I didn’t always care about perfect points and seams, but when I first started longarming my own *ahem* very special quilts, I realized my quilts would be easier to quilt and my artistic vision would be better served if I figured out how to piece really, really well. I stopped longarming and gave myself six months to get myself to a spot where I felt I was on point.
…no pun intended. But it works, right? ha!
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, you want that quilt to be full-on improv, gloriously wonky and all the little idiosyncracies just making it more loveable! But sometimes, your big giant Lone Star looks kinda funky when the points aren’t pointy and your elegant stripes are more like chunkage.
There is help for that
During my self-inflicted crash course, I learned loads of little tips and tricks through trial and error, failure and success. My wobbly borders and blocks with different cup sizes gradually all flattened out. Holy cow! I wish I had had Patty Murphy’s book Piecing Makeover then! (Make sure to follow Patty on Instagram!)
This thing is full–and I mean FULL–of all the little details that add up to make or break your quilty vision. Patty covers everything from basic fabric preparation to squaring up at the end. It is the kind of handbook that is perfect for someone just starting out who doesn’t want to have to make all those mistakes to learn from. It’s also a really handy tool for the more advanced quilter.
But the most useful thing?
Patty walks you through a huge variety of blocks (I counted 20!) and shows you what makes or break the blocks in each photo. Once you start seeing a few, you learn to pick them out yourself. Waving blocks, puckers, problems with long strips, it’s all in there!
She also covers how to add sashing and setting triangles, which is super helpful for using up leftovers. And how to deal with curved binding!
Luckily, I have my own copy.
You can have a copy too!
To enter, leave a comment below with your favorite quilt disaster memory. And by “favorite”, you know what I mean… Entries are for U.S. addresses only, please. One comment per person, and the winner will be chosen on Monday at 8 am by random number generator!
My quilting disaster was a batik circular table runner that would not lie flat.
My “favorite” quilt was all flying geese, and the mountainous points.
Mine was first starting out with an appliqué and finds the fabric was coming apart, even with a quarter inch seam, the threads were pulling away from the seams. Trashed it. I guess I should have stay stitched the fabric first.
Erika Medeiros says
A 2″ hst mini quilt. Points di not match and all that bulkl fabric on the back. It’s on my WIP pile :/ PS: I live in Brazil but I have a US address 😉
Elita @ Busy Needle Quilting says
Worst project ever was an eight-pointed star with pinwheel centers. Mountainous corners & stretched bias everywhere!
Oh boy do I need this book! I made a quilt that was essentially a million 4 inch squares in a giant grid and about 3/4 of the way through my grid got so wonky that it almost looked like an intentional design to morph the grid. Needless to say, I sat on that quilt top for about a year before decided to rip it up and fix it. It’s now only slightly morphed after a lot of tugging and pulling while restitching the seams.
Christine (BellyLaugher) says
I’m a newish quilter so my third quilt was a drunkards path. I decided to buy templates and use them but didn’t calculate the new measurements with the rest of the pieces so nothing lined up. The entire project is still sitting in a pile, ugh!
Darlene Talukder says
Center squares which started out square but ended up as parallelograms due to stretching. ??what??
It’s actually easier to break the rules if you understand what they are first! Sounds like a great book! My biggest disaster of a quilt had vertical rows of flying geese. They all had the same number of geese but somehow there was three inches difference in length from shortest to longest row!! What a mess.
Brenda Sparks says
I made a quilt with a lot of flying geese in it and the bias edges stretched and it didn’t lay flat or line up. What a mightmare
HST made with too much bias. Total mess.
Jessica Jones-Coggins says
I over quilted a quilt and it peaked in the middle making it a permanent tent. Will not lie flat. I’ve also often pieced right side to wrong side. Sometimes I just leave it.
An old fashioned queen sized medallion quilt with a single appliquéd Rose of Sharon in the center and all those sawtooth borders….
Oh! This book is in the top of my wish list! My worst quilting disaster was making some blocks that were supposed to be for a swap. I picked a block a little too difficult for me and rushed it. The final results were so awful, huge puckers in the steams and nowhere near flat.
Kelly Spell says
I made Violet Craft’s Lion quilt, and while the piecing was pretty good, the initial quilting job was a disaster. I decided to do a crosshatch pattern; instead of working on one direction at a time, I started with a “X” in the middle of the quilt and proceeded to work out in both directions… needless to say, it did not go well and I spent 5 hours ripping it all out before starting over. Oooof. Thankfully the second time around was much smoother!
