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Thread: Rag Quilt Question

  1. #1
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    Rag Quilt Question

    I've noticed that on some rag quilts the ragging looks fluffier than on others. Does anyone know why? Could it be that the middle layer is cut the same size as the top and bottom layers? I've never made one but like them a lot, and I plan to make them for my family for Christmas.

  2. #2
    Senior Member kraftykimberly's Avatar
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    One reason could be the types of fabrics being used. Flannel rags the best, 100% cotton rags ok, and fleece doesnt rag at all. I've seen some raq quilts that have a mix of fabrics (a different type for each of the 3 layers) and I've seen them all flannell or all 100% cotton. Each mix will give you a different look and feel to the rag. HTH
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  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    it depends on the fabrics used- and the size of the (joining) seams- and the clipping-
    i make pretty (full) raggy quilts- i use heavy double sided (expensive) flannels- usually on the back- regular cottons on the top (sometimes) an extra layer of muslin as a (foundation) cotton batting- the batting squares are cut 1" smaller than the outside squares. i put them together with 1/2" seams and clip at least every 1/4" sometimes closer. (i don't really measure the clips- i just sit & snip) then i take it outside and give it a good shake- put it into the washer on a regular cycle- when it spins out between wash/rinse cycle i take it outside & give it a good shake- put it in to rinse- when it spins again i again take it outside for another shake before putting into the dryer= i check it & empty the lint trap after 20 minutes of drying time- outside for another shake- back in- if i'm getting alot of (fluff) i check it again in another 20 minutes- empty the lint trap again- shake it again-
    seems like alot i know- but worth every minute of it!
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

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    I really appreciate your detailed reply. These are the instructions that I will use. Thanks for the tips about the double sided flannels and extra layer of muslin. It's these kinds of details that make all the difference. It does seem like a lot of work, but the beautiful results will be worth it.

  5. #5
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    ckcowl gave you an excellent reply. I was going to say that of the rag quilts I've seen (only made one myself), the ones that seem fluffier are the ones that have wider seam allowances and are clipped narrower. JMO.

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    Thank you for another great tip.

  7. #7
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    Rag Quilt Question

    Thank you ladies, I really appreciate all of your great tips. I'm fairly new on the board and having a problem posting my replies. Can't wait to get started.

  8. #8
    Super Member Pinkiris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    it depends on the fabrics used- and the size of the (joining) seams- and the clipping-
    i make pretty (full) raggy quilts- i use heavy double sided (expensive) flannels- usually on the back- regular cottons on the top (sometimes) an extra layer of muslin as a (foundation) cotton batting- the batting squares are cut 1" smaller than the outside squares. i put them together with 1/2" seams and clip at least every 1/4" sometimes closer.
    CKCOWL--If your batting squares are cut 1" smaller than the outside squares, do they get sewn into your seams, or are they only held in place by the "X"s that you sew across them?
    Sue

  9. #9
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    I made 6 rag quilts for Christmas this year. They were all made out of flannel, and I used flannel for the batting too. 2 of the quilts ragged beautifully, and the other 3 did not. All of them were sewn the same way - 1/2" seam allowances, cut the seam allowances in less than 1/4" spaces. I posted before asking the same question, and didn't get a response. So I will be interested to see if anyone has any other thoughts. I think I remember someone posting on this site that she used a toothbrush to help fluff the seams. Does anyone else remember this, or am I having a senior moment?

  10. #10
    Super Member Arleners's Avatar
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    All the explanations here are good, but I tend to think the fluffiest are the ones that use three layers of flannel that are cut to the same size and then clipped. I never make them with batting anymore. It's too much work trying to center the batting, and I like the fluffy look. I also wash the quilt a number of times to make sure the edges are really raggy.
    Arlene

  11. #11
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Whatever you do .... you DO NOT want the batting inside the block seam allowances and ragged. That is why there is an X or other design sewn across the block.

    I do flannel rag quilts because I like the weight and the look of them.

    I am sooo glad Fiskars makes the rag snips. Now it is even fun to do the snipping of the seams.

    I do go to the laundromat after I finish my quilt and wet it there, then put it in a dryer without heat. I frequently remove the built up lint. Once there isn't much lint coming off the quilt I do dry it. No way do I want to clog my washer or dryer up with all that lint.

    ali
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    ali

  12. #12
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Whatever you do .... you DO NOT want the batting inside the block seam allowances and ragged. That is why there is an X or other design sewn across the block.

    I do flannel rag quilts because I like the weight and the look of them.

    I am sooo glad Fiskars makes the rag snips. Now it is even fun to do the snipping of the seams.

