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Thread: rag quilts, anyone?

  1. #1
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    rag quilts, anyone?

    I'm thinking of making another and am wondering whether many of you made these? I'm wondering what materials you used and whether you batted or not.

    My very first quilt years ago was a rag quilt. I went to a local Octoberfest that had many types of handcrafts demonstrated there. I was a school counselor at the time and at the quilting demonstration booth, one of my 3rd graders was sitting at a sewing machine demonstrating how to make a rag quilt. She showed me. I'd never quilted and thought, "well...if a third grader can do it, surely I can." LOL

    My first and only one was ambitious and turned out rather well. I, as a non-quilter, had been to a quilt store with my quilting friends and saw a rag quilt in red christmas material that had a crossword puzzle embroirdered in the squares using holiday words.

    I decided to use all the member of my immediate family's names: mine, my hubby, my 4 kids, and their kids names.

    I went to a free crossword puzzle software, downloaded and kept putting in my kids names until I got a pattern that I thought looked pleasing, while keeping it within the block number across and down I wanted.

    Then I made it. Boy...was that a challenge...I'd never quilted; I didn't know how much material to buy for the top, much less for the bottom. My local quilt shop helped me figure it all out. I'm sure they thought I was crazy ascertaining how little I knew about the process...LOL. But...hey...they were selling fabric.

    Anyway..it turned out great! Now my family has grown; my children have all married, had kids and one great grandchild. They are complaining that mom's quilt doesn't have all the names on it and think I should make another.

    So that's where you come in I hope. I made the 1st one out of cotton material front and back and batted it. It really shedded a lot when it went through the washer & dryer. would flannel be better? And, if so, would it embroider as well?

    Happy quilting,
    Dray

  2. #2
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I made one out of University of Michigan fabric. I used the U of M fabric which was 100% cotton on the front. I then used 2 layers of flannel one blue and one yellow. I didn't use any batting. It ragged up great and it is nice and snuggly! It gets washed frequently because we have dogs that prefer the couch to their own beds. The cotton hasn't shredded at all. . .
    Last edited by auntpiggylpn; 03-16-2013 at 05:57 AM.
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
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  3. #3
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I make a lot of rag quilts. I use cotton fabric and thin cotton batting. I cut the rag squares with my Go. No snipping, the snips are cut with the die. I won't snip the squares by hand anymore after using the die.
    Got fabric?

  4. #4
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    I have made a couple, one of them I used cotton fabric and cotton batting and snipped. I made it for a friend and she loved it. I bought the spring loaded snippers b4 the 2nd project, made the project so much easier. The 2nd one is made of alternating flannel and homespun fabrics and again used cotton batting and snipped away. It raveled much better than the cotton fabric did. I like the raveling, I actually think that is the point of a raggy quilt.

  5. #5
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    I have made several rag quilts and have found that flannel makes the nicest quilts. I use 2 layers of flannel with a layer of batting in the middle. The batting is cut 1" smaller than the quilt squares so it doesn't catch in the seam. The closer you make you make your snips the nicer the ragging looks. I have also make a lot of rag purses/bags. I used cotton fabric for these and they turned out nice. After you get through snipping take it outside and shake it really good then run it through a cycle in the dryer. This helps get loose threads off the quilt. Then wash and dry it. There will still be loose threads but this process helps a lot in getting them off.
    Lorraine

  6. #6
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    I have made several over the years.

    The first two had recycled jeans for the back and flannel on top, no backing. I did not do X's on the blocks. I had fun with the seams and pockets on the jeans on the back. Beware a denim backed quilt it heavy, the ones I made were only twin sized.

    The next couple I made had flannel fronts and twill backing. I made them as baby floor blankets, still no X's or batting.

    All the above were made with quilting flannel, not PJ flannel.

    I made 2 for the Secret Santa exchange here last fall. I was making dog quilts for my recipient. I used a UFO bought at a local thrift shop. The blocks were all cut, some batted and stitched together. I bought more batting and finished the remaining blocks and made the quilts. The batting was cotton and it did take a while to dry the two small blankets.

    It I make more rag quilts, I will not use batting, if I am looking for extra warmth I will just use an extra layer of flannel.

    They are supposed to shed lots of bits in the dryer, that is how they get the ragged edge. I use a prewash cycle that does not drain m top loader and use a colander to strain out most of the bits. I would not wash a rag quilt at home if I was on a septic system.
    Proud Parent of two Dwight Canada Students

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  7. #7
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Okay, I'm a dingbat! I misread your original post and I thought you meant your cotton fabric "Shredded" as in fell apart! On my rag quilt, the cotton does continue to shed as well as the flannel.
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  8. #8
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    Thanks all for your input. I'm thinking I won't bat this time and see how it turns out. Again, thanks.

  9. #9
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    I've made a couple of rag quilts - bought a kit in Wyoming that had "man" fabric so made it into two couch throw quilts, one for my husband and one for my son. Also have made 5 chenille quilts - really like those, they are soft and drape nicely. They use 4 layers of flannel and no batting. LOTS of stitching though - every 1/2 inch over the whole surface.

  10. #10
    Junior Member patti p's Avatar
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    My very first quilt was a rag quilt I have made 4 so far 2 for baby's or little toddlers and one nice big one for my couch, I have only used flannel with a cotton batting cut 1 inch smaller, my rag quilts have given me the courage to do pieced quilts and other sewing projects , I would love to see what you come up with!
    Patti P http://pattiscards.blogspot.com/

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