Wednesday, March 16, 2011

rags to riches

I started this quilt last Friday, on a whim, and I pulled it out of the dryer yesterday afternoon. It was such a quick project that it never made it to the in progress list. I'm not complaining one bit! That list needs some serious slimming down. And soon!
Here's the front.
And this is the back. I was worried about the color palette being a bit too broad, but it worked out just fine in the end. Phew!

It's quilted as it's made and it's not bound. Once it is assembled and the edges are clipped, all you have to do is wash and dry it. Easy enough! I have to admit, I went into this quilt having my doubts. But I'm pleased as punch with the results.
 Before washing...
And after. :) It has such a great texture and weight. This is a different color palette than my normal, so it actually matches my house quite nicely. Hurray for that!!!
My daughter did a quick test run for nap-worthiness. I think it's gonna work just fine! This quilt is an instant favorite with my kids. Yay! I really, really like it, too!

It measures approximately 48" x 60".

A few thoughts on making rag quilts....

The process is messy! I used charm packs, which tend to shed a lot in the first place, then there was the clipping. There was a dust bunny fest in my craft room. It may have needed cleaning before, but definitely after!

The quilt wasn't all that impressive during the process. It took on a whole new life after washing and drying.

The best batting to use inside the squares is warm and natural or warm and white. The few 80/20 scraps I had were too puffy. The charm squares tended to shift a lot more than with the thinner batting.

Assembling the blocks was not my favorite part. I found it hard to sew very close but not over the layers of batting. The bulk of the batting kept pushing my walking foot to the side. I just did the best I could and tried not to stress over it.

The clipping was tedious and it started to hurt after awhile. Thankfully I had a good friend to talk to on the phone while I did the bulk of that. It made it much more pleasant. :)

Even after washing and drying, this quilt is still shedding. I'm fairly certain that will settle down after a bit. Here's hoping!

104 comments:

Michele said...

Looks very cozy! I hope your clipping hand survived. I know how much work that must have been. Definitely worth it!

KateKwiltz said...

Success! It looks very cozy!

I second the batting recommendation -- anything thicker than W&N, and the squares start to slip all over the place.

I wash and dry my rag quilts inside of a pillowcase or a sheet I've sewn into a bag. Who needs all those threads muching up the machinery?

angela said...

I wonder if using a zipper foot would work well with all that batting bulk?

BaileyGirl5 said...

Sweet! I have made a few and I use flannel as a batting and that works out great. I cut it the same size as the squares and it gets clipped right along with the fabric.

Mama Urchin said...

I have a flannel rag quilt and it shed a lot in the beginning but now it doesn't. I love the look of yours but I love scrappy.

Pat said...

I refer to rag quilts as the quilts that keep giving as they continue to shred for a spell!

summerfete said...

Oh its lovely, so home spun looking.
I've been wanting to make one too.

Clare

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I also put mine into a sewn up sheet, contain the mess won't ruin my washer/dryer. I also use flannel instead of batting. I din wan to mess with shifting, and I'm lazy. Lol
-sue

Katherine said...

Looks great! I thought your idea of using charms was brilliant because it would speed up the process.

Yikes! Clipping makes for a sore hand, I feel your pain. ;o) I found clipping the least enjoyable step in the making of my raggy quilt. But I just love the final results, so a little pain is a small price to pay, right? :o)

Amber said...

This looks cute and cozy. I love to make rag quilts. I do not use batting though. I have always used flannel instead. Usually you can find flannel in the remnants section and it's not very expensive. I use any coordinating color of flannel. If I use a heavy fabric that frays well, like jean, I don't use batting or flannel. It's heavy and cozy enough. Jeans frays so well and looks beautiful in a rag quilt. I have also made rag quilts using all flannel: front, back, and middle. Those come out warm and cozy. I like what Pat said, they are the quilts that keep giving. They are so fun, quick, and cozy gifts to make.

QuiltyGirl said...

Using scissors with the spring in them helps a LOT with the cutting. :) I'm also a lefty, though, so most scissors hurt my hands...
Looks so soft and cuddly, maybe I should do this with a bunch of charm packs that I've been collecting!

Kimberly White said...

It's fabulous ... and looks so cozy! I may have to try one of these some day!

Annessa said...

It's beautiful! What a great idea...now I'm diggin' out all my scraps that don't have companions. Thanks for liberating me!

Dymbrulee said...

I second the comment about the scissors with the spring. They have stubby little blades and spring back. I make a lot of bags in rag style and the $17 I spent on the scissors was worth their weight in gold in terms of saving my hands!

