I’d been quilting for years before I ever heard of rag quilts. The minute I saw one, though, my lazy quilter’s instincts told me I had stumbled onto something good.
A quilt that doesn’t need binding!
You can quilt the blocks before you sew them together, so you don’t have to drag the whole quilt around under the throat of your sewing machine! And your quilting can be as simple as sewing a big X across the block!
Your seams don’t have to be perfect, because the raggedy clipped seam allowances cover up whatever mistakes you make!
You can use really big blocks, so it doesn’t take too many to make a whole quilt!
You can use lots of different fabrics together!
You can make lightweight rag quilts with three layers of flannel fabric, or warmer ones with fleece backing (which is even simpler, because it only has two layers instead of three)!
What could be easier?
I jumped right in and started making rag quilts with 8-1/2″ blocks and fabrics from my stash:
And this baby quilt. The raw-edge applique hearts came from antique cutter quilts:
I was happiest with this one:
But I didn’t like any of them all that much. They looked too dull, too regular, too stodgy. They were also a little too small.
For the next one, I switched to 12-1/2″ half-square-triangle blocks. This made the quilt bigger and gave it more of a sense of movement. Now I felt like I was getting somewhere:
But the outer edges of the quilt still looked a little skimpy, with just 5/8″ of clipped fringe. So on my latest attempt, I added a narrow border and clipped a much deeper 2″ fringe. I think this one is the best of all the ones I’ve done so far.