Friday, September 10


The green tan quilt blocks are puzzling me. How did I go wrong??

I put MY boxing clever quilt on my bed and counted the blocks (14 long and 13 wide) and then I measured them. They are 5.5” finished. Which means they were 6” when I sewed them. Two years ago. I made this quilt in the summer of 2008.

And yet, same plan, I sew 2.5” strips into blocks and I come up short. I am mystified. But as long as my blocks are consistent, they will work. But I have to rework the numbers in order to come up with a queen-sized quilt for my niece.

OMG! I just took out the blocks I’ve already made and remeasured them. They are 6.25” Wha??? I’ve lost my mind! Oy!

So these 6.25” unfinished blocks will measure 5.75” finished. And I was thinking 4.75” Yikes! That makes a huge difference.

What this all points up though, is the value of working out one’s quilts ON FREAKING PAPER before cutting, before sewing, before even buying fabric (unless you always buy more than you need.)

I use graph paper and find it enormously helpful although it won’t make you actually measure the block accurately. That requires other equipment and sharp eyesight. I think back to my early days of quilting when my sister was still living up here and we were fabriholics together and helped each other. My sister created an original quilt with a horse theme for her horse-crazy daughter. She cut squares and rectangles willy nilly and then had to work them into a cohesive quilt top—which was NUTS. And the drop was a border of rectangles containing horse figures which she hadn’t calculated at all.

I recall measuring the rectangles and figuring out how she could make them work by cheating the sashing between them. The eye can be deceived, remember! And I got her borders to work that way. Although I was stunned to learn that she hadn’t worked it all out on paper beforehand.

And on this subject, I have to say that one of the quilting books I have most used and still use is TAKING THE MATH OUT OF MAKING PATCHWORK QUILTS by Bonnie Leman and Judy Martin. For which I paid $4.95 at a store on Third Avenue which went out of business ages ago. I see is selling it new for $60!! But they have used copies much cheaper. I also know that there are quilt calculators on the web. That’s great but I still love this paperbook. It’s incredibly useful.

I have refigured my green/tan dimensions. I need to make 272 blocks for a quilt that’s 16 blocks wide and 17 long. That’s 4 strips that are 4 blocks wide and 17 long (68 blocks.)

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