May 08

Americana Ragged Style Wall Hanging

FlagHangingOne of our customers, Michael E., recently sent us some pics of his rag style quilting projects.  We featured a couple of those in our last post and I was so inspired by his creativity that I decided to do a similar wall hanging design with a simple tutorial.  A big shout out to Michael for letting me be a “copy cat” and do something similar!

So here’s my version of the Americana Ragged Style Wall Hanging.  This project is easily adapted to any size that you want.  Mine ended up being about 30″ x 24″.  The fabric yardages listed are estimates but if you have left over fabric, you can always create some coordinating “accessories” like I’ll show you at the end of the tutorial.

Materials list:

*Homespun fabric is highly recommended.  It is the only fabric that will fray as shown in the pictures.

  • Cut 6 strips of red fabric:  3″ x 32″
  • Cut 6 strips of ecru (or white) fabric: 3″ x 32″
  • Cut 6 strips of ecru (or white) fabric: 3″ x 17.5″
  • Cut 8 strips of red fabric: 3″ x 17.5″
  • Cut 14 strips of blue fabric: 3″ x 15.5″
  • Cut 1 piece of red fabric approx 33″ x 26″ (backing)
  • Cut 1 piece of batting approx 30″ x 24″
  • Print your star pattern pieces from this PDF file
  • Cut 4 of the star side pieces from the ecru fabric
  • Cut 4 of the star bottom pieces from the ecru fabric
  • Cut 2 of the star top pieces from the ecru fabric

