You know how everyone always says they love to see imperfect blog posts where the author shows you the mistakes? Well, if that’s your cup o’ tea, I’m about to make you smile…

I’m plugging away at the 4 baby quilts for Annie’s teachers. For baby quilt #1, I made economy blocks by following this recipe from Crazy Mom Quilts. I pulled purple solids from stash for the backgrounds.


It’s set 4×5. 16 of the blocks have centers enhanced by the kids, 4 are just the tie dye. Β It’s for a baby girl, due 11/9. Mom is the former math and science teacher who is transitioning to being the part time curriculum supervisor after baby arrives… Also, please do not look at my points. They are awful. But see below for an explanation as to why you should never cut the squares BEFORE you dye them…

Baby quilt #2 was tricky- the blocks by the kids were in 2 different color ways that didn’t have a ton in common. I decided to use the Modern Plus Quilt Tutorial from In Color Order to enable me to mix in loads of fabrics- trying to make things “go”. I was able to pull some from my scrap bins, and cut some from stash. Bonus: the plus signs- this quilt is going to a little girl born over the summer to the new math and science teacher. Plus signs for a math teacher make me smile! This one is set 10×10, so should finish at 40×40 inches.


I’m worried about how much easing I had to do while piecing this one. MAJOR lesson learned from this project: don’t cut the fabric squares before the art teacher dyes them. On many, the edges frayed well past the seam allowance area. I would have cut them smaller but we would have lost a lot of the kids artwork then as well 😦 Hence the easing… Those wrinkles you can clearly see in the photo are partially the ripples of my high tech design wall, but also partially crooked piecing. Yikes!

But that’s not the mistake I’m talking about. I started the 3rd quilt top over the weekend. I used tutorials for the first 2 tops, but I decided to simply wing it on #3. I pulled some fab backing fabric from my stash, and planned to make 2 borders around each kid block- 1 pink and 1 yellow. I wanted the blocks to finish at 8.5″, or 8 when sewn together…

IMG_2468 IMG_2469

(Did I mention that the dad to be, a math and social studies teacher, is a star wars and scifi buff?)

Great idea, right? I was going to set them 4×5. Then I thought I might put the star wars fabric in as sashing with pink cornerstone squares. Sounded awesome. But as I started putting the blocks on the design wall, I realized they looked larger than I planned. Hmmmm.


So I pulled out a ruler. I’m so brilliant, I made them all 12.5″ instead of 8.5″. WTF? How did I do that. Oh. I see. I added on the width of my fabric borders but didn’t take into account that the measurements needed to be doubled as they were on all sides of the squares. Go me.

So no sashing, as there are 16 of these blocks (I’ll be only using the centers the kids made, no adding in any plan tie dyed squares!) It’s going to end up 48″x48″ Β without sashing or borders… Instead of doing all the blocks w/center squares followed by pink followed by yellow, I’m doing 8 pink/yellow and 8 yellow/pink. I’ll set them alternating, and throw the star wars stuff on the back and all will be will. But boy do I feel dumb!

Meanwhile, I got a sweet and polite email from the art teacher wondering how the quilts were coming along. Time to get my ass in gear. 2 babies are due 11/9… and I don’t know if I’m going to make it in time…

Time for a bit of happy news: WE HAVE A NEW ROOF!! It was installed Friday last. Gutters go on tomorrow. And the internal repairs to the house started TODAY! I might have my house back by November! Please keep your fingers crossed that the internal repairs go smoothly.

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, and Let’s Bee Social.



Filed under Baby quilts, Gift, Quilts

29 responses to “4.5+4.5=12?

  1. whoops! I made a similar block to your last one for a bee once and did the same thing. The instructions given were amended from another tutorial to be a different size and I got all mixed up! Luckily I noticed and could fix it before I set it off πŸ˜‰

  2. Oh, yes. I’ve done that exact thing! These are so fun. I’m sure the teachers will appreciate them! πŸ™‚

    • Oh, and how could I forget to say, “yay for your new roof!!!!”

    • I hope so! It sounds like the babies will beat the quilts- the 2 due 11/9 are having contraction action already!

      PS the inside work started- that open wall has been drywalled and textured- next is painting!!


      On Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 7:27 AM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  3. bkringel

    I think these are very special. When the plus quilt is quilted I bet the pulling will be hidden. Mistakes are part of the process. They all look very sweet.

    • I’ll pay special attention to basting and quilting in the hopes of making the plus quilt lay flat… fingers crossed!


      On Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 9:01 AM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  4. I appreciate the mistakes post – I constantly make mistakes with quilt math and it bums me out but I’ve learnt loads from those mistakes so hopefully I’ll get better in time! I adore the purple quilt πŸ™‚

    • I’ve made tons of mistakes over the years, but I don’t seem to get better. I am terrible at visualizing things. Building something from a diagram stymies me, but if someone walks me thru how to do it, no problem. Quilt math is the same…


      On Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 9:18 AM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  5. I have made that math error more than once, and its reverse, subtracting twice instead of once. You made a good recovery with your new plan.

  6. You see that’s why I don’t do quilt math πŸ™‚ All the quilts look great though, mistakes and all (and you’ll be the only one who notices those). And hooray for a new roof!

    • Hooray for a new roof indeed! The company was great, and hopefully this one won’t have a leak that causes $10k of damage 9 years down the road like the old one!


      On Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 1:30 AM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  7. Those quilts are each going to be so appreciated. Lovely work! My fave is the plus quilt. Congrats on the new roof. Hope all goes well on the indoor work, too!

    • Thanks, Lorna- I am hoping the plus quilt looks fun and happy, not like fabric vomit. I went a bit nutty digging thru the scrap bin and threw together such a mish mosh- but i do like it.

      Drywall done, ceiling retextured, painting next…


      On Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 5:09 AM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  8. Well at least you didn’t piece them in upside down and only notice after quilting- that’s what I always seem to do! Its all turning out grand so far, despite the trouble they are causing you!

  9. Jayne

    We all make mistakes! I know they will all love their new quilts…thanks for the smile!

  10. I know it would involve some seam ripping, but have you considered turning those log cabin blocks into 1/4 cabin blocks? That would solve your size issue and allow you to add in the sashing you want to the front. Then you could still use those other pieces of fabric you cut for a scrappy back.

    • It is a really good idea, but I’m on so much of a time crunch with these already 😦 If I hadn’t been so many blocks in (nearly 1/2) when I noticed my mistake, I would have ripped…


      On Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 8:13 AM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  11. You’re brave taking these projects on, and don’t worry about the miscalculations in the third one. Your solution sounds perfect, and you can’t change much at this stage. Have fun quilting them.

  12. vikkib

    What great quilts – I am sure they will all be well loved. I have made mistakes with measurements before, now i tend to make my husband check my calculations if I am trying to change the size of something, lol.

  13. Good luck getting these 3 quilts finished up. I think precuts can be awesome, and I would have been pretty sad to get back the fabric so frayed and out of seam allowance. Oh, and yay for a new roof! πŸ™‚

    • It was a valuable lesson. I just didn’t think dyeing would fray them so crazily. and it’s really uneven- some lost nearly a full 1/4 inch, some nothing. Lesson learned and then some… (Plus the art teacher who did the dyeing and decorating with the kids is NOT a quilter or sewer of any kind, and had no idea about seam allowance…)


      On Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 12:24 PM, Diary of a Madfabriholic wrote:


  14. Pingback: Four out of Four | Diary of a Madfabriholic

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