Rags and Tatters Quilt Pattern

Michigan State University Museum; Detroit News Quilt History Project
Detroit, Michigan, United States
A leaflet provided by the Detroit News to make the Rags and Tatters quilt. Advertised in the paper, these were sent through the mail to people who sent a self addressed stamped envelope to the newspaper.
The Detroit News
Public Service Bureau
Radio Station WWJ
The Home Newspaper
Interior Decoration

Here is one of those quilt patterns which permits utilizing a good many small scraps which so many quiltmakers have tucked away for a rainy day. Since there are many combinations that may be used in planning this pattern, almost any scraps may be put into it, provided, of course, there is enough of one kind of material to make the blocks similar so that they will hold together in effect and make an attractive quilt.

One way to arrange these blocks is shown in the small sketch. The blocks are made so that in alternate blocks the colors are reversed and, also, the alternate blocks are turned around so that what is up and down in one block is crosswise in the other.

In determining materials, however, the amount required is shown in case the blocks are all made alike. Otherwise the directions might be confusing.

For a conservative color scheme, cream, light brown and dark brown are suggested. There should not be too much contrast between any two of these colors or the quilt will appear spotty.

There is a demand for patterns in which silks and satins may be used, and this is an excellent one for that purpose. There are so many little scraps about the house, left over from dresses, draperies, pillows and bedspreads that it is a pity not to make use of these.

Inasmuch as not two blocks have to be alike, it is possible to make the entire silk of scraps without spending any more at all for the top. For this type of quilt the back should be plain silk such as moire, taffeta or satin, and instead of quilting it as in a cotton one, it should simply be tied. Narrow satin or moire ribbon is best for this purpose.

Use a large needle with an eye, large enough to hold this ribbon. Put the needle down from the front and up again within an eighth of an inch of the first hole. There should be ends left long enough for a bow which should be securetly tied. To make sure of its permanancy, a few stitches might be taken in it.

The edges of such a spread should be bound with satin, moire or gros grain ribbon, and one with a picoted edge would be most attractive.

The filling of this quilt may be either cotton or wool. Inasmuch as there is no fine quilting done on it, the latter would be better, as it would make a nice, warm, comforter - one that could be used as a throw on the living room sofa.

The bows which tie this comforter should be quite close together so that there will be no slipping of the thicknesses. For example, put one bow where the four blocks come together, one at each halfway mark as noted by the triangle ends, and two or three should be added through the centers of the blocks.

The back and bows should match in color and, as in the old quiltsd, these should be quite dark - such shades as navy blue, dubonnet or cinnamon brown being ideal for this purpose.

A quilt in which there are seven blocks across and eight blocks down will measure approximatel 63x72 inches, for each block measures nine inches square. With a nine-inch border (which this quilt needs if it is made as an all-over pattern as described) the size is increased to 81x90 inches.

To make the quilt of 56 blocks which are alike, the following yardages will be required:
2 1/2 yards dark brown.
4 3/4 yards light brown.
2 yards cream.
3 yards for border of quilt.
7 yards for back of quilt.

Blocks May Be Arranged Alternately in This Manner

The Completed Block Is Nine Inches Square

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