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Bought some cotton to try making a rag quilt. Haven't deciding on the batting? Thinking maybe just a flannel so it won't be stiff? Would I wash the flannel 1st, or just sew it? I was also thinking of Fleece for the backing (it's 50% off at Joann's) But then I read the flannel won't won't unravel. Any tips or idea's are appreciated.
Barb - I have used the Warm & White batting on a quilt . . . it is about the thickness of flannel, and it holds to the cotton material very well. That you can get at Joann's too, for pretty reasonable - especially if you have a coupon or if it's on sale.
I will let someone more experienced in quilting answer the fleece part . . . I'd think that having the thicker material as a backing would be a bit much . . . unless you use the fleece as the backing/batting - instead of using a separate backing and batting, just quilt your top directly onto the fleece? Just a thought . . .
Hi! I'm sure there are plenty of answers out here, but I'll jump in with my two cents... Some of the better cotton fabrics may not 'fringe' as much as a flannel, I've been told that 'homespun' fabrics, which are a looser weave, seem to rag nicely, but have not tried it yet. I was saving that for appliqueing Overall Bill patterns for a youngster's quilt. If you use all cotton, try making a 2 or 3 layer 'sandwich' out of a square, then washing and drying it to see how the seams look..
I have only made 2 rag quilts, and a 3rd in progress. The first one I used flannel for all 3 layers: top, back and batting. Thick, fluffy and plenty of weight! The second one I just used 2 layers for front and back, much easier to sew, and lighter in weight. Depending on your seasonal temps, 3 layers (even with a normal quilt batting) may be too warm. And it also depends on the thickness of your flannel before you start putting it together.
The first one I made was a baby size, flannel was from Joann's, a nice weight, not the cheaper lightweights. After I got it all together, I measured it before washing... after washing and drying in 3 cycles, it had shrunk 3" in one direction, and 2" in the other. (I had added one extra row, to allow for shrinkage, as the instructions had mentioned that flannel would shrink ALOT more than cottons). But the seams 'ragged' beautifully, and it makes a nice padded quilt for baby to play on the floor.
The second one was slightly bigger than a lap robe, and I only used 2 layers. It felt a little light and 'cheap' while sewing, but after washing and drying, it was just the right weight for watching TV under!
The 3rd one is for my step-daughter's car. She's a Nascar fan, and she can keep it in the car for when she goes to the races. Sort of like a blanket that you would use for football games or such.
If you prewash the flannel, you may not get as much 'ragging' as you would like in the seams. When the fabric fringes in the wash, and shrinks in the hot dryer, the seams get all puckery and wavy to create the cool looking seam. Prewashing/drying would already shrink the flannel to some extent, but you'd still get some of the effect, IMO.
I've not really sewn much with fleece, but my son bought a bolt of it and wants me to use it for the backing on a quilt top, instead of batting and quilting it. Guess that means I'll be tying the quilt together instead, as I would think the fleece would move around alot with free motion. You could try a small size, like for a pet or similar to see how it reacts in your machine. Fleece backing and a flannel top, stitched with an X thru the squares, may just hold it enough to get the look you want... would be interesting to see what you come up with!
If you haven't already, there are lots of articles on the web for rag quilts. This is the one I referred to (and I've attached the pic of my first rag):
My 2 cents worth. Whatever method you use or fabric, be sure to get the spring loaded scissors for fringing and don't try to fringe the whole quilt in one sitting.
Kizmo, that is one beautiful rag quilt.
Thanks Mittsy! I copied one from the web that was solid pink and pink gingham, but just added more colors. It did turn out really cute! And I defiinitely agree - those spring scissors are a godsend!! Snipping all those seams with regular scissors sure played havoc on these old hands!
Thanks for recommending not to wash the flannel first. Going to make a rag with flannel and denim squares. The denim is prewashed (bought it off Ebay) from old jeans, etc. Have some denim from old shirts, etc. of my own, but this group was in all different solid colors, as are the flannels that I am going to use.
I've not tried one with denim yet, although I keep reading articles on them... One mentioned that stitching the big X thru the center of the squares would keep the flannel from pulling the denim out of shape, but I would think it would still look too poofy. Now if you had flannel scraps, from say, old flannel shirts from Goodwill or whatever, and used those, eventually the seams would rag after some washings and it wouldn't shrink like a new fabric would... depends on what look you're going for, I suppose.
