the truth is after the first two times i did rag quilts i wasn’t a huge fan.
but, then again, i did use 2″ squares…on a twin size quilt.
and i didn’t use the right scissors.
what was i thinking?!?
i’ll skip the long story between then and now but this is what i’ve come up with…
isn’t it cute??
so here’s the tutorial (and a printable pdf that is two pages is at the bottom of the post):
what you’ll need:
1 layer cake
3 yards of coordinating fabric for backing
about 1 yard of 90″ wide off the roll batting (or scraps…but i would recommend something thin…i used warm & white)
(you can also get yardage…
1 2/3 yards medium fabric for large squares
1 1/4 yards EACH of dark and light fabric for small squares
backing and batting remain the same.)
next divide your layer cake into two piles of (21) squares each.
i had my blues and reds (these are your lights and darks) in one pile then creams, yellows and light pinks (these are your mediums) in the second pile.
Trim the medium squares down to 9″.
there will be (21).
Discard scraps and set squares aside.
next cut the lights and darks squares in half vertically AND horizontally.
there will (84) 5″ squares.
see how pretty they are??
next is your backing.
first cut (6) 9″ strips then sub-cut them into (21) 9″ squares.
then cut (11) 5″ strips then sub-cut them into (84) 5″ squares.
2/3 of the way done…
now for the batting.
i used scraps but if you are using off the bolt or out of a bag i recommend cutting the large piece in half then folding those in half to make them more manageable.
for your batting cut:
(21) 8″ squares (yes…that’s right…8 inches)
(84) 4″ squares
my piles kept toppling over there were so many!
now for the sewing…get your sewing machine set up with matching thread.
you can switch colors to coordinate with the darks, mediums or lights.
personally, i used a light gray polyester thread.
we’ll start with the small squares (get the big job done first so it’s all downhill after that).
lay out a small backing square, then put a batting square on top of that centering it as best as you can.
(there is a strict no-perfectionist rule for this quilt…it’s the one time i give myself permission to relax!)
(note: the change in photos happens to be because i was at a retreat in a gym with horrible lighting.)
then lay the medium square on top.
do you see how my batting is still kind of centered??
match the sides of the backing and top pieces as best as possible…but if it doesn’t match revel in the freedom of not worrying about it!
then take it to your sewing machine and stitch diagonally from one corner to the next.
i like to lay the two fabrics one my knees with the batting on the table then stack and sew, chain stitching the whole time.
when finished snip them apart, turn them and stitch diagonally the opposite corners to make a big x on the square.
repeat for the big squares.
(why oh why didn’t i get a picture of the big squares??)
back to the small squares.
with backing fabric together, line up and stitch (1) light square to (1) dark square…
using 1/2″ seam allowance.
did you catch that??
1/2 inch seam allowance.
yes…that is correct.
and you’ll see why…
make (42) sets of these guys.
now, stitch two of these guys together by turning one around then with backing fabric together, match seams…
and stitch a 1/2″ seam.
make (21) four-patches.
it’s really important to make sure that your four-patches are all sewn the same way and
your lights and darks are in the same locations.
you’ll just want to check that you’ve got it right when you finish.
i laid out all of my blocks until i got a lay-out that i liked.
then, using the same 1/2″ seam allowance, stitch (1) large square to (1) four-patch.
make (21) pairs.
stitch the pairs into rows.
you’ll make (7) rows made up of (3) pairs.
well, now…see, isn’t that pretty?
but we’re not quite finished.
next comes the ragging.
i went and purchased rag snips.
here’s what they look like…
they have a spring so all you have to do is worry about closing them because they spring open.
now you’re going to clip the 1/2″ seam allowances.
snip close to the seam line but not so close you clip it.
don’t do that.
at the “intersections” (that’s what i call them in my head) i like to clip right next to the seam allowance.
then i clip on the other side of the “intersection”…
once those are done i move to one of the other two sides…
and then the opposite side.
the “intersection” will look like this…
i like to do all my horizontal seams first.
then i do all my vertical seams.
sometimes i miss some.
be sure when you think you are done to go back and check that you clipped all your seams!
once the inside is done do a clip around the outside…
when it’s done being clipped this is what it’ll look like before you put it in the washing machine.
these guys can seriously mess up your washing machine and dryer.
consider going to the laundromat.
i always consider it but never actually go (despite the other three items that i need to take…but i digress).
your dryer will look something like this…
okay, okay…the green things didn’t come from the quilt…but those other little fluff balls did.
here’s the lint catcher…
that was JUST the quilt.
i didn’t think of taking a picture of the washing machine.
but once you get it out it’s so pretty!
have fun with the pattern!
email me pictures and i’ll post them.
because i like it when you share…
xo and happy quilting!
Layer Cake Rag Quilt Pattern