Thursday, November 30, 2023

When Quilts Don't Fit...

I got caught up in the webbing yesterday.

And yes, this is a continuation of where I left off in yesterday's post so if you are new or missed it, you might want to flip back and catch up HERE.

It's not that the webbing of this top was difficult - that went just as expected with no upsets other than the usual "ran out of bobbin at the beginning of that column and didn't find out until much later..." (Like you've never had that happen - right?!)

This is the first quilt I've set this way - with longer sashings and shorter sashings and cornerstones.

So what happens when the quilt top is assembled, I take it home to try it out on my king sized bed - and it comes up short?

But then to continue the pattern with more blocks and sashings to keep with this repeat of half-blocks and big blocks it comes out super-huge?

We'll talk more about that in a bit - but first:

I had several folks asking for me to "go live" and do a video of webbing so they could grasp it in full.

You know that here in very rural Virginia my internet at my studio is like one step above dial-up. I don't have internet at the cabin - at home- and we rely solely on cell data which isn't that great at times either.

It's rural living and we are fine with it for most things, but live videos aren't one of the things I can do.  On occasion I've tried to join in on Zoom calls tor special things, and sometimes it works - sometimes it's choppy.  We joke that the wind has to be blowing in the right direction for the connection.

Yesterday I jumped in and just recorded (not live) a little clip to share how this process works a bit better.  It took about an HOUR of the little icon on my phone spinning to get it to upload.

Click to play:

It's choppy - it cuts out in parts, but hey - we tried anyway.

Ready to begin.

I did end up snipping the chaining threads between the rows so I had two quilt top halves - it made it easier to wrangle during the cross-seaming process.

You don't have to keep everything together - you can snip things into manageable sections.

I do my first round of webbing all in one whole, though - because I want the rows completely assembled all the way across the quilt.  It makes the rest of the assembly easier.

Flipping the first row over to the next and stitching it down.

I mentioned in the video that I finger press while webbing the top and building my rows across. This just gets things heading in the right direction.

After I have stitched the first row to the second, I take it to the ironing board and press that seam, and also press the next two rows down the quilt in preparation for sewing those together.

Press the seam, and press a bit further down the quilt where you will be sewing next.  It keeps things manageable that way.

Two halves, ready to join together.

One "half" is wider than the other as it includes the center column. If this still felt too unwieldy for anyone, they could have snipped the chaining threads in the webbed top into 3 workable sections.

While sewing this - as all of my blocks had bias edges (diagonal string blocks often do) I stitched with the string blocks against the feed dogs, and the sashing on top to ease in and manage any stretch.

And here is where we are now.

It never looks as big when it's off the floor!

The top measures roughly 95'' X 95''.  I brought it home to try on my bed, and while it is okay in length, it is way too short on the sides.

And there in lies my conundrum. I can border 3 sides.  Maybe string piano keys?

Or - I can extend the pattern with one more wide row followed by one narrow row (and sashings) to one side which will add about 20'' to the width.  That should give me the drape I need.

That just means more piecing, any way I look at it.

It's not like there is a shortage in the string department - it's just that *I* wanted this done and off the list.  So it's a me problem.

I'm not crazy about piano keys on only 3 sides.

So I think I've made up my mind while typing this.  I'm going to have to dive back into making string blocks and increase the width by that much.

How many more? 87 by my count. Which could be off. Argh.

Quit judging me, Lola!

At any rate - this is where I am.  

But not today.  Today is for spending time with the December Quiltvillians and getting everything ready for tomorrow's Part Two release of the Indigo Way Mystery.

The sun is shining (though rain is forecast) and temps should hit 50 today - and I welcome it!

What's going on for your Thursday?

Quiltville Quote of the Day-

I know it's scary.
Just take that leap.

And I guess that includes more string blocks?



  1. sorry you need to make more blocks always hate this when it happens think you are done but nope need more. off to get mammogram today and visit a friend today and stopping at LQS . maybe some sewing later today.

