Thursday, May 24, 2012

Raggy Shaggy Square Tutorial

A few months ago I cam across this blog. Margaret's Hope Chest sponsors a "Project Hope" project every two months to create quilts for charity. The May/June project is a Ragged Squares quilt. I put together a tutorial for this project, there are also several other tutorials that can be viewed here and here. Initially I was cutting and assembling one block from start to finish. I found after the first color set that assemble line style works well and saves a lot of time. I would cut all my 9.5" and 6.5" blocks, pin, sew, cut and then add the 3.5" block and repeat the process.

To start select single color fabrics pieces that are larger than 9.5" square. I personally was cutting 4-5 squares at a time to speed up the process. 

I stacked the fabrics together and cut them using a 9.5" square ruler. When I had a stack of 20 squares cut I  move onto cutting the next size square. 

The next size for this project is 6.5" square. Select coordinating fabrics and cut stacks of 4-5 squares at a time. Once you have enough squares cut to match your 9.5" squares you are ready to start pairing blocks. 

Select a 9.5" and 6.5" square that coordinates and contrasts and center the smaller block on the larger and attach with 4 pins.

Sew around the edge of the 6.5" block using coordinating thread leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. I started in the middle of one side of the 6.5" block, back stitched a few stitches and then proceeded around the block, when I got back to my starting point I back stitched a few stitches again. Depending on which tutorial you follow at this point you can cut out the section of the 9.5" block that is covered by the 6.5" block or leave it to add bulk. Since I hate to waste fabric I cut out the backs of my blocks.

Once I had sewn all my 6.5" blocks onto my 9.5" blocks I would move to the couch, watch TV and start cutting out my middles. Flip over the block so you can see where you sewed the two blocks together. CAREFULLY separate the two layers of fabric and snip only the fabric from the 9.5" block inside the stitched area. Leaving an allowance of at least 1/4" snip all the way around your stitched area. When you are finished you will have a stack of "middles" that are about 6" square or so. I used these for the center 3.5" block or you can add then to your scraps for a later project.

When you are finished it should look like the picture above.

Once I had all my middles removed I cut them down to 3.5" squares. I have searched far and wide for a 3.5" square ruler but cannot find one. So I used a straight ruler for this portion.

Add one 3.5" square to each of your 9.5/6.5" combos making sure to select squares that look good together. I also didn't want to use the same 3.5" square as 9.5" square in the same block but that was a personal preference. Once you have these pinned proceed to sew around the 3.5" square.

The final step is to flip over the blocks and cut of the extra fabric between the 6.5" square and the 3.5". Once these were cut out I trimmed the shaggy edges. In the end you will have something that looks like the pictures below. I created one set of pinks and one set of teal/blues for project hope. I encourage you to make a square or ten for this project. The mailing address is on Margaret's Hope Chest Blog and they are collecting blocks til the end of June!


  1. We think alike. Assembly-line worked for me when I made my blocks.

  2. Great job making so many! Thanks for talking us through the process for you. It helps to hear your tips.

  3. They look great! How generous of you!

  4. You are so generous and speedy - great that you shared with us. Thanks.

  5. Gorgeous! I made a bunch too, and assembly line is definitely key! Great block, isn't it?