My final quiltlikeaboss design

Header MyChosenDesign

#quiltlikeaboss  -if you want to see the rest of the posts in the series, check out  

This quilt is meant to be easy to follow, and a beginners quilt.

The quilt top itself is going to be cut from a co-ordinating fabric range, and I’ve chosen the ink and spindle range by Cloud 9 fabrics.  I’m just going to jump right into the maths.


If you miscut this – everything goes out of whack BIG TIME.  4mm can cause you a world of pain.

It’s australian, beautiful gender neutral fabric.  I’ve bought a 12pce fat quarter bundle, which means I will get 12 squares Australian Fat Quarter = half the width of the fabric x 0.5m.  The fabric will be 112cm wide, so I should end up with 50cm x 56cm squares.  Converted to inches, that will be 22″ x  19 1/2″.

Every seam or cut I make, will reduce the size of the finished quilt.

Let’s assume, I just trim up all my blocks to 19 1/2″ square.  Once I then sew up all my blocks together with a 1/4″ seam allowance, that will give me 12 x 19″ blocks.

The most obvious way to arrange those is in a grid, being 3 x 4 blocks.

The finished size would then be (3 x 19) = 57″ by (4 x 19) = 76″.

This is big enough to fit a double bed.

So what if I trim those down a bit more.  Let’s make of those 12 square into 4 squares.  Each square will be cut into 4.5″ squares.  I will now have (12 x 4) = 48 41/2″ unfinished squares.

Those, once sewn together will be 48 4″ squares.

If I do 6 rows of 8 – I will end up with a quilt (6 x 4″) = 24″wide and (8 x 4″) 32″ long.  Too small for a cot quilt.

The point of this exercise?  Do the maths before you cut, or buy ANY fabric.

So my chosen design is going to be inspired by this.


But look a little more like this image here.  I tried using quilt studio to plan it out, but it was a bit of a pain.  Good, but as I’m comfortable with the maths – I’m going back to le basico.

quiltlikeaboss my chosen design

To do the maths, I do the low-tech version of drawing on graph paper.  I make little tiny boxes in excel, and then do some guesstimates.  In this, each square represents 2 inches.  Initially, I tried each square representing 3 inches, but I didn’t have enough fabric for that.

If it looks a little like trial and error (shhhhh, it totally is).



For those wanting to ever make a quilt like this, I’ll go through it step by step.

I have 12 fat quarters, which if they are (rounded down) 22″ x 18′, then I’m using 11 squares x 9 square in the top right corner to represent the fat quarter.

My finished block has 6 pieces within it.  Therefore, if I can cut all 6 pieces from a fat quarter (before mixing them up and sewing them up), then I can have 12 blocks.  Huzzah!

In the bottom left, I’ve pulled out each part of the finished block, and worked out what size they are in the finished block.  I will need to add 1/4″ seam allowance to all sides.



So I’m still planning on doing the applique over the top, and using one of the styles of image from my pinterest board.

I’d love to say I’ve decided, but sometimes you need to see how a quilt is coming together before you can make a final call.

What do you think about a simple, large silhouette of a child reading?


Click here to go to the #QuiltLikeABoss page for links to all the posts in the QuiltAlong and other information!


Design inspiration

Header QuiltingAsAGarmentSewer

Welcome to the next post in the #quiltlikeaboss series. Today I’ll be talking about my design inspiration.

General design theme

My constraints are the following:

  • Baby quilt sized – The design needs to be bold, so the baby can see it.  Babies can only see high contrast things are first.
  • Using pre-cuts or pre-assembled fabric packs – I find it hard personally making all the fabric choices individually.  For gifts, I prefer to buy either charm packs, layer cakes or pre-bundled ranges of fabrics.  This means that one element, making sure the fabrics work together is already considered.  I then consider all the fabrics as a whole.
  • Feature some applique – Why not?  I fancy trying something new, and a baby quilt is small enough if I hate doing applique, there isn’t much to do.

