The month is just speeding along, isnt’ it! Here we are, the third Monday of the month, which means it’s time for the monthly Craft Room DeStash Challenge. Which means, I’m once again digging into my fabric dresser to use up some of my fabric stash. And I’ve got the most adorable Rag Quilt Bunny Tutorial to share with you.
Can you stand the cuteness!
In the process of making these Rag Quilt Bunnies I managed to use up 3 fat quarters of small print fabric, approximately half a yard of a white thrifted sheet for making sample bunnies plus lots of scraps of quilt batting leftover from other projects.
These are the fat quarters I pulled from my stash. As you can see, two of them weren’t even full fat quarters!
If you’ve been quilting for any amount of time you may have seen the animal rag baby quilts made from the vintage (and apparently very rare) Simplicity Pattern #4993. It must be rare because there’s one for sale on Ebay right now for $54.95!
But that is not where the idea for these rag quilt bunnies came from. The idea actually came from a swap I did over 20 years ago with one of our neighbors when we lived in PMQs (Permanent Married Quarters.)
Back then we were living on a Master Corporal’s pay and while it paid the bills, it didn’t allow for any of life’s little luxuries. Our neighbor, Adrienne, knew that I occasionally took on sewing projects to earn extra money.
One day when she popped by for coffee, she brought along a cute little rag quilt bear that she’d received as a baby shower gift. It was about 10″ tall and kind of floppy but her little one absolutely loved it.
If you’ve ever lived on a military base, you know that there’s usually a population explosion that occurs nine months after the end of every major exercise. She explained that she had a bunch of baby showers to go to and wanted me to make a dozen of those rag bears.
However, they too were living on a Master Corporal’s pay. Buying gifts for all those baby showers wasn’t in their budget so she proposed a swap.
She knew that I loved the tole painted items she made to sell. After we’d worked out how much it would cost in materials for me to make the bears and how much it would cost for her to make one of her tole paintings it worked out pretty much even. The final deal was… I would make her 12 rag quilt bears, she would paint one of the wooden hat boxes she sold in a design of my choice.
I still have the tole painted hat box. But I’m sure by now, all those bears have been loved to bits and are no longer around. Also no longer around is the pattern I created to make them.
So I’ve designed a new pattern and since Easter is coming up I decided to make rag quilt bunnies for this tutorial instead of rag bears.
Note: Patterns for a rag quilt bear, kitten and puppy are in the works. I always want my patterns to be easy for people to complete, so I’m trying out different ideas for faces, ears and tails.
To make one Rag Quilt Bunny you will need:
- 1 fat quarter (small prints work best)
- large scraps of cotton quilt batting
- Matching thread
- Embroidery floss for stitching the bunny’s face
Print out the pattern. (Scroll down to the end of the instructions for the link.)
Next, cut two pieces of fabric 8″X12″ and two pieces 3″X3″. Then cut two of cotton quilt batting 8″X12″ and 2 at 3″X3″.
Trace the pattern on to one of the pieces of fabric.
You will trace the entire pattern… both the cutting lines (solid) and the sewing lines (dotted) as well as the bunny’s face.
If you are using lighter colored fabric, the easiest way to trace the pattern on to the fabric is to use a light box.
Last summer, I purchased a Huion LED Light Pad. And I must say, it is one of the best craft room investments I’ve ever made.
I love that you can easily adjust the brightness just by tapping the On button. It also has a neat smart memory feature that remembers the brightness you set it to the last time you used it. It’s AC powered and light weight with a nice size drawing surface (16″X12″.)
Alternatively, you could tape the pattern and fabric to a window and trace it that way.
If you’ve chosen a darker fabric that the pattern isn’t visible through, place the pattern on top of the fabric and insert a piece of embroidery tracing paper between them.
To embroider the face:
The eyes, mouth and whiskers are done in backstitch. Use satin stitch for the nose.
On this white print fabric I chose a floss a few shades darker than the blue in the tiny flowers.
For the green bunny and blue bunny, I chose a floss color that was a few shades darker than the fabric.
If you don’t usually knot your floss when embroidering, please be sure to knot it for this project to make sure that the stitching doesn’t come out when washed.
If you don’t embroider, the face can be left blank and the bunny will still be really cute.
Next, you’re going to create a quilt sandwich. With the second piece of fabric wrong side facing up, layer on the 2 pieces of batting. Place the embroidered piece right side facing up on top.
Pin through all layers.
Sew on all the dotted lines as indicated on the pattern piece.
Note: When I was tracing the pattern, I started out making all those little dots but gave up and then just drew a solid line. If you do the same, just remember that you’re sewing on the inner lines. The outer line is the cutting line.
Begin by inserting your needle at the neck. Make sure to draw the bobbin thread up to the top so that it doesn’t get tangled in the stitches on the back.
Sew around the body of the bunny.
Once you get to the other side of the neck, turn and sew around the head.
Sew around the outer ears. Then sew around the inner ears.
The trick to sewing around the tight corners on the ears is to reduce your speed and sew really slowly, lifting the pressure foot with the needle in the down position and turning the fabric as necessary.
End off. Knot all the threads and bury them between the batting layers.
Following the cutting line (the solid line on the pattern) cut through all layers to cut out the bunny.
When you’re done cutting her out, the bunny should look like this:
To create the ragged edge:
Make snips with a scissors approximately 1/4″ to 3/8″ apart all the way around the outside of the bunny being careful not to snip through the sewn lines.
I begin by clipping at all the inside corners as pictured below:
Once those cuts are made, continue clipping all the way around the bunny.
To make the bunny’s tail:
Trace the circle from the pattern onto one 3″X3″ square of fabric.
Layer the fabrics and batting as you did for the body of the bunny.
Sew an X in the center of the circle.
Cut out the circle, cutting through all layers.
Make cuts about 3/4″ deep all the way around the circle without cutting into the center.
Hand sew the center of the bunny tail to the bunny’s bum as pictured below:
The final step is to wash your bunny in hot water and dry in a dryer. I threw mine in with a load of tea towels.
Now bunny’s fur is all fluffy!
And so is her tail!
I love her and all her bunny friends! I had so much fun creating them.
To see what I created for the previous two Craft Room DeStash Challenges, check out the links below:
For January’s Destash, I created this sweet Fabric Cone Tutorial. Done up in Easter themed fabric or pastels they’d be perfect to hang on an Easter tree!
Then in February, I shared a pretty Tablet Pouch Tutorial. It’s just the right size to fit a tablet or iPad but could be used for all sorts of things. I also made a Sashiko embroidered version complete with free Sashiko pattern. These would awesome Mother’s Day or Teacher gifts.
Every month a group of bloggers are challenged by C’mon Get Crafty to create a new craft or project from their own stash of goodies! Check out some awesome creations you might be able to make from your own stash! #CraftRoomDestashChallenge
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If you’d like to join in the Craft Room De-Stash Challenge, you can request to join our Facebook group here!
Pin this so you can find it again when you want to make an adorable Rag Quilt Bunny Softie for one of the littles in your life by clicking on the Pinterest button underneath the post.
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