Rainbow Raggy


(Given as fat quarter or metre measurements but just lay your fabrics out to see how much you have of each)

  • Four assorted fat quarters for log cabin blocks
  • 25cm of three fabrics for log cabin blocks
  • 25cm of four fabrics for first border
  • Three fat quarters for second border
  • 50cm of two fabrics for second border
  • One fat quarter for third border
  • 50cm of two fabrics for third border
  • Offcuts of wadding

NB: This is a scrap quilt, therefore fabric quantities may vary slightly, depending on the shape of your scraps.

Finished Size

43 x 36in (109 x 91.5cm)

Skill Level


Repeated washing softens the cotton beautifully making it lovely and snuggly and prettily faded. The easy technique of sewing pieces together as one, top, wadding and backing, also makes it an ideal project for using leftover scraps of wadding. If using recycled fabrics do not be afraid of running out of a particular fabric, just substitute another for the remainder. Most of all, have fun!

Figure 1: Preparing the sections
Figure 1: Preparing the sections


Both the front and back fabrics are cut at the same time.

  • Use a 1⁄2in seam allowance throughout.
  • All seams are sewn on the RS of the quilt.
  • All pieces are layered before joining.

Log Cabin Blocks

For back and front cut:

From different fat quarters:

  • Twelve 2 1⁄2in squares in one colour
  • Twelve 2 1⁄2in squares in second colour
  • Twelve 5 1⁄2 x 2 1⁄2in strips each from third and fourth colours

From the long quarters:

  • Twelve 7 x 2 1⁄2in strips each from two fabrics
  • Twelve 8 1⁄2 x 2 1⁄2in strips from the remaining fabric

Cut from wadding:

  • Twelve 1 1⁄2in squares
  • Twelve 4 1⁄2 x 1 1⁄2in strips
  • Twelve 6 x 1 1⁄2in strips
  • Six 7 1⁄2 x 1 1⁄2in strips
Figure 2: The Log Cabin Layout
Figure 2: The Log Cabin Layout
  1. For the square blocks in the centre layer a back, wadding and front together and quilt with a cross. There is no stitching round the edges, see Figure 1.
  2. For the strips layer the cut pieces in the same way and quilt with either one or two wavy lines as shown in Figure 1.
  3. Prepare all of the pieces as explained above and sew together in the order shown in Figure 2 ensuring that all seams are sewn with WS together and pressing seams open.
  4. Make six log cabin blocks as shown in Fig 2 and sew together in three rows of two blocks.
Finished Quilt
Finished Quilt

TIP! Check before you sew every time that the WS are together and you are using a 1⁄2in seam allowance.

First Border


  • Ten 4 3⁄4in squares and eight 2 7⁄8in squares from each of the four fabrics
  • Twenty 3 3⁄4in squares from the wadding
  • Sixteen 2in squares from wadding
  1. Layer the pieces as above. Sew the 2 7⁄8in blocks together into four patches for the corners. Sew two rows of six squares and sew to the sides of the log cabin blocks.
  2. Sew two rows of four squares together adding one of the corner four patches to each end of both strips. Sew these to the tops of the log cabin blocks.

Second Border

From the fat quarters and 50cm fabrics cut:

  • Sixteen 8 1⁄2 x 4 1⁄2in strips
  • Sixteen 8 1⁄2 x 2 3⁄4in strips
  • Sixteen 4 1⁄4 x 2 3⁄4in strips
  • Thirty two 2 3⁄4in squares

From the wadding cut:

  • Eight 7 1⁄2 x 3 1⁄2in strips
  • Eight 7 1⁄2 x 1 3⁄4in strips
  • Eight 3 1⁄4 x 1 3⁄4in strips
  • Sixteen 1 3⁄4in squares
  1. Construct individual pieces as before. Sew the squares into four patches for the corners as before. Sew together the 8 1⁄2 x 2 3⁄4in blocks in pairs to make 8 1⁄2 x 4 1⁄2in blocks.
  2. Sew together the 4 1⁄2 x 2 3⁄4in blocks in the same way. For the sides piece together two strips as in Figure 3 and attach to the quilt. Complete the top and bottom referring to the diagram and attach to the quilt.
Figure 3: Border Construction
Figure 3: Border Construction

Outer Border


  • Thirty six 9 1⁄2 x 4 1⁄2in strips as follows: Eight from the fat quarter, Fourteen from each 25cm strip
  • Thirty two 2 3⁄4in squares
  • Eighteen 7 x 3 1⁄2in pieces of wadding
  • Sixteen 1 3⁄4in squares of wadding
  1. Cut the rectangles and wadding diagonally and make up the patches as before. Join together as in Fig 3. Sew together five of these pieces to form the sides and attach to the quilt. Join together four of these blocks and make up the four patch corner blocks as before and attach to each end. Sew to the top and bottom.
  2. Press the top. Cut 1in strips from leftover fabric and sew around the edge of the quilt 1⁄2in away from the edge, overlapping ends as necessary. Press both sides of the strip in one direction for ease of cutting. Snip all of the seam allowances approximately every 1⁄4 being careful not to snip the stitching.
  3. Shake the quilt well to remove any loose fibres. Wash the quilt. It is best to wash inside a washing net or old quilt cover because it will produce a lot of lint which can clog up the washing machine. Shake again. Then tumble dry. A sticky clothes roller can be used to remove the remaining lose fibres. The more time the quilt is washed the fluffier the edges become.

Hints and Tips

  • Unlike normal piecing it is not necessary to be very exact in cutting and piecing; this type of quilt is very forgiving in small inaccuracies.
  • Varying the seam allowance gives different lengths of raggy edges and is well worth experimenting with.
  • It is difficult to visualise the final results during construction and you can only really appreciate the true beauty on completion.
  • If using new fabrics it is best to use a homespun as new cotton doesn’t fluff up easily and takes a lot more washes to get a pleasing result.

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 12 Number 1 - January 2004