From My Carolina Home

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Cards for Friends

Recently I found out that two of my friends were in physical therapy in-patient centers, one with a knee replacement and the other for strength rebuilding after a pretty bad infection and illness.  It is unusual to have two friends in at the same time, but the really amazing thing is that they were at the same center only two doors apart. Of course, that meant getting out the stamping stuff and creating cards to go with the little goodies I planned to take.

Get Well Cards ~ From My Carolina Home

These cards began with ivory color cardstock, and I embossed a pretty deep blue cardstock rectangle for texture.

Get Well Cards ~ From My Carolina Home

I have some pretty floral ribbon, and I glued it to one side, wrapping the cut ends to the backside.

Get Well Cards ~ From My Carolina Home

I glued those to the fronts of the cards, then stamped “Thinking of You” on yellow cardstock for the front. I did them a little differently, especially made with each lady in mind. One got a bird, the other a butterfly.

Get Well Cards ~ From My Carolina Home

The inside of the one with the bird on the front has a birdhouse inside, with the Get Well sentiment.

Get Well Cards ~ From My Carolina Home

The other card has a butterfly inside as well as on the front.

Get Well Cards ~ From My Carolina Home

Both cards have my special stamp on the back.

Get Well Cards ~ From My Carolina Home

And the envelope got a pretty design too.

Get Well Cards ~ From My Carolina Home

I packed up a couple of pretty bags with two paperback novels to read, a puzzle book, a tube of hand lotion and some chocolate in each one. It isn’t a lot, but I know from trying to recover from surgery myself a couple of years ago, keeping the mind occupied is essential.   The paperbacks are easy read cozy mysteries, and the puzzles – one a word search and the other a Sudoku – can be done here and there in short increments or longer if they want.

Get Well Cards ~ From My Carolina Home

Of course, I had to do a couple of bookmarks to go in as well, to go with the novels.

Get Well Cards ~ From My Carolina Home

It was nice to have a short visit to deliver the goodies. Both ladies appreciated the thoughts.

Get Well Cards ~ From My Carolina Home

It occurred to me that I should make up a bunch of cards as ‘blanks’, so I can run down and quickly have a card when I need one. There are plenty of times that I have an immediate need but no time – like a birthday almost forgotten, or someone needs a pick-me-up or support at a moments notice.  Naturally, if I am rushed or pressured, it is hard to be creative.  If I had some made up with the fronts and backs done, I could have the needed card in a minute just by stamping the inside with the appropriate sentiment.   Next time I have a burst of stamping creativity, I’ll make a few extras for those times when I need something in a hurry.

Do you keep cards on hand?

 

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Loading Scrap Dance Waltz

Loading Scrap Dance Waltz was a bit more involved than usual.  Two things came up that I thought I would share with you as it might help the new longarm quilters and home quilters too.

Waltz flimsy

Because I had washed the red fabrics several times, I washed the backing as well to reduce any shrinkage that might occur. I dried it in the dryer too. This had an unintended effect of making the large piece of fabric off grain. I did try to straighten it, but was still left with it a bit off. The result is when I loaded the backing, I got a wrinkle in backing.

Loading backing 1

I have talked about checking this before (Loading the Longarm) and this time I discovered the wrinkles. If I don’t fix this before I finish loading the quilt, I’ll get pleats on the back while quilting that I won’t see until the quilt is removed from the frame.  One way I deal with this is to repin the edge of the backing, shifting it in relation to the edge of the canvas leader.  This will straighten the wrinkles out, although the grain may not be straight in relation to the leaders.  As long as there are no wrinkles or pleats on the back after I have quilted it, I’m OK with that.

Loading backing 4

Luckily, this maneuver was enough to take care of the wrinkles, and now the backing hangs straight.

Loading backing 3

OK, so now to add the batting. I decided to use a wool batting for the first time this time.  There were a lot of creases in the batting, and I tried my usual trick of steaming and rolling, but that didn’t work. I pulled it off and put it in the dryer with a damp cloth on a low setting, but that didn’t work either. So, I called my friend Mary Jo and asked her what I could do.

Loading backing 5

She told me to spritz the entire batting with water, and then put it in the dryer on a medium heat. I mean, the only thing is it might shrink a bit, right? And that would be a good thing considering all the washing of fabrics and backing. So, I did that. The hard creases became soft waves that smoothed out nicely.

