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Thread: Rag quilting

  1. #1
    Senior Member Caroltee's Avatar
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    Rag quilting

    Itís probably been asked many times but I am wondering who likes to make rag quilts and what are your favorite fabrics? Do you prefer flannel or woven fabrics or just anything to give me an idea of what there is out there for me to learn from.

  2. #2
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I have made several rag quilts, mostly flannel, but I like to add some corduroy for texture. I use 3 layers of flannel, no batting, so it rags nicely and I don't have to quilt an X in the blocks.

  3. #3
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I made one with cotton squares and some corduroy squares. looked very nice.

  4. #4
    Super Member TexasSunshine's Avatar
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    Homespun fabrics are great for rag quilts. They rag well and get very soft after washing.
    Texas Sunshine, piney woods of NE Texas

  5. #5
    bj
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    Super Member bj's Avatar
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    I’ve made both flannel and homespun. Homespun is my raggy fabric of choice.
    If I'm too busy to quilt, something else has to go.

  6. #6
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    I have used cotton, twill, denim and flannel. I use quilters flannel, not fashion flannel.

    I bought someone’s rag quilt project from a thrift shop several years ago. It was with thin flannel with a bandana print and batting. Some of the squares had been sewn together, others were in pieces still. It was terrible fabric to work with. I eventually used it to make dog quilts. It has stood up so far, but has pilled terribly. The dogs do not care.
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ArlaJo's Avatar
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    My avatar is a rag quilt, made with cotton. The flannel one I made frayed better.
    So much fabric, so little time.

  8. #8
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    I am in the process of making a rag quilt out of my Dad's jeans and some flannel so I will be watching this thread off and on to see what everyone has to say about rag quilts. I have never made a rag quilt before so I have been getting some advice from my stitch group I meet with weekly.

  9. #9
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    I've only made 2 rag quilts, both were blue jean fabrics on front with flannel on back, both for boys. I have another one waiting to get started, all blocks have been cut using up a large quantity of my blue jean cut-offs and off sized 5" squares. Again for a boy. Since boys are rugged while growing up I felt blue jean fabrics would last longer for them. Always make it larger so they can grow into it too.
    Suz in Iowa
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  10. #10
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    I have made 3. The first was for my DH using regular cotton with an old tractor design, various plaid flannel and 1 homespun fabric. Used batting and sewed an x through the blocks. I actually hurt my hand from too much cutting for the fringe part, all at once. Found out I don't like to make rag quilts from that experience. Then made two more at the request of our DDs. Used three layers for both of those, too. One I used minky for the back piece. Minky looks nicer than you might think in a rag quilt. Other fabrics were a mix of cotton and flannel. This one I learned to cut each row after I put it together rather than waiting until the end and then doing all that cutting! The third was to be used for those early and late season soccer games. Used flannel front and back and then QD polyester batting. My thought was that it would be warm and also dry easily if it got wet. This was a big one so that DD and little DGD could snuggle together. Feedback was good. People do seem to enjoy using rag quilts. Personally, I do not enjoy making them.

  11. #11
    Super Member judykay's Avatar
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    How far a part do you cut to make your quilts rag nicely. I have made a few and love doing them but they don't seem to rag nicely. Am thinking maybe they are not cut close enough and am thinking of trying to cut them again but not sure if it will work as the quilt has been washed many times. The seams just seem to lay flat. Any suggestions?

  12. #12
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    I have made 2 with flannel; one is ages old and my daughter has requested a 'spring' themed one. It was hard to find any floral flannel when I was looking. Homespun frays beautifully but I don't care for the drab colors they offer. Years ago they had some nice colors; yellow; reds, blues, pretty greens but don't remember the brand name but made a jacket with it; was really nice. I wish I could find some pretty homespun again to make another one. Wish they'd make them in more spring type colors; even some pretty florals would be nice.

  13. #13
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I made several out of flannel a couple of Christmases ago. Everyone loved them but I'm tired of making them now!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by judykay View Post
    How far a part do you cut to make your quilts rag nicely. I have made a few and love doing them but they don't seem to rag nicely. Am thinking maybe they are not cut close enough and am thinking of trying to cut them again but not sure if it will work as the quilt has been washed many times. The seams just seem to lay flat. Any suggestions?
    My cuts are about a quarter inch apart. I use 5/8 inch seams when sewing blocks together. Makes a nice edge. I don't see why you couldn't do more cuts if you think it will help. What would it hurt to try?

  15. #15
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I use quilting flannel. Also use the Fiskars rag snips and snip closer that 1/4". f course I use the local laundromat to fluff & dry. No sense messing up my dryer!
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  16. #16
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    I have made one and used flannel and cotton with smaller square of batting. Turned out great and my son loved it, he and his fiance have hinted around that it was about worn out and could use another quilt "when I had the time" LOL. It is over 8 years old. At any rate, no matter what you finally use to make your quilt, you simply must have the spring loaded Fiskars Rag Quilt snips. Your hands and arms will thank you!

  17. #17
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    I just gave all the prepared blocks for a rag quilt to my guild's community service - so no, rag quilting is not my favorite. When I had to make one a while back I did try a new method of finishing though. I had a board on my lap with the quilt on top. Then I spritzed the seams with water and brushed the heck out of each seam with a small stiff-bristled brush. OMG, I couldn't believe how much thread I was able to pull out BEFORE it went in the washer. It was also something to do in front of the TV. Hubby appreciated me hanging out with him.

  18. #18
    Super Member judykay's Avatar
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    I think I made the cuts too far apart, am going to try to do more cutting on them but not for a while as I lent my rag cutting scissors out. I do use a 5/8" seam allowance. Thanks for the tip.
    Happy Quilting
    Judy in Lower Michigan

  19. #19
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    I like doing the rag quilts from flannel or fleece, no fraying with fleece just curling which is the same look. Instead of doing the X in the middle some times I embroider a design in the middle and other times I do the X and then on the back side where there are no frayed blocks I applique designs, this is really great for young kids. I don't want the babies on the frayed side but with the applique it gives them something to look at on the back side
    Judy

  20. #20
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    I now only make rag quilts for babies and small children, but I do love them! I use flannel exclusively. Initially, I used flannel for all three layers, each layer cut the SAME size, and I still like the technique. However, with three layers of flannel, the quilts tend to be heavy, so I no longer use this method. Specifically, I cut 2 flannel squares, one for the top and the other for the bottom. For the middle, I cut 1 square of batting that is 2 inches smaller than the flannel squares. Typically, I cut 8 1/2" squares of flannel and 1 6 1/2" square of batting; for a newborn, I might do 6 1/2" of flannel and 4 1/2" of batting -never smaller. I use Warm and Bright polyester batting made by The Warm Company -it is about 1/8" thick, so it is very light and works beautifully with quilts where you don't want a lot of volume. Hope this helps!

  21. #21
    Super Member Slow2Sew's Avatar
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    I promise to make rag quilts from DH's flannel shirts and jeans that are either faded or too small to get him to clean out his closet. I've made two so far and they are both VERY heavy using the two layers.

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