Planning for a Project

Ever get to the middle of project and realize you don’t have something you need? For example, you are making dinner when you discover you are missing a key ingredient. Or you are helping your partner with a home improvement project only to find a key part or tool is not at hand. I know it has happened to me. The same thing happens in quilting projects – missing thread, short on fabric, backing doesn’t match, etc.

The first step is to verify that you have the following.

  • Pattern which will make the size quilt you desire. See my post on quilt sizes determination.
  • Rulers, templates or foundation papers for the type of quilt you are planning.
  • Thread that blends with the project fabrics. Sometimes you may want more than one if you have blocks of different values or hues. For instance, if you have very light blocks, a light thread is best. But that thread will show when you have darker blocks in the same quilt. In this case, you may want to have both light and dark for different blocks.
  • Batting the appropriate size, loft and content for your project. The batting should be at least six inches larger than the quilt top. This allows for shifts in the top, shrinkage from quilting, and fastening to the quilter.
  • Backing and binding fabric that coordinate with the quilt. The backing should be as large as the batting. Meanwhile, the binding should be about six inches longer than the anticipated perimeter of the quilt. Again, this allows for measurement errors and other factors.
  • Fabric of the appropriate colors and sizes.

The fabric should be simple, just follow the pattern – right? Maybe not. If you pre-wash your fabrics, they will shrink. Therefore, after washing you may not have enough fabric. A great YouTube video was posted by Just Get It Done Quilts, which shows how much shrinkage you can expect from fabric. In general, you can anticipate 10% shrinkage, so it is wise to buy at least 10% more than you need. I typically purchase even more to account for cutting errors too.

Ensuring that you have all of these materials on hand will minimize the frustrating interruptions in your peaceful or pieceful quilting.

Happy Quilting!