One of my most popular post is my Baby Rag Quilt Tutorial I did a while back. In that quilt I used squares and pieced them together. For this tutorial I thought I would show you how to make a a rag quilt using strips. The idea is basically the same, but it goes together even faster. Let's make it!
1. MAKE A PLANBefore you get started you will need to plan out your design. It is best to do this before you go to the quilting shop. If I do not have a plan, I always end up buying more fabric than I need and thus spending more money than I have.
Here is what you need to determine:
a. SIZE- Most standard crib quilts are around 52"x27". My quilt is around 50"x36". I like making baby blankets that are big enough for them to sit and play on. You can make yours whatever size you like.
b. PATTERN- You will need to determine how many different types of fabric you want to use and if all the strips will be the same width. You could make some strips narrow and some wider. It is really up to you!
c. FABRIC- Most rag quilts are made up of flannel and cotton (broadcloth-quilting fabric). For my quilt I used a solid flannel for the back in yellow and blue and a lightweight cotton for the front in three different patterns (Curious George/Yellow/Blue)
d. BATTING- You have the option of also purchasing a solid color of fleece to use for batting. Batting is just an inner layer of insulation that goes between the top and bottom layers of your quilt. The fleece is cut the same size as your strips and simply placed between your front and back pieces. I did not use any batting for my quilt, but if you want to add this to your quilt, I will tell you how to add it in my instructions.
2. CUT FABRIC
*FRONT: Cut 17 strips @ 38"x5" (Note: I used 3 different designs in a quilting cotton)
*BACK: Cut 17 strips @ 38"x5" (Note: I used blue and yellow fleece)
*BATTING (OPTIONAL): Cut 17 strips @ 38"x5" (Note: Use a solid color of fleece)
3. PIN FRONT AND BACK STRIPS TOGETHER*At this point I usually lay my cut strips out on the floor to make sure I like my pattern. Once your front looks good, then grab your back strips and begin matching one back strip for every front piece. If you are using a batting, at this stage you would make your quilt sandwich (front strip on top-batting/fleece in middle-back strip on bottom. (Right side of fabric should be facing out on the front and back) Pin the pieces together all the way around the outside.
You can see in the picture above that I have my pins holding my two pieces (3, if you are using batting) together. You should now have 17 strips pinned and ready to be sewn.
4. START SEWING
*At this point you have a couple of options on how to sew your strips together.
Option 1: Sew a 1" seam all the way around each strip. This secures your strip together and will keep it from moving around when you start piecing the strips together (at least I think that is why people do it).
Option 2: (my way) After I pinned all the way around each strip, I then realized that I really did not want to waste the time and thread to sew around each rectangle. So, I skipped this step and just started sewing my strips together. It worked just fine and the world did not end. I think it did help to have the entire strip in pins so that the fabric was not moving on me too much. So I would recommend still pinning all the way around each strip.
Option 3: Well, if you used a middle layer of fleece for you batting, then you need to sew a straight line down the center of each strip. I would not skip this step. You will be sewing through six layers of fabric once you start piecing your strips together and you do NOT want that batting moving around while you are sewing.
Note: You can also play with the seam allowance to get different looks. On my Baby Rag Quilt tutorial where I used squares, I used a 1/2" seam allowance. Just remember to add the seam allowance in when you are doing those calculations in the planning stage and trying to figure out how big your quilt will be. My strips were 38" long and 5" wide, but in the final quilt they will be shorter because I will be loosing and inch on every side.
*Open up your seam and finger press or iron. This is what my back looks like after sewing my first two strips together. (above picture)
*As before, sew a 1" seam allowance.
*You still have one more thing to sew at this point, and that is to sew a 1" seam around the entire quilt.
*The last thing to do is to grab a pair of really sharp scissors and start snipping down each row and all around the edge. I make a snip about every 1/2". Be sure to not cut through your seam. You will notice that you will have to do some extra snips at the corners where the strips meet. You will know what I mean when you get there-just cut where it looks like it needs cutting.
Note: I got a blister after snipping this quilt! If you plan on making a lot of quilts, I would invest in a pair of special rag quilt scissors that are easier on your hands. You can find them in the quilting section of most fabric stores.
*Throw your blanket into the washing machine and wash and dry 2-3 times to fray the cut edges. After each wash and dry time I also take the blanket outside and shake it really well to remove any loose strands. Tons of strands will come off, so don't forget this step.
I hope you have enjoyed and understood this tutorial on how to make a strippy rag quilt. If you have any questions or if something is unclear, please send me a message.
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Have a blessed day!
For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8, 9
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MORE RAG QUILTS BY GINA'S CRAFT CORNER