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The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: Debploch
Date: 12-20-2005, 05:16 AM (1 of 6)
I have never tried quilting before. My fiancee's mother passed away 2 years ago and I have discovered quite a few finished embroidered quilt squares and some left undone. I want to try to finish it for him - shooting for next Christmas. I have no trouble with the needlepoint, however there are 17 completed squares already - Vogart company - roughly 14 inches square. How many of these need to be completed and how big do you suppose she had planned to make it? There is still a full package of them (afraid to count how many in there) and a few loose unstarted ones. Looks like a 1/4" allowance around the edges is all there is - when it gets quilted does it get considerably smaller? Is there a usual amount of these squares? Can anyone shed a little light?
User: Debploch
Member since: 12-20-2005
Total posts: 2
From: HeyJudee
Date: 12-20-2005, 07:22 AM (2 of 6)
Hi, Debploch. First welcome to Sew What's New.
Concerning your questions...Generally quilters use a 1/4" seam allowance when they sew up their quilts so that is why there is only that amount left around the edges. FYI - quilts can be any size you want them to be. But generally you take the measurement of your squares and deduct 1/2" (for the 1/4" seam that will be sewn on each side) and that will be your finished size. For example, if you measure the squares and they are 12 1/2" each. Then the finished size per square will be 12". If you sew four together you will have 48" finished. But generally people put sashing strips between the squares which will increase the size and you can also add a border around that will make it larger too. The size of the strips you use will depend on the size you want it to be when finished. has a lot of tips and lessons for making a quilt. I've included the link below...when you go to the page, use the drop down list under "Where do you want to go" and check out the lessons, etc. Lesson 2 has sizes indicated for the adult size quilts, etc. and probably explains it better too.

Don't be shy. Come back and ask if you have questions. Lots of people here will be glad to give some advice. :wink:
TTFN from
User: HeyJudee
Member since: 01-25-2005
Total posts: 1366
From: AndreaSews
Date: 12-20-2005, 02:04 PM (3 of 6)
Deb, as for the design of the quilt top (size, arrangement, # of squares, borders), you have the artistic license now. I think this is such a loving gift for your fiance. You could either go ahead and embroider the rest of the squares and let them mingle with the ones she has completed, or else you could find a new way to arrange them, without adding to the embroidery, surrounding her squares with plain squares in complimentary patterns that will highlight her work. What approach do you think would mean the most to your fiance?
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
From: bridesmom
Date: 12-21-2005, 02:04 AM (4 of 6)
As a brand new quilter I have no tips for you at all, but I think that is the most wonderful idea. I'm sure he will be deeply moved at such a gift from you. A lot of new 'daughter in laws' would be tempted to just toss that kind of stuff. No matter what you do I'm sure it will be a treasure.
Tickled pink with my Innovis 4000D
User: bridesmom
Member since: 01-21-2004
Total posts: 2026
From: esrun3
Date: 12-24-2005, 04:23 PM (5 of 6)
Welcome Debploch! What a wonderful thing you are doing!! How many blocks you use depends on the size quilt you want. You have a lot of artistic license with quilting! You can sash between squares or not, put on wide borders or several small ones or none if you want. Seams are usually 1/4". You can tie the quilt rather than "quilting" it with thread after it's all together if you prefer. I agree with HeyJudee, check out quilter's cache, there's lots of great info there-also your local quilt shop should be able to help you out with questions/problems. Also, feel free to ask here, usually someone has the answer for you. I think it's wonderful that you are willing to do this-I'm sure your fiancee will treasure the quilt when you give it to him!
User: esrun3
Member since: 12-02-2004
Total posts: 2345
From: Debploch
Date: 12-27-2005, 03:57 AM (6 of 6)
Thanks all - as it turns out my total of available blocks for this pattern is 34. So I figure 30 is the limit to get any kind of square shape to it, right? I saw what you said about complimentary squares, but if I put the sashing in between, it should be pretty big. I know this is blaspheming but I don't own a sewing machine and I don't think I could pull this off secretly even if I did - is there anywhere I could send the embroidered pieces to have them made into a quilt for me?
User: Debploch
Member since: 12-20-2005
Total posts: 2
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