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Thread: Question about rag quilts

  1. #1
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    Ok, so I ordered 12 yards of flannel to make a rag quilt and it arrived today. It's 12 different yards in greens, reds, and beiges (I couldn't find much blue for some reason).

    Anyway, I've never made one before and I have watched videos of how to but, it never said if the flannel needs to be washed first. It says to wash it afterwards. The flannel that I've seen used in the videos looks to be unwashed.

    Wash first or not? I know it's going to shrink a lot.

  2. #2
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I would wash it first, it will shrink so much it could pull on the stitching.
    The washing afterwards is just to get it to rag :D:D:D

  3. #3
    Super Member Chasing Hawk's Avatar
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    I would wash it afterwords. a lot less unraveling before cutting.

  4. #4
    Super Member Maggiesmom's Avatar
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    No, don't wash it first.

  5. #5
    Super Member oatw13's Avatar
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    I always pre-wash flannel, even when making rag quilts.

  6. #6
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    lol... Ask a dozen quilters and get a dozen answers!! :P

    Really need some blue or it's going to look like a Christmas quilt.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    flannel shrinks quite a bit and for more than one wash, if you are concerned about shrinkage go ahead and pre-wash the flannel once, toss it in the dryer, it will be nice and soft when it comes out; you will need to either use steam or starch when pressing it. it will still fray just fine when you make your rag quilt since you clip it. it is best to take them to a laundrymat if they are big, and i usually take them outside and give it a good shake before putting in the dryer. if it's a big raggy quilt i usually empty the lint trap in the dryer 1/2 way through too, it builds up fast. if it seems like there is alot of loose threads i take it out of the dryer and back outside to shake then back to finish drying.

  8. #8
    Super Member jayelee's Avatar
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    I never prewash for a rag quilt and I wash three times after sewing and empty lint about four times when drying Also find laundry mat best place for large ones nI find these rag quilts to be the warmest

  9. #9
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    I don't have an answer for pre-washing but I do have some advice for post-washing. DON'T DO IT IN YOUR WASHING MACHINE. Take it to the laundromat and do it there. Dry it there also. You might even do it a couple times while your there. lol They fray ALOT and there is NO WAY I would wash one in MY washer nor would I dry it in MY dryer. lol Pay the couple of bucks and save yourself come repair bills.

  10. #10
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I just read somewhere to pre-wash or not, up to you but, if using red to definately pre-wash up to 3 times. With color catchers that might not matter. If you wash one of course you need to wash all of them.

    Maybe I'll pre-wash just to be safe and wash the different colors seperately.

  11. #11
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    don't wash it first, it's the shrinking that makes the nice "rag" look when you wash it even fluffier.

    These are great instructions that you can print out, it's what I used to make my first rag quilt. Go down to the bottom of the page and click "Let's Make A Rag Quilt" for their instructions.

    http://www.lovetosew.com/ragquilt.htm

    The only thing I do differently now is I make my center square 2" smaller than my outer square. So if I have an 8" square, I make the center 6", that way I get the same warmth as 3 pieces of fabric but I only have to trim 2 pieces of fabric for edges. And I use flannel in the middle instead of batting.

  12. #12
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I never prewash for the rag quilts

  13. #13
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I pre-wash everything...some fabric shrinks or bleeds. We no longer have a laundromat, so I vacuumed mine, washed in the top-loader (checking the lint catcher often) and line dried flat over my parallel line dryer. Ragged nicely without going in the dryer.

  14. #14
    Super Member Gwyn's Avatar
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    The quilt will be nicer if you wash it after it is finished. The shrinking will add to the 'thick' feeling. It will also make the rag edges fray better if you wait.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Robinlee's Avatar
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    I agree with pre-shrink atleast one time. I always use a "colorcatcher". Bad experience, even after I pre-washed all the fabrics for a quilt for daughter. So please don't take any chances.
    Pre-shrink on the advice of an Extension agent and Home teacher and just plain sewing/quilting experience. ***Always pre-shrink/prewash and always when making Rag quilts, use the laundramat to "rag out". It's too hard on your machines. And the laundramat machines, the heavy duty ones are more industrial for this type of step in quilting. I've also used the laundramat for the doing the Faux chenille scarfs that are made of flannel.

  16. #16
    Super Member NancyG's Avatar
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    When making a rag quilt with flannel, you do not wash the flannel first. Only wash it after you have finished making it, and put it in the dryer with a towel to help with the ragging process. Your rag quilt will turn out nice this way.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Linda58's Avatar
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    WASH IT FIRST!!!!!

    Let me tell you of the experience I just had last month.
    I made a raggy quilt for my soon to be two grandbaby. I did not wash the flannel first. It was crib size. I washed it twice when it was done and when I got it out of the dryer it was way less then crib size. Well what to do now??? I bought a doll and sent the raggy quilt with it as a doll blanket. My son asked why I would make such a nice doll blanket, it should have been a litte bigger so baby could use it!!! UGH!!! I am now making 8 raggy quilts for my grandchildren for Christmas, I washed and dried ALL the fabric!!

  18. #18
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    I have made dozens of rag baby quilts out of flannel and have never had a problem with shrinking. I have never washed the material before making the quilt, only afterward. Also, one of the clues that I like best is to put a terry cloth towel in the washing and drying cycle. It helps a lot in the "fraying" process. I also wash the baby quilt and the towel alone in a full water cycle. It seems to swish around more which makes a beautiful ruffle. But, like one of the posts says, a dozen quilters, a dozen answers. LOL

  19. #19
    Senior Member PiecesinMn's Avatar
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    I usually wash flannel before because of the shrinkage but when makomg a rag quilt don't. It will rag much quicker without prewashing. Be sure to check your thingy (can't think of what it is called) on your dryer that catches lint several times because there will be alot and could be a potential fire hazard. I have taught this class a number of times and always give these instructions. Please post a picture when done. Winter is coming (hard to beleive) and my rag quilt is my favorite for keeping warm. I purposely made it under 72" so my husband (6'4") wouldn't steal it from me. (Evil laugh)/

  20. #20
    Super Member Gwyn's Avatar
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    It looks to me like it is 6's. If you don't want to wash first, make the quilt a little bit bigger just in case it shrinks. If you want to wash first to pre-shrink, go for it.

  21. #21
    Super Member Friendly Quilter's Avatar
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    Do not wash it first. It is the washing of the flannel that makes it look like a rag quilt.

  22. #22
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    So many suggestions!!! I did plan for a large quilt, 104" x 97" so if it shrinks that's fine on my queen size bed.

    Stopped by Joann's and got some Fiskar's Rag Snips, normally $21.99 with 40% off coupon for $13.19

  23. #23

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    I would definately pre-wash the reds! Made a black, red and white skull & crossbone rag quilt for a paying customer...well, happy to say he didn't mind the PINK skulls at all!! I, on the other hand, was devestated! It still haunts me. LOL

  24. #24

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    I would suggest that you prewash as flannel tends to bleed and you wouldn't want to ruin the finished quilt

  25. #25

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    I would suggest that you prewash as flannel tends to bleed and you wouldn't want to ruin the finished quilt

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