I absolutely love Rag Quilting! It is such an easy and unique way to put a quilt together fast! The one in the picture to the left is a twin quilt I finished in one weekend using 7″ squares.
Here is how to start.
1. Chose the size blocks you would to begin with…of course the larger the blocks the quicker the quilt will go. For sanity sake, I suggest going with a minimum of 5″ blocks.
2. Chose your fabrics. You will want to chose fabrics that fray nicely. Cotton Fabrics work well with using a color coordinated flannel middle, but ultimately flannel is the best fraying fabric. Another great choice is to toss some denim in, denim looks great in any rag quilt.
I personally like using at least five different fabrics to get a nice diagonal pattern going, but you can use as little as two or as many as 50. (these do make great scrap quilts to clean up the stash) The quilt above has seven different prints and just for fun I threw in a textured corduroy. For the backing you can pick anything to mixed up squares or the same fabric. I am pretty conservative and usually go with the same backing through out the quilt.
3. Chose your middle fabric or batting(if any at all). If you are using two cottons for the front and back; you really do want to consider a middle(or a sandwich fabric as I like to call it). With cottons I usually go with Quilters Dream Request, which is a low loft batting. You may also decide to go with a color matching flannel middle.
If you are using a cotton front and flannel back….unless you want a puffy quilt you can forgo the middle. If the top is flannel and back is flannel you definitely will not need anything in the middle.
My best advise is to make a couple of blocks and decide for yourself.
4. After you have made all of these important decisions…step four is to simply cut all of your blocks the size you want them(front, back, and middle(if needed). All blocks need to be cut the same size.
5. Now it is time to start putting it all together. What I do is line up the blocks in the order I want and start making a sandwich with all the fabrics I plan on using.
6. Then you need to quilt the squares one by one. You can chose whatever pattern you like. I usually do a simple X pattern but you can chose anything. Hearts are cute but need to be chalked out. Try to leave a 1″ seam allowance around the edges while doing this. If you do not you will want to pick it out with a seam ripper prior to putting the squares together.
7. Next comes the fun part…putting it all together. Here is where I organize before starting…I lay the quilt out on the floor in the design I want, then stack them in rows in the order they are going to be sewn. As I stack I label the rows with post-it notes.
Throughout the whole quilt you will want to use a 1″ seam allowance, this is very important to get the optimal fray. I pick up two blocks from row one and with the backing together and the front of the quilt facing the ceiling and the other front facing the bottom of the sewing machine I start assembling my rows. After I have sewn all the rows together I again lay the quilt out to make sure everything looks good.
Then I take each row over to the ironing board and iron the seams open. and set the rows back on the floor.
Then I pin the rows at the seams two rows at a time. Again you will want to make sure you are putting the backing sides together as you want the frayed look on the front of your quilt. After I have assembled all of the rows in twos, I start the process over by pinning the rows of twos. It is very important to pin as you will find these quilts can get very heavy quick.
8. After all of the rows are assembled and all of the seems pressed open, you will want to sew a 1 inch seam around the entire quilt.
9. Now comes the fraying and probably the most time consuming part of the process. I really suggest using spring loaded scissors. It really will be a lot easier and less stress on your hand. You will want to start fraying the quilt by cutting in 1/4″ to 3/8″ lines as close to your seam as possible, but be careful not to snip past the seam. Don’t forget to do the outer edges.
10. After you have finished cutting the entire quilt go ahead and toss it in the washing machine. This will be a little messy for your machine and you will want to wipe it out with a paper towel afterwards as you will have clumps of fabric in the machine. Then toss it in the dryer. After the dryer you will have a nice warm and fluffy rag quilt. The more you wash it the more it will fray and look gorgeous!
Rag Quilt tip: After removing from the dryer if you are using dark or light fabrics you may see lint all over the quilt. My magic cure is duck tape. I take pieces of duck tape and use it as a lint remover….works like magic!
♥Tilda Fabric Patchwork Quilting Bundle♥Floral Spots Stripe♥ Charm Pack Squares
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