rag quilt making . . .with Bea

A while back I explained how to make a rag quilt and I wanted to show you one more tutorial on it just because it is such an easy beginner quilt. First of all you cut 5 inch squares. You need the same square front and back. In between these squares, put an identical sized flannelet square. Sew an X from corner to corner, on all the squares. This is to give it stability. Then you decide what pattern you want to make. They can be random or a repeated pattern. First sew rows of squares, pinning them carefully so they stay straight. Once you have all the rows sewn, sew all these rows together, pinning all the corners so that you have a perfect quilt on the back side. It can be displayed either rag side or back side.

After all the squares are sewn together, decide on a border. Bea put a 3 inch border around. Cut lengths of fabric 3 inches wide. You will make 1/2" seams around all the squares and rows and the border as well. All the raw seams stay to the top. This will be ragged later.

After a narrow border is attached, a wider border is also added. She cut 6 inch wide pieces of fabric, doubled that for front and back and added flannelet to this as well to give it a bit more thickness.

This was also sewn seams up on the front side so that they would be ragged as well.
Here you can see how nice the back side is turning out. Both sides turn out just beautiful.

You can miter your corners or do 90 degree corners as Bea did. Make sure you allow for the extra length onto each additional border from the length of the last length before it.

When it is all sewn together, you will need some rag scissors. Start to snip down every raw seam and into all the corners. This process takes at least 4 hours. You will snip every 1/4 inch to give a proper ragging afterwards.
Try not to snip into the seam, but if you do just resew a little deeper into the seam. This quilt is very forgiving.

This is the finished rag quilt. After you have snipped it all, throw it into the washing machine and give it a rinse. Put it into the dryer and dry it. You may want to remove the excess lint from your dryer in between. Some people like to go to the laundromat to keep the lint out of their own dryer.

This is the one I made and you can see additonal pictures on the beginning of my blog under sewing.


  1. wow, those are so pretty! Great job.

  2. Bea looks very comfortable sewing her quilt, and photogenic! The two of you could start your own "How to ..." magazine! Have a terrific day!

  3. Wow, it turned out fabulous! Good job Bea! I was waiting for a snapshot of the finished product and was delighted to see it this morning. I love all the colors she chose. I think Colleen is the only one not finished yet.

    By the way! Great name for the Merc! Love it!
    Thanks for the paska! We haven't eaten it yet. We're saving it for when my dad comes down. He's never tried it! Can you believe that? Gotta go, I am going to try and do a post of my own today!

  4. What a pretty and unique quilt! Your photos are great!

  5. Oh, I hit "publish" too soon. I had a question to ask: what are rag scissors?

    Also...praise God for Todd and Nancy's healthy little blessing!

  6. That quilt is so pretty! I've never made a quilt before. (Probably because I haven't touched a sewing machine since grade 8) This one looks easy. Maybe I should try...

  7. That is pretty! Have you ever made it in wool for a felted effect?
    I'd have a hard time using it for a rug, I think I'd make a jacket from it!
    Girl time at your house, at last!
    (Did I just hear Otis say "sausage?")

  8. The rag quilt matches your new blog colors! Very "in", that chocolate and robin egg combo.

  9. What a gorgeous quilt...I love it!A friend of mine made a rag quilt using 12" squares...looked very nice too and I guess less ragging time, right?

  10. Good job girls - if one of your quilts are gone, you know where you can find it! Never too proud to help myself :-) By the way, thanks for the Paska you "gave" me. You make the best!

  11. about the special scissors. I bought mine at a quilting shop. They are very sharp scissors that are able to cut through many layers at a time. Once you start to cut into the corners it gets pretty thick.
    They have now cut 2 quilts worth of seams and are still very sharp.
    They are a little expensive, about 35 Canadian.

    Jill, I have never tried it with wool but it would be an interesting experiment. I love the felted look. The only problem would be that all the layers would need to be wool so they would shrink the same amount.
    I forgot to mention that all the fabric is shrunk all together once the quilt is made. Don't pre shrink any of it.

  12. Bea's quilt is just beautiful, and I have always admired your rag quilt in your blog pictures. Such lovely colours! Thanks for the tutorial - I am wanting to make a rag quilt on my new sewing machine really soon. And it doesn't look like it would be too difficult to make, as I am a beginner!
    Enjoy the sunshine =)

  13. This really is very pretty. However, regardless of how easy you make it seem, there are those of us out there "domestically challenged" who couldn't make something like that to save our life. All in good theory though!

  14. What a beautiful quilt! Love it!

  15. Hey, where's the March tea cup?? I miss the romantic touch you had going there. :)

  16. Becky, the March teacup is right on the top.
    My beloved Mr.T (hee hee)

  17. Love the color tone in your quilt!
    I am making one at the moment in navy blues and reds!
    Great work!!!


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