Rag Quilt Ideas, Tools, Patterns & Tips

I love making Rag Quilts and have tried many different versions. Below is my list of rag quilt ideas to help you make a different rag quilt every time!

If you are looking for detailed instructions check out my RAG QUILT TUTORIAL.

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Rag Quilt Tips:

Fabric & Batting:

Flannel is my favorite to use as it rags out the nicest and makes the blanket soft. Denim Fabric will fray as well.

Minky/Cuddle fabric is soft and nice to use as a backing to the rag quilts but be warned, it doesn’t rag out.

RAG QUILT TIP: When you sew the crisscross into your squares run them through the sewing machine in a bunting style without stopping. This step doesn’t need back stitching so it makes this part speedy!

Shop Fabric at Fat Quarter Shop

RAG QUILT TIP: Pin a number to the end of each row so when you are sewing them together you don’t get confused as to where the row belongs.

Using batting will make your blanket warmer and feel more substantial.

There are two main types of batting.

Needled Cotton (this one is my fav) and Needled Polyester (I have used this as well and it works great too).

I prefer to use the Cotton but Polyester is often cheaper. Your blanket will look the same no matter which one you choose.

Cut your batting 1 inch smaller than your squares and sew your blanket together with a half inch seam to keep your batting from being seen.

RAG QUILT IDEA: For a thicker rag seam add an extra layer of flannelette the same size as the squares. But be warned, cutting all these layers will take a lot more time! Use a good pair of scissors to get this done!

Washing & Ragging:

I tend not to wash my fabric first as it will begin the ragging process early and make the fabric need ironing. The fabric doesn’t shrink enough to make an impact on the end product. So skip I this step.

Wash the blanket twice in warm water using a quick wash setting. Use laundry detergent on the second round. I like to use the sensitive detergent as often my rag quilts are baby blanket gifts.

RAG QUILT TIP: Add old towels in with the blanket. This keeps the washer from ripping the blanket up.

Between washes shake the blanket and towels outside to get rid of the loose threads.

When the blanket and old towels go through the dryer remember to check on it half way through and empty the lint trap.

RAG QUILT TIP: After the blanket comes out of the dryer it will have lint all over it. Use a cheap razor to shave off the excess lint fibers so the blanket will still look new.

Rag Quilt Tools:

My favorite tools to make rag quilting easy for beginners:

Rag Quilt Ideas:

There are so many fun ways you can make your rag quilts! From different designs to different techniques as well as Ragging pillows and stuffies too.


Squares: The designs can be endless just moving blocks around. You could make a diamond pattern, checkered pattern or even just simple rows.

Stripes: Another Rag quilt look can be done by cutting out strips of fabric instead of squares. It is a little less work and creates a beautiful pattern. Especially if you make the strips differing heights. But don’t forget about the batting, instead of sewing an x like we do on the blocks just sew a center seam along each strip.

Scallops: Making the sides and corners of a rag quilt with a scalloped edge turns any rag quilt into a beautiful baby rag quilt. It looks so pretty!

Shapes in the Squares:

RAG QUILT IDEA: Adding Rag Quilt Rosettes to your rag quilt baby blanket will make your blanket look beautiful. This is perfect for a rag quilt baby blanket. If you want to see a tutorial I will post one soon.

Or Add Star Shapes or Lion Heads to each square using this pattern.

Animal Rag Quilts and More:

My favorite way is to make Animal Rag Quilts. Check out my list of OVER 20 DIFFERENT ANIMAL RAG QUILT PATTERNS HERE. These are pretty easy to make!

Or have a look at the below rag quilt patterns to choose your own animal rag quilt:

RAG QUILT IDEA: These make amazing gifts! I have made one for each of my nieces and nephews.

Different Rag Quilt Technique:

RAG QUILT IDEA: No cutting blocks!

There is one Rag Quilt Technique that cuts down on all the cutting (sorry, pun unintended….although I do love a good pun!) You don’t cut blocks before you sew, hip hip hooray!

This way works if you are ok with only two different fabric prints.

You Sew first and Cut Second. Check out this tutorial to learn more.

And that is my list of rag quilt ideas. I am sure you have found something here to make your rag quilt uniquely yours.

If you have any other suggestions or questions just leave a comment below!

I will try to answer them, and I love to hear how other people make their blankets. So please share!

Welcome! I am Tamara and I love teaching beginner sewing projects.

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Leave a Comment


  1. Louise Goupil wrote:

    I have never done a rag quilt before, but i have started quilting in January 2020.
    Have you ever filled ur 6×6 squares with filling for bear’s or pillows. Luv ur tutorials

    Posted 11.14.20 Reply
    • Tamara wrote:

      Hi Louise! Welcome 🙂 I have a tutorial on how to make a puff quilt that may be similar to what you are asking: https://youtu.be/HFuEsfjviNA But I haven’t done a rag quilt pillow just yet. I am hoping to make that in the new year 🙂 I have a pattern for a butterfly rag quilt pillow that I think will be very nice. Thank you for your kind words! Hope this helps.

      Posted 11.17.20 Reply
  2. Andrea Tucker wrote:

    Can you please, please make a video making the butterfly rag quilt? I have the pattern but the instructions are not good and I really want to make it for my granddaughter. I can’t find a video for the butterfly anywhere! Thank you

    Posted 12.21.20 Reply
    • Tamara wrote:

      For Sure!!! I am making the butterfly for my niece as a birthday present. I will try to have a video by the end of January.

      Posted 12.24.20 Reply
  3. Mariane Cancilla wrote:

    After watching your youtube video, I bought material for a rag quilt without cutting squares. I have never made one before, but wonder what I should do about the selvages? Do I cut them off before beginning?

    Posted 4.5.22 Reply
    • Tamara wrote:

      Hi Mariane, to answer your question, yes, trim off the selvages first before starting. And I hope you enjoy sewing your first rag quilt 🙂

      Posted 4.5.22 Reply
      • Mariane Cancilla wrote:

        Thank you so much for being so helpful.

        Posted 4.5.22 Reply
  4. Cathy wrote:

    Do you have a pattern for a tractor rag quilt?

    Posted 4.25.22 Reply
    • Tamara wrote:

      Sorry Cathy, I don’t have a pattern for a tractor. But that sounds like a great idea!

      Posted 5.4.22 Reply