How not to finish a quilt in 10 easy steps

1.  Ignore the fact that your diet is consisting of more and more mutant produce and get to work.


2.  Plan a queen-sized quilt when you don’t have a queen-sized area in which to work.  Alternately, plan a queen-sized quilt when you bought a house with a big studio, but the sale wasn’t final.  Alternately, continue with said queen-sized quilt when you could have easily scaled back.


3.  [Sidestep] While struggling with the space issue, contemplate the boxes and boxes of books hidden beneath Indian bedspreads (that once adorned dorm walls), pictures without walls, and the weak light from the single window in your sh*tty apartment living room.

4.  Focus your attention back to the quilt top.  Realize that though you usually have a fairly high tolerance for wonkiness, one square looks too sloppy, so carefully rip it out to fix it without thinking about the possibility of how your “fix” might not make it better, only worse.  Feel sad that it could have just been a little extra wonky instead of a lot extra wonky now since there’s no way you’re going back in there to fix/mess it up even more.


5.  When ironing the top (hopefully for the last time) discover that one of the fabrics can actually shrink and warp once it’s already been ironed many many times.  No time for flailing about and shrieking WTFs, just rip the bitches, replace them, and re-iron the whole thing c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y.


6.  [Sidestep]  In anticipation of quilting, play with a few samples of top+batting+backing.  Discover that your machine is entirely rejecting this action and refuses to obey proper tension.  Feel immediately panicked, then feel immediately in denial and move on.

7.  Discover that it will be impossible to lay and smooth out the layers flat.  Even if you hop from chair to sofa, you will never be able to perform the long jump necessary from end to end and will fall several times trying.


8.  Consider crying.

9.  Investigate paying someone else to do this part.

10.  Consider scrapping the whole thing.



Filed under home decor, quilts, sewing

4 responses to “How not to finish a quilt in 10 easy steps

  1. Ahh, that does not sound like it was much fun… Could you perhaps split the quilt into several parts, say 4, assemble these, quilt them and later join them to make 1 quilt? That would help it fit on your floor and make it less of a chore trying to fit it all in your sewing machine throat during the quilting part? For example as shown in this tutorial:

  2. Mel Wise

    Sounds like my son’s quilt. I started the quilt before we moved from a spacious house to a teensy weensy apartment with absolutely nowhere to lay out a quilt. One thing after another thing after yet another thing led me to put it away for a couple of months. I ended up doing two things: downsizing the project (it was originally a full and I made it into a twin) and I pin basted using my dining room table starting in the center and working my way out. I still see the mistakes but boy was I relieved once it was completed (and he was so happy to get it). Hang in there!!

    • Thank you! And I’ve forgotten about the table – it’s smaller than our house-sized one in storage, but combined with quilting in smaller pieces and/or trimming the whole thing down, it’s another possible solution!

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