How To Make A Flannel Baby Rag Quilt With 10” Blocks
A Trio Of Flannel Baby Rag Quilts Made With 10” Blocks
Rag quilts are fun and easy making them perfect for learning new patterns. This trio of flannel baby rag quilts are each made from 10” blocks and measure 42″ to 45” square. Rag quilts are already a fast finish as there’s no quilting required. Once you finish sewing, that’s it! Just clip, wash and put to good use.
The first quilt is my Baby Bricks Rag Quilt pattern. It’s made with two rectangles that form a square. Then the blocks are alternated in different direction as the quilt is assembled. It makes an interesting pattern for a few colors such as this one or is a terrific option for a scrap quilt.
The next two quilts are improv style blocks for some added interest. Large rectangles and squares are crosscut and sewn into a variety of layouts. Since there is no set pattern other than a 10” finished square, you choose how the finished block will look.
How To Make A Flannel Baby Rag Quilt Brick Path Pattern
Flannel quilts are one of the easiest quilts to make. This simple Baby Bricks rag quilt pattern is beginner friendly and finishes quickly with straight seams. Rectangles are sewn together in alternating directions forming the brick path pattern.
Baby rag quilts are a wonderful gift for new mom’s. Make them a bit bigger and they are ideal for older children. Then use some old blue jeans for a denim rag quilt that teens will love. There’s a rag quilt option for everyone on your list!
What Size Is A Baby Rag Quilt
Rag quilts can be made in any size you want. This flannel baby rag quilt is a perfect size if you are just learning how to make rag quilts. Quilts are not recommended in a baby’s crib but make a perfect play area. Add some bright colors and patterns for lots of interest keeping little ones engaged.
What Is The Best Material To Make A Baby Rag Quilt
What Fabric Is Best for A Baby Rag Quilt
Cotton is absolutely the best fabric for rag quilts. Synthetics don’t fray and won’t give you the ragged edges that make rag quilts so wonderful. Woven cottons work great as the even weave edges are easily loosened when washed. Quilt cotton is a good choice and offers the most variety. Cotton flannel is my preferred choice because of its soft touch. And don’t forget the all-time favorite blue jean rag quilts. They certainly have their place on the rag quilt list.
Can You Mix Flannel And Cotton In A Baby Rag Quilt
Rag quilts may also be a combination of different cotton fabrics. While a lightweight cotton and a heavy denim do not work well together, there are some fabrics that pair well. One of my favorites is to use a cotton print for my top layer and flannel for the backing. This keeps the quilt a bit lighter as flannel can make a heavy quilt.
How Much Fabric Do I Need For A Baby Rag Quilt
What Is The Best Size Square For A Baby Rag Quilt
My general rule is the smaller the quilt, the smaller the quilt block. This Brick Path Pattern baby rag quilt is made with 10” squares. This is considered a large quilt block for a rag quilt and if left uncut would need some extra reinforcement to hold the layers together. For this quilt, cutting down the larger block and resewing it reinforces the fabric layers.
How Many Squares Do You Need For A Baby Rag Quilt
Once you determine the size of your rag quilt and what size blocks you will use then it’s just a matter of adding it all up. This quilt is made with five rows of five finished blocks for a total of 25 blocks.
Each finished block measures 10” and will be 9” after the ½” seams are sewn together. There is another consideration for this pattern. Each block is made of two rectangles sewn together forming a square. If we start with a square, cut it in half and sew the center seam to join two different fabrics, the block will no longer be square. When crosscutting fabric, the seam allowance must be factored in.
The Baby Bricks block for this quilt starts with a 10” x 11” rectangle. Once cut in half each piece will measure 10” x 5 ½”. Using a ½” seam allowance will result in a 10” x 10” square and that’s exactly what we want.
How Many Layers Do You Need For A Baby Rag Quilt
This quilt is made with three layers of flannel and is very heavy. It’s intended to be placed under a baby while playing on the floor. It offers nice padding for a baby to play on and be comfy.
