5 yards of fabric for the front: use at least 3 different coordinating fabrics
Hint: Homespun fabrics are the easiest to deal with because both sides are the same
5 yards of fabric for the back: these can match the front or you can use a solid flannel
5 yards of flannel for center (for a light-weight quilt) OR a bag of twin size batting if you need a warmer quilt (traditional, low loft and cotton have less shifting and are easier to use than the medium & high loft battings)
Sewing machine is highly recommended
Size 12 or 14 sewing machine needles
At least 600 yards of thread
4 – 8 bobbins (wind them before you begin so you aren’t constantly rewinding every time you run out)
Rag quilting or sharp pointed scissors with a spring for clipping the seams
Self healing cutting mat, rotary cutter, 24″ cutting ruler for easy and fast cutting
OR 8″ template, pencil and all purpose scissors for inexpensive cutting
Optional: Long quilting pins to hold the stacks of squares together for quilting
Other helpful hints:
Select at least 3 coordinating fabrics.
Press fabric before cutting.
For a larger quilt, cut larger squares, cut more squares, or add more rows (of course, this will require more fabric).
For a smaller quilt, cut small squares, cut fewer squares, or omit rows.
There is no need to wash the fabric before beginning your rag quilt project since you will wash the fabric after the quilt is finished.
Trim away the selvage edges (these are the edges that are fixed by the manufacturer so they won’t unravel therefore they cannot be used as part of the rag quilt).
Trim the frayed edges so they will be even when you begin to cut your squares.
1 yard of fabric yields twenty 8″ squares.
1 fat quarter yields four 8″ squares.
Use 1/2″ seam allowance to sew squares & rows together.
The seam allowance removes 1″ from the overall size of each square.
1. Cut ninety-nine (99) 8″ squares for the top & ninety-nine (99) 8″ squares for the back.
2. If using flannel for the middle, cut ninety-nine (99) 8″ squares. If using batting for the middle, cut ninety-nine (99) 6″ squares.
3. Lay out your squares 9 across x 11 down (right sides facing up). Making diagonal patterns with the matching fabrics is the typical layout. However, you may play around and find another layout that you prefer. If using 4 or more fabrics, a random layout gives the quilt an old-fashioned appearance.
4. If you need the space you used for the layout, then you will undoubtedly need to remove the squares almost immediately. I make what I call “row tags” to pin onto each row of squares to keep them organized after removing them from the layout area.
I like to complete steps 5-8 one square at a time.
5. Place the middle sections (flannel or batting) behind the top squares.
6. Next, place the back squares (with right side facing outward) behind the top and middle sections.
7. Be sure the middle flannel squares line up squarely with the top and back squares or that the batting squares are centered between the top and back squares. You can pin the stack together if you want. Begin quilting the squares.
8. There are 3 popular ways to quilt the stacks of squares. One way is the traditional X. Another way is to quilt a simple design such as a heart or a star onto the squares. The third way is to appliqu?? a design such as a heart or star onto the squares. The applique’ process quilts the squares. OR you can use all 3 to get some very interesting effects.
10. Sew the rows together. If some of the squares don’t quite match up, you can make them match up with a little tug on the smaller square or scrunching the larger square. A rag quilt is self-correcting and very forgiving.
11. Sew around the outside edges, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
12. Clip the seams carefully so as to not clip through the thread. Clip closely together to create more ragging.
13. Wash on gentle cycle in cold water. Tumble dry on low setting. A lot of people will use a commercial laundry mat for this process. If you use your home appliances, be sure to start with clean lint trap(s). Clean the trap(s) about halfway through the washing and drying cycles and again at the end of each cycle. Clean out the drums thoroughly. All of this will help prevent against drain pipe blockage and dryer fire.
14. After drying, take outside and shake well. Remove any remaining strings with a lint roller. Finished rag quilt will be approximately 60??? x 75???. Size will vary depending on piecing variations, fabric used and dryer shrinkage.
Tutorial submitted by Trish Wilson of Sew Practical, www.sewpractical.com