Use Flannel, Homespun, or old Blue Jeans You need to choose fabrics that will ravel and fray. The best choices for these are either flannels or a "homespun" type fabric with a loose type weave. If you want to have a heavier quilt, you can also have a great looking rag quilt using old blue jeans.
Batting, Flannel or Nothing in the Quilt Sandwich Depending on the weight of the quilt and what types of fabric you use for the front and backing you may or may not want to use batting in your quilt. If you are making a Jeans Quilt you do not need to use batting at all. A nice quilt can be made with old Jeans on one side and flannel on the back. If you choose to use homespun or a loose weave cotton as your fabric, I suggest the “warm and natural” batting.
Cut Squares: Top, Bottom, Filling The top and bottom squares are cut the same sizes. 8" to 10" is usually about right.
If you decide you want a heavier quilt and choose to use batting as a filler, you will cut the center squares of batting 2.25 inches smaller than the top and bottom squares. Thus, if your quilt has 9 inch top and bottom squares, you would cut the batting at 6.75". If your squares are 8 inches, cut your batting 5.75".
If you are using batting, you need to quilt the squares before you put them through the washing step. Sew an "X" through the top of each square before joining them together if you used batting. You do not need to do this step if you are using flannel or homespun for filler. You keep right sides out, with the batting in the middle and simply sew from corner to corner forming an “X”.
If you choose to use your same material as your filler, then those filler pieces can be cut the same size as your top and bottom squares. Still do the “X” to join the 3 pieces of material together to form a block.
When you sew a rag quilt, you will be using a 1 inch seam allowance so that you have extra fabric on the seams for raveling. Thus a 10" square will be an 8" sewn square.
Sewing a 64" Square Quilt We will use as an example quilt with 10" squares which will be 64" x 64". Adjust for your chosen size squares. You will be making a quilt 8 x 8 squares = 64.
Cut 64 each, 10" squares of your top and backing fabrics. Be sure to use a variety of flannels or homespun’s - combining different plaids gives a great country look.
We will use flannel for our filling - cut 64 additional 10" squares of any kind of flannel - cheap flannel from Joann’s or Wal-Mart is fine for this purpose.
Now, make stacks of the 3 sets of squares:
1. Backing squares right side down
2. Filler squares - anyway
3. Front squares - right side up
Sewing with ONE INCH seams, join 8 sets of squares into a row. You will sew so that the raw edges are toward the front squares. That is, they will all face front so that you can have them showing from the front of the quilt. Make 8 of this rows of 8 squares each.
Now, sew these rows together, matching seams. Again, sew with raw seams toward front of quilt. Sew the seams open to reduce the bulk of sewing over seams turned to one side.
After you have joined the 8 rows, sew an inch inside the outer border all around the quilt.
Cut the seams: This will take a while.? With sharp scissors snip into the one inch seams, being careful not to cut the seam. Make a cut every 1/2 - 3/4 inch. Cut the outer edge the same way. A good tip, always cut perpendicular to your sewn seams. It can get confusing at the intersection of the blocks.
Wash to Fray: This can get a little messy and if you don't have a washing machine with a good lint filter, you may want to go to a commercial Laundromat. Run the quilt through a long cycle of wash and drying. This will make the edges soft and frayed. The more you wash and dry it, the more raggy it becomes.