Friday, April 6, 2012

Raggy Quilts

A number of years ago, I saw a "new" type of quilt somewhere on the computer.  I thought it looked fun and easy, and I did some research.  It IS fun and very easy, and great for beginners and kids (with assistance in the clipping, unless you have pre-fringed squares, but more about that later.)

Little did I know that it would lead me down the path I'm currently on, or that it would enable me to make so many wonderful "online" friends.  I met so many wonderful quilters from all over the US in the process of creating that first try, and every time I make another, I think of all of them and the special bond we share. 

Making a raggy quilt is really easy.  And it's full of options, so you can be as simple or creative as you wish,. 

First pick your fabrics, then the size you want to make.  My good friend Shannon at Fabrics N Quilts created this calculator to help with yardage.

Check out her blog and store while you are there!  She's one of my favorite stores. 

Then decide how big you want your squares to finish.  I personally like them larger, so there is less cutting and it's faster to make.  You will add between 1 and 11/2 inches to this size for the fringe, or bloom, which is actually the seam allowance.  You want at least 1/2" on each side.  This latest has 3/4" fringe.  You need a top square, a middle layer and a bottom.  Fabrics that fray well work better, so most raggies will be made with flannel, homespun, denim, or similar.  You can also use batting in the middle.  Cut your squares to your desired size.  Batting would be cut just a little smaller than the "finished" size of your square, but flannel, if used as the middle layer, could be cut the same.  It makes the fringe fuller.  Most don't use a middle layer if you are using denim as the back (it's so heavy on its own, you don't need a batting/middle.)  Layer your squares like this:  Backing fabric, wrong side down.  Center the batting over this, or lay your middle square on it, then your top square, right side up. 
Most people sew an X to quilt the layers together.  It should be done if using batting, but doesn't need it if using flannel.  I do quite a few, chain piecing them.  Sometimes I pick a fun S shaped stitch on my machine, and I do recommend a walking foot during this. 

Next, lay out your squares in a nice design.  Carefully collect your squares, and put the BACKS together.  You will be sewing on the top side, and the back of the quilt will be smooth.  Sew your squares together, remembering your figured seam allowance from before.  Sew the columns then the rows.  I like to sew corners with one seam going north, and the other south.  Some of my friends prefer to sew the seams open.  Then sew your seam allowance again around the outside edge. 

Use raggy snips or scissors to carefully trim the seams, about every 1/4" away, until you have fringed the whole top.  Wash and tumble dry the quilt, and you have a finished quilt!  Remember to check the dryer lint collector often when drying it.  It will need frequent emptying the first few times you wash this quilt. 

I used an Accuquilt GO! 8 1/2" Raggy Die for this one, and only had to clip the seam points.  It did take much longer to cut, though, since I could only do 2 layers of fabric.  Once that was done, having the fringe clipped made it really easy to finish, though.  This one uses a collection of 8 Fat Quarters (two yards) plus 2 1/2 yards for the extra blocks on the front and the back (pink flannel) and another 2 1/2 yds of white flannel in the middle.  It measures about 40 X 47 inches. 

I finished this Raggy quilt last night and listed it in my Etsy shop.  It's so soft.  Everyone just wants to touch it and cuddle in it when they see it.  I've also made purses and totes raggy style.  The design possiblilies are almost limitless in this style of quilting.  Let me know if you have made any, or want more info about making one. 

1 comment:

Christine said...

It came out great. And it is a lot of fun to make a Raggy quilt. I love the colors and patterns of your fabric. It looks like a fun, happy quilt which some small child will love! Great post! Thank you for sharing.