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Thread: Rag Quilt help please

  1. #1
    enola05's Avatar
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    Ladies, I want to have a go at a rag quilt and thought I would post here how I think it is done before I start so you lovely ladies can point out where I'm going wrong before I get there :D

    Top - Denim, Back - Patterned Fleece, Filling - Plain Fleece

    Cut fabric into 7" strips
    Layer strips - top (face down), filling, back (face up), back (face down), filling and top (face up) and sew (with 1/2" seam)
    Cut into 7" squares (resulting in 2 x 7" squares sewn together)
    Not sure about pressing here ??
    Arrange squares and sew together to get desired quilt width
    Repeat until desired number of rows sewn
    Sew rows together
    Snip seams
    Wash

    My main concern is whether sewing machine will be able to cope at the corners where 4 seams meet, that's 4 layers of denim and 8 layers of flannel!!

    Also, do I need to sew x's in the squares or is that just for rag quilts that use traditional wadding?

    Many thanks in advance for your help ladies

  2. #2
    enola05's Avatar
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    I meant flannell for filling and backing, not fleece :-o

  3. #3
    Super Member Celeste's Avatar
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    I'm keeping an eye on this one!

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I wonder if the quilt would be too warm with 1 layer of denim and 2 layers of flannel?
    Maybe you could make a small sample of a few blocks and see how your machine does on that many layers, if you use a long basting stitch it would come out easy if you don't like how it is sewing.
    I can't wait to see the quilt when it is done! :D

  5. #5
    bj
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    Super Member bj's Avatar
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    When I made rag quilts, I cut the top and backing fabrics the same size squares. I did 7" squares for lap quilts and 4" for baby quilts. Then I cut the batting into squares that were 1" smaller, allowing for the 1/2" seam line all around. I sandwiched the layers, quilted inside (I sewed a star) and then sewed around the outside edge just inside the 1/2" seam line. Then I started sewing squares together into rows, then joined the rows. When I had all the squares joined, I sewed all the way around the outside edge, just inside the 1/2" line, and clipped until my hands nearly fell off. Had to wash them a couple of times to get the fray puffy. I never used denim, but seems pretty heavy for 3 layers. Good luck. They really do turn out pretty when they're finished. Someone on this board had bought scissors that are for clipping rag quilts. I think they are spring action. If I ever make another one, I'm getting some :)

  6. #6
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    1. I made a rag quilt for my son using denim /denim on one square, and 3 layers of flannel on the next square. It's not too warm. He loves it.

    2. I didn't make the X sewing in the middle.

    3. I hate to cut the snips.

    4. I didn't use batting in the middle. Only fabric.

    5. I just made one out of fleece. Single layer. It's for a baby and is adorable and much easier.

    6. It's your quilt. Try it. Only YOU are the boss of you.


    Sara

  7. #7
    dcurvey's Avatar
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    I would highly recommend the rag quilt scissors. The snipping of the seams really gets your hands.

    If you do as someone suggests and make the batting 1 inch smaller it will give the warmth without the extra layer in the seam. That helps quite a bit.

    The quilting of the square will depend upon the batting you use. I used "warm & Natural" and did 7 different designs, one for each colour of flannel I used. Came out great!

    When you dry the quilt for the first time, clean out the lint trap about every 5 minutes. It collects quickly

  8. #8
    enola05's Avatar
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    Thank you for all of your helpful suggestions ladies:D

    Quote Originally Posted by dcurvey
    I would highly recommend the rag quilt scissors. The snipping of the seams really gets your hands.

    If you do as someone suggests and make the batting 1 inch smaller it will give the warmth without the extra layer in the seam. That helps quite a bit.
    If I do this then I need to do the X (or something) in the middle of the squares to hold the middle layer in place? Do you usually do this bit first then sew the squares together?

  9. #9
    Catherine's Avatar
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    If all your pieces are the same size you do not need to sew an x in the middle the stitching catches this...I made one with cotton fabric back and front with flannel in the middle and thought it was heavy....denium will certainly be heavier! make a sample first. good luck

  10. #10
    enola05's Avatar
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    Thanks again ladies.

    I'm thinking of getting rid of the middle layer of flannel, I don't need it to be a heavyweight quilt (and it will make it cheaper)

  11. #11
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Here's my 2 cents, I just made a baby raggy and a couple of purses.

    1) Use heavier thread to hold the denim together. Do a trial block, wash it and dry it to make sure the thread is good for holding it after cutting.

    2) Double stitch the seams joining the blocks.

    3) Remember flannel shrinks with washing, I did a design stitch in the middle of the blocks to hold the flannel and cotton to shape. It looked really good and it gave body to the blocks.

    4) I stitched around the block itself after doing the decorative stitch to give myself a depth cutting line. If cut to deep it will cause the blanket to come apart.

    5) It makes a most beautiful quilt. My niece loves it and the more it washes the more it rags.

    This is my results, I used a machine quilting thread to sew my first trial blanket together, it was old when I bought it and it pulled apart when I washed the blanket the first time. I had to restitch the seams. VERY frustrating to say the least.

    I love the ease of the rag quilt and I'll make many more. Very quick to do (ok, except for cutting) and I highly recommend the correct scissors, if you have arthritis, get the ones made with the better handles and the spring for sure. I couldn't have cut so much without buying them. The best $15 I ever spent.

    Happy Quilting, (Be sure to post a pic!)
    Sharon

  12. #12
    enola05's Avatar
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    Thanks for this.

    As I'm new to quilting I don't actually know what you mean by heavyweight thread. I have beige / grey thread I use for piecing and some machine quilting 100% long staple cotton for quilting. At the moment I need to buy the thread I need for each project as I start it so a pointer in the right direction would be great. How do I define heavyweight thread, will it say heavyweight on the reel somewhere?

    Thanks again

  13. #13
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Enola,
    If you find a machine quilting thread in the store, it should be fine. I bought from Hancocks a machine quilting thead.......it crumbled in washing. I bought another spool from Walmart, Machine Quilting Thread, it worked wonderfully.

    Just don't use a regular weight thread.

    Hope this helps you, I sure learned my lessons about doing trial blocks, etc. with the first one I did and I notated my pattern so I'd never make the same mistakes. :lol: Unless CRS comes on and I forget to take the pattern out....

    hugs,
    Sharon

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