Were you alternating denim and flannel squares on both sides or just using the denim on one side and flannel on the other? Prewashed flannel and those old denims alternating in rows would look rather cool, I think! I would cut a 4" square of flannel, handwash it in hot water, then throw it in the dryer in one of those mesh bags, then measure for the amount of shrinkage. I've been told that flannels shrink at different rates... when I bought mine, the flannel I got from Joann's shrank (shrunk) more than the flannel remnants I got from WM...
Kizmo... probably will use denims alternating in the front only. May wash the flannel first in cold and hang- dry so that I get some shrinkage, but not fully pre-shrunk. Will let you know how it comes out.
I have made a few rag quilts...one was with denim and flannel, alternating / random squares on both sides...did not pre wash either of them. did sew the x across the squares, and a seam all around the square inside of the clipping line... I made it so I could clip 1/2 inch... it was some very spiffy denim, it looked "denim" on one side...pink on the other side !! alternated with the colors on that too...Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of it :(
made one with all flannels too...did pre wash, and dry in the dryer before using in the quilt...still "ragged" just fine
spring scissors are an ABSOLUTE MUST !!!!
both made for recipients in florida...so I only used two layers.
fleece does not un ravel but it does make some nifty fringe... I have made many lap quilts with both sides made of just a large piece of fleece...with all the sides cut at 1/2 inch intervals (fringe), about 6'' deep... put the two pieces on top of one another...tie one fringe of each fabric into a knot...makes a great and very quick lap quilt... when you use two very different fabrics, as you tie the knots, fabric "moves" so that colors switch sides...( if you did black one side a stripe the other side, after you tie...stripe fringe will be on the black side)
have seem the same idea done with large blocks... same idea sorta...as a rag quilt...looks pretty cool, but never felt like cutting that much fringe, or tying THAT many knots !!!
One caveat about tied quilts. This was probably a freak accident but... The ties can stretch out and can cause entanglement. They are strong and won't break. I would NEVER use a tied quilt for a baby or young child.
Thunder, on the first denim/flannel... when you washed it, how much did the flannel 'pull' the denim? (since flannel shrinks and denim doesn't, or was it new denim?). I was looking at a rag pattern that uses denim for the background, then a flannel circle or square on point stitched on top in the center, leaving the flannel seams raw so they rag. Looked pretty cool, but I'm thinking the flannel would have to be preshrunk slightly or the denim would pull out of shape?
Like I said, I've not made many of these, but they are so easy to do! Seems like they had been really popular way before I discovered them.
I have some really big pieces of fleece that I was wanting to piece together.. should I use a zigzag stitch instead of straight stitch?
I bookmarked a site awhile back that when tying with yarn or ribbons, to cut a piece long enough to tie a knot with, then place it on the quilt and use your machine to take a couple of backstitches in the center of the yarn or whatever to secure it to the quilt top. Also found a video on YouTube that shows a tying technique that uses a couple of V shaped stitches through the quilt, then the thread is passed thru the inside with the batting to where the next stitch goes. She was using a quilting thread for that, and it made for an interesting stitch on the outside.
Mom and Gma always used scrap yarns and crochet cottons to tie with on the utility quilts. A few baby quilts were tied with yarn, but if the yarn came out, it wasn't more than a few inches long at best.
I agree with Karen though... there are so many ways to do this, and a simple idea can cause big problems if not thought through. I've seen child quilts tied with ribbons and those would be longer lengths, but they would almost have to be stitched permanently thru the bow or they would come loose easily. Not sure what kind of knot Gma used, but Mom still has one of her old wool quilts that the ties are still in place and she used yarn... must have been one heck of a stong knot!
Kathy, I was talking about the quilts that are made with 2 layers of fleece that are tied together around the edges. Also called a no-sew quilt. While I'm on a rant, the baby fabric that is pre quilted with nylon thread or in fact the quilts themselves that can be bought ready made, are very dangerous. The nylon thread seems to loosen or break. My grandson when just a few months old was sleeping under one. His fingers became entangled in the thread, it was wound so tightly, that his fingers were blue when luckily I went to check on him. I had to cut threads to get him loose. Needless to say that blanket was discarded immediately.
Oh, sorry, I misunderstood which you were talking about..I've not made any of those no-sew quilts, but have looked at them in Joann's when they're on sale. They look like a good project for older kids.
I remember you telling the story of the nylon thread, that would be scary! Good thing you caught it before it damaged the circulation in the fingers.
