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Thread: How to--rag quilt?

  1. #1
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    Question How to--rag quilt?

    My son wanted to know how large a seam when making a rag quilt. I couldn't help him since I have never made one. Also, blocks can be any size, I presume and he was wondering if they could be rectangles and set as you would bricks. He likes to sew and was given a stack of jeans. He thought he would try making a rag quilt with them. Thanks everyone. I told him I'd find out here. Marge L.
    When life goes to pieces, make quilts.

  2. #2
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    Here's the instructions I used when I learned how to make a rag quilt. I have made them using flannel, denims, and fleece. And I make my squares as big as I want to, so don't feel locked into doing 5" squares, I do 8" and even 11" squares, and they can be one ply or two. I do a lot of fleece with only 1 ply. And on the flannel rag quilt, I don't always include a center piece. It depends on where it's going. I live in So. CA, a 3 ply blanket is just too warm here, and it can get pretty heavy too if the blanket is big enough. And sometimes the directions recommend using a walking foot but I just use my regular machine foot. I guess if you are doing a thick rag quilt, with 3 plies, a walking foot would be a good idea.

    Hope all this info helps.

    http://www.lovetosew.com/makeragquilt.htm
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  3. #3
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    http://www.quiltingboard.com/tutoria...l-t106335.html
    usually you sew with a 1/2 inch seam.

  4. #4
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    1/2 inch seam and rectangles are fine. I have a book on how to make rag quilts and they use rectangles in a few of them. Rag quilt scissors are invaluable for making one (or so I have heard as I have the scissors but haven't made the quilt yet.

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    I do 1/2" on smaller blocks and 5/8" on larger blocks. You can use any size you like just like any shape or size squares you use. You can use the denim alone or with a layer of flannel (saw the one layer denim on Etsy I think they called it a picnic blanket) and the denim will get heavy very quickly. I found a great tip here (can't remember from whom) to make it in sections and snip the seams as you go. Don't snip the seams you are going to be sewing other sections too. An example would be, if you have 20 rows, sew 4 sets of 5 rows and then sew the 4 sets together. Unless it is a very small quilt take it to the laundry mat for the first washing because you could stop up your washer. The raq quilt snips are a must. I saw a video on You Tube for a denim rag quilt made from jeans using a rectangler shape for the blocks.

  6. #6
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    You've gotten some good answers. One thing I would add: Don't try to cut the seams all in one sitting. The cutting really hits the wrists (particularly when using denim) and doing a section at a time will still get the job done.
    Martina
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  7. #7
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    That is so cool your son wants to sew. Good for him!!! Tell him not to cut into the seams...close, by not into them or they'll unravel. I also do 1/2" but I haven't done big blocks. I think rectangles would look really great. Unusual for a rag quilt. My first rag quilt was jeans, and I didn't know much about sewing so I only used 2 ply thickness. It worked. My niece uses it in Texas where it's really hot. I bought a pair of scissors that are spring loaded to cut all the edges. Helps so much. I think if he makes kind of big blocks, he won't get burned out on it.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member ShabbyTabby's Avatar
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    Definitely get the spring loaded scissors. I did one before I bought them and believe me your hands will ache and cramp before you are done.
    Families are like old quilts....although they tend to unravel at times...each can be stitched back together with love.

  9. #9
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I do a 1" seam, but that's what is specified on the Accuquilt site when you use the dies. It would depend on how much ragging you want. I would not go smaller than 1/2" for sure.

  10. #10
    Junior Member JudyMN's Avatar
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    I have made several flannel rag quilts. My hands got stiff until I used my seam ripper to cut the fringe. Just poke it close to the seam and push away from yourself. I do not know how that would work on denim. Rectangles would be fine.
    Last edited by JudyMN; 03-24-2012 at 06:14 PM. Reason: Spelling

  11. #11
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShabbyTabby View Post
    Definitely get the spring loaded scissors. I did one before I bought them and believe me your hands will ache and cramp before you are done.
    What a great thinki he wants to do.