I had a quilt where the center block was more like a balloon when you laid the top out “flat.” I had to take it out of the middle of the quilt, fix it, and reinsert it without creating new issues. I still have that quilt top— never quilted it! I’ll have to get on that lol!
This does sound like an essential addition to any quilting library! Hmm…. biggest quilt disaster…. One of the first quilts I ever made, so back when I was still flying by the seat of my pants, learning as I go, I didn’t like the outer border in the pattern I was following, so I did what I do and made up a different border. I know now that my chosen border is called piano keys, and that with all of those seams, unless your seam allowance is *perfect* the perfect quilt math you do to figure out how big each piece should be goes straight out the window. Let’s just say there was a lot of befuddlement and chopping and “good enough”s with that project! Not a disaster, really, but certainly a learning experience!! ❤
Carol Hughes says
It looks like this book would be a great design ideas book, too. The open page answered my needs today!!
Ann Morgan says
my quilting disaster is working very hard on a quilt for my daughter, which she loved, then her losing it in one of her travel adventures.
I might have basted my most disastrous quilt today. I added pieced borders and didn’t do something right because it is really not flat!
Worst disaster! Finished piecing the monster Tula Pink butterfly for my daughter, so proud, it looked beautiful! Just had the top/bottom solid borders to add before running to quilter. There are a lot of HST on finished edges. The longarmer called she was ready for it. I quickly added the borders, threw it in the car & delivered it to her. 6 mos later I get it back, custom quilting is beautiful. However…in my mad rush at the very end, I’d sewn through every single HST point in the seams (top/bottom). I had scraps left so I hand appliqued points on each section then re-quilted on top! Guess judges won’t see my butterfly in any show now!
My quilting disasters are all the unmade ones I’m afraid to attempt–something like this would help me get started!
After 20 years making and quilting quilts, I thought I could piece any block – so I cut out a quilt before taking it to a retreat, and then could not get it to come together well. After 16 okay-looking quarter blocks made 4 shaky blocks lacking full seam allowances, I gave up – after collecting the fabrics for half a year. What a disappointment. The pattern company posted a 38-page tutorial online a few months later, so at least I wasn’t the only dunce about that pattern!
English quilter says
Ny son’s unfinished applique baby quilt (he’s34). It was quilt-as-you-go with polyester fabric and appliques which went outside the block making squaring impossible
A wonderful book giveaway! My disaster – when I first attempted paper-piecing – when I trimmed the quarter inch seams, I was forever cutting my fabric too, instead of folding out of the way! Undo, undo & find another piece of fabric, now I love paper-piecing!
Lennye S says
My first quilt. Pinwheels in flannel, not the best choice. I then quilted it in the ditch. Argh!
Patti Baymiller says
Either I ignored the cutting instructions about reversing a triangle or didn’t think it would make any difference, I ended up with too many of the wrong triangles and no more fabric to cut the right ones. I think I finished the sewing but those stars were way weird
Anjeanette Klinder says
Aah! You are speaking my language! This is so me. I’m so happy to know this exists. Thanks for the chance to win it.
Haha, I block them from my memory. But more than once I have miss cut or miss sewn something and run out of fabric. Who hasn’t?
Kimberly Moore says
Squaring up an early quilt…finding that the border width then varied by an inch or more in places…learned the value of sharing up as one goes along!!
My “disaster” quilt was a test pattern and my point’s didn’t line up at all. After ripping it out at least six times I gave up. I’m a self taught, you tube quilter. I could sure use this book.
Cheryl Clark says
This is just the book I need. I keep wondering why as hard as I try things just end up a little off. I don’t know what I’d call my biggest quilting disaster, probably the worst was when I misunderstood some directions in a pattern and cut the fabric wrong. Fortunately, I was able to still get more of the fabric that I had messed up by cutting wrong. I guess that was a near disaster.
Janette Maass says
My “quilt disaster “ was a few years ago. I had made a wedding quilt for a co worker (black,red & white) not my usual … but I really liked the way it came out. While pressing it before quilting, I noticed some of the fabric had started to disintegrate right before my eyes😳!
I was mortified… totally freaking out 😫
Yes I made her another quilt…. big prints-blocks! Fast but pretty!
They loved it and all was well!
I still have that quilt top. It has fabric in it that my father in law gave to me.
It was my mother in-laws…she now has Alzheimer’s 😥
I was given lots of her fabric ( most is really nice quality)and a variety of supplies. My mother in law was a fabulous Quilter & master at appliqué.
Lesson of the day …to look closely at the fabric I choose if I using any that was hers💜🤦♀️