Tag Archives: beginner quilting

Help me choose what layout to use!

I came up with 4 very similar layouts for the sugar and spice quilt but I can’t decide on which one to use.  In each photo, it is only the middle column that has that minor difference.  Also, there will be a 2 inch cream sashing between each square.

Can you please lend a hand and let me know what one you think is most appealing?  This will be going to a baby girl.  Thanks in advance for your help on this.

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4



Filed under Quilts

Rail Fence Tutorial

A Rail Fence quilt is a fairly easy quilt to make albeit a very time-consuming one, or at least for me it was.  This particular quilt took me 7 weeks to make however, I do have a full-time day job and most of the sewing was done between 8-10 at night and on Friday nights when the Mr. went out with the boys and every Saturday night a sporting event was on TV that he wanted to watch.  I am sure if I had more time during the day, it would have been a faster process.

This is my first tutorial so I hope it reads well and is easily understandable to the beginners out there.

After washing and pressing the fabric, I cut out 2.5″ stripes the width (42-44″) of the fabric.  For one complete 12″ square, you need 26″ of each colour you are using. Sew each colour together using a 1/4″ seam and press the seams towards the darker colours.  At this point, I ended up with a 6.5″ x 44″ strip of fabric.

Next, cut your strip every 6.5″.  You can do this in layers of 3 to cut back on the time it takes to cut out. 

You will end up with blocks like these.  I had 192 of them to cut out.  My rotary cutter would have gone on strike with all the cutting if it could. 

After all your strips of fabric are cut into the 6.5″ blocks, you can begin sewing the blocks together.  remember to maintain your 1/4″ seams as accurately as possible so you get a proper 12″ square.  I sewed half of my 192 blocks together as below:  And then I sewed the other half like this.

 Then, I lined up and pinned the 2 halves together to make my first completed 12″ block.  Your dimensions at this point should be 12.5 x 12.5

Once you have all your finished blocks, you can begin to sew them together.  As the quilt I made was 6 x 8, I sewed them in sections of 3 across and then joined each strip of 3 to another until they were 3 x 4 or 1/4 of the finished quit top.  Once all 4 quarters were complete, I matched the seams, pinned and sewed them all into one piece.

Next, I made the backing which I forgot to take a picture of, taped it to the floor with green painters tape to keep it taut.  I layed down the batting Warm & White), put the quilt top on and then basted it every 4 inches using large safety pins.  The recipient of this quilt had 2 requests for me.  #1 – Simple stitching, nothing too fancy.  I ended up ditch stitching on each 4″ block.  Turned out quite well.  I took the time to make sure all my blocks were lined up and I think I only had a couple that were off by a millimeter or to.  I was quite obsessive about this!  Request # 2, no label.  So, I signed my name and quilt details on the edge of the quilt where the binding would cover it up.  Once this was all complete, I sewed on the binding.  I used a zigzag stitch just to be different and I loved the look so much that I zigzagged the binding on another quilt as well.  When everything was all said and done, I washed and dried it, rolled it up, tied it with a ribbon and delivered to the happy recipient.

Here is the finished product.  Generally, a typical rail fence has a border of each colour around it.  I obviously did not do this due to the vast size of this puppy and I think it looks pretty darn good as is.  


Filed under The "How Do I Do That" Section

Quilt Frustration

I tried quilting the rail fence last night and achieved a level of frustration that is very rare for me. My feed dogs didn’t like how heavy an 8 foot blanket was to pull through. I had issues with the space between the needle and the motor. I have 8 inches of space on my old machine. When you have 4 feet of quilt rolled up in that space, things get very tight. I have not experienced this before. My frustration completely overwhelmed me and I gave up.

I should have gone to yoga to get my zen back but I had already missed the last class of the night. And to add to my stress, my Internet was messed up last night and I spent time with tech support to fix it. Had to reconfigure the modem and router after a storm we had and fix an IP address issue.

I have enjoyed the cutting and piecing together of this beast but the quilting has left a sour taste in my mouth.

Tonight, I will double check my pinning and then I will work on it in quarters to complete it for it’s owner who I know is patiently waiting for it. Sorry Tork. I know it’s a bit late. Almost there.

How do you overcome frustration in the quilting process and what drives you to continue when you hit a wall?


Filed under Quilts

Quilt Spray Adhesive

Here is what  purchased :

505 Temporary Adhesive Spray

This temporary, repositionable, fabric adhesive is used to temporarily bond fabric. Odorless and colorless, it gives off no mist, and does not gum sewing needles. Use for machine applique, quilting, basting, holding fabric to stabilizers in machine embroidery and hemming. 505 Spray and Fix, a temporary fabric adhesive, orderless, colorless, stainless, spotless, does not gum needles, no CFC, acid free.


  1. Protect work surface with disposable paper.
  2. Shake 505 Spray & Fix can before using.
  3. Hold can 12 in. / 30 cm. from fabric surface.
  4. Always spray 505 Spray& Fix on the wrong side of the smaller fabric piece to be glued.
  5. A light spray of 505 Spray& Fix is sufficient. A little goes a long way.
  6. Using your hand, press firmly in place to secure the piece to the larger fabric.
  7. A misaligned piece may be removed and repositioned several times for 15 to 20 minutes after spraying.
  8. Machine sew in place as usual.
  9. Cleanup with soap and water.
  10. Read label on can for storage, disposal, and first aid.
  11. Test on all fabrics before using.

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Filed under General Ramblings, Quilts

To Spray or not to Spray

As I approach the end of the Rail Fence, my brain is becoming a bit anxious about quilting it. This quilt is immense.   The finished dimensions will be 6 x 8 feet.  I have read a lot of quilting articles on the net recently and am surprised at the amount of people using spray adhesives to aid in holding all layers together (along with pins) to ensure the layers don’t slip and slide and throw off your design.

I am generally an anti-chemical use kind of person.  The more natural for me the better but I am very interested in this and actually went out and bought a can of 505 Temporary Adhesive Spray.  What I like best about this product (so they advertise) is that it can be washed out.  Hallelujah!  Chemicals be gone.  I cast you out in the wash! 

 I am crossing my fingers and toes that it is as easy to use as it sounds and will let you all know over the weekend.

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Filed under Quilts