Back when I was first learning how to quilt, I learned about flannel rag quilts and how easy they are to make. I made one for my mom for Christmas back in 2003, and loved just how quick it was to make. She loved her quilt and used it daily to keep her legs warm when sitting in her favorite chair.
What makes a rag quilt easy to make is that you quilt the blocks as you go, then sew the quilted blocks together. Flannel rag quilts are perfect for beginners because once the blocks are sewn together and the seams are fringed, you’re done!
To make a rag quilt, you first cut two squares of flannel the size of your block. You can add batting between the flannel layers, but frankly that makes the quilt real heavy and after making my first rag quilt using batting I decided I would skip it for future rag quilts.
In any case, you assemble the block layers—a front square, optional batting square (cut 1 inch smaller) and a back square--then quilt each block with two straight lines that form a big X. Because you use straight lines, the quilting process is easy even for a beginner. I recommend pinning the blocks thoroughly and using a walking foot when you quilt the blocks because flannel does tend to slip. Flannel also sheds a lot, so be sure to clean your machine frequently. You won’t believe the amount of fuzz you’ll generate!
After you get the blocks quilted, you sew them together using a wide seam. You then fringe the seam by cutting it at even intervals. Although I will admit that fringing the blocks was tedious, there are special rag quilt scissors that make that part of the process a breeze. One side of a rag quilt is fringed and frayed (after washing), while the other side is smooth just like any other quilt.
By the way, you can make a rag quilt with any kind of loosely woven fabric but flannel is the favorite type of fabric to use.