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Thread: Rag quilt. "Make it in a day", they said! Yeah, right!!!

  1. #1
    Member StaceySewsSorta's Avatar
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    Smile Rag quilt. "Make it in a day", they said! Yeah, right!!!

    Ok, first off (as I mentioned in my Intro post) I dont "quilt". (The pretty, all-over sewing.) So when this rag quilt tutorial I found online said "quilt as you go", I was all

    AND, they said it could be made in a day!! Sweet!

    Yeah. Well.... It took 4 days JUST to get all my fabric squares cut! Another day to assemble my front-batting-backing "sandwiches", and I am STILL trying to get all my squares quilted so they can FINALLY be assembled!

    With school starting for my kids, I got sidetracked and let the quilt sit, but I would REALLY like to GIT ER DONE!!!! LOL!!

    I went with patriotic colors (NO Patriotic PRINTS.... keep reading) but with a rustic twist.... Its almost ALL florals and other prints that evoke "old fashioned" or "pioneer" times prints/fabrics.... and there is NO WHITE fabric at all.

    The top is all reds, maroons, creams, browns, and blues of varying shades. The back is plain neutral muslin, as well as other cream, tan, ecru, brown, etc squares.

    I have ZERO intention of making a "pattern". I like the idea of throwing these squares together hap-hazardly.

    But I fubarred. (I think) The "quilt as you go" part is what made me want to try it....
    SO as I started quilting my sandwiches together, I alternated each stack (one stack=one row) with square quilting and X quilting... figuring on doing "every other row" on the finished quilt with little quilted squares and X's. I have not finished all my sandwiches, and Im second guessing my "every other" plan.

    What is your experience with rag quilts?? May I see some pictures to refer to?

    (Oh, and the other thing that sold me on this kind of quilt? No mitering corners! YAY!!!!) LOL!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    I have just finished one not even a week ago and it was not fast. 300 squares - 100 each for front, batting and backing. I quilted every square differently and I quilted on the back so that I can see what the heck I am doing (I used natural muslin for backing mixed with beige and whir on white leftover fabric. To make matters worse or more interesting I used about a dozen is different color threads on the back. I had my doubts but after I was done and it all got put together and washed it turned out to be one of the best quilts I ever made. Everybody loves it, especially the back. I had 100 squares on which I practiced free motion quilting. I have to be honest, by the time I was done I hade a huge boost of confidence. I can honestly say now that I can do FMQ with little or no problems. Good luck! According to everything you wrote your quilt is going to be a beauty. I am 100% sure of that.

  3. #3
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I've only made about two of them, but they went together fairly fast. one i did X's and swirls/circles every other square. the other i did X's. I love cutting and piecing, so don't remember how long that part took.

  4. #4
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    As I recall, the cutting, quilting, and piecing pales beside the work of snipping...but they are great quilts and worth the work!
    People who start projects and never finish them are cooler
    than people who never start projects at all.


    http://quiltingquick.weebly.com/blog.html

  5. #5
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    I've never done a rag quilt but I think I will try one this winter.

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    I have done a few rag quilts. I did not keep track of time (I work full time), but a few tips to make it go faster next time.

    Rip the fabric into long strips, yes the edges are a bit rough, but you have wide seam allowances and will be snipping them, so it does not matter.

    Stack your long strips and cut your squares using a ruler and rotary cutter. Once again not the most accurate way to cut, but not terribly important in a rag quilt.

    Do not use batting, this saves two steps, one you do not have to cut the batting, two you do not have to do X's on each square.

    Or just an extra layer of flannel, cut as above and do not worry about the X's.

    Use recycled jeans for the back, this does take quite a bit of time, but you can have fun with the details on the jeans, I used interesting seams, pockets even a fly or two. You do not need batting if you use denim. The quilt will be very heavy.

    Do yourself a favour and buy a pair of spring loaded snips to do the snipping. I did the snipping over a few evenings while watching TV.