Other considerations

  • The gift recipient – Let’s be honest, a baby quilt is really for the parents.  Making sure it fits their asthetic is important, and then worry about gender stuff.  HOWEVER.  I have made a quilt for someone who knew they were having a girl, and then at the 35 week scan…I was literally sewing on the binding when I got the text message that the sonographer got it wrong, and it was a boy.  With a pink quilt.  Strongly recommend gender neutral here people.
  • Time – I need to be able to make this before the baby arrives, so no fancy pants patterns here.  I want simple, beautiful and quick.  This also includes where I source the fabric from.

Let’s cover some basics

As mentioned above, my quilt will be made from pre-cuts.  So what does that mean?

  • Jelly Roll. A jelly roll is co-ordinating fabrics, pre-cut into 40 strips, measuring 2 1/2″ x 42″.  Personally I don’t like jelly rolls as they are really limiting.  The only baby quilt I’ve ever made from a jelly roll was just strips sewn together.
  • Charm pack. A layer cake is co-ordinating fabrics, usually pre-cut into 42 blocks, all 5″ x 5″
  • Layer cake. A layer cake is co-ordinating fabrics, usually pre-cut into 42 blocks, all 10″ x 10″.
  • General pre-cut. This is often a whole range of fabric.  A designer will release 10-20 co-ordinating fabrics from a set colour palette.  Often these can come as fat quarter packs.  This means that the fabric will be in 50cm x 50cm squares precut.  You can receive any quantity of fat quarters.

Hello Google

If you are a purely visual person, you could just cut straight to my Pinterest board.   The first thing I did was to scope out the parent to be’s Pinterest board.  This was so see if there nursery had a theme, or if their general design sense went one way or another.  This person had classic designs, that didn’t dominate a room or be too gender specific.  They also loved cotton and Steele and art gallery fabric.

With that in mind, I decided to focus on pre cuts without a really strong theme, and in gender neutral colours.  By that, I mean there are no bright Pink fabrics with brown and orange owls.  Super cute, but not what this parent would buy, so not what I would gift.

So then, I just googled fabric shops, and started browsing with a glass of wine!

baby quilt coordinating australian fabric

Ink and spindle quilting fabric

Houston, we have fabric.  I repeat, we have fabric.

The lovely ink and spindle quilting weight cotton it is.  There are 12 fat quarters included, and that should be plenty.


Looking back over my board, I’m trying to pick what will look good with some applique, and suits the fabrics.  Large prints don’t suits being cut into small blocks, and sometimes small prints look more balanced chopped up.

This could be nice, lots of straight lines but how would the applique look on top?


I think something like this could show off the fabrics, without looking like squares just sewn together (but shhhhh…thats what it is!)


Quilt tutorial by Reanna Lily Designs

So you can see, I’ve already got a fair idea of what it’s going to look like.  It’s going to be blocky, and use the applique as a feature, but not the entire focus of the quilt.


I’m going to consider applique at the same time, as different designs might change my opinion on which patchwork design to use.

As my fabric is Australian, I was thinking about trying to make a possum magic quilt.  The difficulty with that, is the images are so iconic, but wouldn’t work without fine detail.  If it would be recognisable as a silhouette, then it’s good.



Then I was thinking about Australian Flora, but would gumleaves just melt into the back and be too much?

I’m looking for a design to do in a dark colour, in silhouette, that makes me have feels.  But not owls, or boats or kitsch.  Tall order.

Click here to go to the #QuiltLikeABoss page for links to all the posts in the QuiltAlong and other information!

Learn To #QuiltLikeABoss – Quilt Along with us!

beginner quilt

Today I am excited to announce that together with Rachel and Abby, we will be hosting a QuiltAlong, entitled Learn to #QuiltLikeABoss.

We have heard many of you say that you’d love to make a quilt but for whatever reason haven’t done so yet. Since we all love quilting, and want you to love it just as much as we do, we are hoping to remedy the situation.

