How to: Denim Rag Quilt


Not just for jeans and jackets any longer, denim is also a suitable fabric for rag quilting, a technique in which the seams of a quilt are intentionally external and frayed. Because denim frays nicely, it works well for ragging. A quick and easy project, a denim rag quilt is also a simple way to recycle old denim clothes. So save denim from a landfill -- make a quilt that is both attractive and friendly to the environment.

Things You'll Need

  • Quilt batting
  • Backing fabric
  • Square ruler
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Thread
  • Iron
  • Sharp-tipped scissors
  • Cut denim, batting and backing fabric into equal 8-inch squares using a square quilting ruler and rotary cutter. For a twin-size quilt, cut 108 squares of each fabric. Assemble the squares by sandwiching the batting between the denim and backing fabric, right side up.

  • Pin and quilt each square prior to assembly, stitching an X or other desired pattern. Then begin pinning the squares with the wrong sides together, creating 12 rows of nine squares each. Using ½-inch seam allowance, sew the row squares together. Lightly trim if necessary, remembering that the seam allowance will be ragged later. Iron the seams flat.

  • Pin the completed rows together two at a time, aligning the vertical seams. To minimize slipping, insert a pin through each of the vertical seams, checking that the pin is in between the seams on both sides. Sew the rows together. Once assembled, pin and sew the outer edges with ½-inch seam allowance.

  • Rag the edges by snipping the seam allowances with sharp-tipped scissors at ¼-inch intervals, being careful not to snip through the seams. Once you have snipped completely, including the outer edges, wash and dry the quilt. When it is dry, brush the ragged edges to remove unsecured lint.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not have old jeans to recycle, check your local thrift store to save some money.
  • Check and clean the lint trap of your dryer frequently while drying this quilt as too much lint is a fire hazard.

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