The Quilted Life with Carolyn — Quilting Basics


Helpful tool - Backing and Binding Calculator 2

Good morning! Or evening. Or day or night! Whatever time it is, I’m happy you decided to stop by. Especially because I’m about to make your life easier!

Unless you’ve purchased a pre-cut kit, or are some kind of magician, you may have found yourself scratching your head about how much fabric to buy for backing or binding.

I’ve been there!

Even after quilting for years, I struggle with this! I usually turn to Nancy the Quilting Goddess and say, “HELP!”.

Or, when left to my own devices, I overbuy. By a lot. The general sequence of events is:

  1.       Pick amazing backing fabric
  2.       Walk up to cutting counter
  3.       Get asked how much I want
  4.       Panic
  5.       Buy 10 yards, because that should definitely be enough
  6.       Need 2 yards
  7.       Have 8 leftover yards and an unmanageable hoarding fabric stash
  8.       Feel foolish
  9.       Vow to bring Nancy the Quilting Goddess with me next time


FABRIC HOARDERS - You know what I'm talking about!

Fabric Stash

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


But, my friends – NO LONGER!

Because I’ve found the best thing ever – an online calculator which will tell me (or you!) how much fabric to buy. Hallelujah!

If you click here, you will be taken to the homepage for MyWebQuilter. It has all kinds of amazing resources for basic quilting skills, but my favorite finds are the backing and binding calculators.

All you do is enter your specific quilt dimensions along with the width of the backing fabric you’ve selected and then click “calculate”. They even have presets for crib through king sizes that you can just click and get the info you need, if you've made a standard size quilt.

But wait! There’s more! If you’re going to need to piece the back, they tell you how!

Essentially, it is your own personal, online Nancy.

Are there any other quilting steps you struggle with? Tell me in the comments!

What I'm Working on Right Now 3

Hi readers! Happy Tuesday!

I’ve really enjoyed reflecting on past projects and well-loved quilts these last few weeks with you as we went on a journey with the Quilter’s Mart family and some of our own personal “Why I Sew” moments.

But this week, I want to start a new recurring segment called, “what I’m working on right now”. It won’t be a series, per-say. But when the spirit moves me, I will sprinkle in the opportunity to show you all what I’m currently working on!

Let’s dive in! No surprise, I’ve got friends/family that are cooking some babies at the moment. It seems that the pregnant ladies come in waves in my life, and we’re definitely riding a big one at the moment!

Two of the babies I’m making quilts for are due within a week of each other in May, with baby showers even sooner. Time is running out, and I’m starting to feel the heat! I figured it was time to get started, or else I’d find myself in a panic.

I pulled out the fabrics I had chosen, since thankfully I had already done the “shopping”. One quilt got the fabric store/online shopping treatment, and the other one - I’m very proud to say! - was all “purchased” from my very own stash! And - even better! - all but one of those fabrics are repeats from past projects! Look at me being eco-friendly, thrifty, and inventive! *toot toot* (<-- that’s my horn! I’m tootin’ it!)

I decided not to wing it (for once!) and actually use patterns this time around. Believe it or not, it has been over a year (gosh, could it be even longer than that?!) since the last time I used a pattern, so I’m feeling a little apprehensive, but I’ll give it a go.

What a mess of creativity!

Fabric selections in-hand, I grabbed my pile of quilting books and magazines, and even a binder I made full of patterns I’ve collected over the years, and I sat myself on the couch to find something that would fit the colors and prints I had.

The pattern I selected for Baby Boy quilt

It took me about 45 minutes, as well as several intense internal battles, but I got my patterns selected! For both quilts!

I’m starting on one for a sweet baby boy. His mama prefers a more neutral color palette, and I was informed that the nursery would have a woodland theme. I happened to have fabrics to work with that request in my stash, so I’m off to the races!

Cutting on my kitchen table

I’ve spent only one afternoon on it so far, but I’m pretty excited about the progress and how the colors play together. The mint-green trees felt like they stuck out a bit at first, and I was concerned they might not be the right choice. But the more I stare at the fabrics, the better I feel about those trees!

Even got some sewing done!

What are you working on right now? What stage are you at, and who is it for?

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