The little rag quilt that could: How my baby sister, beautiful fabric, and Instagram helped build my confidence and get me moving

When my Lil Sis asked me to make a baby rag quilt and coordinating big sister quilt for one of her besties, I was stoked! I hadn’t had an excuse to sew in a long time, and I had been pinning, pinning, pinning pretty fabrics with no project to use them on. She wanted a baby size rag quilt for the baby (good for tummy time, the carseat, stroller, and crib), and a smaller “foofy” (her word, not mine, I swear) version of it for Big Sissy so that she felt special, too. What a fun idea!

We started at the very beginning of the process together, which was new for me because I usually have complete control over the fabrics I choose and how they all come together. I wasn’t exactly sure how it would all work, but everything flowed naturally and smoothly from the very beginning.

First, I showed Lil Sis a boatload of fabric ideas from my (super secret) Pinterest boards and she narrowed it down to a handful of ones she liked.

Choosing fabric

Then I put those fabrics into a layout so she could see how they would look all together, like this:

Rural*ish baby girl rag quiltrn

Next, she hid in the stairwell at her work and called me, ecstatic. She oooo’d, she ahhhh’d, she gushed! So I took that as a “yes” and got down to business.

I ordered the fabric…sigh, it kinda just makes my heart stop.

Fabric for Rural*ish baby girl rag quilt

I cut it up, and I got to sewing.

Violet, pink, gray, charcoal, roses, flowers, butterflies, baby girl rag quilt

And as I was sewing I began to feel some familiar feelings….like that, “Hey, I LIKE doing this!” feeling!

The Rural*ish "Sienna" lovey/mini baby rag quilt is perfect for baby girls! Vintagey roses, groovy butterflies, delicate flowers, and leafy feathers come together beautifully in a modern palette of violets and lavenders, pinks, charcoal gray, olive and lime greens.

That, “Hey, this is so beautiful!” (tingly) feeling!

The Rural*ish "Sienna" lovey/mini baby rag quilt is perfect for baby girls! Vintagey roses, groovy butterflies, delicate flowers, and leafy feathers come together beautifully in a modern palette of violets and lavenders, pinks, charcoal gray, olive and lime greens. www.ruralish.etsy.com

That, “Hey, that’s right, I’m GOOD at this!” feeling!

The Rural*ish "Sienna" rag quilt is perfect for baby girls! Vintagey roses, groovy butterflies, delicate flowers, and leafy feathers come together beautifully in a modern palette of violets and lavenders, pinks, charcoal gray, olive and lime greens. www.ruralish.etsy.com

And finally, that “Wow, these rag quilts are ah-mazing” feeling!

Along the way I kept Lil Sis up to date on the progress on Instagram, which was also new for me. It was a really fun way to engage my “client” in the process and to build anticipation and enthusiasm for her final rag quilts.

Since Lil Sis lives about an hour and a half away, I had to mail the rag quilts, which was a good exercise for me to go through since I hadn’t done that before (and quite, frankly, mailing was one of the “issues” that was hanging up my shop). I tied them up nice and cute:

The Rural*ish "Sienna" rag quilt is perfect for baby girls! Vintagey roses, groovy butterflies, delicate flowers, and leafy feathers come together beautifully in a modern palette of violets and lavenders, pinks, charcoal gray, olive and lime greens. www.ruralish.etsy.com

Packed them up nicely:

The Rural*ish "Sienna" rag quilt is perfect for baby girls! Vintagey roses, groovy butterflies, delicate flowers, and leafy feathers come together beautifully in a modern palette of violets and lavenders, pinks, charcoal gray, olive and lime greens. www.ruralish.etsy.com

And mailed them off!

The Rural*ish "Sienna" rag quilt is perfect for baby girls! Vintagey roses, groovy butterflies, delicate flowers, and leafy feathers come together beautifully in a modern palette of violets and lavenders, pinks, charcoal gray, olive and lime greens. www.ruralish.etsy.com

And everyone LOVED THEM! <3

Thank Yous

After YEARS of overthinking everything there was to overthink about opening my Etsy shop, this whole process was a major confidence booster for me! I realized how well sewing rag quilts fits in with my life as a stay at home mom – even if I am sewing 15-20 minutes here and there or after everyone is asleep, it’s getting done. I remembered how much I enjoy sewing – it’s cathartic and forces me to sit down and zone out for a little while (a MUST with a 5 and 3 year old to keep up with). Seeing my sister’s enthusiasm along the way, her joy to give these handmade gifts to her friends, and her friends’ reactions, I was reminded how EXCITED people get about my rag quilts and how much they enjoy receiving them!

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P.S. I am calling this rag quilt “Sorella”, which is Italian for “sister”, because there are a bunch of sisters in this rag quilt story! Also, I think it’s pretty. :)

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7 thoughts on “The little rag quilt that could: How my baby sister, beautiful fabric, and Instagram helped build my confidence and get me moving

  1. Your quilts are so beautiful! And I love this story and watching your process. I think that is the most fun part about a custom order, you are making a relationship in the collaboration and a story in the work. Love the name of your rag quilt too. So thoughtful. in short, this post gave me warm fuzzies. :)

    Like

    • Warm fuzzies, haha! Thanks, Gillian! “sorella” sounds so much more beautiful than boring ‘ole “sister”, lol.
      BTW, did you notice I copied your “I sell on Etsy” gallery on my sidebar? Thanks for the tip. :)

      Like

  2. Pingback: Treasury Tuesday: My peek at Pantone’s radiant orchid on Etsy | Rural*ish

    • Thank you, Jasmin! I <3 pretty fabric!! I think we are on the same page here, too…the story behind our products is so important, and is part of what makes "handmade" so special. Yours has a little more mystery to it because it's in a different language, haha. :)

      Like

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