  2. The " I WANT IT FINISHED" in me always tempts me to take the short cut, but I am always happiest when I take the time to do what I need to do. Thank you for sharing this quilting journey and conundrum! It normalizes it for the rest of us!

  3. I'm working on putting together the backing for my Christmas quilt; a 2-year project I'm determined to finish for our bed this year! Your strings are very colorful and will be great for your bed. I bet it's heavy with all those seams!

  4. I had the same problem with Cabin corners. I thought I had it big enough, but when it went on the bed, it was too short. I am ready to move on to Morning Glories and Silk Path (and, of course, the mystery) but was determined to add two more rows to increase the length. I am just seaming the last rows and should have it finished today. Well worth the effort!

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  6. You go girl!! It's nice to know you are human! LOL Been there done that. Not fun but the end result is so worth it! Love the quilt. I'll be making sugar cookies shaped like Christmas Trees and frosting them. We have our holiday party this weekend. I'll have 28 which is down about 19. We are scattered across the country but still manage to stay in touch and kick off the holiday season each year at this time. I've always had around 30 folks who can make it. It's always a guess as to who can make it. So after this weekend our Christmas is done! Has worked well. I will be sewing the rest of the year to fill in the time. Thanks for your mystery quilts, works so well for me. Love this blog and you of course!

  7. Those string blocks must be LITTLE! Wow! VERY nice!

  8. Anonymous11:06 AM EST

    I really like making string blocks and have many. Your pattern is fun and looks great.

  9. Thank you for sharing your processes!

  10. Yes to more string blocks, that would be my choice.

  11. Anonymous11:37 AM EST

    Very pretty! Yes, I agree that you need to add one more wide row and one more narrow row to one of the sides to give you the width that you want. I do understand about wanting a project finished. :-) I'm ready and looking forward to Part 2 of the Indigo Mystery tomorrow. Jenny

  12. So lovely to see your video and hear your voice again! Such a happy scrappy quilt! I'm ready for part #2 - so excited!

  13. More blocks as Leaders and enders to your Leaders and Enders. You'll be glad you did. Almost ready for part 2. Slower moving this year with hubby home 24/7. Cold with freezing fog and we need to go out later this morning. Where did I put those long tights? Happy Thursday!

  14. Love the video, I know how you feel when the wind blows🥴! There was an awesome movie that used the line "If you build it they will come!" You've already built it, the border will come... to you! 😉

  15. Anonymous1:39 PM EST

    I absolutely love this pattern! Video came thru great! Thank you! Mona

  16. Loved your video, Bonnie! Esp. love your cute scissor earrings! Love the quilt, too, and learning your webbing technique has made my life so much easier! Thanks for your generous spirit and the way you teach us this cool stuff!!!

  17. Anonymous2:34 PM EST

    I feel your pain about the "Internet". We live in rural Kansas so have the same issues.

  18. I'm sure it will be wonderful! Reminds me I need to get back to Grassy Creek, I need to finish the border!

  19. Sometimes I have needed to let a quilt "rest" when I need to fix something or need to enlarge it and don't want to face it. You will be happier when it is finished as you really want it finished.
    Today, I took a friend on a field trip to Keaton Quilts in NYC. What a delightful shop!! Thank you for letting us know about it.

  20. Nice to see you on video, I sure miss those peaceful sewing video's where you would sew and I could sew by your side, are those still available somewhere? Enjoy your last group of the year at the Inn. Happy Sewing!

  21. Thank you for the tip on being "allowed" to clip a few stringed seams to make the project more manageable. I never thought of that, just wrangled through. Duh! Sometimes the obvious is obscure. Hahaha!

  22. Anonymous6:30 AM EST

    This comment will probably come too late. However, I would be tempted to add one wide column to each side. This way, if there is a slight colour difference owing to the new blocks being made with different fabrics,, it won't all be on one side. Lovely work. And so pleased you will keep it for yourself.


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