2.28.2011

Rag Quilt

Quilt Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain - Rag QuiltIf basting and binding a quilt isn't really your thing, and if you don't particularly like quilting large quilt tops, then a rag quilt is the perfect quilt project for you. :) With a rag quilt, you create smaller (therefore easier to handle) quilt sandwiches, quilt them while they're still small, and then piece them together to form your quilt. If that sounds confusing, check out my 8-step rag quilt tutorial below.

(Click picture to enlarge)
Quilt Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain - Rag Quilt

Quilt Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain - Rag Quilt

This quilt measures 23" x 23" which works perfectly for throwing in a stroller, or as a wall hanging quilt. Speaking of strollers, rag quilts are great for little ones as they offer a textured material for them to touch and explore.

I have a similar tutorial called Frayed Seams Quilt which uses fleece material as the entire quilt backing. You can check it out for an alternate rag quilt design.

Materials for a 23"x23" rag quilt:
  • 10 quarter yards of varying prints
  • 1 yard of fleece (or batting, see note in step 1).
  • Coordinating thread
Step 1 - Cut fifty 6.5" squares from your quarter yard cuts (note: 1 quarter yard = six 6.5" squares). From your 1 yard of fleece, cut twenty-five 6.5" squares*.

Quilt Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain - Rag Quilt*If you prefer to not have the fleece show at the seams as it does in this tutorial (see step 4), or if you prefer to use batting instead of fleece, cut twenty-five 5.5" squares instead. Then, when you make your mini quilt sandwich as described in step 2 (below), make sure the fleece/batting is centered in between the fabric pieces.

Step 2 - Make a mini quilt sandwich: take one fleece square and sandwich it in between two fabric squares. The wrong sides of the fabric should be facing the fleece. Repeat until you have 25 mini quilt sandwiches. When putting these together, plan for how the front and back of your quilt will look.

Quilt Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain - Rag Quilt
Step 3 - Quilt all 25 of the mini quilt sandwiches you made from the previous step. For this quilt, I quilted a simple X. Start and end your stitch with a back stitch.

Quilt Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain - Rag QuiltNote: For Steps 4 through 6, use a walking foot if possible (to prevent puckering).

Step 4 - Sew the quilt sandwiches together: Sew 5 rows of 5 quilt sandwiches each, using a 1/2" seam allowance. The front of your quilt will have the 1/2" seam, as shown below.

Quilt Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain - Rag QuiltThe back will look like this:

Quilt Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain - Rag Quilt
Step 5 - Then, sew your five rows together the same way, so that the 1/2" seam allowance will be at the front of your quilt.

Quilt Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain - Rag Quilt
Step 6 - After you've sewn all five rows together, sew a 1/2" seam allowance around the perimeter of the quilt. This quilt requires no binding!

Quilt Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain - Rag Quilt
Step 7
- Snip little frays (roughly ¼” apart) along all of the ½” seams including the perimeter seam. Do not cut outside of the seam. Use scissors that have really sharp tips (I used applique scissors). I was able to cut through two fabric layers per snip.

Quilt Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain - Rag Quilt
Step 8 - Lastly, throw the quilt in the wash (cold water, gently cycle) and dryer (tumble dry low). Washing and drying the quilt will make the fringes you cut from the previous step soft and fluffy.

Quilt Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain - Rag QuiltThat's it! As always, let me know if you have any questions and I'd be happy to help you out.

Happy Quilting!

41 comments:

  1. Cute idea...I have seen this technique but never bothered to see how to do it. I have been browsing through your tutorials and I enjoy them; they are great...not too detailed and clear. Thank-you so much for taking the time to do them!

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  2. I've never seen one done like this, I love it!! Would it work to make a normal quilt this way? The back of this looks like a normal quilt, so in theory it should work....right??

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  3. I love rag quilts! They really have good pratical purposes. Next time try cutting the fleece smaller than the fabric squares, then you won't have to sew through it or cut it and it won't show. This really gives a rag quilt a nice drape, also.

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  4. Oh, thanks so much for the tute! I'm going to try it when I finish up some UFOs!

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  5. I use a pair of Fiskar "nippers" for these and flannel rag quilts (no batting needed there.) It's soooooo much easier. I'm not usually one to put a brand name out there, but they work so dang well~~no aching hands!

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  6. Do you think this would work with batting instead of flannel? I have a lot of "dog quilts" from longarm practice sessions, and this would be a good use for them.

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  7. Hi all, thanks for your comments!

    To seespotshop: Yes! As Di suggested, if you use batting instead of flannel, simply cut the batting 1 inch smaller so that it doesn't show at the 1/2 seams like the flannel does in this tutorial. For example, cut your batting (or fleece) into a 5" square, and sandwich that in between two 6" fabric squares. Then later when you sew your 1/2" seam allowance, the batting won't come through at the seams, only the fabric will. This will also make it easier later when you're snipping all the frays at the seams. I hope this makes sense...please let me know if you have any questions at all!

    To Marianne: thank you for that suggestion! I am buying myself a pair of Fiskar "nippers" next time I'm at the fabric store!

    To Christina: if you don't mind having the seams showing, then you can make any quilt like this. Did that answer your question?

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  8. Hi all, I made a little update to step 1 (in red). To seespotshop, hopefully it helps. To Di, thanks for the suggestion!

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  9. que lindo este trabalho voçê é muito caprichosa beijosss....

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  10. I just meandered/stumblede over from somewhere, I forget where, but sure am glad I did. Love your quilts, especially the rainy day quilt. Great instructions. Jeanne @ The Learning Curve http://jeannegwin.blogspot.com/ Sutmble over for a visit. New blog but slowly coming together. Happy days!