Loading backing batting creases 2

Next came the flimsy, smoothing it out I realized that this batting is a lot loftier than I am used to sewing. I will see how that goes and if I like the result. I wanted to do a variegated thread, but couldn’t find the cone I thought I had. Then I remembered, it was a brand that my machine just doesn’t like, so I had donated it. So, out came some other reds for a thread color audition. I did find a bit of the variegated left on a bobbin, and put it out to see what it would look like.

Waltz thread

Naturally, I like the variegated the best, wouldn’t you know! So I had to order a cone of King Tut. Now I just need to get the shipment so I can start quilting. I loaded up bobbins with a dark red Bottom Line.  I know I want to do a semi-custom quilting on this quilt, not just the edge to edge pantograph I usually do.

Here are a few shares from our Flickr group – wonderful colors and finishes! Tanya made a huge flimsy with grey background.  The curves really show up here with this size!

IMG_0360 2

Elaine finished a second Waltz, this time with a red border.  Now she just needs her longarm back to quilt both of them.

Scrap Dance Waltz #2 Made one more B block to get the 2 children's quilts. Waiting on my long arm to come home from the spa to quilt them.

Susan has her beautiful blues done, and was working on piecing the back.

Scrap Dance Waltz top finished, piecing the back now.

Cheryl has a fabulous Christmas quilt well underway, plenty of time to get it quilted for 2017.

Waltz Tango 2

What are you working on?

 

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Beef Barley Stew for Two

I like beef and barley stew, but one of the problems with making it is the quantity it usually makes.  I have found that I really don’t care for leftover food much anymore, and would rather have something fresh (or at least freshened, LOL, see my Creative Leftovers).  For our holiday meal we had a prime rib, and the leftover meat after several meals along with the bones made the perfect base for a dinner for two.

Beef Barley Stew for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

Actually, any beef bones with meat on them will do for this. Just put the bones in 8 cups of water with some onion and bring to a boil.  The bones will flavor the broth nicely with the onion.  You can add other aromatics like garlic, leeks and/or carrots if you like.

Beef Barley Stew for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

When the stew has boiled, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.  This will get the most flavor from the bones, and tenderize the meat so it comes off the bone easily.  Add mushrooms if you like them. Measure out 1/2 cup of pearled barley.

Beef Barley Stew for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

Take the bones out and allow to cool so you can handle them while the barley cooks. Shred the meat off the bones.

Beef Barley Stew for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

Bring the broth back to a low boil or high simmer, add the barley and cook about 45 minutes, or until tender. The barley will take up much of the broth. Add the meat back to the pot.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I don’t do any thickening of the broth for this meal, the barley is filling and it is nice to have the beef broth just served as it is.

Beef Barley Stew for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

Serve in a bowl, I like using the pasta bowls for stew.

Beef Barley Stew for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

I like to add a dollop of sour cream and some chopped green onions to my bowl.  I love the fresh flavor these garnishes give a meal.  DH just gets green onions as he isn’t a fan of sour cream.  He gave me some white truffle oil last month, and it was delicious on this stew too – adding an earthy flavor.

Beef Barley Stew for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

With a salad as the first course, the stew makes a filling supper, and there is enough just for two with maybe a small bowl left over for lunch tomorrow. This is a great way to use up the remains of a beef dinner, and make the leftovers into a fresh meal.  If you need a bigger amount, just increase the water and barley in a 3-to-1 ratio.  The amounts of onion and mushrooms can be increased too, this isn’t a precise recipe.  A bit more or less of any component will work.  You can add other things too, like green peas or carrots if you like.

Beef Barley Stew for Two

Leftover beef with bones
Thick slice of onion, split into rings
8 cups water
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup pearled barley
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish suggestions – sour cream, green onions, light drizzle of white truffle oil

Place bones, onion and water in large pot and bring to boil. When the stew has boiled, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add mushrooms if you like them. Measure out 1/2 cup of pearled barley. Take the bones out and allow to cool so you can handle them while the barley cooks. Shred the meat off the bones. Bring the broth back to a low boil or high simmer, add the barley and cook about 45 minutes, or until tender. The barley will take up much of the broth. Add the meat back to the pot, salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls with broth, garnish as you like, sour cream and green onions are tasty.

Beef Barley Stew for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

Do you enjoy beef and barley stew?  What do you like to do with leftover beef?

 

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Scrap Dance Mystery #3 is Coming! Are You Ready to Two-Step?

