Quilting/rag quilts


My sister is helping me to make my baby girl a rag quilt and has always used flannel and cotton but the print I love and want to plan the blanket around is fleece. How do we incorporate both flannel and fleece together? We normally put two pieces of flannel together and sew an x on them and then put the whole quilt together. Do we need to just have one piece of the fleece with an x through it to keep it the same thickness as the flannel and would smaller or larger squares be easier to work with with the fleece in it?? Thanks so much!! I appreciate your help so much!

The first thing that comes to mind is that the fleece will not rag  - at all.  So you'll want to surround it or back it with flannel.

What I would do:
Winter Baby:  Back the fleece with flannel and use either an extra layer of flannel or fleece as batting between the other two layers of flannel.  This will make a SUPER soft and snuggly blanket, but will be VERY warm.  Great for cuddling on the couch and cold winter nights - but it may lead to sweating and uncomfy sleeping if your nights don't get cold enough.  

Summer Baby:  I would not recommend trying to put fleece and flannel together as single layers.  You could sew an "X" through the fleece squares, but that will only stabilize the stretchy fleece for a short time.  After enough wear, the stitching will break and the fleece will stretch and your quilt will get wonky as the fleece stretches and the flannel does not.  My suggestion: Back the fleece with either flannel or a thin cotton.  This ensures that the stretchy fleece is held in place by the backing square.  It may be a bit thicker than the two layers of flannel, but it will work.  

Summary: Backing the fleece with flannel will ensure the quilt stays together and doesn't stretch weird over time.  For a warm quilt: Back the fleece and add extra batting (flannel or fleece) between the layers of flannel to equalize the thickness.  For a summer quilt: Back the fleece with something thin and non-stretchy and leave out the batting between the layers of flannel.

As for the size of the squares - I would stick with 6"-8" squares, depending on the size of your seams.  You could go as large as 10" if you are using a 1" seam.  

P.S. If you aren't using batting that's smaller than the front/back squares, then you don't need to sew the "X".  I only ever sew an "X" through my squares when I'm using a batting (cotton or polyester) that I don't want to sew into the seams - I cut this batting about a 1/2" smaller than my front and back squares.  This means that if I don't sew the "X", then the smaller batting will move and clump inside the fabric sandwich.  So, you sew the "X" to keep it in place.  If you don't have that smaller batting, there's no reason to sew the "X" unless you like the look.  


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Audrey Zohner


I am an expert rag quilter. I have made over 100 rag quilts and would love to assist others with questions and methods. I don't know much about actual quilting like machine or hand quilting or applique. I am, however, the resident expert on rag quilting in my town. If you want to make a rag quilt, I am your woman.


I have been sewing for 12 years and rag quilting for 4. I have experienced just about every pitfall there is in rag quilting. Check out my quilts at audreysragquilts.etsy.com.

ISU Craft Club EtsyKids

High school diploma Bachelor's in Animal Science

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