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Thread: Rag quilt. "Make it in a day", they said! Yeah, right!!!

  1. #1
    Member StaceySewsSorta's Avatar
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    Smile Rag quilt. "Make it in a day", they said! Yeah, right!!!

    Ok, first off (as I mentioned in my Intro post) I dont "quilt". (The pretty, all-over sewing.) So when this rag quilt tutorial I found online said "quilt as you go", I was all

    AND, they said it could be made in a day!! Sweet!

    Yeah. Well.... It took 4 days JUST to get all my fabric squares cut! Another day to assemble my front-batting-backing "sandwiches", and I am STILL trying to get all my squares quilted so they can FINALLY be assembled!

    With school starting for my kids, I got sidetracked and let the quilt sit, but I would REALLY like to GIT ER DONE!!!! LOL!!

    I went with patriotic colors (NO Patriotic PRINTS.... keep reading) but with a rustic twist.... Its almost ALL florals and other prints that evoke "old fashioned" or "pioneer" times prints/fabrics.... and there is NO WHITE fabric at all.

    The top is all reds, maroons, creams, browns, and blues of varying shades. The back is plain neutral muslin, as well as other cream, tan, ecru, brown, etc squares.

    I have ZERO intention of making a "pattern". I like the idea of throwing these squares together hap-hazardly.

    But I fubarred. (I think) The "quilt as you go" part is what made me want to try it....
    SO as I started quilting my sandwiches together, I alternated each stack (one stack=one row) with square quilting and X quilting... figuring on doing "every other row" on the finished quilt with little quilted squares and X's. I have not finished all my sandwiches, and Im second guessing my "every other" plan.

    What is your experience with rag quilts?? May I see some pictures to refer to?

    (Oh, and the other thing that sold me on this kind of quilt? No mitering corners! YAY!!!!) LOL!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    I have just finished one not even a week ago and it was not fast. 300 squares - 100 each for front, batting and backing. I quilted every square differently and I quilted on the back so that I can see what the heck I am doing (I used natural muslin for backing mixed with beige and whir on white leftover fabric. To make matters worse or more interesting I used about a dozen is different color threads on the back. I had my doubts but after I was done and it all got put together and washed it turned out to be one of the best quilts I ever made. Everybody loves it, especially the back. I had 100 squares on which I practiced free motion quilting. I have to be honest, by the time I was done I hade a huge boost of confidence. I can honestly say now that I can do FMQ with little or no problems. Good luck! According to everything you wrote your quilt is going to be a beauty. I am 100% sure of that.

  3. #3
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I've only made about two of them, but they went together fairly fast. one i did X's and swirls/circles every other square. the other i did X's. I love cutting and piecing, so don't remember how long that part took.

  4. #4
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    As I recall, the cutting, quilting, and piecing pales beside the work of snipping...but they are great quilts and worth the work!

  5. #5
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    I've never done a rag quilt but I think I will try one this winter.

  6. #6
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    I have done a few rag quilts. I did not keep track of time (I work full time), but a few tips to make it go faster next time.

    Rip the fabric into long strips, yes the edges are a bit rough, but you have wide seam allowances and will be snipping them, so it does not matter.

    Stack your long strips and cut your squares using a ruler and rotary cutter. Once again not the most accurate way to cut, but not terribly important in a rag quilt.

    Do not use batting, this saves two steps, one you do not have to cut the batting, two you do not have to do X's on each square.

    Or just an extra layer of flannel, cut as above and do not worry about the X's.

    Use recycled jeans for the back, this does take quite a bit of time, but you can have fun with the details on the jeans, I used interesting seams, pockets even a fly or two. You do not need batting if you use denim. The quilt will be very heavy.

    Do yourself a favour and buy a pair of spring loaded snips to do the snipping. I did the snipping over a few evenings while watching TV.

  7. #7
    Super Member TexasSunshine's Avatar
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    I cut my squares out of old jeans bought at garage sales and used red plaid flannel for the back. I did not use batting because of the weight of the jeans. I did sew an X in the blocks and also featured pockets, side seams and other features from the jeans. My son loved it.
    Texas Sunshine, piney woods of NE Texas

  8. #8
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    I do a lot of rag quilts and I find they take more than a day. I do enjoy making them and you can be very creative with them. I use a lot of recycled denim jumpers from thrift stores, I find jeans to be heavy for me. I don't use batting in the middle, I used flannel sheets from thrift stores, it makes the edges fuller and fluffier (sp). There isn't a pattern, I make up what I like. You can go to etsy.com and see plenty of rag quilts to get ideas (I don't know how to put pictures on here). I have a few on Etsy, my store is The Golden Attic. I do suggest you take your quilt to a laundry mat for the first washing, especially if it is large. I also draw out my design (found that on a youtube video) and label each row with a little sticky dot to make it easier to put together. The bigger the squares, the less squares it takes. Also get a pair of rag quilt scissors it will help with the clipping. I use fiskars (sp?) and they really help keep me from nipping the seams or fabric. Please post your quilt, the colors sound beautiful.

  9. #9
    Member StaceySewsSorta's Avatar
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    I did go ahead and buy spring loaded snips, as I am NOT looking forward to that task. LOL This quilt, once finished will be APPRX 64 x 76 (Before I started it, I got strict instructions to make it a bit bigger than my tan/red one... his feet stick out the end of that one. LOL!)

    The only reason I used batting (Its low loft, 100% cotton) is because I chose fairly thin, regular cotton fabrics... I have been collecting the different fabrics for nearly 6 months. LOL

    Here is a collective shot of all the fabrics I used for it, and of the stacks of sandwiches. LOL

    **In response to a thread about photo size, my apologies; Im still trying to figure out how to re-size

    PLEASE NOTE, *NONE* of the fabric here is white... just an over-achieving flash on my camera. LOL
    But ALLLLLLLLLL the fabrics you see here are just for the TOP of my quilt.... the back is a combo of neutrals, creams, tans, browns.... 304 squares per layer, 912 squares in all... WTH was I thinking??!

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  10. #10
    Member StaceySewsSorta's Avatar
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    Oh and the comment made about the laundromat is dually noted. My poor washer and dryer would kill me! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

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