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Forum > Quilters' Corner > Sewing a rag quilt ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Sewing a rag quilt
Do you sew the seam allowance open or doubled over to one side?
jdneena
jdneena
Intermediate
Member since 7/14/11
Posts: 18
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Date: 1/21/12 12:08 PM

I realize the answers will be mostly a matter of personal preference. When you sew the rows of connected squares together how do you prefer to do it?

Do you choose to have the seam allowance from the sqares opend up so they are flatter and sew across them that way? As shown in this tutorial:
Seam opened to lay flat

Or do you just fold the double layer of seam allowances over to one side and sew straight across that? As shown in this tutorial:
Seam allowance folded over to one side

I've only made two rag quilts, I did the first one with the seam opened and the second one I did with the double layer folded over. Both turned out fine. I'm planning on making more so just curious if anyone has found one way is better than the other for any particular reason?

Michelle T

Michelle T
Intermediate
British Columbia CANADA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 4466
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In reply to jdneena


Date: 1/21/12 12:24 PM

I am not sure what you are referring to in your post.

Are you asking if after you have sewn the squares into rows, when you sew the rows to each other how do you deal with the bulk of the seams?

It really does not matter if you open the seams or push one forward and the other back, you are distributing the bulk. I prefer to have the seam on top going forward and the bottom one back as this allows the seams to nest together.

I have the top seam going forward as it is easier to see that it is behaving when going through the feed dogs and foot. I do not use an even feed foot on rag quilts.

Rag quilts are incredibly forgiving quilts to make.

You will want spring loaded scissors for the trimming and plan to do it over a couple days, you hands will thank you.

I have made several and in 3 I used old denim jeans for the back. Teen aged boys love the denim. It is fun to place pockets and seams in the squares. I got the denim, by asking at a Thrift Shop for jeans that they could not sell. I paid all of $5.00 for a huge box (I could barely move it). They were going to give it to me, but I felt I had to give soemthing.

Another used a light twill on the back and lovely soft flannel on the top. I meant that one for a baby to use on the floor

I have made them with two pieces of flannel as well, but I have never used batting.

I do have a project bought at another Thrift Shop, where someone had started to sew the pieces together with batting. I bought it for $12.00 and one day will finish it. It will be another boys quilt, as the squares are red plaid, blue plaid and yellow plaid flannel. I may not use the yellow squares. The person who started this project was sewing cursive words of wisdom on each square.

Edited to add: I do not do the X across the squares as I do not use batting, or a middle layer.
-- Edited on 1/21/12 12:29 PM --

------
Proud parent of a Dwight International School Honour Roll Student

jdneena
jdneena
Intermediate
Member since 7/14/11
Posts: 18
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In reply to Michelle T


Date: 1/21/12 1:54 PM

Michelle, yes that was I meant, how do people prefer to deal with the bulk of the seams when sewing the rows to each other. Sorry if I didn't word that clearly.

I've seen several tutorials that use both methods. I have tried both, still not sure which my preference is. lol The time I did it with the bulk of the seam folded to one side I used the same method you mentioned, the top seam going forward so I could keep an eye on it as it went through the feed dogs and foot and the bottom seam going the opposite way.

Both times I used a layer of flannel in the middle. Seemed to work well, was inexpensive and added a bit of warmth without adding much bulk.

With the first one I had just normal scissors... never again!!!!! lol But by the time I made the second rag quilt I was the happy owner of a pair of spring loaded snips thanks to my husband.

What a fun idea to place pockets and seams in the squares when using old demin jeans!

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