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Thread: need help with ragged edge cotton fabric quilt

  1. #1
    Junior Member zoey's Avatar
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    When making ragged edged quilts how do you get the edges to fray nicely? Is the secret in the cutting or the spacing of the cutting. Or the block size used? I've made two and am disappointed in how they look. The edges don't fray like they do with flannel or homespun fabric. Anybody have any advice on how to get the cotton edges to fray. Thank you very much. Ellie

  2. #2
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I find that cotton does not fray as nicely as the other fabrics. If I use cotton, I use flannel as my batting.
    I am not much help, am I?

  3. #3
    Junior Member zoey's Avatar
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    no but you are funny. thanks.

  4. #4
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    What material did you use? Also, I have heard here that they may need to be washed several times to achieved desired effect.

  5. #5
    Super Member dungeonquilter's Avatar
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    If you cut your blocks on the bias, and use the brush, you will find that they will fray like chenile. You might want to add a couple of extra layers to make the fray fuller. Also, this eliminates the need to clip.

  6. #6
    Junior Member zoey's Avatar
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    I used cotton with cotton batting inside each block then I sewed an x diagonally across. I've gone back and made deeper cuts but still am not happy with the lack of fraying at the edges. Thank you for your reply.

  7. #7
    Junior Member zoey's Avatar
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    Great tips thank you and what brush are you talking about?

  8. #8
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    Were your cuts long enough? Have you washed them?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Katia's Avatar
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    I have a front loading washer and nothing ever frays for me. Even when I clip, they still fray very little. I told my husband I wanted him to take the weed wacker to the rug I made. He looked at me like I was crazy. I think he also hid the weed wacker.

  10. #10
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I did one in corduroy and cotton. the red is corduroy and the green cotton. i use spring snips to cut the 1/2 inch seams and i cut at least 1/2 inch apart, maybe less.

    corduroy and cotton rag qlt
    Name:  Attachment-95132.jpe
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Size:  248.3 KB

  11. #11
    Senior Member LovinMySoldier's Avatar
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    How many times have you put it in the dryer? I washed and dried one that I made for my son 3 or 4 times in a row and it helped a ton. Also how close did you make your cuts. The closer they are the better they fray I think. And I like to cut mine diagonally to the seams vs. straight on.

  12. #12
    Junior Member zoey's Avatar
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    Your quilt turned out beautiful. Thank you all for the helpful tips. I think I am going to brush the seams with a stiff brush that might help. Will probably go back to flannel or homespun next time around. Ellie

  13. #13
    DeEtta's Avatar
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    I used cotton Christmas fabric to make each of my daughters a tree skirt. I did use flannel in between the layers of the cotton fabric though and the edges looked really good after I clipped and washed them.

  14. #14
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    for cotton i use a 1/2" seam and clip really close. the more layers you have the better it will turn out, if you only have a top and bottom layer there just isn't enough fabric to (fluff) at least a 3rd layer is needed, usually flannel works the best.
    when i want to test to see if my fabric choices are going to 'fray' the way i want i make a practice piece, usually about 4 blocks sewn together, as they would be in the quilt and i make it start to finish and see if it is what i want...if it is great! i get going on the quilt (and i use the practice piece to make a pillow to go with it. if it does not then i can add another layer, or start over or adjust as needed to get the finish i am looking for. it's all trial and error ;)

  15. #15
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Sew your seams so that each snip is approx 1/2"
    Also, angle your snips, so that you are cutting them on the bias and you will get better fraying :D:D:D

  16. #16
    Junior Member zoey's Avatar
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    I've gotten a lot of great responses and tips thank you all for your help and encouragements. Ellie

  17. #17
    Junior Member zoey's Avatar
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    from DeEtta: I used cotton Christmas fabric to make each of my daughters a tree skirt. I did use flannel in between the layers of the cotton fabric though and the edges looked really good after I clipped and washed them.

    You know that sounds like it might help a lot as the flannel is heavier than the cotton and will curl and make the cotton curl too. Thanks for the great tip I might try it one more time. Will let you know how it turns out. Am determined to get one made to my satisfaction. Ellie

  18. #18
    Super Member nursie76's Avatar
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    Funny you should mention weed whacker! John Flynn (maker of the Flynn frame) actually uses a weed whacker to fluff the edges of his rag quilts. Check out the description here (you need to scroll down the page a little).:

    http://www.flynnquilt.com/workshop/FreeLessons/

    I also googled it and apparently he demoed it on a Fons & Porter episode. Perhaps you can find it.

    Good luck.

  19. #19
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I know I made mine with flannel and it did really well.

    A friend had given me the quilt snips for rag quilts and it was so much better than just using my scissors.

    I also took the finished quilt to the laundromat ... got it wet ... and put it in the large dryer without any heat. Funny: a little Vietnamese woman saw it in the dryer and kept saying "is broken" as I kept pulling out the lint/threads. when I finally got it where I wanted it I actually dried it and showed it to her. She loved the quilt.

    I'd never use my own drier. I don't want to hurt it with all the lint/threads. The laundromat is perfect for this.

    ali

  20. #20
    Super Member dungeonquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoey
    Great tips thank you and what brush are you talking about?
    Any stiff brush will work. They do sell one just for it, but I use an toothbrush with stiff bristles that I bought by mistake.

  21. #21
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dungeonquilter
    Quote Originally Posted by zoey
    Great tips thank you and what brush are you talking about?
    Any stiff brush will work. They do sell one just for it, but I use an toothbrush with stiff bristles that I bought by mistake.
    You are all so energetic. I have to admit that I am too lazy for this, so I use flannel, and I use rechargeable clippers because my hands won't let me use anything else.

  22. #22
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    I picked up a denture toothbrush at dollar store, they are very stiff and bigger than a normal toothbrush. It worked for me when I tried chenille.

  23. #23
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    The rag quilts I have made have been homespun and flannel. The homespun actually seemed to fray the best. When I put in it the dryer to fray I put some towels in with it. I read somewhere that helps. Also it is supposed to fray more as it repeatedly gets washed.

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