  7. #7
    Super Member TexasSunshine's Avatar
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    I cut my squares out of old jeans bought at garage sales and used red plaid flannel for the back. I did not use batting because of the weight of the jeans. I did sew an X in the blocks and also featured pockets, side seams and other features from the jeans. My son loved it.
    Texas Sunshine, piney woods of NE Texas

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    I do a lot of rag quilts and I find they take more than a day. I do enjoy making them and you can be very creative with them. I use a lot of recycled denim jumpers from thrift stores, I find jeans to be heavy for me. I don't use batting in the middle, I used flannel sheets from thrift stores, it makes the edges fuller and fluffier (sp). There isn't a pattern, I make up what I like. You can go to etsy.com and see plenty of rag quilts to get ideas (I don't know how to put pictures on here). I have a few on Etsy, my store is The Golden Attic. I do suggest you take your quilt to a laundry mat for the first washing, especially if it is large. I also draw out my design (found that on a youtube video) and label each row with a little sticky dot to make it easier to put together. The bigger the squares, the less squares it takes. Also get a pair of rag quilt scissors it will help with the clipping. I use fiskars (sp?) and they really help keep me from nipping the seams or fabric. Please post your quilt, the colors sound beautiful.

  9. #9
    Member StaceySewsSorta's Avatar
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    I did go ahead and buy spring loaded snips, as I am NOT looking forward to that task. LOL This quilt, once finished will be APPRX 64 x 76 (Before I started it, I got strict instructions to make it a bit bigger than my tan/red one... his feet stick out the end of that one. LOL!)

    The only reason I used batting (Its low loft, 100% cotton) is because I chose fairly thin, regular cotton fabrics... I have been collecting the different fabrics for nearly 6 months. LOL

    Here is a collective shot of all the fabrics I used for it, and of the stacks of sandwiches. LOL

    **In response to a thread about photo size, my apologies; Im still trying to figure out how to re-size

    PLEASE NOTE, *NONE* of the fabric here is white... just an over-achieving flash on my camera. LOL
    But ALLLLLLLLLL the fabrics you see here are just for the TOP of my quilt.... the back is a combo of neutrals, creams, tans, browns.... 304 squares per layer, 912 squares in all... WTH was I thinking??!

    Name:  202262_458632194157227_1981827557_o.jpg
Views: 3239
Size:  170.6 KB

  10. #10
    Member StaceySewsSorta's Avatar
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    Oh and the comment made about the laundromat is dually noted. My poor washer and dryer would kill me! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. #11
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I've made a lot of them. The last one I finished a few weeks ago was a little time consuming as it had certain pieced blocks. I can make regular 8" squares rag quilt in a day if I use the rag die (Accuquilt Go) I won't make a rag quilt without the real rag snips. I use these.
    Got fabric?

  12. #12
    Member StaceySewsSorta's Avatar
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    WOW. I would lose my mind after about half of that, and Santa would look more like a Keibler Elf!!!!!!!! AWESOME job!!!!

  13. #13
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Here is the back: Name:  photo (3).JPG
Views: 540
Size:  85.8 KB
    Got fabric?

  14. #14
    Member StaceySewsSorta's Avatar
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    Very nice

  15. #15
    Member StaceySewsSorta's Avatar
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    LOVE the Santa qult. Just to to say it again! LOL

    Off the computer (which is running vvv eee rrr yyy sssssslllllooooooooowwwwllllyyyyy thanks to the stormy weather....) to work on this beast of a quilt... LOL

  16. #16
    Member StaceySewsSorta's Avatar
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    Oh and meant to ask... those who do rag quilts.... The tutorial I did mine off of says to "snip" every quarter inch.... Is this close enough? Should I make them closer together or space them out more? I want a nice fluffy seam, but it doesnt have to be overly so......

  17. #17
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I've only made one for a baby. Three layers of flannel with no batting. I snipped at 1/2" and it was fine. I would think 1/4" would fray away totally. I wish I'd taken a picture, but it was a rush job for a fundraiser and I never imagined three years ago that I would ever take up quilting. How life changes!!

  18. #18
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    Maybe when they said "make in a day" they meant "it will.take 24 hours..."

  19. #19
    Member StaceySewsSorta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    Maybe when they said "make in a day" they meant "it will.take 24 hours..."
    Hahaah!! Thats probably it!

    I only have 112 more squares to "quilt" then I can make my rows! Wooo! LOL

    With any luck I can get it done today.... Its COLD here! LOL

  20. #20
    Junior Member HilaryK8's Avatar
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    I totally feel you on the "start today finish tomorrow" projects. I just did a little sewing machine cover and it took me over a week!

