My brother is getting married in April. I am going to make him a quilt whether he wants one or not. I was inspired by a quilt I saw in the background of a shot from Simply Quilts. It had (at least in my impression of it) a center made of bright colored hourglass blocks. Then that center was tilted and a new rectangle was made using four corners made of black and white splitrail blocks.

So, here’s the process of making a quilt.

1. Decide on the design.
2. Spend several months congratulating yourself on deciding on a design.
3. Finally sit down to lay out the quilt.
4. Realize that there are a lot of angles there. Pythoragus can’t help with all of them. Spend some time trying to remember sines, cosines, and tangents.
5. Realize that you put 7 semesters of trig and calculus in the farthest corners of your memory never to be retrieved again. If you had known that someday you’d need them for a quilt you might have let them have a bit of light.
6. Just randomly decide that there will be eleven six inch blocks across the center and 14 down. Amaze yourself when the math turns out perfect.
7. Multiply 11 x 14. Panic at the number of blocks to be made. Suddenly April isn’t so far away. Simplify quilt to all splitrail blocks.
8. Sit for a while and debate about hourglass vs. splitrail because you are a bit of a quilt martyr and if it isn’t insane it doesn’t seem worth doing.
9. Realize that if the wedding is in April then the bridal shower will be even earlier. Splitrail it is.
10. Announce to the husband that you are going downstairs to quilt. If you are seen upstairs again before the quilt is finished you are to be beaten and sent back downstairs.
11. Start cutting strips. Realize blade is too dull. Realize you don’t have any extras. Come back upstairs.
12. Convince husband that there are extenuating circumstances so he shouldn’t even try to beat you.
13. Several days later get new blades. Start cutting strips. Quickly get bored cutting strips.
14. Force yourself to cut strips from one color a day. Realize you have lots of fabric to cut in each color. Spend some time admiring your fabric. Remind yourself repeatedly to focus.
15. Get four blocks done to distract from the boredom of cutting strips.
16. Look around and see two charity quilts that need finished before Yule.
17. Wouldn’t it be nice to make a Yule-themed table runner?
18. Remind yourself to focus.
19. Spend time blogging about making a quilt instead of actually working…..

5 Replies to “How to make a quilt”

  1. Oh…so we probably wouldn’t make a very good team. I tie most of my work so I won’t have to quilt it…My grandmother would be a little dissapointed, I think.

  2. OK, have you been peeking in my windows?

    I have become so bad about quilting that I can’t even begin a quilt unless I have a firm deadline. My favorite part is the piecing (yes, the math part) so once I get it all pieced I am ready to be DONE. I really need a quilting buddy who will do the actual quilting after I finish the piecing.

  3. That was too funny!! I feel your pain — the trick, I find, is to just keep at it – even for 15 minutes a day or 15 minutes a week. ONE project at a time!! You will finish! (Not on time, granted, but eventually…)

    My favorite part is the hand quilting (I machine piece and hand quilt). I do that in front of the TV and time flies! Also, you don’t say what size quilt you want to make for your brother, but think about making a wall hanging instead of a queen size bedspread — the smaller the more managable!!

    Good luck!! You can check out some of my quilts from my site at (links on my blog


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