4 Essential Rag Quilts Quilting Tips – Guide For Beginners


How To Choose Fabric For Rag Quilts?

What is the best fabric for rag quilt?

The high degree to which they fray makes plaids and flannels made of homespun 100% cotton an excellent choice for use in rag quilts. You might use a fabric that is made entirely of cotton and has a loose weave, but this has the disadvantage that the quilt might not hold up very well over time.

Check to see if there are any fabrics that have colour on the reverse side. A brilliant white background may help produce a distinct outline for each block. This is because both sides of the cloth will show when the seams are sewn together. That might make your quilt look better or it might make it look worse.

Be cautious to check the colorfastness of your fabric before beginning any kind of quilting project to ensure that the colours won’t run into one another.

Make sure that the backing fabric you choose goes well with the quilt. Keep in mind that it will be visible in the seam allowances, and that if you choose a light colour for the quilt top, the backing fabric can be visible through it (if it is very dark).

How To Fringe Rag Quilts?

Fringing is what makes rag quilts unique. It’s easy, and here are a few hints to make your fringing more fring-ey.

  • Clipping through 2 layers of fabric at a time makes it easier, and you will make fewer mistakes.
  • Clip into the seam allowances on each seam and the outside of the quilt 1/4″ to 3/8″ apart.
  • Clip into the seam allowances toward the stitching, stopping at least 1/8″ away from the stitching holding your seams together.
  • Use a seam ripper to slice through the fabric, and start from the seam side, working to the raw edge of the fabric.

How To Piece Rag Quilts?

Rag quilts are fun and easy to make. They are very forgiving in many ways, and sewing them together is somewhat easier than piecing a patchwork quilt.

Here are a few tips that might make piecing your rag quilt even easier:

  • Set your sewing machine to stitch 12-15 stitches per inch.
  • Use a sharp, new needle that is designed to sew medium-weight woven fabric
  • Use a neutral color of thread (unless you want your thread to stand out).
  • Use a 1″ seam allowance to sew the blocks together. Check your pattern, though. Some rag quilts are set for 1/2″ seam allowances. If you are piecing patches within a block, use a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  • Chain piece when possible.

I sew blocks together using open seam allowances. I have found that the fringing looks better. Other quilters sew blocks together with seam allowances facing opposite directions. As with so many other things in quilting — it’s up to you!

How To Wash And Dry Your Rag Quilt?

Once the seam allowances are cut, to get the quilt to fringe, you must wash and dry it. Here are some helpful hints for washing and drying…..

  • Shake your quilt outside before you place it in the washer — to remove as many of the seam allowance threads as possible. (Pick your shaking spot carefully — you may have threads flying!)
  • If possible, use a washer with a lint trap.
  • Shake the quilt (again) and clean the lint trap in your dryer before you put the quilt in.
  • Once dried, shake the quilt (outside in your pre-marked spot!) to get rid of even more loose threads.

It may take more than 1 washing and drying to get the quilt to fringe as much as you would like. Not to worry, this will give it the “well-loved” look you want as well.

Use masking tape to remove wandering threads on the quilt. A vacuum cleaner works, too. Or, if you have one of those special lint remover rollers, use it.

Wear clothes that don’t attract lint — otherwise, you will be using masking tape on your clothes, too.

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