Saturday, May 11, 2013

Rag Quilts, Not Used for Cleaning

Rags for cleaning
Rags for baby spit up
"Rags to Riches"
Rags to cut up or rip apart
Rags to throw out

I know you have a rag bucket, my husband and I do. Okay we actually have two rag buckets. One for clean rags and one for the used rags. Rags are great! They are easy to grab when there's a clean up emergency then just toss them in the wash. Done! No fuss, no thought, no worrying about "did I mix those with something red? or "Did bleach get put in with them?" Who cares? They are just rags.

Well, rag quilts are not for cleaning up messes, they are not to be tossed into a bucket, and they certainly DO NOT get thrown out. Rag Quilts are quick and easy but they are not made from actual rags you have crammed in your rag bucket. They are made from random scrap pieces from your stash or you can put some thought into picking what fabrics to use. They are rag quilts because of the frayed raggedy edges you purposely create to give them a cuddly, snuggly, warm look. Let me show you:

These are pics I gathered off the internet of different rag quilts. You won't believe the variety and the beauty of these wonderful easy quilts.

Denim Jean Rag Quilt, made from denim jeans about to be tossed
or donated. Save those jeans and old shirts for quilt fabrics.

Flannel Rag Quilt. These make the best rag quilts.

Fancy Cathedral Window Rag Quilt

Long Strips Rag Quilt

 Click on Beverly's for a step by step tutorial and full instructions on how to create a rag quilt. Click on Missouri Star Quilt Company for another rag quilt tutorial. Try them out, you'll love them!!!


These are some great tutorials that I used to help me create my rag quilts. I completed one but I still have another that is now a UFO. I need to get crackin and get that one done. Never mind, it's always fun to have some projects you've set aside and then start back up.
 Let me take you step-by-step on how I made my quilt. Picture first of the completed quilt:
This is an almost finished quilt. I just forgot to get a picture of the clipped seams before I gave it to the little girl receiving this quilt.

Let's begin the quilt instruction:

I chose four different flannels that I had in my baby quilt fabric stash. I then purchased a light green flannel for the back of each block. With the rag quilts you cut your backing fabric into the same size blocks as your quilt top blocks.
I cut 10" squares from each fabric. If I remember right, I followed the tutorial from Beverly's website to create this one. One difference, I sewed "X"s instead of doing 1/4 seam around all four sides. I got that idea from Jenny Doan's tutorial because then I didn't have to do any quilting of the layers.
I cut a backing fabric 10" square and a yellow fabric 10" square and placed them wrong sides together and sewed the "X".
I got a little fancy and did some half square triangles for variety. Once I sewed the X in the middle of each block then I sewed the blocks together, row by row.

Sewing the rows together is a little bit different than what we quilters are use to. You know you did this right if your seams are showing on the front of the quilt and not on the back. Take two squares and bring them wrong sides together. (That's one non quilting technique) Next, you sew a 1" seam allowance not the usual 1/4" we always use. (Two non quilting techniques) Now repeat this process to complete a row.
 Almost finished!!! Now take your 1st and 2nd rows and put them wrong sides together (again against quilting norms), and sew the rows with 1" seam allowance. This large of seam allows you to complete the last and final step for a rag quilt. Now sew all the rows together.

Your quilt should look like this after all rows are sewn together. One more step before the fun part begins. Now take your entire quilt and you are going to sew a 1" seam allowance on all four sides of the quilt. The quilting and sewing is complete.
The last and finaly step. Making the raggedy part of the quilt. Take a good pair of scissors and every seam you have you are going make fringes. Start at one corner and cut up to but not through the stitching. Move over a little bit and cut again. Keep going around the entire quilt. Then do the same with the seams between each block. Every seam needs to be fringed.
Then you can throw the quilt into the wash and then toss it into the dryer. It's been suggested that you put a tennis ball into the dryer with the quilt and this will help make the fringing fluffier or assist with more fraying.

 It's all about the fringe. The more fraying the better!!

Happy Rag Quilting!!!



  1. Can you tell me what size strips you used on your long striped rag quilt?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hi
    Could you tell me the size squares you used for your denim rag quilt and the overall size of the quilt?
    Thank you--Boyd


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