Remember the
I shared with y’all a little while back?
I promised to show you how to make it and here I am with instructions!

northern cottage how to make a rag quilt

Ready. Set. Go!!

Now with any sewing project I share here, I need to preface that I don’t actually know how to sew.  I’m just going for it, playing, making mistakes.  So do you know what that means for you newbie seamstresses?
YOU CAN DO IT – too!

Really YOU CAN! 

This is a wonderful first quilting project to get your feet wet.
I don’t live in a big metropolitan area so had limited choices when it came to fabric but here is what I bought:

home 007

* 5 coordinating pieces of flannel 
{1/2 yard each}
You can buy bigger pieces if you want and then use varying widths within this project, make this quilt bigger and/or use any leftover in your next project.
See – we’re flexible that way – no rules!

* Also bought 3 yards of white flannel (or other batting material like warm & natural for the inside) & had lots leftover

* you’ll also need Coordinating thread

I already had on hand a rotary cutter, clear ruler, cutting mat,
sewing machine and scissors


Don’t be SCARED!! 

yes – this project does involve cutting and sewing.  But you can do it!

Ok let’s get cutting

For each section of the quilt you’ll cut a front piece and back piece as well as a smaller piece of the white flannel for the middle
so you’ll be making a little quilt sandwich with each section

Take your first piece of fabric and smooth it down on your cutting mat & place your ruler over the top and cut to how wide a piece you’d like.  

(I just did the width of my ruler the whole length of the material for all the pieces except the white in the middle was double that.)

Cut these pieces out of each fabric
(a front and back of each)

Now cut out all your middles of the white flannel.

So (example) if your top & bottom pieces are 6 x 36 in
then your white middle piece will be 5 x 35 in
Here’s a shot of the sandwich:

home 028

Ok now let’s head to the sewing machine
with your sandwiches

Just a straight line of sewing
down the middle of each sandwich

Now lay out your quilt.  You can make it
symmetrical or not
(whatever is pleasing to YOUR eye)

Now line up one short edge of a piece 
{the other edge will probably be uneven} 
and pin these two pieces together the long way

home 006

Sew these pieces together with a 1/2 inch allowance (this is what will become your ruffled rag edge on top)

Keep adding additional pieces
(with the exposed seams/rag edge on top)

home 006

Now you have most of your quilt together


Notice how one edge is all lined up straight & the other edge might be a little uneven?

No problem, we’re just gonna trim the extra off

Pop it on your cutting mat, use your ruler to cut off the extra so your quilt is now square

You can bind your quilt or do a rag edge.  If you do a rag edge - now head back to the sewing machine and sew a seam (or two) all the way around your quilt

Next step is to start snipping for our rag edge
little snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip, snip 
on all those exposed seams
(including around the outside edge

home 010

home 008
ya got it? 

this part takes awhile and may involve some hand cramping from extended scissor usage - I snuggled up on the couch & vegged watching some tv with the kiddos while I did all my snipping!

home 003

Now you really have the foundation of a quilt right?


home 004

home 008 (2)

I had heard washing a rag quilt in your home washing machine can wreak havoc due to the abundance of threads that come off (apparently you can really clog up your machine) so I went to
home 002

It comes out all
ruffley and raggedy and delightful!!

home 009 (2)

home 010 (2)

and it just gets
softer and lovelier
with each wash!

home 007 (2)

I’ve since had a few trips to a more major metro area & stocked up on cool flannels for my next quilts

HOME 024

enough for several new quilts

HOME 025

mmmmm – aren’t those fabrics yummy?
now I just need to find a few spare moments to whip them together!
{that’s always the challenge, isn’t it?}


Again – don’t be scared!!
just cut, just sew, just do it!! 

It doesn’t matter if you mess up.  This quilt is very forgiving and won’t even really show if something is a teensy bit off. No one is gonna die in the making of this project
{unless you get out of control with your scissors!}

so just breathe and get going with it ok?
If you make a quilt I’d LOVE if you’d share your results with me!


Chat soon -
linking here:  the girl creative


  1. First, I love following you. Great stuff!!
    Second, I also make rag quilts, (I do mine in squares that you make an X on)and would like to tell you that if you are using batting in the middle, then your directions are correct. However, to get more from your ruffled edges, when using flannel in the middle, cut the flannel the same size as your top and bottom. And when clipping, cuts should be about every 1/4 to 1/3 inch apart. I know, lots of clipping, but makes for a beautiful quilt. Would love to share a pic of one of mine, but do not know where to post it.

  2. Wow - This is a great tutorial! FYI - we featured your project today on Craft Ideas Weekly and our fans think it is pretty great too -

    Here is a link to the post about your project:

    Happy Crafting!
    Craft Ideas Weekly

  3. Oh how pretty! And a nicely detailed tutorial. This is definitely on my to-do list!

  4. Hey there! Thanks so much for your sweet comment on and for following thru linky follow! I'm followin' ya right back!
    I just love the rag quilt, and the colors you have picked out for your next project are gorgeous!!!! Making the that's a challenge!

