Sunday, September 22, 2013

How I make a Rag Quilt - Part II

The next step in making a rag quilt is sewing the squares together.  I will be sharing a baby rag quilt here which I usually make a 5 square by 5 square with fleece.

What you will be doing is sewing the traditional X through all three layers of your 9" squares.  I like to do this assembly line style.  I sew a seam diagonally from one corner of the square to the other and without lifting the foot I start another square.

You can either do this to all your squares at once or if you are an instant gratification type like me, you would only sew the X on your first row so you can then sew those squares together.

Make sure your pattern is intact because sometimes things get out of order when sewing and cutting threads.   (Refer to the picture you hopefully took when the quilt was laying on your floor. - see part I) So...

Step 1:  Sew an X in all your squares with a coordinating color thread  to secure all three layers.  (Sometimes I switch threads like in this quilt because I didn't like the black thread on the white square.)

Step 2:  Sew your five squares together to make the first row.  You do this by grabbing your first square and your second square and sew them WRONG sides together.  (If you are working with a patterned fabric, make sure the design is going the right way.)  I sew a 7/8" seam and back stitch at the beginning and end of the seam.  You can do a bigger or smaller seam but I wouldn't go bigger than 1" or smaller than 1/2". Continue sewing each next square to the previous square until you have your completed row.

Step 3:  Joining the rows.  If this is your first rag quilt I would suggest using lots of pins for this step.  You take your first two complete rows and pin WRONG sides together at the seams (and you can also pin at the middle of each square.)

"Kiss" the seams together and then

fold the top part of the seam up and the bottom down.  That way when you sew over this section you can hold down the top seam to guide it through and the bottom part will follow.

Sew all your rows together in this way.

Step 4:  The final step is to sew a seam around the perimeter of the quilt.  I simply start at one edge and sew to the next backstitching at the beginning and end.  To give my quilts a more finished look I do this twice.  The  quilt will look funky and crooked but don't worry that's what it's supposed to look like.

Next post will be Finishing your rag quilt .

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