you can tell, but I added various strips of crochet trim throughout the wreath, as an afterthought. It fits in really well and gives it a little texture. I finished it off with the wide Riding Hood Red/Vanilla grosgrain ribbon for a hanger (from the Clearance Rack!). The color is a little off, but I think it works. As an alternative, you could cut a wide strip of fabric and use that as a hanger (I learned this from one of the ladies at my class!).

Here's the details, if you'd like to try one on your own:

I purchased a wire wreath frame from a local craft store. It was 12" across and had 6 sections with 4 wire rows in each section. After playing around with it a bit and figuring the amount of fabric I had, I decided to use 21 strips for the 2 inner rows and 27 strips for the 2 outer rows. That's 96 pieces/section. This works out perfectly when you use 4 fat quarters (18"x22" pieces). I cut the strips 6" x 1/2". You can see part of the frame in this pic.Choose a section to begin with and work your way one row at a time from the 2 inside, up to the 2 outside rows. After finishing a row, fold the strips down to make it easier to continue to the new row.
After each section, check the back of the wreath and make sure all of the tails are pushed to the front. This will keep your wreath full. You can fluff it out after each section and when you're done.
Each strip is tied one time, not knotted.
There are alot of variations for these wreaths, so feel free to get creative! I was precise with my measurements and numbers mainly because I was cutting for a group and had to make sure the fabric amounts were correct. However, I also wanted to make sure it looked even when it was complete.
It's that simple!! Be advised, though, if you try this at home, allow plenty of time for cutting. I underestimated this part of the project. Not too bad if you're making one for yourself or a gift, but it took AWHILE to cut everyone's for the class.
I like the larger 1" strips, but it required more fabric, so it didn't work for my class.
I used my rotary cutter, however, I did see some suggestions for tearing fabric as opposed to cutting it. This did not work for 1/2" pieces, but did work a little better for the 1" size. It does give it a more 'rag' look and not all pieces turn out the same width, so again, not an option for my class.
There are lots of resources on the web for this technique, so check them out and let me know if you decide to give it a try!

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