Thursday, 24 April 2014

Baby Rag Quilt Tutorial

This month I enjoyed making a rag quilt for my cousin and her husband's new baby boy.  I am so excited to have another baby in the family!  Rag quilts are quite easy to make, as far as quilts go.  This is a great project if you are looking for something that you can have done within an afternoon - or if you are looking for a simple beginner's project that will give great results.  I made this quilt to be a standard baby size of 3' by 4.5' out of 9" x 9" squares.  When I was looking for fabric, my local fabric store had fairly disappointing choices when it came to brushed cotton or flannelet.  I bought some plain light blue for the backing but continued to look for better options for the front.  I was struck by the genius idea to simply buy receiving blankets in nice patterns and cut them up to use as my fabric.  I found two different sets of Carter's receiving blankets with an elephant theme (which is what the baby's room is decorated with) at Target.

What you will need:
2 sets of  Carter's receiving blankets (4 blankets in each set) OR 6 different patterns of flannelet or brushed cotton fabric 30" x 30"
2 yds of solid color flannelet or brushed cotton fabric to match the above fabric
Quilt batting at least 3' x 4.5'
Co-ordinating thread
Sewing Machine
Sharp Scissors

Remember to preshrink the fabric by washing in hot water then drying on high!

1.  Cut 24 squares of 11" x 11" from both the front fabric (four squares from six of the blankets, or four squares from each pattern of the brushed cotton or flannelet fabric) and the back fabric.  You will need 48 squares total.

Now iron the fabric.

2.  Cut the quilt batting into 24 9" x 9" squares.

3.  Time to sew!  Sandwich a quilt batting square between a front fabric square and a back fabric square.  Sew two seams kitty-corner across the 3 pieces, forming an X with the batting in between the two pieces of fabric.

Repeat this step until you have 24 fabric and batting "sandwiches".

4.  Now it is time to lay the pattern out:

For my fabric, the colors correspond to:

Medium Gold = Yellow/White Large Polka Dots
Light Gold = Elephant and Giraffe Print
Medium Grey = Small Multicolor Polka Dots
Dark Grey = Grey/White Large Polka Dots
Light Blue = Blue/White stripes
Medium Blue = Blue/White Elephant Print

5.  Begin sewing the rows together.  You want to place the back sides of the sandwiches together and simply sew straight down the edge with a 1" seam allowance.  This is going to look questionable because you will have a rough edge sticking out on the front side of the quilt - trust me and just go with it.  I suggest being very careful with this step.  Old habits die hard and you will most likely try sewing the rough edge down and to the back - this is what I did a lot, and this is how I spent a lot of time:
Ripping stitches - the worst!

6.  Press out the rough edges so that they lay open and then sew the columns together the same way you did with the rows (also pressing open the rough edges of the columns).

7.  Now comes arguably the worst part, snipping the fringes.

Once the fringes are snipped, wash the blanket one final time (I use a gentle cycle) to rough the fringes up a little bit.  You are done!

As always, I welcome any questions or comments in the comments section below!


  1. I LOVED this quilt pattern. I featured it on the FaveCrafts blog with full credit to you! See it here:

  2. Thanks so much Zoe! I really appreciate the positive feedback!