Lauren P said...

It's Lovely! Spring scissors are a MUST with this quilt.

Stephanie Soebbing said...

Very cute. I've been wanting to do one of these in flannels. I've been hording everything from backing scraps to worn out pajama pants.

Messy Karen said...

i don't have a cutter but i've seen a 5-1/4" and 8-1/2" die that already have the edges cut. love the variety in your fabrics. but if i made one i think i would still like the clean edges of a proper binding.

Janine said...

the quilt looks great! my daughter made one when she was 11 - her first quilt project. we had a snipping party and invited nana over to help. our fingers got very sore but it was fun to do it together. after a second wash it has stopped shedding and if anything looks even better.

Angel said...

My mom made a rag quilt for my first daughter and we had shedding for the first 4 years ;)

Angel
www.EtownHooks.blogspot.com

Renae said...

Last rag quilt I made I didn't even use any batting--just the 2 layers of flannel.

And yes, the cutting part is no fun, but they always look so nice after the washing.

QuiltinMama said...

Try the scissors with the spring-loaded handles...they're great! Congrats on another finished project.

Renae said...

Last rag quilt I made I didn't even use any batting--just the 2 layers of flannel.

And yes, the cutting part is no fun, but they always look so nice after the washing.

Renae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandra said...

Did you make the squares an inch larger than the batting, so there is space for your seam without the batt getting in the way?

I wash my raggy's inside a duvet cover; it takes a little longer to dry them, but the mess is contained. (Afterwards; I just turn the cover inside out and shake it ~outside ) I do that for several washes, until there are very little threads left!

I agree with comments about the special scissors, also if you (or if you know someone) have an accuquilt cutter, there is a special die that precuts the edges of the charm squares.
Or....it's a good time to bring a few friends around for a coffee break,tell them all to bring their scissors and you'll have it done in no time!

Two Christmas's ago, my local little quilt group got together and we all sat around and snipped the edges of a lap quilt for one of the girls (who is a BFF for me!).
Imagine my surprise (and my expression!) when I opened up my Xmas gift from her~the same rag quilt!) A gift I will never forget!!

mypatchworkantahkarana said...

Oh!! That nice you have still had ... I like much .. congratulations and kisses

Rene' said...

Love it! Never made a rag quilt before. They look very soft and comfy. Can't beat the quickness of the project!

Stephanie said...

It really is very beautiful, makes me want to take a nap :)

Janie said...

I've made 3 of these and I do love them. Warm and natural is the best bet and cutting is tedious but I didn't do all small squares.
Yes, it does take a few washes to get the fuzzies out.
They are warm and cozy.

Kiera said...

That looks seriously cozy!!

SkippityDoDahQuilts said...

I'm so glad you liked how it turned out! I like making rag quilts out of vintage sheets (100% cotton).

Happy Quilting!


www.skippitydodahquilts.blogspot.com

Lisa said...

Know it's handy to use charm packs, but would it shed less if you cut squares on the bias? Think it might be easier to sew the x's, also. I've only done rag quilts with flannels; they do shed less over time, and they are always favorites! This one is very pretty.

Di~ said...

What did you say? "If you will take a nap, you can use the new rag quilt?":) Hopefully, you used the sissors that have the spring in them! I love my rag quilt, I keep it in the trunk. It has kept me warm on many occasion.

Shannon said...

Beautiful! I agree, one's hands can only take so much "clipping" with the scissors! I'm so glad you featured a rag quilt on here. :o)

Bonnie said...

This is really nice, I love how it turned out after the washing! I have a great pair of clippers for doing rag quilts, they are shaped so that you can use them like you would hold a stapler instead of like scissors so you don't get the hand cramping (and they are crazy sharp)!

carol said...

You have me very tempted to make one out of flannel with Warm and White inside. That would be really cozy, don't you think?

Cantinho da Aracy said...

So Beutiful!
Beijos, Aracy (Brasil)

Brenda said...

I love your quilt! So pretty. Did you get the directions somewhere or did you make it up as you went?

Anonymous said...

Looks Great!
Susanne

lizzy said...

This is super neat! I'd love to try making one of these sometime.

Sunshine & Fabric said...

Looks fantastic.,..all that work was worth it. Will be great with winter coming up.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful project to do with kids. When my daughter was 6 she always wondered why I didn't use the fancy stitches on my machine. She picked out lots of kid flannels and I put her to work sewing the X's. She picked the fancy stitch and changed the thread color ALOT!. I assembled and snipped it. She is now 10 and it is by far her favorite. She even has it on her bed in the summer!

