How To Make A Rag Quilt

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Today on HappiestCamper, we are going to show you How To Make A Rag Quilt! Rag quilts are great because you can make them in roughly a couple of hours. This is a fun sewing project for all skill levels. If you’re like me, you can never have too many blankets and quilts around the house. Not only are they nice to have at home. but they’re also a super fun gift idea as well. You can make your pattern random or plan it out. Either way, this will be an heirloom piece. If you’ve been wanting to try your hand at making a one of these rag quilts, this a great place to start. It lets you ease into it while still letting you get that feeling of accomplishment that comes from making something yourself.

How To Sew A Rag Quilt

It is easy to personalize too, should you decide to go that route. And like we said, this rag quilt would make a nice gift for a friend or loved one. If you are ready to make your own rag quilt, let’s get started!

Supplies Needed to Make a Rag Quilt

supplies

*I made a throw that is approximately 45”x60”. This took 120, 6” squares per layer, and you need 3 layers. My layers were 6 patterns on the top, cotton batting in the middle, and a single pattern on the bottom. For my information on sizes, etc. you can find several charts here.

**For a lightweight DIY Flannel Rag Quilt, you can substitute flannel as your middle layer instead of the cotton batting.

How To Make A Rag Quilt

stacks of fabric squares

To start off this fun how to make a rag quilt sewing tutorial, we need to cut out all our pieces. Cut your fabric & batting into your squares. For the example I made here, I used 6” squares, but you can make yours with any size square you like. I plan to make another quilt and will be making it with 9” squares. 

cutting out the fabric

Once you have your fabric cut, stack each set of squares as follows: The bottom square right side facing down, cotton batting or flannel middle layer, and then the top pattern piece, right side facing up. Make sure your squares are aligned perfectly. Sew an “X” (two diagonal lines) down each square. If you want, you can skip this step, but I prefer to have my rag quilt squares secured together, as I feel it makes connecting them later a bit easier. You can also use fabric adhesive spray to secure them as well if you don’t want to stitch them.

sewing squares together for rag quilt

Next on this how to make a rag quilt sewing tutorial, we are going to connect the squares. Before doing so, you should lay out or sketch your design so you know kind of where you are going with it. Place two squares wrong sides together and using a ½” seam allowance, sew your squares together, making sure to back stitch at the beginning and end.  This will give your rag quilt some durability.

In this photo you will see I am using Even Feed Walking Foot. When sewing multiple layers, this is a lifesaver. It is not imperative, but it made making this so much easier!

making rows for rag quilt

Continue to connect your squares for your quilt until you have completed a row. For my rag quilt throw, I made 10 rows with 12 squares in each row. Using your rotary cutter, trim up any unevenness in your rows. We are about halfway through this how to make a rag quilt sewing tutorial!

laying out all the pieces for rag quilt

This next step is optional, but I found it easier to lay out the rows on the floor. Not only did it help me see the design, but it helped me keep the rows in order as I connected the rows to one another. Take your first two rows and pin or clip them with wrong sides (the bottom) together.

sewing the squares of rag quilt

Now on this how to sew a rag quilt sewing tutorial, it’s time to put it all together! Using a ½” seam allowance, sew your fabric rows together, making sure to back stitch at the beginning and end.  Use your fingers to press open the seams. Continue until you have connected all your rows. Now, as a final touch, sew around the entire perimeter of the rag quilt using a ½” seam allowance. I used a zigzag stitch for this, but you could use any stitch.

trimming the seam of rag quilt

The last step in this sewing tutorial is to trim up all of the seam allowances about a ¼” apart. You can use regular scissors or spring-loaded quilting scissors for this. Make sure to do this around the perimeter of the quilt as well, making sure not to cut through the seam allowance. 

finished rag quilt

When you wash your quilt, this is when the ragging process happens.  I ran mine through two wash cycles without a liquid fabric softener as I have heard it can make the seams stick together. Be sure to clean the dryer’s lint trap well as it will be very full 😊 Enjoy!

Easy Sew Rag Quilt Tutorial

If you loved learning how to make a rag quilt as I did, just pin this to your favorite easy DIY ideas board on Pinterest so you can find it again quickly when you’re ready! Be sure to tag us on social media as we love seeing what our readers make and seeing the fabric they choose!

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How to Make a Rag Quilt

Rag Quilt Create card

Learn how to make a rag quilt for home!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Active Time 5 hours 40 minutes
Total Time 6 hours
Difficulty Moderate

Instructions

  1. Cut your fabric & batting into your squares.
  2. Stack each set of squares as follows: The bottom square wrong side facing down, cotton batting or flannel middle and then the top pattern piece, right side facing up.
  3. Make sure your squares are aligned perfectly and sew an “X” down each square. You can also use fabric adhesive spray to secure them as well.
  4. Design your quilting pattern and sew two fabric squares wrong side together with a a ½” seam allowance.
  5. Continue to connect your squares until you have completed a row.
  6. Using your rotary cutter, trim up any unevenness in your rows.
  7. Take your first two rows and pin or clip them with wrong sides (the bottom) together.
  8. Using a ½” seam allowance, sew your rows together, making sure to back stitch at the beginning and end.
  9. Use your fingers to press open the seams. Continue until you have connected all your rows.
  10. Using a ½” seam allowance, sew around the entire perimeter of the rag quilt.
  11. Snip all of the seam allowances about a ¼” apart. Also do this around the perimeter of the quilt as well, making sure not to cut through the seam allowance.
  12. Wash & enjoy you Rag Quilt!

Notes

*I made a rag throw that is approximately 45”x60”. This took 120, 6” squares per layer, and you need 3 layers. My layers were 6 patterns on the top, cotton batting in the middle and a single pattern on the bottom.


**For a lightweight Flannel Rag Quilt, you can substitute flannel as your middle layer instead of the cotton batting.

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