Beaded Letter Tutorial by Embellishing Metal Letters

Today I am going to share with you a simple thing you can do with metal or wooden letters.

What Fabric Do I Use for Rag Quilts? from the Pro Rag Quilt Maker A Vision to Remember

I think the question that I receive the most about rag quilts is:

What type of fabrics do you use in a Rag Quilt?

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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 or online description 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.

For online I definitely go to Etsy, Amazon, and Petal fabric from Spoonflower.

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.

Now, if you can't afford those big name fabrics, the cheaper fabrics will work just fine!  Just keep in mind they aren't the amazing quality, but depending on what your quilt will be used for, it might not matter.

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? 

Back of a Rag Quilt in solid flannel

For the backs of the quilts I use solid flannel.   Most of the time I purchase the flannel on Black Friday from Joanns.  Because I can't beat that price, and I like to keep my quilts so that they are affordable.

EDITED: I no longer recommend joanns flannel. It started to get those stupid little balls on it after 1 wash. I now only use and recommend Robert Kaufman flannels. I have a wide variety in my supplies shop on etsy, but if I don't carry the right color I know you can find it from other etsy sellers as well.

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

Rag Quilting Tips and Tricks:



What Rag Quilt Scissors Should I Buy? Guide to Buying the Right Scissors

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If you haven't noticed, then let me point out that I have made just a few (ok probably a thousand) rag quilts in the last few years.

I have learned the hard way that having a REALLY good pair of scissors will make all the difference

I often have people ask what kind of scissors I use for the rag quilts so here is my 2 cents

A pair of scissors with a short blade is a must. You can try to cut the blanket with your regular sewing scissors but you will not be able to cut all the layers at once and you will have more holes in your blanket from cutting the seams. The seams are not to hard to fix, but who wants to resew what they already sewed once.

Your hands will be sore, but you can do it. If you are only going to make one rag quilt in your entire life, don't go spend extra money on nice rag quilt scissors because it will be a waste of money.

I have 3 examples of scissors that I know work better than regular scissors for rag quilts.  Each of the following pictures are linked to Amazon as an Associate

I started out with this pair of scissors: 

olfa 5 inch rag quilt scissors

They worked great. Especially when I was just doing a blanket every once in awhile. Then when I started to sell the blankets I realized that those scissors would not cut it. I would have blisters and dents in my fingers from the handles. These scissors were about $20.00. They are Olfa, so the Cadillac of cutting for sewing.  My husband prefers these scissors over any others that we have tried (and yes he helps me clip a lot of quilts)

fiskars easy action rag quilt

These scissors run about $20.00 but can be found at Joanns and other fabric stores. So make sure if they are not on sale to print off a coupon so you can get the best price possible.

These scissors are great for thin clipping. Around the edge of the quilt, yes! Thin layers of only cotton, Yes! But if you're doing flannel or levi, don't even try it, unless you cut each layer individually. But that would be sooo tedious.

These next scissors are the scissors that I use regularly. I am very biased because I am in love with them.

Heritage 6.5" Rag Quilt Scissors

They are made by Heritage. These babies will cut through 7-8 layers of fabric at a time. They never make my hand fatigued. I am in love with them. They work like a charm. I do have one thing that I don't like about them (isn't there always something :) My hand slides up and down the handle as I am cutting. It does not hinder my cutting, just annoying. 

Do not be persuaded to buy the scissors that look very similar. There are dupes out there that are not quite as comfortable. Its worth paying the extra $10-15 for the Heritage scissors. Promise!

*NOTE: as I sit here and go through this blog post 12 years later (WOW) my opinion hasn't changed. I still use the heritage brand scissors. I have a pile of 15 of them, because each time one pair becomes dull from clipping many, many blankets, I just buy a new pair. They are serrated and I haven't found a good scissor sharpener in my area that has done a good job sharpening. I would love to get them all sharpened! They're all stuffed in a drawer, and I have given several away over the years. 

So all in all. I definitely would splurge and get the heritage scissors. Even if you don't make another rag quilt you will be grateful to have used these beauties. Some of my extra pairs have ended up in my husbands tools, in our car jockey box, and other random places. They not only are great rag quilt scissors, but also great scissors!

If you have any questions about these scissors or any others please let me know. I would also love to know if you have favorite pair of scissors and what they are used for (even if you don't have rag quilt scissors)


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