The new design is done, the first quilt is made, and I am working on the second to be sure the pattern is correct.  Scrap Dance Mystery Two-Step will premier next Friday, with clues on the third Friday of every month.  I like this design a lot, and I  might even make a third one.  The pattern takes advantage of some precuts, so you can use some of those to reduce the amount of cutting if you have them.

Scrap Dance Two-Step Mystery Quilt Along

I hear the George Straight song ‘Ocean Front Property’ in my head every time I think of Two-Stepping! Here is a video of him singing live if you haven’t heard it, or if you want to hear it again.  It’s a great song!  For my international friends who may not be familiar with US geography, Arizona is land locked without an ocean shoreline, and the Golden Gate is a bridge in San Francisco.  The song is about a guy telling a big fib about not being in love.  It is a toe tapper, so enjoy it!

Scrap Dance Two-Step will last about 7 months, with plenty of time between posts to get your steps done.  I am very excited about this one, as I designed it to take advantage of pre-cuts to save you some cutting time if you have some in your scrap bin.  Of course, you can still use scraps and leftover bits as always if you don’t, you’ll just need to cut the sizes required. So, dig out those charm squares, jelly roll leftovers and fat quarters, and get ready to cut fabric next week.

I have updated the open Flickr group for this mystery. Click on Scrap Dance Mystery Group 2017 for the group, join us to share your progress from fabric selection to finished quilt, and every stage between!  This is the same group we used for Tango, and the original Scrap Dance, just updated for the new mystery.

Here’s a little logo button for you, it should link back to this post, and I’ll add a link here to the first post next week.

Scrap Dance Two-Step Mystery Quilt Along

Button code for those who would like it for a sidebar –

<a title=”Scrap Dance Two-Step Mystery Quilt Along” href=”https://frommycarolinahome.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/scrap-dance-mystery-3-is-coming-are-you-ready-to-two-step/&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/687/31906271630_7d7d773740_m.jpg&#8221; alt=”Scrap Dance Two-Step Mystery Quilt Along” width=”240″ height=”180″ /></a>

Are you ready for a scrappy mystery quilt along?

Sharing the announcement post only, I will not be linking the individual steps.

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Labeling Quilts and Keeping Records

How often we quilters talk about labeling your quilts!  We say that labeling is not only to remind you when you made a quilt, but to tell others that you made it and when, but it also has another purpose – one I hope you never need. I think most of us wait until after the binding is done, then add a label. Some use preprinted labels, some use hand printed with pens….

Labeling Quilts and Documenting ~ From My Carolina Home

and some do embroidered labels.

Labeling Quilts and Documenting ~ From My Carolina Home

Recently I realized that I needed labels for several quilts that have never been shown. Sometimes I forget to do it once a quilt is done, unless it is going in a show or the fair. So I got out the pigma pens and made some quick labels and pinned them on for some Sunday hand stitching.  Then I got to thinking about this in a different light because of an email conversation with Rich Richey.

Labeling Quilts and Documenting ~ From My Carolina Home

We often don’t realize that a label is more than just identification, it may be needed to protect our work.  A hand whipped label to the backside is perfectly fine for documenting who made the quilt, along with when and where, but consider this.  Someone stealing your quilt can easily take that off.

Labeling Quilts and Documenting ~ From My Carolina Home

Certainly having good photographs of the front will be essential to recovering your quilt if it was stolen, but you might need to go further.  A good starting point would be to have a label that cannot be removed.  Here are two ideas. First, use a pigma pen to write your information directly on the backing after the quilt is quilted.  Certainly this is a label that cannot be removed.  Using a complementary pen color is nice.  If you like the look of a pretty embroidered label, just place the pretty one over the written one.  You are protected against the label being removed.

Labeling Quilts and Documenting ~ From My Carolina Home

I have also been experimenting with embroidering the information on the back prior to quilting.  I began with marking the position I needed to have the information on the backing, using pins and chalk.

Labeling Quilts and Documenting ~ From My Carolina Home

Ironing on tear away stabilizer gives the embroidery area some heft, and aids in keeping the fabric flat while the letters are embroidered.

Labeling Quilts and Documenting ~ From My Carolina Home

Then, position the fabric under the needle, check again to make sure it is going the right way, take a deep breath, and punch the button. My machine will embroider two ways, one is continuous lettering and the other uses a hoop.

Labeling Quilts and Documenting ~ From My Carolina Home

It is a bit hard to read, but it says Scrap Dance Waltz with my name, date and location in red thread. I wanted it to blend with the backing and not be noticeable unless you are looking for it.

