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Thread: how many washes to "rag"?

  1. #1
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    I just finished a quilt that has baseballs sewn on that are supposed to rag. (I stitched them about 1/4" from the edge and expect that raw edge to fray.) I've washed and dried it once and .. not much happened. This is the first time I've done this so don't know quite what I'm supposed to do. It's in the washer again right now. Do I just keep washing it?

  2. #2
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    1/4" may not be enough, especially if it's not a good raggy fabric, you know if you accedentially sew too close to the edge it's gonna fray at least 1/2" and come apart, but something like this that you want to fray ......... try brushing it with a tooth brush

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    This edge won't fray the same as a rag quilt. It usually will just fray a bit from handling and washing. It also depends on the fabric, batiks won't fray around the edges as much as homespun would :D:D:D

  4. #4
    Senior Member kraftykimberly's Avatar
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    Did you clip the edges like on a regular rag quilt? I would think that might help the process along. You would have to be really careful with the clipping tho if you only have 1/4" to work with, you dont want to accidently clip into the seam

  5. #5
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    hmmmm ... I'll let it go through this wash and then get the toothbrush out. Here's what it looked like before I finished it:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-104815-1.htm

    Oops - haven't clipped the edges - I think I'll stop the washer and do that! (Nope - it's too far gone.)

    Is it the washing or the drying that does the most work?

  6. #6
    Senior Member 1234Irene's Avatar
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    Also when I took a class on rag quilts, we snipped the edges up close to the seams, being careful not to clip the seam, about every half inch or so. It will help with the ragging process. Our seams were made at least a half inch too. AND the first time washed, it really leaves the little pieces in you washer and dryer, so be careful not to plug you washer. I actually took mine to the laundry mat for that first washing and drying, lol.

  7. #7
    Super Member jmabby's Avatar
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    I agree, at least 1/2 inch is needed plus clipping the edges. Clipping the edges will still work even tho it has been washed, it will fray, just take a little longer. Wash in cool water so the color won't fade. One thing I found out is put a screen on the hose or water plug so all the thread won't clog your drain. I prefer to take it to the laundry mat.

  8. #8
    Senior Member janell2009's Avatar
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    When I do a rag quilt I usually sew twice over the seam at 1/2 and just beside each other just in case I nick the seam when clipping it. I have found it takes 2 washings... The first one to get out most of it.. and the second one to get the rest off... I usually do 2 washing in a row and after it has agitated a while I open the machine and try and scoop out the fibers with a colander, that saves some of it from the drain. I take it outside and shake it as best I can before I put it in the dryer.

  9. #9
    Super Member CoyoteQuilts's Avatar
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    It sounds like you did raw edge applique... Am I right? I have found that regular cotton doesn't rag as well as flannel. It will do it's job eventually.

  10. #10
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    With my rag quilts I cut every 1/4" of the exposed seam ... just not into the seam line.

    I washed my quilts but took them to the laundromat and put them in the dryer without heat. They frayed beautifully. So much that I was continually removing large amounts of thread from the dryer. One little older Vietnamese lady was afraid I had "broken" my quilt as she had never seen this done. And ... let's face it, it is weird.

    ali

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