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Varsity Rag Quilt
Autumn has arrived in the Midwest, and this is the perfect time to think about making a rag quilt. Varsity Rag Quilt will inspire you to pull out your flannels and think warm and cozy quilting thoughts. This pattern is perfect for either a controlled color assortment of flannels or it could be totally scrappy. This is the quilt that will be used the most on those cold, snowy evenings.
Use up lots of scraps or select a planned color arrangement to make this soft stadium blanket. It will be perfect for a dorm room bed.
Design by Linda Miller
Skill Level: Beginner
Quilt Size: 66" x 74"
- 5/8 yard each 14 different fabrics (plush fleece and flannel used in sample)
- 2 1/2 yards border fabric
- 7 yards filler flannel (solid-color diaper flannel)
- All-purpose thread to match fabrics
- Quilting thread
- 56 coordinating buttons in various sizes and shapes
- Sharp scissors or shears
- Basic sewing tools and supplies
Completing the Pieced Center
Note: Do not prewash fabrics.
Step 1. Cut a 2 1/4 yard piece of the filler flannel; set aside to fill border strips.
Step 2. Rip or cut the remaining filler flannel down the fold of the entire length to yield two filler-flannel pieces measuring approximately 22" by 4 1/2 yards.
Step 3. Open up one 5/8-yard fabric piece and place the continuous piece of filler flannel so it fills one side of the 5/8-yard piece as shown in Figure 1. Fold the fabric piece back over the filler flannel to make a fabric sandwich. Note: You will be using the continuous piece of filler flannel repeatedly with each 5/8-yard piece.
Step 4. Cut the fabric sandwich into two 9" strips; subcut each strip into two 9" squares to total four 9"-square fabric sandwiches.
Step 5. Continue to insert the filler flannel into each of the 5/8-yard pieces and cut four 9" x 9" sandwiched squares from each fabric.
Step 6. Lay out the sandwiched squares on a flat surface in eight rows of seven squares each.
Step 7. When satisfied with placement, gather up the sandwiched squares of one row, starting from the right-hand side, placing square 7 on square 6; continue across the row. Label as row 1. Repeat for all rows.
Step 8. Beginning with row 1, place sandwich 7 on your work surface; place sandwich 6 on top of sandwich 7, matching all edges; join along the right edge using a 1/2" seam allowance as shown in Figure 2.
Step 9. Pick up the lower left corner of sandwich 6 and “turn the page" referring to Figure 3; repeat Step 8 with sandwich 5 on sandwich 6. Repeat the process to complete the row; repeat for all eight rows.
Step 10. Press seams open.
Step 11. Join the rows in order, matching seams.
Step 12. Stitch a button in the center of each square.
Note: Stitch the buttons on the side with all seam allowances showing.
Step 1. Cut (13) 6" by fabric width strips border fabric. Repeat with the 2 1/4-yard piece of filler flannel.
Step 2. Remove selvage ends from each strip.
Step 3. Join six strips border fabric on the short ends with a 1/2" seam allowance to make one long strip; repeat to make two long strips.
Step 4. Cut four 57" B strips and four 75" C strips from the border fabric.
Step 5. Insert filler flannel between two B strips, overlapping the filler-flannel edges about 1/2" and placing the border-strip seam allowance to the inside of the layers. Note: Overlapping filler flannel instead of joining ends in seams reduces bulk.
Step 6. Machine-quilt down the center of the layered strips. Note: The quilt shown used a figure-eight design stitched using a double needle.
Step 7. Pin and stitch the quilted B strips to the top and bottom of the pieced center, using a 1/2" seam allowance; press seams open.
Step 8. Repeat Steps 5-7 with C strips, sewing the strips to opposite long sides of the pieced center; press seams open.
Step 9. Zigzag-stitch 1/2" from the edges of the quilt all around.
Completing the Quilt
Step 1. Cut close to seam intersections to free the edges for clipping as shown in Figure 4.
Step 2. Cut the intersection layers apart to reduce bulk.
Step 3. Clip seam allowances at 1/4" intervals, being careful not to clip into the seam stitches as shown in Figure 5.
Step 4. Trim quilt edges even; clip 1/4" apart and 1/4" deep. Clip corners at a 90-degree angle.
Step 5. Wash and dry the quilt several times using liquid fabric softener to help make the quilt soft and cuddly.
Note: You might want to take the quilt to a Laundromat rather than use your own washer and dryer because of the large amount of lint produced in this process.
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