Measuring for a Square Quilt Top

by maddie6 on April 20, 2014



There are 50 ways to leave your lover and there are equal that many ways to produce a quilt that is totally out of square.  Hills and valleys, friendly borders and bias backlash to name just a few but I am not going to talk about any of them today. What I am going to do is talk about how the holy hell to quilt  a monster that shows up at your door in this condition or perhaps it is even a monster of your own making.

Let me take a moment to say that I am the worlds WORST piecer.. like I am CRAPTASIC at keeping a true  or scant 1/4 inch, I am a tad too forgiving in my cutting and I am a joyful sewer.. meaning that I rock out to music and often sew things together that have no business being matched up.. so I am NOT out to crush  anyone’s mojo when I tell you how I cover up hide fix these issues as much as humanly possible. ( In the best world these things would not happen.. so education and technique are a great starting point!)

First part, sometimes it is not freakin possible to fix some of these train wrecks. They will require tucks,  extensive easing and an exorcism and they are still not ever going to be what one would call square. For a sofa throw or casual bed quilt this is not the end of the world but if that  clusterfuck of dicey techniques is going to hang flat and square on a wall  some miracles are going to have to happen.

And let me say sometimes there are not enough miracles to be had no matter how much you pray or curse over it.   It  is best to be able to spot these issues early so you can talk with the top owner ( or yourself) about the options and possible outcomes.


1) JUST SAY NO! ( Nancy Reagan would be proud of you!) – As a quilter you have the right to say no even after you have said yes! If after laying out  and measuring***** ( more on that in a moment) you find that the quilt top you have been given is a total Frankenquilt you can just hand it back to your client and tell them the issues and at minimum what will need to be fixed. – some headaches are just not worth it!

2) Yes, BUT..  List out exactly ( but kindly) the issues with the quilt and what you will need to do ( and WILL BE charging extra for) to resolve.

3) GET IT IN WRITING – just do it.. I know you feel like you have been clear with your customer.. do it anyway and some day you will be so happy at me that you will name your new cat Maddie and I will be all verklempt about it.


4) If you do say yes…. MEASURE.. and not just across the middle ( people this is silly  if you just measured me in one place ( my wrists.. very dainty) you would think I was thin… I am NOT) .. I am talking  I want at least 4-6 good measurements across and up and down. Make up a form and note all these numbers.  If you end up with something like   46, 44, 46, 48   then refer back to number one on my list.. GIVE IT BACK.. but otherwise  I want you to look for the smallest numbers..  since while there are some tricky ways to ease in fullness it is  very hard to make a quilt grow ( even if you did water it will Miracle Grow!)  That SMALLEST number both vertically and horizontally is the number you are going to square too and then you are going to look at how much fullness you are talking about and how it is arranged on the quilt.

If the fullness is pretty even all over the quilt you are in luck!  A bit puffier than normal batting will make this doable ( charge for that), or a scattering a C-cup dresdens can be helped by some strategic faux trapunto ( remember you are charging extra for these things! – have I hammered that into your head yet?)

Fullness at just the border can be handled in many ways.. send it back to the client to fix with a GOOD lesson on how to measure and apply borders or you can take them off and sew them back on for a charge. You can add and extra strip of batting under them or in some cases an artful tuck can be made that look like a seam and no one is the wiser.

If on the other hand the fullness is all in one area things are tricker and I will return in future posts to talk about exercising these demons  ( or not) or you can find the ever wonderful  Lisa – That Crazy Quilt Girl  and take one of her classes on the very topic.


So there you go…   do you have a  naughty quilt top that you have tangled with and come out the winner?  Tell us about it and how you made  it lie down and behave!



all content copyrighted © 2013 BAQS


spool card logo

As many of you know the BadAss Quilters Society has it’s very own brick and mortar store.

SPOOL is the destination shop  in Chattanooga TN for those who want BAQS merchandise, a friendly face, and staff that understands that quilters come in a million different varieties from sweet and simple to hard rock and BadAss!

We are there Tuesday through Saturday  serving up cool fabric and warm smiles ( I would say hot smiles but I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about us! )   The store is getting ready to celebrate it’s 7 month birthday and  making plans for the summer.


Of course lots of you know about the AQS quilt show that is coming to Chattanooga in the fall  and if you don’t check this out and start making plans to join us.. it is going to be AMAZING  ——> Chattanooga AQS Show <———–

BAQS is SO very excited to be having a 50 quilt juried exhibit in the show…  and you should totally think about entering something!  ——- > AQS / BAQS Juried exhibit information  <————

But wait wait there is more!

No need to sit around just watching the clock tick as we count down to the quilt show .. no way!  SPOOL is very excited to announce that we are going to be part of this!

real round stick

YES! we joining 400+ other shops across the United States and in Ontario Canada   in being part of the Row by Row Shop Hop Experience  July through September of this summer.  With numbers growing across TN and across the nation RBR is one of the fastest growing hops for a reason.

It is easy and FREE to play, it lasts all summer and it is made for those who travel. No matter if you traveling takes you far or just in your own part of the state you are going to find RxR shops who are going to welcome you as well as have a free pattern for you at each stop not to mention amazing fabric, RxR collectibles and kits at some shops making this the best experience of your summer.   ( If your local store is not part of the hop yet encourage them to get on board, the more who play the more fun it is for everyone!)

SPOOL is going to be going all out for this event including  helping our customers get a bit ahead by providing some organizational help to keep all of the patterns, kits and travel instructions they collect during the hop  in one handy place.


With both a  cover sheet as well as note sheets anybody playing along can keep their experience organized and be ready to sew and then win the big prize … yes.. all shops that are part of the hop will have a wonderful prize  for the first quilt that is brought into their store, with at least 8 rows, quilted and bound. ( Only 1 winner per store and each quilt can only win once)  Check HERE to see if you state is part of the fun.


 Want to see how I made the binder?   Well here you go!


Want to make a binder of your very own and be ready for the Row By Row Shop Hop?.. Ok  Just click on the link to download and print the sheets you need!

Generic RBR cover page  <——- Cover sheet here

Generic note page <——— Note pages here

Do you live here In TN  or are you planning on coming to TN this summer? If so come on over and ~ Like~ our page for the RxR shop hop to keep up on details and shops that will be participating!

More details coming soon.  Are you getting excited??  I know I am!


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all content copyrighted © 2013 BAQS

Quilty Pleasures

by maddie6 on April 2, 2014

mandy leins at longarm

I admit it, I am pretty jazzed about getting to take a quilting class while I soak in the bathtub, or drink a glass of my favorite adult beverage while wearing comfy clothes and hanging on the sofa with my pups.

 Craftys and others like them are making access to top notch quilting professionals a breeze. For the same cost as a class that insists you wear pants and keep your drinks of the non-alcoholic variety you can take a class on your own terms and then get to watch it over and over.. how cool is that??

For me it is even better when the class is by a friend that I get to see far to little of and yet there she is  on my tablet rocking her longarm and teaching us some amazing and creative techniques that you won’t find in just any class. I want you to meet Mandy Leins of  Mandalei Quilts and Longarm Service

creative long arm

And lest you think  ” well that is for longarmers only”.. oh contraire!    Mandy’s techniques are VERY transferable to the domestic machine so don’t shy away from this class just because you don’t have a longarm, or that you don’t have a Gammill longarm… this class has something for all quilters!

To make it even sweeter I scored BAQS readers a $10 off coupon to  give this class a try!  ( You can thank me later!)


Now go forth, put on your comfy pants and learn something new!



all content copyrighted © 2013 BAQS

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