    I do go to the laundromat after I finish my quilt and wet it there, then put it in a dryer without heat. I frequently remove the built up lint. Once there isn't much lint coming off the quilt I do dry it. No way do I want to clog my washer or dryer up with all that lint.

    ali
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  13. #13
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arleners View Post
    All the explanations here are good, but I tend to think the fluffiest are the ones that use three layers of flannel that are cut to the same size and then clipped. I never make them with batting anymore. It's too much work trying to center the batting, and I like the fluffy look. I also wash the quilt a number of times to make sure the edges are really raggy.
    This is how I do it too.

  14. #14
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    I followed instructions from Bonnie Hunter's website www.quiltville.com which included a full 1 inch seam allowance. Believe she called the pattern Raggedy Bricks (it uses squares and rectangles). I used homespuns one side, 100% cottons on the other and cotton batting cut 1 " smaller all around with the X sewn diagonally both directions. It is still a WIP but I would think the 1" seam would be "fluffier" after clipping than a 1/2" seam, though heavier as well. We shall see. I like the idea of using flannel same size as the others pieces instead of batting cut smaller and will try that if there is a next time!

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    I've made baby quilts with flannel, cut the 'rags' and took them to the laundromat to wash and dry. They turned out very fluffy, soft and cuddley. I worried about all the lint in my washer and dryer. I have two ready to clip and head out to the laundromat. Also, I do not wash my flannel before sewing.

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    I have made quite a few, and the ones that I like best are the ones with only a 1/2 inch seam allowance. I believe they tend to stand up better and look nicer. the one inch seam allowance is too long and allows the material to lay over. just my opinion, but I made four of them for Christmas this year and many more before that.

  17. #17
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    LOL and the instructions I used said to use 3/4 inch seams!! So the answer is, it depends!!
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  18. #18
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    I have made 1 rag quilt and I was pleased with how it turned out. I did not use "batting" in my squares. I used my Accuquilt Go and rag die. I used a layer of cotton for the front and 2 layers of flannel for the batting and backing. I didn't even sew the "X" in the block. I used a dark blue flannel for my middle layer and a gold color for my backing. I think it turned out great! It is a lap quilt and it is just the right weight for watching tv under. Lots of fluffy ragged edges. I did prewash my fabrics just because that is what I do. I did wash it twice before gifting it.
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    Super Member Vanuatu Jill's Avatar
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    I made two recently without a pattern, pre-washed my flannel and made the mistake of using Warm and Natural batting cut the same size as the squares. Boy, was THAT a mistake!! The next one I used an 80/20 batting cut 1" smaller and it was better. Next, I might just use flannel for all three layers and 3/4" seams. I pre-washed the flannel with color catchers and then washed it again when finished with color catchers and dried in the dryer and the colors still ran! I have washed it twice more, and I still can't believe the amount of lint I get! They are getting well-used by my grown son's while watching TV and they aren't complaining, so it wasn't a total waste. I can't wait to make another, this time using squares and rectangles with the flannel I have.

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    ckcowl~I've only made rag quilts out of flannel, but want to make my next one out of cotton front and back w/flannel in the middle. I'm concerned about the shrinkage of the flannel. Should I prewash it? If it shrinks too much will it pull or bunch the cotton, which will not be prewashed.

  21. #21
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori B View Post
    ckcowl~I've only made rag quilts out of flannel, but want to make my next one out of cotton front and back w/flannel in the middle. I'm concerned about the shrinkage of the flannel. Should I prewash it? If it shrinks too much will it pull or bunch the cotton, which will not be prewashed.
    Lori - I would definately pre wash the flannel! It tends to shrink more than regular cottons. I broke my own rule and didn't wash the 100% cotton I used on the front but I did wash both of my flannels. I didn't have any problems when I washed the final project and I wash in warm water.

    I think my next rag quilt will have 100% cotton on the front and back with flannel as the batting and I will pre wash all my fabrics this time but especially the flannel.
    Last edited by auntpiggylpn; 03-14-2012 at 05:41 AM.
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    Thank you for your quick reply.
    I'm a novice sewist and have had difficulty in determining fabric characteristics. I was hesitant to make a rag quilt out of cotton because I like the 'raggy-ness' from flannel, but I found the perfect material in cotton, so I hope it frays and is soft enough to give me the effect I'm hoping for. I'm also thinking a better quality of flannel would be the way to go.

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    I am bless I got a Go! Studio for Christmas. I have Rag Quilt Kit out of Denim, Cotton or flannel. PM me with questions. I love the Rag Quilts. So many different fabric you can use and they are great outdoors.

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    This discussion is just what I needed! My co-workers and I are making a flannel rag quilt for a friend undergoing chemo. I bought several yards of Kaufman Cozy Flannel and just prewashed them. Width before washing was 43" and after washing was 40". I didn't measure length before washing, but each cut still measured 1 yard at least. (Fabric.com might have been generous?) One thing for sure, it is lusciously soft and cozy! We are not using batting and just two layers of flannel. After all, this is South Texas!

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