Kids Can Quilt! – Rag Quilt Day 1

Kimberlee Tanner

We are back for a second Kids Can Quilt! Series. This time, we are making a rag quilt.

Rag quilts are a perfect beginner quilting project, as they are quilted as you go. As soon as you finish sewing the blocks together and add the edging, it’s done! No need to worry about getting a back, layering, or quilting it. You don’t even really have to bind it. The best part of a rag quilt, is after you wash it for the first time, and all your seams get fuzzy. So, read on, grab your supplies, and join us for a fun week of quilting.


What to Expect

There are 4 videos in this series. We will be posting one a day, starting today and ending on Saturday. The breakdown is below:

Day 1 – Supplies and Cutting

Day 2 – Making Blocks

Day 3 – Sewing Rows

Day 4 – Sewing Rows together and finishing


The supplies for this rag quilt are pretty simple. You will need 160 (or as many as you’d like) 5″ squares of fabric and 80 – 4 1/2″ squares of batting. For the size we are making, a crib sized batting (45×60″) is big enough.

If you don’t want to cut your fabric, you can also use a charm pack, or go twice as big and use a layer cake. Just keep in mind you likely won’t want 160 squares and will need to cut your batting to 9 1/2″.

If you are buying yardage, you will need 1 1/2 yards of 2 different fabrics (40-42″ wide) and 1/2 yard for finishing.

You can also make this project with scraps, just cut 5″ squares from however many fabrics you would like to use.

As far as fabric types go, you can use cotton or flannels. Both make great rag quilts. If you are using flannels and want an even lighter quilt, you can leave the batting out entirely.

You will also need a way to cut fabric, we recommend a rotary cutter, quilting ruler, and cutting mat;  you’ll also need a sewing machine and thread.

Cutting fabric

If you are cutting yardage, you will first want to cut a 5″ strip of fabric selvage to selvage.  That is going to be the ends that look finished. The easiest way to do this is by folding your fabric in half. When you buy fabric, it usually comes prefolded and you can just leave it the way it is for cutting. Make sure to cut a straight line first, as your edge might be crooked, then line your ruler up along the 5″ mark all down the straight edge and cut the entire width. When using a rotary cutter, always be careful and pay extra attention to keep your fingers out of the way of the blade. Never set the rotary cutter down if it is open. They are sharp!

After you have cut your fabric into 5″ strips, rotate them, cut off the selvage, then proceed to cut the entire strip into 5″ squares. You should be able to get 8 squares per strip. Continue with all of your blanket fabric until you have 160 squares total. Save your 1/2 yard of fabric for the finishing for later.

When are are done with the fabric, you can cut your batting the exact same way, just remember that you are cutting it into 4 1/2″ squares.

Set these all aside and we’ll be back tomorrow to start sewing them together!

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