  5. your rag quilt is beautiful! I enjoy making them too! I wanted to mention rag snips to you! they are spring loaded and well worth the cost! It will save your hand and cut a coupon from JoAnn's makes it even more affordable!!

  6. What a gorgeous quilt! I love the colors you used. Awesome tutorial!

  7. I have wanted to do this FOREVER! Thanks so much for the tutorial! I love the way this turned out!

  8. This is so pretty! I do feel like I wouldn't finish this project but that is only because I am spending this week working on jean quilt circa 2002... and it is frayed edging quilt.. LOL so pretty - I am pinniing in my "crafts to do one day" section... maybe 2012 is the year. Your newest follower.

  9. Looks great! Wish I could sew. Thanks for sharing at 36th Ave.

  10. Looks great! Love the unfinished charming!

  11. This is so cute!
    I definitely need to make one of these!


  12. lovely quilt! and it looks like I could do it :)

  13. As soon as I see a project that involves measuring and using a sewing machine I want to run for the hills, but your directions were very comforting. My sister is a quilter who taught me how to hand stitch a quilt which I love. Done some small art quilt pieces which are very easy. May attempt this project one day. Thanks!

    1. do you have the patteren for the 13 star Betsy Ross flag

  14. This is beautiful! I would love to attempt this, but I am so bad at sewing! Your instructions are very good, so maybe one day I will :) I'd love for you to share this project at Mix it up Monday:

    I hope to see you soon:)

    1. Thank you so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday and I hope you'll stop back soon :)

  15. Love the quilt. I made one once that used squares. It took me forever!!! This looks like it wouldn't take near as long and I like the look of yours better!

  16. So cute! It makes me want to buy a sewing machine. Mine broke many years ago. Will other fabric work or is flannel the way to go?

    1. I have made several rag quilts and flannel produces a ruffled edge. Use 'homespun' fabric for a frayed edge. They are great and fast to make compared to other quilts.

  17. This is adorable - I am going to "pin" this idea - thanks

  18. Great tutorial! Interesting that you use 1/2" seam allowance, it makes the "ruffles" look a lot bigger. So cute!

  19. This is so cute! Great tutorial! I cant wait to try it!

  20. I made a rag quilt once upon a time, and yours is WAY cuter than mine. Great job! Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!

  21. Your rag quilt is so beautiful, and your tutorial is great. I so want to make one, this seems like it would be a lot easier than doing square. I do love to sew, so maybe I'll give it a try. It really is quite pretty. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration at Sunday's Best.

  22. Hi! I pinned this on Pinterest and featured here. Thanks for joining Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :) Please feel free to grab the feature button.

  23. What a beautiful quilt!! Love the colors, too!! I've wanted to make a rag quilt & appreciate your sounds easier than those which are square. I'm looking forward to using this tutorial...many thanks!!

  24. Love this rag quilt! It's beautiful!!!

    Thanks for linking it up @ Creatively Living!

  25. I've made a couple of rag quilts using squares, but I think my next will be in strips looks easier. I used denim for one side of mine, so the cutting was even harder. I bought a special scissors on Amazon for clipping - it sure makes it easier!!!

  26. I, also, have made many from denim on one side and flannel on the other. If I do it in 4" blocks, I always reinforce the seams where they interlock just as a precaution. Because of the weight of the denim and the softness of the flannel, I don't add any batting. It's perfect weight and washes like a dream. Thanks for the great idea of doing it in strips! Love the fabric choices!!

  27. Found your blog via the Blog Hop. I’m your newest GFC follower!

  28. Ok - I am making this...I must. Great tutorial and so pretty! Pinned it too!

  29. I've searched for several tutorials on a rag quilt and i <3 yours!!! headed to joann's after church tomorrow!!! :)

  30. This quilt is so cute - I think I'm going to try this! Thanks for the encouraging and inspirational post! By the way, I'm a new following from Stop by if you have a chance!

  31. WOW! Stunningly beautiful!
    I would love for you to come by and link it up to my Creative Inspirations linky party happening now! I would love to have you there!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  32. Thanks! I have a 2 year old grand daughter and I've been wanting to make her something special from me and I have a new grand baby coming this week. Hoping I get to make a blue one too...

  33. This is so cool....I've made one already with my 9 year old daughter and am now working on one for my 5 year old son. Thank you so much!!

  34. Hello! Wanted to let you know I was inspired by your rag quilt and modified the concept to make a Betsy Ross inspired flag pillow. I'll be posting about it tomorrow and have linked back to you. Thank you for the inspiration!

  35. I gotta say, your tutorial rocks! I think I might even be able to do this, if I can find my sewing machine...

  36. I'd like to try this in KING size. Would I just sew the strips together to make my length? You used 2in. wide and 36in. long. I would need to sew extra lenght to my strips to whatever size i need to fit the bed?? That would then make raggy seams top to bottom as well as side to side. Guess I'll just play with it and see what happens. I really want this to work!