    I was given Fiskars Rag Snips. I do have somewhat sever arthritis in my hands. I could literally do fringing ona twin quilt in 1 1/2 days, and that is with lots of breaks, meals, sleeping, and other activities. No pain with the
    Rag Snips.

    ali
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  12. #12
    Member Bicycle Hobo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marge L. View Post
    My son wanted to know how large a seam when making a rag quilt. I couldn't help him since I have never made one. Also, blocks can be any size, I presume and he was wondering if they could be rectangles and set as you would bricks. He likes to sew and was given a stack of jeans. He thought he would try making a rag quilt with them. Thanks everyone. I told him I'd find out here. Marge L.
    Here is a Webpage-http://sites.google.com/site/compact...y-quilt-series-of the sewing construction and even the commercial laundromat front loading machines actually washing/drying of one of my rag quilts (plus photos of the completed quilt)). The photos on this post are more recent examples demonstrating the different seam allowances I used on different ragged quilts. The first one, The Four Point Scrappy Stars Quilt, I used a scant 1/4 seam. The others (The Bicycle Rag Quilt & The Musical Notes Quilt) used all 1 inch allowances. And all quilts pictured used 100% cotton Flannel. I am in the process of completing another rag quilt using denim. And my blocks are all various sizes depending on need and how much fabric there is.

    Hope that helps.
    Attached Images Attached Images


    Last edited by Bicycle Hobo; 03-24-2012 at 08:26 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member w7sue's Avatar
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    I have made many of these for new babies - they are great and not too expensive. For baby quilts, I use three layers of flannel and sew and 'x' on them. I do agree with snipping in stages - it can be quite the project. My first one was a denim jeans one and my son still has it for a car quilt - the stories that quilt could probably tell if it could talk! I bound the first one, but now I just sew around the entire outside edge and snip it too. I still have a container of jeans to cut up and it is on my "to do" list - at least if they care cut up they will take up less room!

  14. #14
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I work with denim a lot....I use a 1/2 inch seam and rectangles will work. Best thing for cutting the seams are spring loaded snips. Mine are Fiskars. Make sure to use a good quality thread, denim is heavy and the seams get a little more stress than with lighter weight fabrics.

    Love your quilts bicyclehobo....specially that raggy star.

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    At the quilt show this year there were a few rag quilts that were made in the shapes of animals, turtles, ect. This used different shape blocks. So yes, rectangles could be used, I even say one done with triangles. I guess anything that you can put together and be able to cut the seam afterwards would work. I've seen them made with velvet, jeans and flannel and fleece even though the fleece and velvet does ravel it does curl some. Good luck to your son and post pics to let us know what he comes up with.
    Judy

  16. #16
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    Great site with lots of useful information. Thanks

  17. #17
    Member Bicycle Hobo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earthwalker View Post
    Love your quilts bicyclehobo....specially that raggy star.
    Thank you! The Raggy Star is actually a test version miniature size that the actual one will be made in the near future of similar weight & type (100% Cotton Flannel) fabrics.

  18. #18
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    More rag quilt questions:

    Do you double sew your seams? Especially denim? Or would that be 'too much of a good thing'?

    I have a fairly good stack of 5 inch squares of denim cut -

    Would just one layer of denim with a layer of heavy flannel be adequate?

    Is it better to leave the outside edge raw or should it be bound somehow?

  19. #19
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Do not hesitate to buy these: http://www.sewforless.com/item/Rag_Q..._625_inch/2706 even if you only make one rag dishrag. !! Fanmore makes these too. They are the best quality rag scissors you can buy and cut much better then the Fiskars. I can snip a king size rag quilt and get bored instead tired. Google and find the best price. One tip I do for rag quilts is to sew a double seam. This way if I snip into or too close to the first seam (and I will) the second seam is there. I use a wide twin needle to sew the seam. I have the Go rag die and it's great for a fast quilt.

    Two layers of denim or denim and flannel for the backing are enough, no batting needed. I used denim and flannel and had the denim and flannel side on front and back.
    Last edited by BellaBoo; 05-03-2012 at 03:02 PM.
    Got fabric?

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