    But I love your color choices, your humor and your overall attitude on life. Keep on plugging away and post progress pics!

  21. #21
    Member StaceySewsSorta's Avatar
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    THanks LOL

    had a major snafu yesterday....
    I buy my thread by the 1200 yard spool.... makes it so much easier. LOL Well, one of my kids (no one will own up to it, go figure) messed with the spool and had the ENTIRE THING strung out and tangled and ruined. And, of course I cant find my spare spool.... which I KNOW I have.

    I had to switch threads, and this crappy thread I am using now may just cause me to lose my mind. Its so STIFF. Its 100% cotton, but it feels like it has some kind of coating on it, its like sewing with wire or something!!!

    It keeps catching in my machine.

    May have to drive half an hour to JoAnns just to grab another spool of "the good stuff" !!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!

  22. #22
    Member arheath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StaceySewsSorta View Post
    Ok, first off (as I mentioned in my Intro post) I dont "quilt". (The pretty, all-over sewing.) So when this rag quilt tutorial I found online said "quilt as you go", I was all

    AND, they said it could be made in a day!! Sweet!

    Yeah. Well.... It took 4 days JUST to get all my fabric squares cut! Another day to assemble my front-batting-backing "sandwiches", and I am STILL trying to get all my squares quilted so they can FINALLY be assembled!

    With school starting for my kids, I got sidetracked and let the quilt sit, but I would REALLY like to GIT ER DONE!!!! LOL!!

    I went with patriotic colors (NO Patriotic PRINTS.... keep reading) but with a rustic twist.... Its almost ALL florals and other prints that evoke "old fashioned" or "pioneer" times prints/fabrics.... and there is NO WHITE fabric at all.

    The top is all reds, maroons, creams, browns, and blues of varying shades. The back is plain neutral muslin, as well as other cream, tan, ecru, brown, etc squares.

    I have ZERO intention of making a "pattern". I like the idea of throwing these squares together hap-hazardly.

    But I fubarred. (I think) The "quilt as you go" part is what made me want to try it....
    SO as I started quilting my sandwiches together, I alternated each stack (one stack=one row) with square quilting and X quilting... figuring on doing "every other row" on the finished quilt with little quilted squares and X's. I have not finished all my sandwiches, and Im second guessing my "every other" plan.

    What is your experience with rag quilts?? May I see some pictures to refer to?

    (Oh, and the other thing that sold me on this kind of quilt? No mitering corners! YAY!!!!) LOL!
    I have made several rag quilts. I don't use batting in them at all and they are plenty warm and cozy. Don't think they could be made in a day though because the clipping takes longer than that.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  23. #23
    Super Member DebbieJJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arheath View Post
    I have made several rag quilts. I don't use batting in them at all and they are plenty warm and cozy. Don't think they could be made in a day though because the clipping takes longer than that.
    Oh arheath, I love your ragquilt! Don't know why I didn't think of using strips of fabric for this, but I only have imagined squares of fabric for ragquilts....my imagination is very limited sometimes!
    A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. ~Hugh Downs
    Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns.I am thankful that thorns have roses.~Allophones Karr
    “The happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others." — Gordon B Hinckley

    "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." ~ Confucius

  24. #24
    Super Member DebbieJJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    I've made a lot of them. The last one I finished a few weeks ago was a little time consuming as it had certain pieced blocks. I can make regular 8" squares rag quilt in a day if I use the rag die (Accuquilt Go) I won't make a rag quilt without the real rag snips. I use these.
    And BellaBoo, love your Santa! Did you make up the pattern for this? I'd love to find it.
    A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. ~Hugh Downs
    Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns.I am thankful that thorns have roses.~Allophones Karr
    “The happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others." — Gordon B Hinckley

    "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." ~ Confucius

  25. #25
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    I make rag quilts a lot. I have had my friends do rag quilts before they do any other type of quilting because they are fast and easy. I never would do them till I got my Accquilt Go Cutter and the rag die. The hardest part for me was running the flannel thru the cutter. I have Lupus, Ra and As and the rag dies are hard to run thru because of the cutting of the fringes. I can make a queen size quilt in a weekend. They are fast and easy. My friends have had a blast making them. One did one for her Wedding Anniversary. Her husband ran the material thru the cutter and she sewed. They show off their quilt every chance they get.

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