How to Make a Rag Quilt

Learn how to make a soft and simple rag quilt by following this step-by-step guide.

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by Diane Pedersen and Nissa Brehmer

Kids can quilt! In Get Quilting with Angela and Cloe (C&T Publishing, 2015), best-selling author Angela Walters and her daughter Cloe, join forces to teach preteens and teens the basics of quiltmaking. The dynamic mother-daughter duo guides kids step by step through making their very first quilt. Readers will tackle 14 projects to keep or give as gifts, including stylish bedroom decor, such as pillow covers, rugs, and T-shirt quilts.

Rag Quilt

If you want to make a super soft quilt, this flannel quilt is for you. The frayed edges of the quilt blocks add to the cuddly look. Each block is quilted before the quilt is put together. This means you can get to the best part faster: using the quilt.


Purple print:

Cut 21 strips 5 inches x width of fabric; subcut into 168 squares 5 x 5 inches.

Coordinating flannels:

Cut 6 strips 5 inches x width of fabric from each of 4 fabrics; subcut into 42 squares 5 x 5 inches (total of 168 squares from all 4 coordinating flannels).


Cut 168 squares 4 x 4 inches.

Making the Quilt

Making the Square Units

three layers of fabric laid on top of each other with the top pink one having the corner folded over showing the white layer in the center

1. For each unit, use 2 squares of the same color. Place 1 colored square wrong side up, center the batting on the colored square, and then place the other colored square right side up on top, aligned exactly with the first colored square. Pin.

pink square of fabric with a black line drawn diagonally across

2. Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner using a water-soluble marker and ruler. If you prefer, you could just eyeball it. Sew on the diagonal. If you have a walking foot for your machine, you can use it to make the piecing easier.

pink square of fabric with an X drawn connecting the corners

3. Repeat Step 2 for the other diagonal to form an “X” on the block. Don’t worry if your “X” isn’t perfect. These stitches serve as the quilting, so they will hold the layers together just fine.

4. Repeat Steps 1-3 to make quilted units out of all the 5-inch colored flannel squares. Make sure to use the same color on the front and back of each block.

Sewing the Units Together to Make the Blocks

illustration of two purple squares one pink square and a blue square in a 2 by 2 grid

1. Lay out 2 purple print blocks and 2 random-color blocks, as shown.

person holding a square of pink floral fabric under a sewing machine needle

2. Sew the 2 purple print units along one edge using a 1/2-inch seam.

person holding a square of pink fabric under a sewing machine needle

3. Do the same with the other 2 squares.

square of sewn fabric made with dark pink floral fabric, light pink fabric, and blue and pink patterned fabric

4. Sew the 2 pairs together to make the block. Open the seams as you sew across the intersections (don’t press to one side). Make sure the previously sewn seams are facing out.

5. Repeat Steps 1 – 4 until you have a total of 42 blocks.

Putting the Quilt Together

illustration of squares of 2 by 2 pieces in a 6 by 7 pattern to make a quilt layout

1. Arrange the blocks in rows.

2. Sew the blocks together in rows.

3. Then sew the rows together to make the quilt top.

illustration of a grid of squares with a dashed line around the outside

4. Sew around the quilt 1/2-inch from the edge.


person using scissors to cut along the edge of sewn pink floral fabric

1. Use scissors to carefully make small cuts into each seam. These cuts help create the fluffy texture along the seams. Be careful not to cut into the sewing lines!

close up of quilted fabric

2. Wash the quilt and enjoy the frayed goodness.

pink quilt hanging behind a white bed with a yellow pillow and a teddy bear

For more from Get Quilting with Angela and Cloe try:

Tie Quilting: How to Tie a Quilt

book cover with mother quilting at a sewing machine with daughter

Reprinted with permission from Get Quilting with Angela and Cloe by Angela and Cloe Walters and published by C&T Publishing, 2015.

  • Updated on Nov 3, 2021
  • Originally Published on May 18, 2016
Tagged with: diy, quilting, rag quilt