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Rag quilts make great baby shower presents. They are so soft and cuddly, and perfect for little ones.
An added bonus is I’m usually able to find flannel on sale, and the project comes together rather quickly.
I was asked to make a rag quilt the other day and agreed without hesitation. But, I quickly realized I was bored with the process (this will be the 7th rag quilt I have made in the last few months). So, I decided to make this one a little different, in a sheer effort to relieve my boredom.
I originally learned how to do rag quilts using this tutorial. It was very descriptive, and I had no problems using it, being new to sewing. Even with this blanket I used the method from the tutorial. But, as you can see I just played around with the layout.
This is how my blanket started out… I really liked the edges like this.
But, no one agreed with me.
So, I sadly straightened the edges and put on a border to make it look more finished.
Which one do you like better?
Here is a quick run down on how I did it.
I always pre-wash my fabric even for rag quilts. Flannel shrinks so much more that regular cotton, and I never want to take the chance with my quilts. Some people say that if you pre-wash the edges don’t rag as well, but I have never had a problem. Mine always rag very nicely.
Cut 64- 7″ squares of flannel to make 32 blocks. *If you wanted to use batting, you would cut 32 – 5.5″ blocks of batting. Batting is optional, it purely depends on how thick you want the blanket to be. I don’t use it for my baby quilts, but any other size I would.*
Pick out what pieces you want for the front and back of each square, and lay them wrong sides together. *This is where you would sandwich in your batting if you are using it*
Quilt an “x” on each square. I use a walking foot to sew and quilt everything for my blanket. It helps keep the flannel from stretching.
After all the blocks are quilted, lay out the pieces till you are happy with the design.
Sew the blocks, with the back sides together using 1/2″ seam allowance, to form rows.
Pinned the rows together matching up the seams and sew, again with 1/2″ seam allowance.
Since I didn’t plan on adding a border I had to go back and cut my border pieces to match up, adding a 1″ seam allowance to each. They were different lengths, depending on position, but all of them were cut to 3″ wide. I sewed the pieces together to form a long strip and then sewed it to each of my sides. *Skip this and go to the next step if you don’t want a border*
To finish, sew 1/2″ around the entire blanket. This will allow you to clip the out side edges also.
Use spring-loaded scissors to clip all the seams every 1/4″ to 1/2″ right up to the stitching, but not going through it.
Wash. If you have a laundry mat near, go to it! It will save you a lot of trouble. You can wash it at home, but empty your lint filter often.
If you have never done a rag quilt before please refer to the tutorial I used starting out. It is very detailed and has good pictures to describe everything.
I hope this will inspire you to play around with your rag quilt design. I would love to see your spin on it.