Labeling Quilts and Documenting ~ From My Carolina Home

Flipping it over, I tore away the stabilizer, leaving only the stitching and a tiny bit of stabilizer under the thicker sections of letters. I’ll let you know how the quilting goes over this area.  I anticipate that I won’t be able to tell where it is as I am quilting.

Labeling Quilts and Documenting ~ From My Carolina Home

Recently, on another blog (and I cannot find the post now to link it) I saw a quilter had sewn her label onto the back then quilted over it.  That would also make it difficult to remove.  Beyond that, some other suggestions for proving you made the quilt is to write your name on the edge under the binding.  A thief wouldn’t take the time to undo a binding to make sure there isn’t a name somewhere.

Labeling Quilts and Documenting ~ From My Carolina Home

Another idea is to photograph the backside, particularly if the back is pieced.  Major works of art have the edges of a canvas usually covered by the frame photographed as a method to identify the genuine from the forgery.  The same idea could be applied to quilts, by taking close up shots of the quilting in the corners for whole cloth backings, or the piecing design for a pieced backing.

Labeling Quilts and Documenting ~ From My Carolina Home

Certainly we all hope that your quilt would never be stolen, but in that case, how would you prove that the quilt is yours?  Such a situation occurred in Houston just this past November when Jamie Wallen’s trailer was stolen at Quilt Festival in Houston in November from the parking lot of the hotel. It was recovered a day or two later, wrecked and abandoned, with all the quilts missing.  Some were customer quilts.  A few days later, a lady walking found a trash bag full of some of the missing quilts, and more were recovered later, but four customer quilts are still missing.  Those quilts might end up at a flea market, beautiful and seemingly a bargain, likely with the label removed.  How would you know it was stolen?  You wouldn’t.  Would you even think to look around on the internet to find out?  Likely not.  But, what if you were the person who made the quilt, publicizing it around might help it be found.  Maybe some other quilter would recognize your missing quilt at a flea market or resale shop.  Great, now, prove it is yours.  This is a horrible situation, and I hope that no one ever has a quilt stolen, but it points out the need for as much documentation as you can do.  Rich Richey, Jamie’s partner, and I were emailing recently and I got an update from him.  He only had one photo of this quilt, and no pictures of the others stolen from Jamie’s private collection.  This beautiful green quilt called Rhapsody in Green is still missing.

rapsody

This class example quilt is also still missing, along with three others that Jamie used to demonstrate some of his techniques.  I took this picture when I took his class, and Rich was happy to see a picture of one of the still missing quilts.  Likely it is in a landfill at this point as I am sure someone with no knowledge of quilting would not see its value.  I am happy to report that according to Rich, the criminal responsible was caught, has already been prosecuted and is serving a 25 year sentence.

p1030996

Sadly, four of Jamie’s customer quilts are still missing, but Rich didn’t have any of photographs of those quilts to share.  I have not yet found any mention of who the last four stolen customer quilts belong to, what they look like or any pictures of them. This totally baffles me, why wouldn’t you publicize a custom quilted quilt that was stolen?  There is a site for listing lost and stolen quilts called Lost Quilts (lostquilt.com) but there are no listings referencing the theft.  Even if the maker didn’t have pictures of the finished quilt (because Jamie did the quilting and was to deliver them back at the show), they should still have pictures of the flimsy. By now, those quilts and the Rhapsody In Green quilt could be anywhere.  Without any publicity on the last four missing quilts from Jamie’s customers, it is not likely they will ever be recovered.

If you ever decide to enter a national or local show, be sure you do as much as you can to make sure your identifying information on the quilt is permanent.  Quilts have been lost in shipping, stolen presumably because the address indicated it was going to a quilt show.  I remember when I shipped a quilt to the AQS show, they were very careful to tell me how to label the box so it wouldn’t be obvious that it was going to a quilt show, and if I insured it, to call it a blanket not a quilt.  Sad, but you just never know.

Labeling Quilts and Documenting ~ From My Carolina Home

Those of us with blogs tend to take a lot of photos of our finished work, but how many of you that don’t blog take the time to document your quilting?  Will you look at labeling the same way now?

 

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Winter White

Now that the holidays are truly over, I like to create a cleaner space after the clutter of the autumn season followed by Christmas.  For me, going to to an all white decor is a rest for the eyes before getting to the rich Valentine reds  and Mardi Gras colors of February. The snow over the weekend helped set the mood too, and our pub table is now decked out in all white.

