Sorry this is long! "_
Ok on to the science lesson! Just kidding! Have you ever thought about making a rag quilt? Thought it was too hard? Well I will prove you wrong! I have been making them for almost 8 years now and made probably over 100! A little history. Back in 2003 DS was a freshmen in High School and doing Marching Band. We wanted DD to have something to do too, so I enrolled her in sewing classes to make clothes for her American Girl Doll. Learn to sew and make clothes for her doll a win win situation! Well they were having a Rag Quilt Class as well, so I signed up for that! I have been sewing my whole life practically, made my Wedding Dress even, but I hadnt' sewn for awhile, so all this was new to me!
Step One: Decide how big you want the quilt. Is it for a baby or an adult? If you are making for an adult, usually the squares are 10x10 inches. A baby or toddler you can use 6x6 or 7x7. The one we are making here is 7x7, 7 squares by 7 squares and they are 7" by 7". I buy a lot of remnants cause you can get them for a lot less with really what you need, unless you are making a large quilt.
Step Two: Getting your supplies. If you do not have a cutting board or rotary cutter, they are a necessity! Use a coupon and by them at JoAnn's, or wait for a good sale. My first quilt I cut by hand, and my hands still hurt!
Flannel - depending on what size you are doing, you can get by with 1/2 a yard of about 6 or seven different fabrics for a small quilt, 1 yard of the same if you are doing a large quilt. Thread and snips, but more on that later.
Step Three: Cutting your fabric. Do not pre wash your fabric! You will wash the quilt after you are done to give it the 'rag' look! When the fabric comes off the bolt there is a fold side and a selvage side, raw ends. You want to fold your fabric fold side to selvage side.
Here you can see I have folded it with the selvage on the mat and I am folding the fold side up.
Here I am cutting another fabric. This is a quilt that DD is making, but she doesn't like to cut, so...
I did 7 different fabrics in all, so she had 50 squares to work with.
Here is our pile of squares:
Now on to the layout!
Step Four: Once you have all your fabric cut, you can begin to lay out your quilt. I use my bed, but you can use the floor or put to large tables together. Once you have it laid out, you can begin pinning your rows.
DD was too fast for me and she already has her rows sewn but you can get how she did it!
Here is a close up of the rows sewn together. See how she has matched her seems. The one thing I like about rag quilts is that you don't have to be perfect, although hers are here. If you are a little off, it is OK, cause after you snip and wash, you can't tell anyways! They are very forgiving! Once you have all your rows sewn together, you need to do a seam around the whole perimeter. Here I like to do a decorative stitch, a wave or something different, with a different color even!
Now on to Step Five: Snipping! This can be tedious if you do not have the right tool! As I said I snipped my first one all with Fiskars sewing scissors! Oy, I learned quickly you need good snips that have a spring in them. Back then I bought mine at Home Depot! But now you can find Rag Quilt Snips at JoAnn's. Here is a pic of mine from 8 years ago.
I still use them! I put a dab of nail polish on the blade 1/2" down so I now to go no further and won't cut through the seam!
Here is a pic of ones you can find ad JoAnn's now.
You want to begin snipping all your seams, taking your time and making sure you get everything.
Here is the finished product:
Once you have finished snipping all your seams, you want to wash in cold water, I always use a Shout Color Catcher, to make sure none of the colors run. I then put in the dryer with a towel to help rough it up. You will have a lot of lint, and if you are doing a large quilt you may have to check the lint filter in the middle of the cycle.
We love making these, we call them personality quilts, as we like to come up with a theme. I have baskets of remnants, too many really, but it is always fun putting them together. I am getting ready to do one for my FIL for Father's Day, it is a fishing theme.
Now some people like to add another layer of fiberfill or cotton between the fabric. I am in So Cal, so I don't I just keep the fabric the same as I cut it so one side is ragged and one is smooth. Here is the ragged side.