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  1. For this project, all your fabric stripes on the front of the flag will be two layers thick.  This will help make your frayed seams fluffier.  So when the directions say to stitch a white strip to a red strip, keep in mind that each strip needs to be two layers thick.  All seams will be 5/8″ unless otherwise noted.
  2. Do all your “tie down” stitching at the beginning and ending of each seam about 5/8″ away from the edge.  This is because the last 5/8″ of all seams will become fray when it is washed.  As with all rag stitching, lighten the pressure of the presser foot if your machine allows that or stitch with a walking foot.  If you don’t have either of these options, just pin very closely so that the fabric won’t slide while stitching.
  3. All your raw seam allowances are going to have to be clipped at some point.  Most of the time, I prefer to clip at the end but in this case, I found it very easy to clip the long strips before I started sewing.  You may either do as I did in these pics and clip now or you can clip at the end if you’re more comfortable with that.  I found that I could clips several layers at once this by clipping now.  To “clip” the seam allowances, you’ll want to make small clips in the raw edges about 1/2″ deep and about 1/2″ apart.  Don’t clip the short ends yet.  You may be trimming those.IMG_8140
  4. Stitch the 6 long strips of red and 6 long strips of ecru together lengthwise, alternating colors.  Each strip will be doubled so you’ll have three red and three ecru stripes when finished as shown in the image.IMG_8145
  5. Stitch the 8 remaining red strips and the 6 remaining ecru strips together in the same way.
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  6. Stitch the 14 blue strips together just like the other sets.
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  7. Now stitch the blue strips to the shorter red strips matching up the seams.  Lay the seam allowances all in one direction.
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  8. Clip the seam allowance loose after stitching so that the seam allowances are free and not stitched down.
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  9. The upper part of the flag base is complete.  Now stitch this to the long red strips keeping the blue portion on the upper left.  Press the flag out flat and preferable keep all seams folding in one direction.
  10. At this time, you may realize that some of the strips have ended up being a bit longer than the others.  That’s fine… “close enough is good enough” in rag stitching.  To remedy this, just trim your flag base slightly on both right and left sides so that all the strips line up nicely.  Use a yard stick to draw a line if needed and make sure that the length of the top edge is still the same as the length of the bottom edge after trimming.IMG_8157
  11. Place the batting material on the pressed flag on the side WITHOUT the seam allowances.  The seam allowances of the flag should be facing your table, away from the batting.  Trim the batting so that it is at least 1.5 inches smaller than the flag on all sides.
  12. Place the red backing material on top of the batting to form a “sandwich” with the batting in the middle.  Pin the edges to hold it all in place and flip it over so that the flag is on top with the seam allowances up.IMG_8152
  13. Now trim the backing to fit the size of the flag if needed.IMG_8156
  14. Pin frequently along all the outer edges and the seams.  Stitch on top of the long stripe seams through all the thicknesses.  This will “quilt” the wall hanging.  A walking foot on your machine can be helpful here.  If you don’t have one, just life the presser foot occasionally to ease the top layer of fabric in.  If you have occasional tucks and puckers, don’t worry over it.  The fray will fluff out over those seams and hide many flaws!  “Close enough is good enough” in rag stitching!  :-) IMG_8164
  15. Now stitch your star together.  The star has one point at the top, two points on the sides and two points on the bottom.  The pattern pieces are marked accordingly but they are very similar in size so if you get them mixed up, it really won’t be very noticeable.  The pic below shows how the star pieces lay out.  The short sides are the ones that stitch together, the long sides are the points that extend and the arrows show you which end goes to the center of the star.IMG_3355Just like the stripes, the star pieces will also be two layers thick.  Your seam allowances on the star will be 1/2″.  The small star on the pattern pieces shows you which end goes to the center of the stars.  The other end of the point is on the outer part.  Press the star flat after stitching.  The “front side” of the star is the side with the seam allowances.IMG_8151
  16. Pin the star onto the center of the blue stripe portion of your flag.  Stitch about 1/2″ from the outer edges.IMG_8175
  17. Stitch around the entire perimeter of the entire flag about 5/8″ from the raw edge.  I call this a victory lap because it always seems to be the last sewing step!
  18. Clip any raw edges that you haven’t clipped already.  If you didn’t clip in the first step, you’ll have a lot to clip now.  If you did clip in the first step, you’ll need to clip the right and left sides, the backing, the star and the seam between the blue and the red/white stripes.  Be very careful that you don’t clip through any stitching when making your clips.
  19. Wash your flag hanging in a washing machine.  I recommend using a high water level even for this one item so that you’ll have minimal color bleed from the red fabric.  I also recommend using about 1/4-1/2 cup of table salt in the wash water to help set the fabric dye.  Liquid fabric softener will help loosen the strings but it’s not required.  After washing, take the flag outside and shake loose the remaining strings before you put it in the dryer.  Tumble dry and then shake loose even more strings!  You’ll also want to stop the dryer at least once or twice and clean the lint screen.
  20. After washing and drying, check to make sure your flag is hanging fairly straight.  You can gently stretch any short sides if necessary.  You can also wet it again and lay it out flat and square to dry.  Press from the back side if any ironing is needed.
  21. Cut seven pieces of the burlap ribbon (6.5″ – 7″ long) and stitch them onto the back side of the flag to make some loops for hanging.  These I applied after the washing and drying was done.  I just stitched through all thicknesses (flag and burlap).  I made the loops long enough that I could stitch them twice, once following the the first seam of the flag and then again following the second seam.  I think there are many ways you could find to hang this wall hanging or you could display it on a table or coffee table as is without any loops.

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When you are rag stitching, scraps are never just scraps… they are pieces of fabric begging to become a coordinating accessory!  These are a couple of goodies, a cute Americana heart pillow and some Americana star quilted coasters, that I made with my left over fabric from this project.  They will look great with my wall hanging and decorate my house so nicely for Memorial Day and then again on Independence Day.  The star coasters can even embellish a decorative banner for the wall.  Oh, the things you can do with scraps and rags!

FlagPillowCoasters

3 comments

3 comments!!!

  1. Renae says:

    So adorable! I’ll have to give this a go for sure!

  2. Karen says:

    My son and his wife were married on July 4th over 20 years ago. I think this flag would be a wonderful anniversay present for them. Some years ago we gave them a Grandma Moses ‘Fourth of July” print which they have in their living room. I can also picture this as a table runner.

  3. Mary says:

    very cute! love this… will have to make it! thanks for sharing this! :)