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Quilting/fraying on my rag quilts


I have made 7 baby rag quilts in the past year and a half, with little or no problems.  All were cotton with flannel batting, as we live in Florida.  However, 2 days ago, after a routine "ragging" around the edges of my quilt,I inadvertently yanked a little too hard and the whole kit and caboodle came with it. well, I thought the cotton was damaged, so I yanked further up where I had already ragged, same thing.  I know the cotton may not be the newest, but the flannel was just bought.  And, the proof being in the pudding' I tried cutting scraps of the cotton and trying to pull them apart, so not rotten
.  I have no clue, but they were all a mess, and also, the ragging on the top of the quilt didn't come apart. Please advise

Ok, so did the quilt split along the seams or did the fabric itself tear?  

It sounds like the cotton fabric didn't tear, but the seams where you had snipped did.  If this is the case, I would advise you:

1. Check your thread.  Thread ages and "goes bad".  Basically, there is a point at which all thread gets too old and breaks easily.  I also use 100% polyester thread.  Coats and Clark poly/cotton breaks too easily for my taste, even when new.
2. Single Seams?  I usually sew a single seam when sewing blocks together, but I always sew a double seam when I'm sewing rows together.  I've had the long row seams break on me a few times, but the double seam takes care of the extra strain.
3. Check how close you are cutting.  It sounds like you know what you're doing, but I would check just in case.  Maybe this time you clipped a little too close.  Maybe you accidentally cut through a seam somewhere and didn't notice.  As an experienced rag quilter, I know this sounds like I'm questioning your skills, but I've done it.

If this doesn't answer your question, feel free to keep asking.  I'm glad you enjoy rag quilting and I don't want this experience to ruin it for you.


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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

ISU Craft Club EtsyKids

High school diploma Bachelor's in Animal Science

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