Cary from Verona WI

Linda said...

Love it! I agree about the clipping. I have heard that the spring loaded scissors are the way to go if you plan to make very many of these. :)

PDOTTreats said...

I made one using the three layers of flannel. The nice thing is that with the middle layer flannel it is sewn in the seam which means no X's needed.

diplofam said...

You are amazing! I went through a rag quilt phase a few years ago--everyone in my husband's family got one for Christmas--hehe! I never know what to buy them...I have so much batting scrap I should so a few more--my kids would like the fuzziness too.
Is spring starting over there on the other side of the lake yet???

Ann Marie said...

Living in Florida, we don't put batting in our rag quilts, and they are still very warm. Also Fiskars makes rag snips to help your poor hand snipping all those seams.

TextileTraveler said...

We fight over the rag quilts in my house, because they are SO soft and cozy in flannel. I made one on a whim, as well, and I've been hooked ever since! Great job!

Kristyne said...

I've never been a big fan of rag quilts, but there's something quite appealing about this one. I really like how the colors turned out. Or maybe it's seeing a little one all cozy underneath :)

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Nice warm quilt! I made a bunch of rag quilts years ago.

Christine said...

I made the first Raggy 9 years ago and every term people want me to teach this class.
I find the best batting to be Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 and I cut the batting the same size as the fabric and it will clipped just like the fabrics.
You can also use three layers of fabric and no batting.
I do the clipping as I stitch rows and my favourite scissors are spring loaded Fiskars.
Love your quilt
Christine

dara said...

When I have made my two rag quilts, i skipped the batting part and they are very cozy.

Timi said...

Your rag quilt is fantastic! I love it :o)!!!

Corrie said...

dust bunny! hehehe! i love it and I know my girls would love it! most of my everyday quilts are folded at one end of the couch or draped over it for the kids to nap under. Oh I feel sorry for those poor deprived children whose mummas don't quilt!

I really love it and must do one, thanks for showing us

corrie;)

jotubby said...

Your quilt looks gorgeous. I made a raggy denim quilt about four years ago using recycled (up upcycled) denim jeans which I layered with flannel as the back and no batting in between (with denim and flannel it's very warm and quite heavy). It still sheds now when it's washed so I always wash it alone.

Becky said...

I have to say for rag quilts...the clipping is the part that drives me crazy. But I love the look of them. I made 5 of them two years ago and the people who got them for Christmas loved them. Yours is gorgeous and I love the idea of the charm packs

Maureen said...

I love the colors of your quilt!

One option to consider for your next rag quilt, although it doesn't help use up batting scraps - Osnaburg. You cut it to the size of the fabric and it contributes to a lovely raggedy edge. Plus, no shifting batting and you get a nice drape which some people like.

Chris {frecklemama} said...

What a cozy family quilt! It turned out great. My kids would love that kind too. Thanks for adding to my TO DO list LOL.

Terriaw said...

Love how this one turned out! I've never made a rag quilt, and wondered how the process was as far as putting it together. I love that you quilted it as you went along, which seems like a faster way to make a quilt. Looks very soft and snuggly!

Thimbleanna said...

I have to admit, I've never been tempted to try out a rag quilt, but yours looks awfully darn cozy. Especially with that cute little napper rolled up inside!

Amy said...

It turned out very nice. I like ti when you don't think the colors play nice and they do.

Erin said...

I love this quilt. I would love to get a great tutorial. Do you recommend a site or reference. It looks easy enough... but would love a little more direction. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

what seam allowance did you use for this? 1/4 or 1/2?

Thanks!
Nicole in Annapolis

Mary said...

Oh, I'm with you on the clipping, tedious! I've made a baby quilt this was with the help of a Big Kick die cutting machine and the scallop square die, made cutting super quick. I did cut my batting (by hand) smaller than the square, forget the dimenisons. So cute, I need to make another now! Mary

Clair said...

I might have to "check out" that quilt sometime. The scrappy look turned out great with those colors.

Marti said...

I love the way it turned out, and I see someone else does too. I just read your new post too and I just have to say, I WANNA GO TO IRELAND TOO!

Dana Woolson said...

LOVE! I'm excited to use up my rather large scrap batting bag.

Anonymous said...

