- Arrange blocks in eight rows of six blocks each (Figure 6).
- Sew the blocks in each row together with a 1/2” seam allowance. Make sure you backings face each other for all seams.
- Join the rows. The quilt will be heavy, especially if you used flannel batting. It’s easier to deal with the weight if you sew two rows together at a time. Next, join the top four rows to create half of the quilt, and then sew together the bottom four rows to assemble the bottom half of the quilt. Sew the two halves together to complete the quilt top. Be sure to place each row back in its correct position as you work, to avoid mixing up the orientation of blocks.
- Sew a seam (straight or zigzag) around the entire quilt, placing it 1/2” from edges. Stop and backstitch when you make a turn (or sew each side independently, backstitching at the beginning and end of each seam).
- Clip raw edges on the front of the quilt. Cut straight inward about 1/4”, placing cuts every 3/8” or so on every seam allowance. Use a pair of scissors that cut all the way to their blade tips – it’s more difficult to control the inward cut with standard scissors.
A retractable handle will help keep your hands from getting too tired, but plan to take regular breaks. When clipping, be careful not to cut away chunks of the quilt where seams meet, including those outer corners.
- Wash and dry the rag quilt.
- Inspect the quilt to determine if some seams are unclipped. Make inward cuts where necessary.
Take a look at the rag quilt from the back, to make sure that all seams are sturdy, and that the clips didn’t travel far enough inward to break the threads. Repair broken seams if necessary, backstitching at the beginning and end of a repair.
Wash and dry the quilt again. Re-check the seams. Repeat washing and drying to achieve more fraying.
- When you are satisfied with the fraying, inspect the quilt carefully for seams that have not beenclipped; use scissors to clean up loose strings and uneven frays. Use a lint brush to remove strings and bits of frayed fabric. You’ll see fewer loose threads each time the quilt is washed and dried.
Other Rag Quilts Include: