There are a few reasons to make this type of quilt. One reason is that it is much quicker to make; you’re cutting and piecing only 30 strips of fabric & batting compared to over 100 (several hundred in some cases!) squares of fabric & batting in a traditional rag quilt. This also eliminates a lot of snipping.
Another reason is that you may have a pretty fabric or an odd fabric that you don’t want to cut into several squares. The pretty designs are more easily captured in a strippy quilt that might otherwise be lost in a traditional rag quilt made from squares. Also, less fabric is required for larger quilts when strip quilting. This quilt will finish at approximately 49” x 63”. The size will vary depending on piecing variations, the fabric used, and dryer shrinkage. See helpful hints below if you would like to make a smaller or larger quilt.
Fabric: 1 3/4 yards of Fabric 1, 1 yard of Fabric 2, 1 yard of Fabric 3
3 3/4 yards of Backing Fabric: this can match the front or you can use a solid flannel
3 3/4 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 batting have less shifting and are easier to use than the medium & high loft batting)
A sewing machine is highly recommended
Size 12 or 14 sewing machine needles
600+ yards of thread
4 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 draw 8″ lines down the length of the fabric with a pencil and use all-purpose scissors for inexpensive cutting
Optional but recommended: Long quilting pins to hold the stacks together for quilting
- I quote the fabric cuts assuming that you will be using the standard 42″ wide fabrics.
- 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.
- Press fabric before cutting.
- For a longer quilt, purchase longer yardage. Cut wider strips or add more strips for a wider quilt.
- For a shorter quilt, purchase shorter yardage. Cut narrower strips or omit strips for a narrower quilt.
- To figure the proper length for the short strips, divide the length of the long strip by 2, then add 1/2″. This will give you the correct size to cut each of the 6 short strips.
- Use 1/2″ seam allowance to sew strips & rows together.
- The seam allowance removes 1″ from the overall size of the pieced sections.
- 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 strips.
- Any yardage yields five 8″ wide strips x the length of the yardage.
1. Cut 4 strips 63″ L x 8″ W from Fabric 1.
2. Next, Cut 3 strips 32″ L x 8″ W from Fabric 2.
3. Cut 3 strips 32″ L x 8″ W from Fabric 3.
4. From the Backing, cut 4 strips 63″L x 8″ W. Cut 6 strips 32″L x 8″W.
5. If using flannel for the middle, cut 4 strips 63″ L x 8??? W. Cut 6 strips 32″ L x 8″ W. If using batting follow the measurements in the previous two sentences for a ruffled look after snipping. Or you can cut the batting sections 2″ smaller by length & by width if you want a raggy appearance. I’m using the ruffled look for this quilt.
6. Layout your top strips (right sides facing up). Use the picture below as a Guide. Place a long strip first. Place 2 short strips end to end beside of the long strip. Continue this pattern until you have all the strips laid out.
I like to complete steps 7-9 one square at a time.
7. Place the middle sections (flannel or batting) behind the top strips.
8. Next, place the back strips (with right side facing outward) behind the top and middle sections. Be sure the middle flannel strips line up squarely with the top and back strips or that the batting is centered between the top and back strips. You can pin the stack together if you want. This is very helpful when strip quilting. Begin quilting the strips.
9. To quilt, I like to sew down the center of the strip first. Then sew down each side about 2″ from the edges.
10. Sew the small strips together using 1/2″ seam allowance.
11. Sew the rows together. Keep the center of the pieced small strips lined up as you attach them to the large strips. Again, use a 1/2″ seam allowance.
12. Trim the edges & seams where necessary to even them up.
13. Use the semi-circle template attached on the right to create scalloped edges on this quilt. Template needs to be about 8″ wide. To create the scalloped edges, place the curve along the top and bottom edges of each strip, trace & cut out the scallop edges. If you do not wish to scallop the edges, skip to Step 15.
14. Be sure the corners are even and reinforce the seams after cutting out the scallops.
15. Sew around the outside edges, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
16. Clip the seams carefully so as to not clip through the thread. Clip closely together to create more ragging for the raggedy quilts. Clip a little further apart for the ruffled look.
17. 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.
18. After drying, take outside and shake well. Remove any remaining strings with a lint roller.
Tutorial submitted by Trish Wilson of Sew Practical, www.sewpractical.com