Making A Rag Quilt (A Great Baby Gift)

Is it just me or is this baby season? Maybe because I’m pregnant, I just notice it more, but it seems like so many people are having babies right now! I’ve had this song from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers running through my mind all morning:


All the hen-folk are hatchin’
While their men-folk are scratchin’
To ensure the survival of each brand new arrival.
Each nest is twitterin’,
They’re all baby-sitterin’,
Spring, Spring, Spring!


Love that show. Anyway, back on topic…When I was pregnant with my first, my sister-in-law made me a rag quilt. It was one of my favorite blankets to use. It was just the right size and weight to throw in the car seat or diaper bag or stroller. I loved that blanket! So I made one for a friend who is due just a few weeks after me.

Rag quilts are really easy to make. They are a great beginner project because they are very forgiving and there’s no batting or binding to worry about. There are several good tutorials out there (like this one), so I don’t feel the need to post a detailed one, but here are a couple of things I’ve learned:
1. Nothing ruins a  rag quilt faster than accidentally snipping past where the seam is. You will end up with a hole in your blanket! Boo! So be very, very careful with those scissors.
2. Wash the blanket after snipping all the edges so that it frays up nicely. But be prepared to clean out your washer and dryer…they will be full of little threads! If you wash it with anything else, your laundry will also be covered in those threads, so make sure to wash it all by itself!
3. Don’t underestimate the amount of time it will take to make all those little snips in the edges of the blanket. It takes forever and makes your hand sore! But it’s worth making the snips close together. It makes the finished fraying look much cuter. I would suggest breaking this job up over a few episodes of your favorite TV show.


4. After you’ve washed and dried the blanket, you will have quite a bit of work left to do trimming loose threads and removing all the fuzz balls. I trimmed all the threads with scissors and then had my kids help me pick off the fuzz.
5. You can use any fabric you like, but I prefer flannel. It makes the softest blanket with the fluffiest rag edges. Joann’s frequently puts their flannel on sale, so you should be able to get it for a good price.
6. This is true with any quilt, but cutting is where the battle is lost or won. Use a rotary cutter and cutting mat to cut your squares if you want them to be precise and line up nicely.

The back.


  1. I saw something you posted on Pinterest a few months ago and I follow your blog religiously now. I have 2 blogs in my favorites that I check every day…yours and a friend I've known forever. I absolutely love your posts. Anyway, I have had a sewing machine for about 8 years (got it for Christmas one year while I was still in college), and I've never used it!! I am still single with no babies on the way, but a lot of my friends are pregnant right now, and this baby blanket looks like the perfect beginner project for me. Thanks for all your posts…you inspire me to want to finally start sewing!

  2. Just to be sure, since this is really my first sewing project, how many different patterns of material did you use. I can't remember for sure, but I think I counted 7 or 8 and did you have a certain order you put them in or was it random. I don't want to spend a lot of time thinking about or placing and replacing the squares so the same material doesn't end up next to each other. I was wondering if you had a trick up your sleeve with that? Thanks so much…this is going to be for our 4th grandson in 4 years due in August with material to match his bedding….I believe it is going to be in mostly bright colors. I can't wait to get started but will wait for hints from you. By the way, just discovered your blog on Saturday, June 29 and have spent the past few days enjoying!!

  3. @Tamarah Parker I think the best way to go about this would be to choose fabric first. If there are only five fabrics you love, then only use five fabrics. If you find ten, use ten! Decide on a square size and buy fabric yardage that will divide evenly. For example, if you have five inch squares, buy 12 inches of fabric (two squares plus 2 inches extra for evening things up).

    As far as choosing a pattern, sometimes I draw it out on graph paper beforehand. Then I can refer to it as I sew. Other times I just sort of go for it, cut out all the squares, then lay it all out on the floor and see what I like. Once I have the pattern laid out like I want, I make piles of each row in the quilt so that I know which piece needs to be sewn next.

    Does that help? More questions? I want you to be successful, so don't hesitate to leave another comment!

    Good luck and congrats on the grandson coming soon!


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