Having been given a jelly roll and a quilting book for Christmas 2010, there is no excuse not to get on with quiltmaking.

Here's what happened next...


Tuesday, 18 January 2011


I had some very good practise with the cutter this evening, as I reduced the gunmetal grey shirt from the charity shop into 2 ½” strips.

Once I had these – a great pile of strips ranging from about 10” to 26” in length – I set about working out how many I needed for borders for the mats & runner.

As big sister Helen said in an email the other day ‘Ah, yes, did we all forget to mention that there are some maths skills involved in patchwork?’, & after my cock up with working out how much to cut off the half bricks, I was especially careful.

I think that I’ve got it right – it better bloody well be, as the shirt wont stretch to another set of the same, but a bit bigger.

And my current preoccupation with seams continues. Because of the configuration of the needle/foot/fabric grabber things like crocodile teeth, I’ve not been able to work out how put something on the plate which will act as something to butt up against.

But because Bilbo keeps banging on about it, I’ve puzzled it through, & put a marker strip down to see if that means that I can judge the quarter inch better. First indications are that it does.

Hmm. *Note to self: take more notice of advice given by experienced quilters.


  1. Ah yes, the sums! There is a HUGE amount of maths involved at times, but it never feels like difficult stuff because there's a reason for all the adding up {grin}.

    You did not make a c*ck up with the half bricks, you did what EVERY SINGLE NEW QUILTER does to start with, even if they don't remember doing so.

  2. Aah yes, about borders. Has anyone told you about how to measure them? Don't measure the edges of your quilt and cut borders to that measurement. (Well you can, if you want an interesting, wavy edged effect!) Measure down your top through the centre, or even measure down a couple of times and take the average and cut to that length. Pin them from the middle to one edge, easing it to fit if necessary, then to the other edge and then sew it. Do the same with the other side. Press it, then repeat the whole thing measuring through the centre from one side to the other. That should give you nice flat borders that lay/sit/hang square.

  3. You will never quite believe the word of experienced quilters until you've done things yourself and had to get out of a few deep holes.

    (Ask me how I know!)

  4. Another good thing to use to butt fabric up against is a little stack of post-it notes.

  5. Just a case of remembering to double check the adding up, I think, Bilbo!

    Brilliant concise but clear instructions for cutting borders, Sue - really useful - thank you!

    You can recover from most 'unscheduled design changes' in order to accomodate 'hitches', I think, Flum!

    Post-it notes adhesive lacking robustness, Ali - heavy handed quilter at work here! {gg}


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