Winter White at From My Carolina Home

I found these darling little mitten ornaments with snowflakes at the thrift store, and they had four! So, of course they become napkin ring ornaments.

Winter White at From My Carolina Home

The placemats are my vintage Battenberg lace ones, with the white French Country dinnerware. I added a little white sauce dish at the top. It can hold some teriyaki or horseradish sauce for a pork roast dinner.

Winter White at From My Carolina Home

In the center, a white rabbit planter holds the white poinsettia from the holidays. It is still growing, and I turned the silver side of the wrapper out.

Winter White at From My Carolina Home

On either side are white pillar candles in the cut glass holders I’ve had for many years. I found the white iridescent beads at the thrift store too, and lay them around the center for a bit of sparkle.

Winter White at From My Carolina Home

Another thrift store find, this little snowflake candle holder is a perfect addition to the other side of the centerpiece.

Winter White at From My Carolina Home

Here’s a wider view of the whole table.

Winter White at From My Carolina Home

White is the theme all through the house, with this display on the kitchen counter. The white colander holds a new white candle in a lovely scent called Winter Garden. The white salt and pepper are within easy grasp sitting on a lace placemat.

Winter White at From My Carolina Home

In the den, I put the White Mini Quilt on the stand, adding white candles on the side. My white reindeer stays out all winter, and this year he sits regally near the quilt. The little pine cone next to him is a candle with glitter, too pretty to burn.

Winter White at From My Carolina Home

In a corner, the antique table usually holds a quilt, but for January it displays another Battenburg runner.

Winter White at From My Carolina Home

On the coffee table, I placed the Snowflake runner from last year, with a Fenton candy dish, my depression glass American potpourri dish, and a book of Andrew Wyeth art. The cover shot is one of my all time favorite paintings.

Winter White at From My Carolina Home

Outside, the snow filled up the feeder Saturday morning so the birds were having a hard time. It was dark and the snow was still falling when I got up Saturday.

January Snow 2017 2

You can see on the top of the feeder how many inches we got, which is on the driveway too.

January Snow 2017 4

The blue jay managed to unhook the suet feeder from the clip, not on purpose, and it plopped into the snow. When DH saw that, he put on earmuffs, gloves, heavy coat and Wellies and got out the ladder to fix it.

January Snow 2017 7

He brushed all the snow out of the feeder, and replaced the suet feeder. I scattered some seed on the ground for the ground feeder birds and we went back in to watch. Very shortly, the cardinal landed for a bite, while a woodpecker went for the suet.

January Snow 2017 9

A titmouse on the feeder,

January Snow 2017 12

and juncos on the ground.

January Snow 2017 10

Everybody that wanted a meal got some food.

January Snow 2017 14

Later in the day, the sun came out. It was a beautiful clear blue sky.

January Snow 2017 17

Just look at the icicles on the roof!

January Snow 2017 19

Then, on Sunday, the boys were back for another handout. One was really strutting his stuff, cluck-purring and fanning his tail.  He was really preening for a tidbit.

Turkeys in the Snow 4

DH thought I’d lost my mind as I made them a peanut butter sandwich and fed it to them in small bites thrown onto the snow. They need the extra protein and calories when it is only 27 degrees outside.

Turkeys in the Snow 6

I’m still not going anywhere soon. The driveway is still several inches deep in snow.  Hopefully the sun will melt it before Wednesday as I have two meetings that day!

Turkeys in the Snow 5

In the meantime, I’ll be sewing and crafting!

What’s going on where you live?  Do you enjoy Winter White?

 

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Another Lesson on Measuring Borders

Recently, I was discussing borders with a lady after her quilt was done.  I asked if she had measured the borders and she said yes she had. But they were too big, and it occurred to me that I have not yet talked about why you need to measure a certain way to get the result you need. I had Scrap Dance Waltz in progress, and used three blocks to illustrate this concept. So, do you ever ‘do the math’ when you are measuring your borders? I am willing to bet that 98% of you will say no. What I mean by this is figuring out what the border should be, then measuring correctly to see if it is close.

Measuring Wrong for Borders - From My Carolina Home

So here I have three blocks, each finishes at 10 inches. Three blocks x 10 inches = 30 inches + 1/2 inch for seam allowances (1/4 on each edge) = 30-1/2 inches. That is the target. So if I measure the border and get 33 inches, it isn’t right, not even close.  So, I lay out the little 3-block quilt and measure in the middle. Guess what, just a smidgen under 30-1/2 inches!