I love these rag quilts! I've made several in large sizes, and several as baby quilts. I make the blocks smaller for babies. I've used flannels and I've used homespun, but I've never made one out of good old cotton!. Homespun ravelled the best in the washer. The quilts are so soft. I just love them! I have saved the stuff that came off in the dryer and hung it on branches in bushes and trees so that birds can use it in their nests. I agree, snipping isn't fun but it is mindless and something you can do while watching tv. Nice work.
Jeri
jcleveland03@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

The colors & assembly are beautiful; but I like neat & tidy too much to do quilt as you go. Gah, all those loose threads tweak my OCD! =)

sarah, rsm said...

it is darling! and it will shed for a loooooooooong time! :) i have come to sit with mine on my lap while watching tv and pull away to to get to the end-of-shedding sooner :-)

DeAnna said...

Love it!!! Can you post a Tutorial??? Would love to see it!

Lgshazza said...

I have made a couple for family for last Christmas, I used ten inch squares (or use layer cakes) and iron on wadding. The iron on wadding is absolutely fanastic as it has glue in both sidesso once ironed jnbetween the squares it doesnt move when you do the criscros. I also use a half inch seam that way you get all the seams and a nicer fraying look. By using the ten inch sq it seems less sewing but still effective. When putting the rows together I snip as I go so it's done in little steps and saves your hands. well sort if :}.

Susan said...

Love you rag quilt and love all the great ideas and advice from the other quilters. Nice!

Anonymous said...

I love your rag quilt! I just finished two of those myself and gave them both to the SPCA for a ticket sale to raise money. After Xmas I made one for my 14 year old granddaughter. Will have to do something different although I enjoy making them. This time I will try my rag die from my Go cutter. Enjoy reading your blog and your great ideas. Cynthia

Anonymous said...

I have made quite a few of these. I make them without the batting. I just sew the front and the back together. They end up plenty warm. My cousin uses a third layer of flannel instead of the batting. She cuts the all the squares the same size, the middle layer adds extra color to the fuzzy clipped areas.

Liz said...

I've done these with denim, but I love how your's looks.

Mary said...

That is very pretty. I have made about 8 rag quilts and I used contrasting flannel for the batting. Then you sew them all together and snip. That way there is no worry about sewing the batting in the seam. The middle color really adds to the quilt.

Ruth said...

Beautiful! Still stress too much over scrappy look.

Yes the clipping is time consuming but I found scissors with a spring load on them. Made for a much easier time of clipping. Batting...not so much in So Calif!

Nancy said...

Fun to read about your rag quilt. I've made several for great nieces and nephews, plus one for a daughter and one for us. I use flannel in the middle like some of the others said, and the springy rag quilt snips from Fiskars, and also try to snip as I go so I don't have so much to do at the end. I make mine with the rows offset so the seams are not so bulky, sometimes with the same squares on the back and sometimes with a different arrangement of squares on the back. 3 layers of flannel make a big one pretty heavy, but they sure are cozy. I've seen people recommend doing the first wash/dry at a laundramat to save your own washer and dryer. Haven't tried jeans and flannel yet, but sounds great, maybe in alternating squares.

Thanks for sharing.

Lynn Postma said...

Love your quilt. I have too many quilts in progress to start this one, but I think I could make a large tote bag using this technique to carry my projects around in. Fun!!!

P said...

I love making rag quilts - actually the only kind I have made so far. My favorite way it to use cotton front and back and two layers of contrasting flannel in the middle. I still usually do the X to stabalize (and I like the look). By using 2 layers of flannel in the middle (and being that it contrasts) the quilts just BLOOM! That is why I call mine blooming quilts - lol.

Tip: the closer your snips are the faster is stops "giving".

Michele said...

Love your quilt! I have made them also. I was cautioned by my local quilt shop not to make for babies because the shredding threads can wrap around their little fingers and cut off circulation. My grandson (a baby) will need to get a bit older before I will make him one. I even made one in woodsy colors for my hubby and he loves it!

Cindy said...

I have made several rag quilts. I make them larger (approx 56x77) and call them stadium blankets to be used outside at games. Tips: (1) I use Accuquilt GO system, which cuts the "rags" for me. (2) I also use flannel and eliminate the batting altogether. I love the pillowcase idea on an earlier post. Will have to think about that.

Debbie P said...

I love your quilt. I have made several quilts for my grandchildren using homespun plaid fabrics and they love them. I agree about the spring scissors. They are a lifesaver. I am a lefty and they work so much better for me because it is so hard to find comfortable scissors for lefties. I have been collecting charm squares for a while and I think a project like this is perfect for them.

pk said...

