Vintage Rag Quilt Craft Photo Prop | DIY Tutorial


During a well-earned vacation, I was able to complete a DIY project that has been on my to-do list for quite a while. I’ve got a few of these in the studio already, and plan to make some more for props and for myself (who doesn’t love a big warm comfy vintage blanket!).

Today’s project: DIY Vintage Rag Quilt Photo Prop

These rag quilts are a great way to upcycle old shirts, blankets, or sheets. However, since these quilts in particular were to be used for my newborn & baby photography, I went out and bought the specific patterns that matched my style. For future projects, I will definitely be scouting out some thrifty finds!

Of course I will be posting professional quality images of the quilt in use, but for the tutorial, the trusty iPhone will have to suffice as I did these while away from the studio.


  • flannel cotton backing
  • cotton or other fabric for the front
  • scissors
  • measuring device
  • square flat item to use as a guide (I used a 6×6 decorative tile)
  • sewing machine
  • washer & dryer access


DIY Instructions

  1. Start by cutting 20 squares of the cotton flannel to be used as backing. Then cut 20 squares of fabric for the front. Align each backing square with a fabric square.
  2. Decide on the layout for your quilt, then lay them out. You may change your mind as you go, but typically try to avoid having the same coloured squares touching side-by-side.
  3. Starting from the corner square, make sure your backing and fabric are well aligned.  Grab the next square and align them together.
  4. DIY-Tutorial-Vintage-Rag-Quilt-Craft-Photo-Prop-Step-4Pinch the two squares together, picking them up so that the patterned fabrics are facing the outside*, and in between them you have two backing squares. Sew along the ONE SIDE.
  5. Lay the due flat, and begin with the next square in the row. Make sure you sew on the opposite edge of the first seam to create a strip of squares.
  6. Once you’ve completed the entire row (5 squares), put it aside and begin the next one.
  7. Once you’ve completed all 4 rows, you should have 4 strips of 5 squares. Begin the same process by pinching one row to the next, and sewing on ONE SIDE, sew the strips together.
  8. Once you’ve sewn the 4 strips together to form a grid rectangle, sew a hem all around the perimeter (0.5-1.0 in).
  9. Along that perimeter, snip into the fabric and backing to create little snip strips. MAKE SURE NOT TO CUT PAST THE HEM.
  10. Proceed with snipping the hems throughout the quilt’s center.
  11. To add the roughed-up rustic feel to your rag quilt, run it through a wash & dry cycle to begin the fraying process of the edges. MAKE SURE IT IS THE ONLY THING IN THE MACHINE! It will shed. A lot.

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After the wash:


*Alternatively, if you prefer to have a more refined quilt, you may sew everything the opposite way so that the hems are on the reverse side and hidden, and you have nice flat squares on the front.

Our wonderful baby new born photography vintage rag quilt photo prop in use!

Happy Sewing!

stephanie de montigny SdeM handrawn initials ottawa blogger