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  11. Your instructions look so easy that I am going to give this a try! Thanks so much!

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  12. Beautiful work and I am even more determined to get mine made!
    Thanks for the inspirations and tutorial!

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  13. I just made my very first raggy quilt bag, what a disaster! will be on my blog soon if you all want a laugh.. I just found you whilst looking for help on how to get it right next time - best instructions I have seen, going to be following your blog and thank you for your help and clear instructions.
    Lynda

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  14. What is I want to make this quilt but without the seams showing?? I want the front to look like the back does. How would i do that?

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    1. cut the batting smaller as suggested in Step #1. Instead of layering as shown, layer the two fabrics right sides together, then center the batting on top. Sew around all four sides of the square, leaving an opening of approximately 1 1/2 inch. Catch just the edge of the batting as you go to secure it in place. Turn right-side out and quilt as desired. Then you will need to whip stitch or zig-zag the blocks together. The opening should be closed when joining the blocks together. Someone try that and let me know if it works!

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  15. I upped the block size to 7" and did 8 rows of 8 blocks each. Turned out about 48" or 4'square. Ideal for a lap quilt or over the back of the couch. :) Loved your clear, concise directions! I just about finished this in an afternoon. Still have all my clipping to do... boohoo.haha

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  16. I've spent hours on youtube looking for videos that would help..... then stumbled on your 8-step instructions.... THANK GOODNESS!!! So simple and easy:))! Thank YOU!

    One quick question - The shaggy quilt I'm making came with binding material (instead of fraying around the edges), but I don't know how to do bind.... Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance!

    Tina

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    1. Hi Tina - I have several binding tutorials; see the link below. Hope this helps!

      Binding and blind stitching tutorial:
      http://quiltingintherain.blogspot.com/2011/05/binding-blind-stitching-tutorial.html

      Quick Quilt Binding:
      http://quiltingintherain.blogspot.com/2010/06/quick-quilt-binding.html

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  17. I have never, ever quilted before... how hard is it to really start? Would hand-stitching just be a pain in the butt?

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    1. I think hand-stitching works best for pieces that have more complicated shapes (with curved edges, for example). However, if you have never quilted before and would like to give hand-stitching a try, why not just choose one block to make and turn it into a potholder? That is a good way to get some practice and learn a little bit about the process before getting involved in a big project.

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  18. WeLL, about starting to Quilt.....Not hard at all to begin. You can do AnYThiNG you set your mind to and their are many awesome patterns for us beginners :)
    Have fun!

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  19. Great tutorial!! I am getting ready to start my rag quilt this week, and I have a question about thread color. The back fabric of all my quilt sandwiches will be a green minky fabric. Should I try to match the thread to the green back when I quilt the "X"? Or should I use a light color? Does it matter? Thanks for any help you can offer!

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  20. I read somewhere that you should use flannel as it "rags" better. Unfortunatley, the fabric I want to use is 100% cotton, will that work as well?

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    Replies
    1. I recently made a rag quilt out of flannel and I don't like it. when I washed it, it came out of the dryer looking like it was 10 years old. Don't know why that happened but next time I will use cotton.

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  21. Hi there, Thanks so much for the nice pics and great instructions. I have one question. When you attach the "rows" together, do you open up the seams to sew the rows together, or do you fold the seams over to opposit sides? I cannot tell in the pictures....

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  22. I bought 100% cotton batting to use between my flannel strips. Do I really need to cut it smaller so it won't be sewn in the seams, and why is that important. I've never done this kind of quilt w/batting before, but thought it would look fluffier using the batting as part of the seam. THoughts?

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  23. Thank you so much for this post! I saw a quilt like this when on holiday in the States and knew I just had to have a go! It is top of my list. Cheers!

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  24. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-LQfYXrG_Q

    http://www.beverlys.com/rag-quilt-how-to.html

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  25. I am getting ready to buy a sewing machine and learn to quilt. I have so many friends with new babies plus four of my own. I have my own baby blankets that after 30 years look like they are coming apart and thought it would be perfect to up-cycle for my little one and just add to it. I am super excited at how simple this looks and am SO GLAD I happened to stumble upon your sight on Pintrist! Cant wait to try it! <3 Love the clear simple step by step instructions and the pictures for us beginners!

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  26. Can you bind off a rag quilt

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  27. I made it on the weekend. Great instructions - thank you xxx

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  28. I want to personally thank you for your insight on quilting techniques. I've made a couple of the flannel baby quilts and they came out beautifully for gifts. I have been making quilts for 40 years using as many "shortcut" techniques as possible. Yours are by far the easiest. Next I'm going to try your "woven" quilt as seen on Pinterest. U DA BEST!

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  29. What would be the sizing if I wanted to make a throw? And how much fabric you think?

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  30. What stops the material from loosing threads when washed and fraying down to seam ?

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  31. what stitch are you using when you assemble it all together?

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  32. I love this tutorial! I have always been so intimidated to try to sew a quilt but I believe THIS I CAN do!

    So wonderful of you to show us. I wish all tutorials were so SIMPLE and CLEAR and EASY to understand. You made it so simple and clear I don't think I'll even need to read it step by step AGAIN to do it.....lovely.

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  33. I am so glad I found this,I already have my squares ready (sewn front and back) but I thought "Oh no I messed up" lololol thank you for doing this.

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  34. Thank you so much! I have always wanted to make a quilt like this.

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  35. I cannot wait to try this out. It will be my first time and I will hand sew, instead of a machine. Thank you for sharing!

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  36. Thank you for great idea. Should the fabric be washed and dried prior to starting to prevent shrinkage?

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