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Rag quilts - How I got started & my input/advice - ask me Q&A

Posted by on Jul. 27, 2014 at 12:22 PM
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My name is Chris and I think I have made about 11 rag quilts in the past 9 months. Making my first quilt was the first time I had ever used a sewing machine. 

This is the link I used to learn the technique to get started. http://quiltingintherain.blogspot.com/2011/02/rag-quilt.html Pictures are included. The only difference is I used 10" squares instead of the smaller one suggested. When I sew the seams I would use the 1" seam for the rag part.

I chose this type of quilt to start learning on because it seemed so easy. You are cutting out small 10 " squares for the top, batting & back, so it seemed manageable. And it is.

When selecting materials, I always tried to pick heavier cotton because it was for blankets and that is my preference. I prefer to buy cotton batting and have used old single layer blankets to cut up for this purpose as well. When making a blanket out of fleece, note that when you start layering the heavier fleece at some point you will be sewing together four corners (meaning you will have 8 layers to go through) and your sewing machine may not allow that thickness. See the pic at the bottom of post. I have had to hand sew each of these corners by hand. 

I cut both the front and back squares at 10" and the batting at 8" because I prefer the batting not to show in my seams. 

Then layer the material: top, batting, back and sew an "X" into it.

Next lay your quilt out into the pattern you like and stack up your rows and label them so you know which row to connect to the other.

Now you can begin sewing the squares together for each row. I use a 1" seam allowance which will become the "rag" part of the quilt. Block/seam/block/seam/block. Keep your rows numbered throughout this process. Use a strong stitch for this step too. 

Now you can sew the rows to one another. Note to keep the seams all on the same side. With every single blanket I made, I always screw this up, so if you are like me, keep your seam ripper handy!

Last sewing step is to sew around the edge of the blanket with the same allowance you used for the other seams, remember I use 1".

The last step is to take scissors and cut the seams into frays to create the "rag" part of the quilt. 

Once you wash & dry the quilt they will look more ragged. I dry mine before washing it the first time to work some of the threads loose as they filter out of the dryer easier than the washer. They will shed for some time when using cotton material.

Special note that when I made my oversized queen quilt for my DH, it is so large we have to wash it at the laundromat. 

If you need additional advice or have questions, feel free to contact me directly. I would love to try to help. My email is 24clark@gmail.com. HAPPY QUILTING!!

by on Jul. 27, 2014 at 12:22 PM
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24clark
by on Jul. 27, 2014 at 12:32 PM

TIP: When cutting the frays, I use a sharp, pointed pair of scissors and just push one sharp end through and pull up. This is quicker and reduces the chances of my cutting the sewn seam so I don't have to go back and hand reinforce the seam I accidently cut. :-)

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