How-to: Creating a rag quilt square

The square is the basic building block of rag quilting, but since there is no quilting after the squares are stitched together, each square has to be quilting before being stitched together. 

Ready to begin making a rag quilted square


Here’s what you need to begin your rag quilted table runner.  In front, you have your stack of fabric squares for the top of your runner.  Back right is a stack of fabrics for backing cut the same size as your top fabrics, and back left is a stack of batting fabrics cut one inch smaller than the others. 

Stacking batting square on backing square


Step 1.  Center a batting square on a backing square.  There should be 1/2 inch of space on all sides of the batting. 

Three layers for each square


Step 2.  Take the top square from your stack of Moda fabrics and place it on top of the backing and batting. 

One stacked square


This is the way your square will look.  The top and bottom edges will be even and the batting square will be sandwiched in the middle.  If needed, you may pin the edges before stitching. 

Stitching a rag quilted square

Step 3.  And here’s what it’s all about.  Stitch an “X” through all three layers of fabric diagonally from corner to corner.  I like to use a long stitch, about 6 stitches per inch.  No need to back stitch at the corners. 

Continue stitching each square in your stack the same way, then go to the second stack, etc., Backing, batting, and top stitched with an X.  Clip your threads and put each square into another stack, keeping them in the same order so that when you are finished with each stack, the fabric square that was on the right in your picture, will be on the top.  You will end up with four stacks of finished squares.  Keep them in the same order that they were in the beginning. 

Next lesson?  Combining the squares to make rows.


About countrybydesign

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2 Responses to How-to: Creating a rag quilt square

  1. yancunyong says:

    Your How-to series are all great!! I can learn what you think about quilting design and how you create your excellent artworks.

    • Now when you get tired of going to bars and taking great pictures, you can come home and make a quilt! 🙂 There are some similarities to taking good photos, especially creating movement. You don’t need one center point of focus, but a really good quilt will have movement.

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