When the pre-quilted fabric came out eons ago, Mom bought a yard to put binding on for a quick blanket for my niece. The stitching was that invisible thread monofilament stuff, and after one washing, it came right out! Tangled up around the other clothes in the washer... She took it to her Ladies Aid meeting and showed the other farm wives what happened, as they were going to have a craft demonstration on baby gifts. Not wanting to waste the money she had in it, she ended up stitching it to a muslin backing, crosshatched in on her treadle machine and put it in the toy box - minus all that invisible thread. Lots of it are sold, I guess she just got a bad piece.
I've heard that the store quilts come apart if they are dried in a hot dryer, since the monofilament is nylon or whatever. That would be a waste, as I've seen some of them at Crackerbarrel and in catalogs that are made from pretty fabric patterns.
I'm thinking that commercial stitching comes out pretty easily. I wanted a certain fabric not too long ago and the only bit of it I could find was pre-quilted. so I bought it and took it apart. It was quite easy. After washing, all the stitching lines were gone.
Kiz, they were both new fabrics, and surprisingly the flannel did not pull on the denim at all...maybe because of the x and the square stitched in each block??? Usually I would pre wash any flannel, as it does generally shrink quite a bit...butttttt when I did this quilt I was following directions from a blog, and it stated "no need to pre-wash" seeing as it was the first rag quilt I made...I followed the directions...it came out quite well...made it about 10 years ago, and it is still going strong...
if you are talking about the type of quilt I am thinking of with flannel squares put on top of denim circles...I would definitely pre-shrink the flannel !!! got a bunch of circles sitting on a shelf for one of those quilts...and some flannel squares on another shelf, and a big box of old jeans, and old shirts, waiting to be cut up...
I know the those prequilted fabrics have larger stitches, no wonder they come out so easily, wonder what type of stitch is used on those industrial machines... never thought about taking one of those apart to use the fabric, good idea Karen!
wow, Thunder, we think alike on some things, don't we???? I have some flannel shirts that are too small for hubby and old jeans that I wanted to try this out on, cut out squares, stitch on without worrying about turning under or matching seams.. what's not to like?!?!?!?!?
OK, I'm off here for now, spent too much time on here already, the clock says it's almost tomorrow! LOL
2 or 3 layers the center layer is smaller the the front & back no fleece it won't fray and thats the whole idea.
here in Texas I do a lot of 2 layer rag quilts either both flannel or flannel & denim . don't prewash again you want it to fray & shrink up. they are fun, fast & easy to make . very forgiving . I teach this as a first time quilt.
If fact I KILLED my son's washing machine washing a rag quilt for the first time. IF you are on a septic tank rather than sewer you might want to consider a trip to the laundry mat. All that said, I LOVE the way the rag quilt turned out. I used denim and flannel and it was almost twin size.
Sigh...I got all the top squares cut out and went to Joanne's to get the flannel for the back. I REALLY wanted purple and they were out, so I bought the green. Then life/family got in the way :( I went to Joanne's yesterday and they had the purple! So it will have the green in the middle and purple for the back. Now I just have to cut out a ton of squares. My expensive spring action titanium scissors that I splurged on a while ago seemed to have grown legs and walked away...no one will admit to it. And I'm too cheap right now to buy more. So it will take a while to cut all those squares.
One thing about rag quilts... even if you cut the squares slightly off track, by the time the quilt shrinks and wrinkles, you probably wouldn't notice it. I cut my first baby rag out with rotary, and used my dress shears to 'rag' it, as I didn't have the spring shears then. I have found my scissors in a stack of fabric at times, it may just be hiding... LOL
Fishy, I have made 5 rag quilts. A couple had a 'batting' between the top and back and a couple had just the top and back. The first had flannel and plaid 'homespun', the rest were all flannel. I always wash everything unless it is a kit. They all turned out great. The last one has a lot of Laurel Burch fabrics and other brights and I made it bigger than the usual lap or crib size. If you use flannel as the batting and make it the same size as the front and back, when you wash it you have more fringe. Anyway, they are fun. It takes about as long to cut the fringe as it does for the entire quilt so far! On the Laurel Burch quilt I made the back the same as the front, except for the fringe of course. I just love it! And so do the cats. After I washed it I put in in the dryer for 10 minutes and cleaned the filter. I cleaned the filter every 10 minutes until it was nearly dry then draped it over the clothes line until dry. Then I ran it thru the dryer on just air until there was hardly any lint threads or until I got tired...
Me too. The cats are the greatest!!! I have yet to tackle one of these. I think I'm afraid of all the cutting for the fringe. I have arthritus in my hands and fingers so I'm kind of afraid to do one...
