I’m still in “finishing projects started long ago” mode over here. I made one of these soft, fluffy, flannel rag quilts for Joanna when she was born. I love how it is the perfect size to drape over a car seat or just snuggle with, and it gets softer and fluffier with every wash. I bought a bunch of fabric to make one for Jeremiah and another for a friend, but alas, time got away from me!
This blanket is super easy to make. The one I made for this tutorial is approximately 30″ x 38″, which is a perfect size for a car seat, crib, or tummy time blanket. To make this size, you will need 126 squares of flannel cut 6″ square. I used roughly equal amounts of 4 coordinating prints and 3 matching solids, but you can use whatever combination you like.
Once you have your squares cut, you will need to stack 2 squares together, with the wrong (back) sides of the fabric touching:
Because flannel “sticks” together so well, I do not pin them at this stage. Sew a straight line from corner to corner:
I keep stacking and feeding the squares through my machine, all in a connected line. It’s faster this way. Once you’ve sewn a straight line corner-to-corner through all your stacks of squares, cut the thread between them to separate them:
Then feed them back through your machine corner-to-corner in the other direction, so that you are making an “X” across each square:
They should look like this:
Lay out your squares in a 7 square by 9 square rectangle. (I forgot and sewed together a few lines before I took the picture!)
Now the way this blanket works is by having the seam allowance exposed at the front of the blanket. So take the first two squares of your first row:
And place them wrong (back) sides together. After taking this picture, I flipped the blue square behind the square with the circles:
Then sew, using a 1″ seam allowance. Again, I don’t pin them here, since they stick together well. I just hold the square at the bottom corner as I’m guiding it through the machine.
Keep adding the next square until you have a row of 7. Then make 8 more rows of 7. Here are my 9 rows all lined up:
Take 2 of your rows, and place them wrong (back) sides together. You will want your seams on the outside, and the flat sides to the middle.
This is where I start to pin, because I want my seams to line up as perfectly as possible. Fold the seam allowance on each layer out to the sides as shown here, and pin them together matching the seams:
Here is a pinned row, ready to sew:
Again, sew with a 1″ seam allowance. As you are sewing, the seams on the back will want to fold over the wrong way, so as I get to each seam, I carefully make sure it stays folded the right way. Sometimes I have to put my needle down into the fabric, lift the presser foot, and readjust the seams.
The first 2 rows sewn together:
Continue adding rows until all 9 rows are sewn together:
Now, you will sew around the outside edges of the quilt, 1″ from the edge. When you get to a corner, stop 1″ from the end, leave your needle down in the fabric, lift your presser foot, and pivot to sew down the next side.
Here is the back of the quilt. You can barely see the stitching 1″ in from the lower edge.
Now, you will begin to cut! A word of advice here: A pair of spring-loaded scissors is VERY helpful for ragging the quilt. When I made Joanna’s, I used my regular sewing scissors and it was quite tedious. I have since then purchased some spring-loaded ones, and the difference is night and day!
Anyway, if you look at your rows, you will see that along each edge the seams form pockets of sorts, as pointed out here by my thumb:
You will need to slip your scissors into the edge of those pockets, and cut. Here I have cut the lower left pocket of this seam:
And here I have cut all 4 sides of this one.
Go over the whole quilt, until all the pockets have been cut. You will now have a quilt with a ton of flaps of fabric along all the seams.
Fold the quilt along one of the seams:
And then snip along the edge. Be very careful NOT to cut into the stitching along the seam! You will, however, cut through stitching from when you originally sewed the squares corner-to-corner. That is okay. You just don’t want to cut through any of the seams that hold your rows together. I cut my strips about 1/3″ to 1/4″ wide.
Also, when you get to a seam between squares, such as between the blue stars and cream in the picture above, cut on either side of the seam, not up the seam itself.
Here the whole row has been snipped:
And here I’ve unfolded the quilt, showing the snipped row in the middle. Grab the next row, fold it over, and snip in the same manner. After you’ve snipped all the rows, turn the quilt 90 degrees and snip all the flaps between the rows. Finally, snip the 1″ edge around the outside of the quilt.
When you are done, it should look like this:
All that’s left now is to wash and dry it, to get the edges nice and fluffy. Another warning: The first time you wash and dry it, there will be a LOT of lint! It’s a good idea to clear your lint screen every 20 minutes or so, or it could become pretty clogged. The blanket will shed lint for the first couple washings. It will become softer and fluffier the more it is washed as well.
This is really very simple to do. It can be hard to explain, though, so if anything is unclear, please don’t hesitate to drop me a comment and ask me to clarify! I’d love for you to let me know if you make one!