Love love love your rag quilt ! never used batting or flannel or anything inside mine !! Didn't know was supposed to !! LOL but....must say it came out great and the little girl that got it said she was in love ! it was dungaree (various color blues) and other side was a beautiful pink green tan floral small print. Yes the spring back sissor was very useful !

Toni said...

I made one for myself and my husband out of recycled denim (front), and assorted cottons with batting (cut 1" smaller), then I bought the Accuguilt Studio cutter and the rag quilt dies. Will never hand cut another rag quilt again. Do love the look and they make wonderful gifts.

julie said...

I have made a few of these and they are fun. Flannel for all three layers is my favorite. Remember to use a coordinating 'solid' flannel for the middle layer and cut it the same size as the top and bottom. Prints are typically whitish on the back. This solid center will give your raggy edge more color. And yes, buy the best short blade snippers you can afford to make the snipping part less 'painful'.

Deb said...

Your quilt is beautiful. Isn't it fun to have one that actually matches your home decor? :) Today, not only did I learn from your blog...but the comments sections has been full of great tips. A double bonus!

Purple Quilter Queen said...

I have feared this type of quilt too, but after seeing yours I might just tackle one someday! Yours turned out great! But then again, everything you tackle does! Good job! Jenn

Penny Tannehill said...

I teach this technique at a Jr. High/High School and we use old flannel sheets, old Hoodies, or sweats as the batting. Works great and it too gets cut the same size and snipped like the rest. They are messy, but fun to make. Even heavier & warmer if using denim! Love your quilt. Great job!

Anonymous said...

I always hated making rag quilts and purses because of the cliipping. Now I have the rag die for my GO! cutter. It is awesome and so much quicker. I also try to use flannel as my back fabric so I don;t have to use batting

Kekibird said...

Came out great!!

Anonymous said...

I made a rag quilt for my grandson out of old jeans and after sewing each row I cut the fringe, so that when the quilt was finished so was the cutting except for the outer edge which did not take long to finish.

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful rag quilt....you have inspired me to try to make a smaller version since it will be my first rag quilt!

Chef Sharon Ann said...

Beautiful quilt. I have never tried to make a rag quilt, but will now. I think I will make a small one to start with. Great job!

Anonymous said...

I made one out of flannel... and used warm and natural batting. The clipping went better when I switched to some kitchen shears I had with a spring loaded handle.. mine came out great but is still shedding after two washings. I will try makeing a giant pillow case to wash it in.. to save on the machine.
cat bird

Anonymous said...

Don"t try it on the bias-- as the threads fray out, there won't be enough to hold the pieces together. (Try cutting and fraying a single piece on the bias, it does wierd stuff!)

Anonymous said...

Great Quilt...Look for flannel sheets on clearance to use for batting, use the pillow case for washing, or one of those zipper delicate wash bags. I always use the laundry mat and the big industrial washers for queen or king size quilts on their first wash. I used a nine patch and large square patten, combine cotton, corduroy, flannel, and jeans, makes for a very heavy warm quilt for those long cold winter nights.....the clipping and mess is worth the snuggle factor...
Stephy

Sue said...

I love your quilt. I am working on a KING size one useing flannel and 12" squares with 10" batting. Lots of scissor work to come. I will defnitely look for spring loaded scissors.

Chef Sharon Ann said...

Thanks for the help on this type of quilt...I am going to try one next week.

Candis O'Hearn said...

I love your quilt, I made one out of flannels a couple of years ago, I didn't use batting, but I really wish I did for the warmth an heaviness feeling. I still like it though.

Susan said...

Hi,
Just curious....What size do you cut the batting squares? I'm guessing they are smaller than the 5 inch charm squares?

duckyhouse said...

I love it! looks really great.
I'm assuming your squares are cotton? If that is the case I read somewhere once that someone used flannel for batting. That might be a good option. Also, you need a good pair of spring scissors to save your hand while cutting.

Kristyne said...

Hi Amanda,

I've linked to this post on my blog today. I hope you like it but if you'd rather I remove the link, please let me know and I'll do so immediately.

cheers,
Kristyne

sulu-design said...

It's a shame that you posted this 3 weeks ago and I'm only getting to it now, but I had to leave a comment on this quilt because I LOVE the unfinished edges of it. It washed up beautifully. I don't think I've seen anything like that from you before - nice work.

Mhmama said...

I love your rag quilt. I have made a few and even started a rag quilting Facebook page which has really helped as there are so many of us that are just starting out and other who have been doing it for a long time and can give us a lot of advice. Thank you again for sharing this.