Thank you everyone for the kind words. As soon as I get my camera back from my DIL I'll take a pic of the whole quilt. I love Laurel Burch stuff, especially the cats. So bright and beautiful. And, of course, I have to buy nearly every cat fabric I run across... Fishy, have you been quilting long? I know you do a lot of gardening, and you really like blue!
Everyone, check out SW Gardening forum and see what Fishy is usually up to.
No not quilting long, LOL! Here is my cat quilt (1st quilt). I need to embroider the whiskers and put button eyes on. I had no idea what I was doing but the helpful quilters here have put up with my silly questions so I may just get it done.
It's too hot to be in the garden until about November :(
My plan is to make it 7 squares X 8 squares (10 inch squares before sewing).
Thanks again for everyone's comments and help!
You keep me motivated :)
Fishy, I love your cat quilt!! So bright and cheerful. And that is pretty darn good for a first quilt. I'm going to see if my son still has the one I made for him when he was little. It was my first one and the seams were 5/8 or something. My son loved it. We called it his Linus quilt. That was long before the Linus quilt project. Maybe we can have a thread showing our first quilts.
I made a rag quilt out of all my 100% cotton scraps. I did 3" squares, stacked one for the top, one for the middle (batting area) and one for the back, did a small 1/4" seam all the way around and let the cottons fringe themselves. It came out fabulous. The best part was I had zero dollars out of pockets as this was total scraps! =)
Love your color and print choices. It's going to be VERY cute. Would be neat to see 'in the process' pictures as well as the outcome. Would be a tutorial for some of us who have not tried one. Fish_knees can be DG's version of Eleanor Burns...LOL
I really like those colors Fish_knees. And where does your name come from? I bet there is a story there!!!! Thank you for showing the row like that. I've never done a rag quilt and it is interesting to me to see the steps... How many layers are together before you X the block?
Barb, I have only done one rag quilt and I experimented and ended up with NO middle layer needed in mine. It was made of one layer of denim and one good flannel. I loved the way it turned out. I sewed the X before the square was sewn into the next block.
Is the back color a solid purple? I thank you so much for taking these pictures. I can clearly see now how each block is constructed and then joined. How big a seam did you use? Maybe I can make one if I get someone to "rag" the seams for me. My hands could never do that anymore. Uncle Arthur has had his way with them and they are very weak...I know you use special scissors but is there any special way of cutting the rag? As in how close or how deep?
I'm really loving this thread!!!!
Barb, the seams are usually sewn a good 1/2 inch, then you use the spring loaded scissors and cut about 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart. Cut as close as you can to the seam, but don't cut through it, or you will have to stick it back in the machine for stitching.
Then wash it several times to fluff the edges, but make sure you clean the washer and dryer filter frequently.
I wasn't suggesting polar fleece for a rag quilt, I was just using it as a comparison weight wise. I would take the 2 fabrics I wanted to use and sew together one square and clip the edges. Wash it a few times and you can judge how it would fray.
Thank you to all for all the wonderful help. I have never made one of these and would like to try.Maybe do a baby blanket first. Do not have any babys in the family to give it to but could always donate it.
Oh my, my just learning to sew new granddaughter (grandsons wife and pretty Noelle's mama) is dying to make one of these. I'm going to make her a cheat sheet with all the helpful hints on it to use when I'm not near by.
I have made them from Baby size 36X45. to extra king size for my 6'8" son Never have I washes any fabric first . I really like the way it drawsup after being washed . UNless you think its going to bleed and most fabricks don't anymore I wouldnt bother with washing ..
This ia a great first Quilt for a newbie sewer...very forgiving . If you don't get your seams perfect no one can tell when its all finished. don;t have to make close friends with the seam ripper ..Unless you sew your seams backwards ... and thats easy to do ...LOL
They are fast & easy
fishie, your quilt is going to be so beautiful!!! And isn't it fun?! I must warn you tho. Making these is very addictive...
This is a pic of one I made for my mother. It was a kit so I didn't wash any of the fabric, which is cotton flannel. There isn't any thing between the front and back and It was just right for Mom as she didn't like anything to heavy on her feet. She loved it.
Fish - that's why Norm calls her FatCat!!! Her name is Callie and yes she is a big girl!!! But-the vet says as long as she is happy and healthy (which he says she is) to let her be. I have put her on a semi diet. Will see how it goes.
Trust me, it's a VERY bad sign. I had my drug and alcohol endorsement as an addiction counselor in Idaho... this is a VERY bad sign! *wink* But I don't see ANY of us volunteering for the cure from our fabric and quilting addiction so you are VERY safe in this group!!
