Rag Quilt Instructions

Supply list:
Walking foot (this is a recommendation!) If you don’t have one they sell them on Ebay for cheap
Fabric (you can use anything 100% cotton – I like flannel the best because they are so cozy)
Batting – I use Warm & Natural (Joann Fabrics)

A walking foot looks like kind like this. You don’t need, need, need one but if you are going to make a few they are definitely worth the investment. Just make sure you order the right one for your particular machine.

Throw 49” x 63” -11.25 yards of fabric – 63 quilt sandwiches
Large throw 63” x 77” -18.50 yards of fabric – 99 quilt sandwiches
Crib 35” x 49” -6.25 yards of fabric – 35 quilt sandwiches

General directions:
This is a fun scrappy project so don’t worry about which color or fabric is next to each other or if a plaid is straight. Due to the nature of this quilt, it is not necessary to be “perfect” in cutting, pinning, or piecing. After the completed quilt is washed, the frayed edge hides a multitude of sins.

Do not pre-wash the batting or flannel.
Remove selvages.
All seam allowances are 1″. Yes, 1″.
Use a walking foot for all sewing.
All stitching and seams are on the “outside” of the quilt.
Press or pin all seams open, as you would when sewing a garment.
When sewing the quiltlets together lay them back-to-back (wrong sides together) so the fringed seams appear on the front of the quilt.

1. Begin by cutting out your squares of fabric. I use 9″ squares. To cut I use a quilting ruler, rotary cutter, and mat. But you don’t have to do it that way if you don’t have the supplies. Just measure and cut 9″ squares with scissors if you must.

2. Cut the Warm & Natural batting into 6 3/4″ sqaures. Look above at the size you are making. However many “quilt sandwiches” it says for your particular size that is how many squares of Warm & Natural batting you need.

Sewing a “Quilt” Sandwich: When making your sandwich, be sure that the right side of the fabric is on the outside. Center a batting piece on the fabric. It isn’t necessary to use the same fabric on the top of each “quilt sandwich” as on the bottom. Top with another fabric square. Pin in place (if you like pinning. . . I don’t pin though).

Using matching, contrasting, or a specialty thread, sew an X on each of the “quilt sandwiches”. You can use a pretty wide stitch since it isn’t holding the quilt together rather just giving it a quilted look. After all the X’s are stiched on the squares you are ready to assemble them.

I lay all my sqaures out the way I like it. Then using a 1″ seam allowance I sew the first row of squares together, followed by the second, etc. I sew all the rows together first. I do actually pin the rows together. It is much easier. Then I sew the first row to the second row and keep adding the rows until the quilt is assembled. Once the whole quilt is together BEFORE cutting/clipping the edges (seam allowances), you will want to stitch around the entire quilt outside to make sure NO batting is showing. This, too, will be about a 1-inch seam allowance.

Grab yourself a cup of coffee for this step. Turn on some music or watch a movie and let’s begin. This is the time consuming part. Using utility, heavy-duty scissors (Fiskars has the easy grip rubber handled ones, love those, easy on the hands), clip all seam allowances almost, but not quite, to the seam. Make clips 1/4″ apart approximately. This is what makes the fringed look. Clip all the seams and around the quilt.

You will then put the quilt in the washing machine, full cycle, with fabric softener and a bit of detergent. Wash fully. Dry fully. You will want to change the lint traps OFTEN during the course of drying. Once dry, fully shake the quilt good once or twice outside, removing any loose threads.

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  1. thanks for posting that. I’ve always wanted to make one. maybe I’ll try it for my GREAT nephew who’s about to be born. Am I that old? Yup!

  2. oh my word. seems a little overwhelming for little ole not crafty me but I really haven’t found “the blankie” yet for Caden…and how cool would it be, if I made ‘it’ for him. Hmmm…i’m going to send this to my sew crafty friend and maybe she can walk me through it. I don’t even know what a walking foot is!!


  3. I cut my quilt out tonight! Tomorrow maybe I’ll have time to sew!

  4. I’m guessing having a sewing machine and knowing how to even use one would be a must for this project. I guess I’ll just stick to being a non-crafty loser.

  5. My quilt is in the washing machine. I seriously think I have nerve damage in my thumb from all that cutting. Might be time for some new scissors.

  6. Eryn Kesler says:

    So cute! I think when I move my boys into a room together and redecorate, i’ll make them quilts like this. And, Julie, I don’t know what a walking foot is either. Beckie, do they come with a sewing machine? Can you post a pick of what it looks like? I have a few, but I don’t know one from the other…

  7. I love this and am so excited I found it. I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to link to your blog from mine, so I remember where this tute is. Thank you!!


  8. Eryn Kesler says:

    thanks for the walking foot pic! I definitely don’t have that…maybe I’ll ask Santa!

  9. I've just been trying to figure out what to do with a bunch of flannel left from errr not making stuff for the kids when they were smaller. I think this is the project!
    Thanks for the instructions, very clear and simple.

  10. I’m going to make one for my son. I’m thinking about using various quilting patterns on each block. I found a tutorial for various free hand quilting methods and thought that it would make it interesting. Thanks for the instructions! Can hardly wait to buy the fabric!

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