  37. Parson me if I over looked this somewhere but....what size bed does the one in your tutorial fit? Just need to know how much fabric to purchase. Thank you

  38. I just finished mine! Shared it on my blog and linked back to yours. Hope that's ok.

  39. Hmmm... would this ruffled/shaggy edge make this too girly for a boy? Thinking about making it for my sons' beds.

  40. I just finished making this adorable blanket for The Lemonade Blanket Project. The blankets go to children who are battling cancer. I can't thank you enough for your wonderful directions. With sincere thanks Denise

  41. I hope someone still reads posts for this tutorial...I need HELP - I want to make this for a twin bed...which would mean it needs to be at least 66" wide and 88" so I thought I could just cut flannel longwise (I clearly don't know how to sew)...Any advice on how much material that might take would be you think this might work?

    1. You might have to make your strips out of two pieces to get the length you need.

  42. This is just darling!! I am totally going to make this! Thanks for the wonderful tutorial!! =) Deanna

  43. Just completed my First Rag Quilt! Your instructions are easy to follow and I started and finished it this afternoon! It is in the washer now so I have my fingers crossed! Thanks for the inspiration!

  44. What size bed does your quilt turn out to be for? First time sew-er here and looking to make this. I have a queen bed that will need like a king size quilt. Im hoping someone can tell me which size this one was made for, so I can understand which sizes of fabric I will need.

  45. I just wanted to let you know that this was a great, easy tutorial. I don't sew and I followed your tutorial today and made my own flannel rag quilt!! And I love it!! It's going to be a Christmas present for a family member! It took me about 8 hours to make it but a lot of that was cutting out my fabric! I think anybody wanting to make a quilt either for yourself or as a gift, this is a great way to go!! Thank you so much for the wonderful tutorial!! FYI I made my fabric sections 56" by 20" and it turned out to be about the size of a twin sized blanket. Thanks again!!

  46. how would I do this for a twin size? Also can I use fleece with cottons? Cuddle fabric is a no no right? Thanks

  47. Well, I'm taking your advice and just jumping into this. When I was a little girl my mother was quite the seamstress and made me wonderful outfits throughout the years. I've always been creative and crafty but I just did the basics of know, mending and hemming. In recent years I've been diagnosed with three different types of arthritis. My hands are affected the most. So, I all but had to give up my painting and hand embroidery. So I figured I should give sewing one more shot at the tender age of 51, lol.
    I've decided I'm making a wheelchair sized lapquilt for my 84 year old Mom. She will be thrilled that I'm sewing in her tradition.
    Now, I have some questions that I very much hope you answer.
    I don't have a new machine. I'm currently using a mid 1980's Singer Merritt. Will I be able to sew this rag quilt with such an old machine? I hope so as I just ordered my fabric and it should be here middle of next week. I do have heavy duty needles and I think I have a walking foot that came with the machine when I bought it off of a neighbor.
    The next question involves equipment. I do not have a rotary cutter, etc. I do plan to eventually buy a rotary cutter and mat set, but right now with the holidays coming, I just don't have the extra cash to get them. Will I have a problem if I just use a really good pair of Singer fabric shears?
    Thanks for your reply in advance and thanks so very much for this wonderful tutorial. I've been researching rag quilts for a few weeks now and your tut is the best one I've found so far. Oh and I love that quilt, you did a great job!

    1. Well hello there - so very glad to hear you're giving it a shot!!

      I, too, have a no frills singer as well so nothing special needed. Your machine ought to be fine. I'd suggest maybe just practice a few lines of stitching with other material to get a feel for it before using on your quilt fabric. No special needles or feet needed.

      I just did another quilt & did it with scissors too since I couldn't find my rotary. So should be fine!!!

      Wishing you the best as your experiment - have fun!!!

    2. Oh, that's good news. A few other tutorials that I've read for one of these said that this project might be a bit too much for an old machine and it worried me. You've put my mind at ease. I can't wait to start. Just have to wait until the fabric gets here. I'll let you know how it turned out.

  48. Cant I just pay you to make one? :) I can NOT sew. It is on my list of things to learn to do. This turned out adorable.

  49. Thankyou for sharing! I just made 7 twin size flannel rag quilts for my grandkids Christmas gifts....just need to snip and wash!

    My flannel is peeling quite a bit though! Is that typical?

    1. Hi Coni, maybe you can help me. I am looking to do this in a twin size as well. How many yards of fabric did you use? I am new to the sewing world. Santa just brought me my first sewing machine and this looks like a very fun project! Any help is appreciated!!! Thank you! Happy new year!

  50. I just found your tutorial on Pinterest. Your quilt is adorable!! What size is it? I am new to sewing (Santa brought me a machine for Christmas) and am looking forward to making these for my family. Any help and tips would be appreciated. Thank you! And Happy new year!!

  51. Using spring-loaded "snippers" makes the snipping go soooo much faster and doesn't cause cramping, etc.

    You can make these w/o the middle layer also - great for more summer-weight quilts.

    I stock up on flannel remnants all the time just for rag quilting!

    Your fabric selection is adorable!


I {ADORE} your comments and read! ♥