Do You Use Batting In A Baby Rag Quilt
You can make a rag quilt without batting. Lightweight cotton fabrics benefit from batting to give your rag quilt some substance. But you may also use a layer of flannel such as I did in this floral rag quilt. Flannel quilts may be made with batting, but they do not need batting to make a nice weight quilt. The quilt below is made with just two layers of flannel and is very comfortable. It really comes down to how you intend to use your rag quilt and your personal taste.
How To Assemble A Flannel Baby Rag Quilt
How To Sew A Flannel Baby Rag Quilt
Sewing multiple layers of un-basted fabric is challenging. Many fabrics will slip or stretch making it difficult to get even seams. There are two important steps in sewing any quilt, but especially a rag quilt. First, always begin with a nice, new, sharp needle. Sewing multiple layers is so much easier with a good needle. Also make sure you use the correct size needle. Lighter cotton fabrics don’t require a heavyweight needle which will leave large holes that you don’t want. But when sewing through multiple thick layers, your needle will be working extremely hard. So, use at least a size 14 needle for flannel and a size 16 for denim. It is worth the time it takes to change out a needle.
Secondly, use the correct presser foot for what you are sewing. You will want to use your even-feed walking foot for rag quilts. Multiple layers don’t always want to stay put and can shift. You may sometimes wonder why your fabric doesn’t line up at the end of a seam. It’s because the bottom fabric is being pulled and the top fabric simply slides along for the ride. The walking foot adds extra tension on the top layer, so it feeds evenly. What a fabulous tool it is! I use mine all the time. They come in different styles to fit various sewing machines but are easy to find online.
How To Sew A Flannel Baby Rag Quilt Together
Rag quilts are generally made with squares or rectangles. The easiest way to assemble these style blocks is by row. Once the rows are sewn together, then join the rows to finish your quilt. I always chain-stitch my blocks together when assembling all my quilts. It’s a quick method to complete a lot of repetitive sewing. Multiple pieces are sewn one right after the other without stopping to cut threads. It saves considerable time on your final assembly.
To chain-stitch your quilt, sew a seam joining the first two blocks. Then without cutting your threads, feed the next pair of blocks to be sewn right behind the first. There will be a bit of exposed thread between the blocks which will be snipped after all the pieces are sewn. Once all the rows are assembled, just sew them together. The chain-stitching holds each row in place making the final round of stitching quicker. If you have not used this chain-stitching method yet, give it try. You’ll love the how efficient it is.
Sewing Rag Quilts
With the correct size needle in place and your walking foot attached, you’re ready to begin your quilt’s final assembly. Sewing rag quilts is different than any other style of quilting. Rag quilts are staged in layers and sewn together with wrong sides facing each other. This is how the frayed seam is placed on the right side of the quilt. The quilt back is smooth with only the seam lines visible.
Rag quilting is also very forgiving. Since you are cutting so many squares, it is likely there will be some minor discrepancies in sizes. That’s okay, keep your blocks centered and any extra fabric along the edges will simply become part of the ragged edges. Sew all your seams open to reduce any excess bulk where the seams join. It will also make clipping easier when you quilt is finished.
How To Finish A Flannel Baby Rag Quilt
How To Finish Edges Of A Baby Rag Quilt
When all your blocks are joined and your quilt top is finished, sew a ½” seam around the outer edges to secure all the seams. Sew your seams open to reduce excess bulk.If you are not adding a border, sew a second round to keep everything together longer.
Do Flannel Baby Rag Quilts Need a Border
Remember that quilting is a creative endeavor and you are not bound to specific rules. There are some steps that make sense in certain instances to improve the integrity of your finished quilt. For me, that’s adding a border to a rag quilt. I don’t add borders to all my quilts, but definitely to all my rag quilts.
There’s not much holding those outer edge seams together. They will be tugged, pulled, and stretched and those threads can only hold on for so long. Instead, I add a narrow border to offer more stability to the outer edges and it also adds a nice finishing touch.
