Monday, September 30, 2013

How I make a Rag Quilt - Part III

    This is the final step in making a rag quilt and it takes the longest.

    When I first started making rag quilts I did this all wrong.  I snipped big chunky cuts out of the seams thinking that with enough washings the seams would fray nicely but I was mistaken.  It only took a couple years to realize that my first quilts were not fraying fast enough.  Then one day I asked my daughter, Katie, to help me cut a quilt.  She proceeded to cut the seams about 1/4 - 1/8th of an inch and I was so afraid she had ruined the quilt since I was cutting about 1/2".  When I washed the quilt the fluff was glorious!  Ever since then I believe the secret to making my rag quilts so fluffy is smaller snips. 

     Also my initial quilts were not cut right because I did not follow the way the seams laid.  I would cut haphazardly and end up with big lumpy spots where the seams met.  Now I know that you cut all the horizontal seams all the same way.  When you get to the point where the two seams are joined cut the "flaps" in the same direction. When you've cut all the long horizontal seams, then cut the vertical. I cut approx. 40 snips in one vertical  9" section.

horizontal and vertical seams

Horizontal seams being cut

You will probably be covered in bits of fluff when you are done cutting.  That's the badge of honor for rag quilters.

When your quilt is completely cut, it's time to wash it.  I usually wash a regular rag quilt on normal but you have to have a good machine because so much fluff can come off your quilt and damage your washer.  It might be a good idea to wash your quilt at a commercial laundry.  Likewise, when you dry it an enormous amount of fluff and lint will come off and block the lint filter.  I usually check the filter at least 3 times .

Fluff and lint from one quilt

When you take your quilt from the dryer you may have to do one more step and that is to use a lint roller to take off the stray fluffs.

The final result will look something like this


  1. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSITNG THIS. I love the look of rag quitls and haven't found a good blog with directions. this is great and I can't wait to make one.

  2. Thank you for your post! I had never seen a rag quilt before and now I can't wait to start one. The instructions and pictures you posted are very detailed and I am looking forward to begin this new creative project!

  3. Just wondering if I'm being daft as I cannot see part II of the instructions for rag quilts?

    1. You can find Part II here:

  4. No, it does not exist.