Tuesday, October 21, 2008

how to make a ragged squares quilt

Last week Jeanie asked me how to make a ragged squares quilt. Several weeks ago I had also gotten a request to show the basics of assembling a quilt top, so I'll try to incorporate both of these in this tutorial. This would be a great beginner quilt, but fun for any skill level.

select your fabrics: I used 13 fabrics in my quilt. (some were fat quarters and some were half yards.) 14 are shown, but I omitted one along the way.

cut 30 squares of each size:
3", 6" and 9".
for the 3" squares I cut a few extra just to help with the randomness.

take one 9" square, lay a 6" square on top, just centering it by eye, no measuring necessary,
and then lay a 3" square on top of that. pin.

using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew around the perimeter of the 3" square

then sew around the perimeter of the 6" square
you will leave the raw edges exposed.

and now your squares should be attached.

the center square is a little crooked, but no worries.

I think most people would cut out the back of the squares at this point to reduce bulk, but I don't bother. a bit of the polka dot showed through on the flower print in this block, but it's barely noticeable, so I just leave it as is. plus, I like the extra weight of the quilt by leaving the multiple layers in tact.

attach the squares on all 30 blocks.

once your blocks are assembled,
layout your blocks in a pleasing arrangement,
5 blocks across and 6 blocks down.

at this point, take a digital photo and view your quilt on your camera screen to look for any color clumping. re-arrange squares if necessary.

using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew your blocks together to make 6 strips.

press the seams in every other row to the right....

and the seams in the alternating rows to the left.

place 2 long strips together and line up the seams. the seams should be pointing in opposite directions. they should sort of notch together.

first pin at all the seams where they notch together, then place a pin in the middle of each block.
sew one long seam (again using 1/4")
open and press the seam to one side
at this point it doesn't matter which way you press the long seam
now you can see the bottom two rows are together.

repeat the process until all rows are attached.
and your quilt top is done.
next, baste your quilt (there is a tutorial here)
and you are ready to quilt.
this quilt is easy to quilt because it is on the smaller side and you are just doing straight line quilting...no marking required.
using a walking foot, stitch in the middle of the center (6") block, and quilt a square. back stitch a bit at the beginning and ending of the seam.
quilt another square in the largest (9") square
and quilt a little square in the smallest (3") block.
in this photo the center square is the quilting, the next line is the stitching that attached the 3" square to the 6" square. the next line is quilting, and so on.
repeat this quilting for all the blocks. so in the end you will quilt 90 squares. 30 quilted squares in the large blocks, 30 quilted squares in the middle sized blocks and 30 little quilted squares in the smallest blocks.
here it is all quilted....
but, then I washed and dried it....
and had some strings to trim....
so it looks all tidy....
and here's the back. many thanks to Frieda for sending me this fabric. it was perfect for this quilt!
and it's complete!

if you have any questions, I'll try to answer them in the comments. and if you make one of these quilts, I'd love to see it!


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Anonymous said...

There is a dark pink border connecting the front and the back fabrics. How do you do that?

Unknown said...

Alright, I am a self taught knitter/ crocheter & I also taught myself to sew. I have made clothes, but this is my first attempt at a quilt. I LOVE this! Mine is definitely not perfect & I don't have the squares perfect, but for my first, I am happy with it. I wasn't going for perfect, just fun & something I can make for my first baby who is due April 2. I will post pics once it is finished.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this and have had on my list of things to make for a while. I am going to make it for my daughters first grown up bed. I have never made a quilt before and the thing that scares me the most is cutting. I am not great at cutting. any tips on how to cut perfect squares for me?

wish me luck!

Anonymous said...

I am working on this now and am wondering if there is a reason I can't add the 3 and 6" squares at the end instead of doing extra quilting. I am totally new having. Never quilted before.

Alan said...

Can anyone tell me how I could make this into a twin size quilt? I'm a very new quilter...

Sara K. said...

Just found your blog about a month ago, love it!!! This pink quilt is my first real quilt, it's all together and I'm already in the process of quilting it, thanks so much for the tutorial, so much easier than I thought it would be...and a great starter quilt.

Nicki Greenwood said...

What a perfect, simple but classy quilt for a beginner like me! I now have a pattern to make a baby quilt for my friend's new little boy. Thanks so much for sharing, and for the helpful photos to go with your descriptions!

Carole said...

Would you give me permission to let our guild make this quilt for our annual quilt bee? We make 70-100 quilts in a day for Haven House, a home for abused women & children.
P.S. I have your Sunday Morning Quilts book and love it. I read it cover to cover. There are at least 12 projects that I want to make. Good value.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to share with you my version of this quilt I made for a twin bed.

Unknown said...

I wanted to make a quilt out of my babys hardly used swaddle wraps. im artistic and ctafty but never quilted before. i used this pattern and the top is now complete. its beautiful and so far, very easy. rhabks for posting this pattern! Im psyked to see thus keepsake quilt completed!!

Unknown said...

I've been slowly but surely trekking along on this, but now I'm at the point to when I'm wondering how to put together the sides. Did you use bias tape?

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