I think the question that I receive the most about rag quilts is:
What type of fabrics do you use in a Rag Quilt?
The answer is: basically anything that will fray....
Your next question I know is: How do I know if a fabric will fray?
Answer: on the bolt of fabric it will say something like 100% cotton or quilters or flannel.
I like to use 100% cotton fabrics because they fray the best.
If the fabric has any polyester in the content, it will not fray.
That doesn't mean you can't use it, but just keep in mind that the frayed edges will not be frayed and fluffy. In this case you may want to clip your edges a little closer than every 1/4 inch.
Minky is a favorite fabric for baby blankets because it is so soft. Go ahead and use it in rag quilts if you want the softness. Just keep in mind that it will not fray because it is 100% polyester typically. The same thing with fleece. It makes a blanket really soft but it will not fray.
Whenever I make a quilt with minky, I use this method for adding minky to Rag Quilts
It makes it so that the frayed edges are bogged down by the polyester made minky, but you still get the soft effect of minky on your quilt.
Here is the lowdown on the fabric I use:
I mix and match fabrics. I basically use anything that is quilt worthy for the blankets but I really try to stick to high quality fabrics. Sometimes, I need to use a lower quality fabric just for the look, but I steer clear of it if at all possible!
I use a lot of quilters cotton fabric.
Like, A lot!
This quilt doesn't have flannel in it except for the back of the quilt. Every single fabric on the top is a quilters cotton.
Where do I purchase my fabric?Now that I have been making rag quilts for a business for 6+ years, I have several wholesale accounts with fabric manufacturers so I can keep my quilts affordable.
But at the same time I don't need 10-15 yards of 1 fabric, so I do sell many of the fabrics that you see in the quilts that I make
Other than that, I do buy fabric from Joanns and Hobby Lobby too. They do have some really nice quality stuff, but they also have some pretty crappy stuff too. I go by feel whenever I am there. If the fabric feels thick and nice, then I will use it. If it doesn't I pass it by.
But I REALLY, Really prefer to stick with the big name designer fabric manufacturers. Like Riley Blake Designs (my personal favorite), Moda, Art Gallery, Cloud 9, etc
Their fabrics don't bleed, they don't shrink very much, and they last a lot longer than the cheap stuff.
Think about what you want for that quilt when you're finished. If you want it to last until your baby is a little older, then choose the quality of fabrics accordingly. If you want the quilt to last for ages, then choose your fabrics accordingly.
Will your quilt sit on the back of your couch and be used every time you sit down to watch TV? Or will it be folded up nicely, and not used hardly ever?
Plus, they have every color of solid flannel imaginable it seems, so theres that too
Sometimes I've gotten flannel from there that hasn't seemed to be very good, but most of the time it is the prints and not the solids.
If I run out of certain colors before Black Friday the following year, then I will purchase the solid flannel from Riley Blake, but they only have 5-6 different colors, so not a huge variety to choose from.
Let me know if you have any questions. Where are your favorite places to shop for fabric online and off? I would love to know