Quilting can seem overwhelming – but compared to making a dress, you’ll be amazed how easy it can be (you’re sewing in 2D rather than 3D afterall).  The hardest part is getting over the fear of starting.  But in the wise words of Dr Seuss, Congratulations!  Today is your Day!  

Over the next 5 months, with around 2-3 posts each week, we will be posting inspiration and information with the goal of guiding you through all the decisions required in making your dream quilt. We are considering the core audience to be people who are able to sew, but have not made a quilt before, however hopefully anybody will be able to use the information and join in. While we might put together some tutorials of our own, our focus will be more on introducing you to some of the vast quantity of information available online to quilters, and providing information to help you decide which information is best for you.

During this time, we will be making quilts of our own, and we encourage you to join us. The QuiltAlong will comprise the following 6 phases (and approximate dates):

  1. Introduction (now until late-Jan): We will introduce the topic of Quilting, including what it is, why it’s awesome and what you can use quilts for.
  2. Choosing/Designing your Quilt (3 weeks – late-Jan until mid-Feb): We will provide you with some inspiration for quilt designs and share some tips for choosing designs and fabrics for your quilt.
  3. Patchwork – Making the Quilt Top (5 weeks – mid-Feb to mid-March): We will take you through how to successfully piece your quilt top, covering a variety of designs and methods.
  4. Quilting – Making it into a quilt (2 weeks – mid- to late-March): We will talk about the why and how of the actual quilting.
  5. Finishing it off (2 weeks – early- to mid-April): We will finish off our quilts; binding the edges and adding a label.
  6. Round-up (late-April to late-May): We will share our finished quilts, and will have a round-up post of your completed quilts on the 27th of May.

You can visit the #QuiltLikeABoss page at any time to find links to all the posts in the series.

If you are joining in, here are some graphics for you to use if you wish (please save and re-upload the images yourself):

button200 Sq QuiltLikeABoss






So, will you be joining in with our QuiltAlong?

We look forward to seeing what you create! If you share anything on social media please use the hashtag #QuiltLikeABoss so that we can find your posts!

Guess how much I love you quilt number two

Guess how much I love you fabric panel

The last few weeks I’ve been sitting waiting for this baby to arrive (currently 4 days overdue), so I whipped up a little quilt by accident.  I hadn’t planned on making a quilt, as there are already far to many overdue unfinished objects in my home already, but I’m a sucker for the guess how much I love you books, (I started this one 9 years ago – finished 1-2 years ago) so when Darn cheap Fabrics had the licensed print in stock…somehow two metres of fabric ended up in my bag.

Guess how much I love you baby quilt

Unfortunately, one I started cutting it out (without a plan or pattern) there was not quite enough fabric to finish the corners of the quilt.  After hunting extensively online, I found a lovely online store, Fabric Fusion which still had a little of this print in stock.

Nearly every single scrap of fabric went into this quilt, as I assembled the quilt back using the leftover fabric from the quilt top…and there was probably 5 small offcuts that didn’t make it.  It was a tight fit to baste the two together as there very nearly wasn’t enough fabric!  You can see in the bottom right corner I was struggling to have enough fabric.  I would have liked to break up the chunks of fabric more, but with seam allowances it was going to be too tight to fit it back together and be big enough.

guess how much I love you quilt back

The quilt was machine quilted around the blocks, and just randomly in the centre along some decorative lines on the fabric panel.  The wadding was a bamboo by Mathilda’s Own which only requires quilting lines every 8″ apart.  Mine are closer than that in most parts, but it’s nice to know it’s a fairly secure wadding.  I’ve pinned the care instructions for the bamboo wadding here if you’re interested.  I’m pretty pleased with the binding, it was a $2 fat quarter from GJ’s discount fabric I bought about 2 years ago, and didn’t go with any projects until now.  Yay for stash use (even though I’ve now added more wadding offcut to it than the 50cm of fabric….)

guess how much I love you quilt, binding corner

Generally my preference for squishy comfort and style is to handquilt, but there just wasn’t enough time, and this is going to be washed extensively and suffer a fair amount of abuse, so it was the perfect opportunity to try out the walking foot on my new (secondhand) Bernina.  It handled like a beauty as expected 🙂

Now I just need the baby…..