I finally had a little time to clip mine...Holy Cow! My hand is sore and a have the spring loaded clips :(
This is going to take forever...
Unfortunately Joanne's has a 20% off coupon starting tomorrow, might have to buy more fabric :O
That will be very pretty.
Yes, I won the baby go cutter, but it did not come with any dies, and they are very pricey! I don't have the die for the rag quilt. I guess if your doing a bunch of the rag quilts, it would be worth it.
Sewing face to face... been there too. But I have found that my machine does a very nice job in helping me keep the diagonal 'x' quilting straight, so I haven't had to draw the lines out first. Boy, that saves time.
Thank you all. And I really enjoyed working on this project. Working with the cotton and flannel was not a problem. There are only 2 layers and it is the perfect weight. Not heavy. I did not prewash.
My DH loves the quilt and so will make one for him.
Ditto housse. Hey fishy, it takes longer to clip a raggedty that it does to make it! I started to clip my first one with regular sissors... Ouch! A friend insisted I borrow her snips and what a difference that made.
I have two rows of a 7 block across, 8 block long rag Q using 11.5" (finished) blocks. Have most of the other blocks stitched, but been going row by row as I'm needing to alternate the backing. I know I don't need to, but want the back to have the fabrics on a diagonal in groups. Didn't realize how much flannel it will use on the back and most of my stash for the backing is in 2 yrd (more or less) pieces of any one fabric. ALternating the front with large flannel blocks and four patch blocks in denim and flannel on the diagonal. This is for my SO and had found some really brilliant batik-esqu solids in rainbow colors at Joann's sometime this fall or Christmas when they had their flannels from this manufacturer for $1.75/yd. I've never seen so many people waiting for their cutting table turn before or since. There had to be twenty people at least in front of me, some with two shopping carts filled with bolts. It was neat to see what your neighbors had. Often it was 'if you're not geting all of that, can I have the bolt when you're done?' It actually was a fun and friendly feeding frenzy. Will post pictures of what I have together so far this evening as my camera needed charging.
Also unpackaged and played with my spring loaded rag Q scissor on one of the four patchs. Neat!!!!! Now I'm wanting tomake one for me for the winter too. Thank goodness Sewsasse I trading with me flannel for cottons. Geez, that's right, need to get her fabric together still...
Every year The day after thanksgiving (Black Friday) the only place I go is Joanns last year we started a list so you didnt have to stand in line just wonder around till they called your name ... Quilters & sewers are such nice people no pushing or mad house
LOL, the spring scissors are great but my carpal tunnel is killing me :( I figure by the time I get to the "cutting" part again my hand/wrist will be ready :)
These are the colors for the next one for my son.
Fish...Will try to post within the next 48hrs. Just finished putting it together last night. It came out bigger than I intended, which is OK. It covers ths top of a king size bed with a block hanging over the feet. My blocks wound up being about 11" finished and I went seven across and eight down. MySO is 6'3, so I wanted to make sure it was long enough. Probably could have gone 5 or 6 side and been fine. It's meant to be used by one person, but it'll be great to be able to use it on the guest bed should we have people over when we get cold.
Lol...uh...life keeps getting in the way of my hobbies:( the A/C went out in my rental house that my daughter lives in so she and her Jack Russell terrier (nick named The Tornado) have been staying with me. The A/C was replaced and my house is back to almost normal. So maybe I can start cutting out squares this weekend :)
Ya Barb, me too! I want to go back and take a better look at the ads and see when they were each listed and whether they are "turning over" or just sitting there unbought. You can "ask" any amount you want, the test is, how many can you SELL at what price?
The same thing is on the site of the lady who makes t-shirt quilts. They are over $500. and you supply the shirts. I've always been curious too, what she does with the rest of the shirt. I give them to my guys for shop rags, but they would be perfect for those wagon wheel rugs made with a hula hoop. My DDIL has a Girl Scout troop and I told her I would save them if her girls wanted to make hula hoop sit-upons.
That's the one I saw. I sent it to my DIL for her scout troop. I thought they would make a neat sit-upon.
When I make the t-shirt quilts, there is usually quite a bit of fabric left at the bottom of the shirts. It would be perfect for cutting the rings.
Yes Linda you can use other fabric
WAGON WHEEL RUGS
Wagon wheel rugs are woven-in-the-round on a wooden frame (square or round). Originating in the Scandanavian countries, they were most often made from wools or heavy cotton flannels and can be quite striking, with the 'V' of the warp. Less commonly, wagon wheel rugs were also woven in oval shapes.