Celebrate Red for Valentine's Day | New Quilters

I love red and I love hearts too, which is one reason why I like making quilts for Valentine’s day.

Red is a hot color, the color of blood, of sunsets, and of Mars, the ancient Roman god of War. In the west, red is the color of excitement, danger, and passion. In China and India, red is a lucky color traditionally worn by brides at their weddings. In India, red symbolizes purity. What a great color to make a quilt with!

Here’s some of my red stash:

And here’s the red Valentine rag quilt I just finished this morning.

This quilt (like a lot of my quilts) traveled a long and windy road before finally limping over the finish line.

It all started six years ago or more when I bought a large set of cutter quilt hearts on Ebay. There must have been a hundred of them. I’ve been slowly using them to make quilts. The appliqued hearts on this quilt are the very last of those cutter hearts.

I made the center part of the quilt last year. See step-by-step instructions for making a rag quilt. Like some of my other early rag quilts, though, it felt a little too small and the regular grid of rag blocks felt just a touch too regular. Also, the fringed outer edge didn’t look  fringy enough to satisfy me.

So this week I added a border made from four different reds and put a deeper fringe around the outside of the quilt. Now it’s big enough for cozy snuggling.

This quilt is backed with polyester fleece, which is my favorite way to make a really warm and soft quilt that can be machine washed. I like that I can make rag blocks with smaller pieces of fleece that aren’t quite big enough to back an entire quilt. Mixing a variety of compatible colors on the back also gives an interesting color effect to the ragged seam allowances around the blocks. Here’s a view of the back:

After adding the borders, I stay stitched all around the outside of the quilt, two inches from the outer edge. I used my rotary cutter to cut the fringe freehand. Then I threw it in the washing machine on the shortest delicate cycle to fray the ragged edges.

Now I’m ready to make another Valentine quilt. How about you?

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