A quilt for Hugo

It’s gotten to that lovely time in our lives where all our friends are busy joining the parental club. The newest member, is a charming little boy, Hugo (gorgeous name right?).

This quilt was assembled from a gender neutral jelly roll, as the gender of the bub was unknown, and also to have something nice and bright for bub to roll around and look at.20130720-195931.jpg

The quilting was done by machine, with a variegated thread in straight lines. This way it’s easily machine washable (key feature of baby quilts) and still nice and soft. I find sometimes heavy machine quilting creates a very stiff quilt, which isn’t ideal for maximum snuggle factor.20130720-200024.jpg

The backing is from my stash!!!! The stashbusting challenge has been going slowly, but this was one of my prouder moments finding a use for this fabric. It’s been in the stash for at least 3 years, and it was just perfect for the quilt top.

Now time to wrap it up, and exchange the gift for cuddles!


Hand pieced Hexagons

For the trip away a little sewing project was needed, so up until two hours before the flight I was madly cutting out little squares, in preparation for hand pieced hexagons, using english paper piecing.  If you are interested in the process, check out Kristy at HandmadeRetro for a very fast learning curve.

For the trip I cut out 5 inch squares of green and cream fabric, and used a charm pack of something with butterflies. It’s not my usual taste, but it might be a nice wall quilt for the baby.  Or by the time it’s finished someone else’s baby. Or even a granddaughter.  We’re keeping hand piecing expectations very low over here.

The real problem, is I have come to a COMPLETE standstill over design!  Here are a few of the contenders.

Some colour need as diamonds to break up the straight laced hexies?

hand pieced hexies

You don’t get much quilt for yo’ money


Ye olde style of flower hexies

Haphazard design, also with coloured or print diamonds as fill….

Any ideas?  I’m gravitating towards the last design with a darkish grey/blue to fill, although a large scale print could create balance between the simple blocks and the busy bright blocks.  Sorry.  Hexies.


Guess how much I love you quilt

One finished baby quilt! This star of the sea quilt surely was a labour of love, although significantly less than the lovely babys mama underwent.

This quilt was for the little bubba of my dear friends Kate and Phil, who I’ve known for years. When I first moved out of home I moved in with Kate (a stranger) and another friend. Two years later we were still living together and Kate’s drunken uni buddy moved in as well (after living on our couch for a good year). Fast forward many boxes of lager to 2010, and I was so fortunate to be their bridesmaid at their wedding. So here is I think my favourite and most special quilt, for their baby.

This quilt has some history, and I actually started making it in 2005 when we were still living together in drunken uni revelry. The panel was hunted down and is from eBay, from a lady on eBay uk. It’s from the childhood book “guess how much I love you” by Sam Brady. If you haven’t read this book, it tells the tale of little nutbrown hare trying to explain to his father just how much he loves him. It’s one of my favourite children’s books.

hand quilter leaf

This quilt has been slowly worked on over the years, getting it closer to completion, but each time my husband would suggest someone to give it to, it didn’t feel right. Not until this little girl. Do you ever get that feeling?

The design is star of the sea which was inspired from an edition of down under quilts. The real tragedy of this quilt is its the third I ever started, and I tried foundation piecing- and made some terrible noob mistakes. The foundation blocks are made from iron on interfacing. I had to manually cut out the interfacing on EVERY BLOCK after the quilt was assembled. I didn’t prewash the fabric. I wasn’t careful enough and some corners didn’t meet.

The back is bright and still gender neutral, but broken up with the panel in the middle. All the quilt is hand quilted in the diamonds and big squares with different coloured threads. Now, if you’re thinking “wow, hand quilted- that must have taken AGES…” it did not take as long as cutting out interfacing. So if you want to try paper piecing, use this lovely tutorial, I wish I had!