What Size Border Does A Flannel Baby Rag Quilt Need
My borders are generally only 2” – 3” wide. I cut long narrow strips and sew them end to end to get them as long as the quilt edge. Remember, this is a rag quilt and it’s okay to piece it together. Use up your quilt scraps for a fun look. I layer the border the same as the blocks and sew straight down the center from top to bottom. Then I sew a ½” seam along both sides. To attach the border, simply place the border strip on the quilt with wrong sides together. Sew a ½” seam from end to end. Continue for all sides and that’s it. Your quilt is finished…at least the sewing is complete but you have one more step to go.
Lots of Clipping Results in A Beautiful Rag Quilt
You will probably spend almost as much time clipping your seams as you do sewing your quilt together. For me, it’s a perfect time for a movie as I snip those seams into submission! The more you clip the fuller your ragged edge will be. I generally clip my seams every ½”. But no deeper than ¼” because you don’t want to cut into the thread holding your quilt together. Should that happen, slid your quilt back on your machine and resew the cut threads.
After one rag quilt, you’ll appreciate the ease of using the best tools possible. In this case, a pair of spring tension scissors will make the job much easier on your hands. The spring helps push the handle back up as you’re clipping so you aren’t applying as much pressure in both directions. It offers a good bit of relief over the time you spend clipping.
Time for A Wash and Dry to Bring Out the Fluff
Get that beautiful new quilt tucked into the washer for the big transformation. Smaller size rag quilts will benefit from having an extra towel or two added in. You need to have enough inside the washer to agitate the clipped areas so the threads will loosen. I use an old beach towel which works fine. Then just add a bit of detergent and wash on the warm setting. A second rinse can help release some of those clingy threads that just won’t let go.
Give your quilt a good shake outside before adding to the dryer…along with that towel. Again, more agitation will give you better results. Set the timer for about 30-40 minutes as a reminder to empty the lint trap so you don’t work your dryer too hard. Then just keep drying until your quilt is warm and fuzzy.
You’ve done it! You have a beautiful new rag quilt to be proud of. Take a little break and get started on another. You can’t have too many rag quilts. Keep reading for some more fun rag quilts
More Rag Quilt Ideas Using 10″ Blocks
10″ Improv Block Rag Quilts
These next two 10” improv rag quilt blocks are a fun project and easier than you may think. Multiple layers are flannel are stacked then cut according to the number of block pieces desired. Cutting improv style is an opportunity to make a totally unique quilt.
3-way Improv Rag Quilt Block
Flannel rectangles are layered and crosscut. Then the cut pieces are rearranged so no color is duplicated in one block. Once the 1/2″ seam allowance is sewn the blocks finish as squares. This easy method is a fun way to add more interest to your flannel rag quilt.
3-way Improv Rag Quilt Block Cut and Ready to Sew
3-way Improv Rag Quilt Block Unclipped
3-way Improv Rag Quilt Block
Note that I pre-clipped the block seams before sewing them together.
This made the final clipping go much faster. But watch out that you don’t get those clipped pieces caught up in the seam!
3-way Improv Rag Quilt Layout
4-way Improv Rag Quilt Block
This 4-way improv rag quilt block takes it one step further by using four different fabrics. A crosscut is made in each direction to create an improv 4-patch.
Another difference is the omission of the middle layer. As you can see in the photo below, there are only two layers of flannel. The top focal fabric and the backing fabric which is seen in the center of the seams.
Two Layer Flannel Rag Quilt
Using just two layers of flannel creates a nice lightweight rag quilt. Without the third middle layer, both cutting and sewing go much faster. Making a two layer flannel rag quilt is very easy. Simply place your top and back fabrics wrong sides together and sew your seam. Flannel quilt blocks don’t need to be sewn or quilted to keep them together. Unless the block is quite large, the seams around each block is enough to hold your flannel in place.
Also notice in these blocks below that once all the piecing was complete, I clipped the seams. Clipping these seams at this point is much easier to manage than when the blocks are sewn together. The final clipping is done after all the blocks are sewn together.
I hope you find some inspiration to make your own flannel rag quilt from these ideas. The Free Baby Bricks Pattern includes the basic assembly of how to make these pieced rag quilt blocks. You’ll also be able to make a two layer rag quilt from this pattern.
Download your free pattern and get started today!