Here is another thing Grandma Lisa made for Cooper. It is so adorable! She also made my sister and I bedspreads like this when we went away to college.
- Fabric that is likely to fray (flannel, cotton, denim)
- Batting or flannel for inside the “quilt sandwich”
- Spring-action snipping shears (optional but they do help prevent hand fatigue)
1. First decide how big you want your quilt to be, to determine how much fabric you’ll need. For this particular baby quilt, I did 6-inch squares which after being rag quilted (with a 3/4” seam allowance) turned into 4 ½ ” squares. This makes approximately a 28” X 40“ quilt. This quilt was made with 7 squares by 10 squares.
2. After you determine the size of blanket you want and how many squares it’ll be: you’ll need that many squares of flannel/batting, and twice that many squares of fabric. So for this blanket of 7 X 10 squares, you will need 7×10 = 70, so you will need 70 squares of flannel, and twice that many to do both sides.
1 yard of fabric made 42 – 6” squares so you need to decide how many colors you want for your quilt and decide how much fabric you will need for each color. I used 3 different fabrics for mine.
3. Now cut out your fabric squares to 6” x 6”. You’ll need two layers of fabric squares (for top and bottom layers). And one layer of batting or flannel for inside the “quilt sandwich”. If you choose to use batting, cut it to 4 ¼ X 4 ¼ so when you sew it, the batting doesn’t show. (I used batting because I wanted my hearts to puff out. Flannel would keep it simpler as they would all be the same size.)
4. To make your quilt sandwiches: lay fabric right side down then center batting/flannel on top of it. Last, lay a matching fabric on top. (Or you can use a different color on top and bottom and that will add another color into the fray.)
If you are using batting, then sew an “X” across the sandwich to quilt them together, or it will ball up. If you’re using flannel, you don’t need to quilt it together, just put the three layers together for now.
Repeat to make all quilt sandwiches. (For the heart square, I marked the heart first.)
5. Now lay your quilt sandwiches out in the arrangement you want. You’ll be working with one row at a time. To sew a row of sandwiches together, join one sandwich to another with all raw edges turned “up” towards the top layer of fabric, using a 1” seam allowance. It’ll look something like this on the back:
6. After you have all your sandwiches assembled into rows, try to line up the seams as best as you can from one row to the next. Then sew the rows together the same way you did the sandwiches, with raw edges turned up. Set your stitch length to a small number, to make it stronger.
7. After you’ve joined all rows, sew a 3/4 ” line all the way around the edge of the quilt. Now cut equal snips in the seam allowances, getting close to the seams, but not snipping through them.
8. After you’ve snipped towards all the seams, toss the blanket into the wash. Dry the blanket on high heat to help it fray more and become soft and fluffy. Some people like to do this at a Laundromat because it does produce a LOT of lint. If you do this at home, just pause the drying cycle and empty the lint trap a time or two in the middle of the cycle.
9. When you remove the blanket from the dryer, take it outside and give it a good shake to get rid of spare loose threads. You may also use a tape roller. This is a good time to double-check that all of your seams are still in place,(that there are no “holes”). If you accidentally snipped into a seam line, it will have come open in the wash. If that’s the case, simply re-sew that seam in place and you’re good to go.
The more you wash and dry this blanket, the fluffier and more frayed the seams become.
The backside of the quilt will be smooth like this:
You can vary the size of the blocks, the seam allowance (which varies the amount of fray), size of the quilt, and the layout of the blocks to give you all sorts of different looks. Now that you have the basic
concept down, here are some variations of rag quilts to give you some inspiration!
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