Rag Quilt Seam Allowance | A Vision to Remember All Things Handmade Blog: Rag Quilt Seam Allowance

Rag Quilt Seam Allowance

Seam allowances and rag quilts are a funny topic among avid rag quilters. There really is no right or wrong answer when it comes to answering this age old questions.  But there might be a right answer for you!

Let me help you decide which seam allowance is best for you.   

 Rag Quilt Seam Allowance 1/2 inch 

How to Determine the Best Rag Quilt Seam Allowance

  1.  Fluffiniess vs hiding fabric - the width of the exposed seam allowance will partially cover up the fabric underneath it. But rag quilts are also known for the fluffy exposed seams. If using a small block, reduce the width of the exposed seam (the seam allowance) to allow for the block to be more visible (for example a 5 inch block with a 1 inch seam allowance will only show about 3 inches of the block. Versus a 5 inch block with a 1/2 inch seam allowance will show 4 inches of the block)
  2. Clipping the Seams - the width of the clipped seams also lends to the how fluffy the exposed seam is. Clip 1/8th inch apart from each other for a very ragged effect, or clip 1/4 inch apart as the picture above is. 
  3. Type of Fabric - if using 100% cotton fabric, the exposed seam will really fluff up a lot. Cotton frays, which is exactly what is wanted for rag quilts. A wider seam allowance will be great with 100% cotton fabrics. If using polyester, minky, or other fabrics that don't fray as well, a smaller seam allowance will be best. 

I personally use (and prefer) a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Especially because of the skinny rectangles I most often use in quilts. It allows for more of the rectangle to be visible. 

I also prefer it over a wider one, as that is the perfect width for the scissors that I use to easily open up to, the clip the next spot. 

These are the scissors I personally prefer (and a post about all the ones I have tried)

In 2021 alone, I sewed and clipped over 200 quilts for A Vision to Remember (also known as avtrboutique.com)
For all of the majority of those quilts, I used the Easy Peasy Rag Quilt pattern with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

I also use a simple little straight edge magnet and place it on my seam allowance line on the plate on the sewing machine.  This helps me to create a consistent seam allowance every single time without guessing. I have also used this little trick with my 13 year old that has become a wonderful seamstress. Check out these magnetic seam allowance guides on amazon


As always, please let us know if you have any questions by emailing me at Bobbie@avisiontoremember.com

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