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How to Finish the Edges of a Rag Quilt

Finish rag quilt edges with snips or sturdy scissors.
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Rag quilts can be made from old clothes or leftover fabrics and are especially suited for babies and children, casual decor, pets, camping and other outdoor activities. You can finish the edges of a rag quilt by clipping around the perimeter in the same way that the seams are finished. Use rag snips if possible, or choose sturdy scissors that are sharp all the way to the point.

Things You'll Need:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread
  • Rag Snips Or Sharp, Sturdy Scissors

Sew around the perimeter of the rag quilt 1/2 inch from the edge.

Sew around the quilt a second time on top of the first line of stitching.

Clip slits perpendicular to the edge every 1/4 inch around the perimeter of the quilt. Clip close to, but do not clip through, the stitching. Stop clipping 1/2 inch from both edges at each corner.

Clip diagonally in from the point of each corner, almost to the point of thread where the stitch line turns the corner. Clip another diagonal slit on each side of the first diagonal slit.

Shake the quilt outside to remove loose threads. Wash and dry several times to finish the ragging process. Clean the lint from the washer and dryer filter after each cycle.


Rag snips make clipping the edges of the quilt much easier. Take frequent breaks when clipping a rag quilt, especially if using scissors instead of rag snips. If you accidentally clip through the stitch line, re-sew across that section.

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