Measuring Wrong for Borders - From My Carolina Home

OK, now I am going to pick up the quilt, and measure on the edge by sliding the quilt edge and the measuring tape in my hands and working down the quilt edge. You know, pulling both through my fingers at the same time, this should put the tape along at the same rate as the fabric right?

Measuring Wrong for Borders - From My Carolina Home

Wrong! Sliding both the edge and the tape through my fingers gave me a different answer. And it was enough to be a problem, 31-5/8 inches!  I promise, I didn’t make this up, try it yourself to see.

Measuring Wrong for Borders - From My Carolina Home

More than one inch of excess fabric would be added in that border using that measurement, and it is only three blocks. Take that up to five or six or nine blocks and the numbers just get bigger.  So, how you measure the quilt flimsy is important. How you measure the border itself is also important. Using the proper method, I measured the first border for the Waltz quilt. I needed 70-1/8 inches. I set up an extension of my cutting board with a chair and a cardboard sewing mat.

Measuring Borders Properly ~ From My Carolina Home

Measure the border by laying the measuring tape on top and carefully smoothing it. Slip the cutting ruler under the tape and be sure it is in the right place.

Measuring Borders Properly ~ From My Carolina Home

Then cut it to length.

Measuring Borders Properly ~ From My Carolina Home

Then just for fun, I ran the cut border through my fingers to measure it again just to see what would happen. Oh my, again the measurement comes out too long! Measuring the border this way will make it too short, and will result in excess fabric migrating to the middle of the quilt, in this case a full inch.

Measuring Borders Properly ~ From My Carolina Home

Here is a better look at the setup I use, with a director chair under the cardboard extender.  I have the rose print border on the cutting table, which is the center one on the Waltz quilt. If you don’t have the space or a way to extend your cutting surface, then use the floor.

Measuring Borders Properly ~ From My Carolina Home

Ideally, take three measurements on your quilt top, one in the center, and two more between the center and each edge.  This picture is from a while ago, today I would use the center of each row as the measuring point on a nine block quilt.  On larger ones, I’d measure the center first, then halfway between the center and the edge on each side of the center.

4measuringfirst

So, why take three?  Why not just do one in the middle?  Well, because while the center measurement is often the smallest, it might not be.  It is much better to do three and take the average, and round that as needed.  I hear fellow quilters whine a lot about the math, then whine that their quilts aren’t flat.  Get a calculator, it isn’t that hard.  Sometimes you don’t have to, all the measurements come out the same, that is golden!  But often there isn’t more than a 1/2 inch difference between all three.  Use the measurement that is between the longer and shorter measurements to cut your borders.  It isn’t difficult to work in an extra 1/2 inch in a border, what is hard is working in two or three inches because it wasn’t measured right or it was done by the slap and sew method.  But, know your target.

So, lets say that you all are doing the Scrap Dance Waltz quilt – this one.  The blocks are 10 inches finished.  What size should the first cream color border be across the top and bottom?

waltz-mulit-5x7

Answer – 5 blocks x 10 inches + 1/2 inch = 50-1/2 inches.  Your measurement should be close, allowing for some variation in piecing.

OK, now do the vertical border, assuming the cream border is 2 inches finished width.

red-waltz-5x7

Answer – 7 blocks x 10 inches + 2 inches cream border on top + 2 inches for the bottom + 1/2 inch seam allowance = 74-1/2 inches.  If you measure and get 76+ inches, they are definitely going to be too big.  Go back and measure again, making sure you are not distorting the quilt while you measure it.  If you get 75 inches or 73-3/4 inches, it is probably correct for your quilt, assuming that is the average of three measurements.  You have a target to shoot for, so you will know if it isn’t right.

Once again, once you are completely done with your properly done borders, do this trick to be sure they are good.  Lay the quilt on a straight flat surface with the inner border seam at the edge.  A bed or a long table will work, or if you just don’t have that kind of space, use the floor. Bring up the bottom of the quilt up to meet the top, placing the border seams on top of each other, step back and look at the bottom of the fold.  If it bows up in the middle like this one, you need to remove the borders, remeasure and try again.

Loading the Longarm | From My Carolina Home

It should look like this, straight across the bottom, indicating the middle and the sides are the same length, which will mean the borders are flat without excess fabric.

French Cottage Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

How about a New Year’s resolution to do your borders better in 2017?  Whaddya say?

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Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

Let’s Bee Social

Needle and Thread Thursday

Whoop Whoop Friday

Crazy Mom Quilts

Show Off Saturday