The No Measuring Quilt Size Method For The Numerically Challenged

Deadline’s come and go, but self imposed ones seem to endlessly shift about. My quilt top ‘Fete’ is a case in point. It was meant to be finished last year (well, the whole quilt was meant to be finished), then I had to shift the date and planned to finish the patchwork by the end of January. So, yes, January’s come and gone too, but it is getting close to a finish and I hope to get it all done over the weekend.

I’ve been overwhelmed at the really positive response this quilt gets when I post progress pictures on Instagram; I think it must be my most popular quilt yet. A lot of you are curious about the technique I’m using, but I’m honestly just making it up as I go along!

© Stephanie Boon, 2017. Cornwall, UK All Rights Reserved Patchwork quilt top in progress.

That gap wasn’t meant to be there.

I posted this picture the other evening and I definitely didn’t plan that gap when I was piecing the row. These things happen, so I just filled it in – it looks good and purposeful I think! It definitely adds to the sense of movement and fits with the other deliberate short rows.

© Stephanie Boon, 2017. Cornwall, UK All Rights Reserved Patchwork quilt top in progress

Fill that hole!

I never use a tape measure, a pattern, a ruler, a template, or a rotary cutter: it’s literally all done by eye. I make one triangle at a time, fitting it next to the previous one and the row below then take it to the machine to sew it together. Then it’s back to the floor I go to cut and fit the next one. It’s a fairly lengthy process, but I really enjoy myself and time just disappears.

Last night I started piecing at about 8pm and kept going until almost 3am – I just lost track of time. And in that time I finished a mere one and a half rows. I started piecing again this morning at 10:30am and finished again around 1pm I think. This little stint saw me finish up the final row to get the height (length) I wanted.

© Stephanie Boon, 2017. Cornwall, UK All Rights Reserved Patchwork quilt top in progress

It’s 66.5″ tall

Kaja suggested a bigger lap quilt is more versatile, and Deb suggested a wonderful way of ensuring it’s a good length: the no measuring ‘lie on the sofa and make sure it covers your feet test’! I’m pleased to report a successful test this afternoon. But I think another 6 – 8″ on the 49″ width will make it even better.

© Stephanie Boon, 2017. Cornwall, UK All Rights Reserved Patchwork quilt top in progress

Peekaboo! Deb’s no measuring technique suits the numerically challenged (i.e. me) down to the ground.

© Stephanie Boon, 2017. Cornwall, UK All Rights Reserved Patchwork quilt top in progress

A few more inches to the width? (Blimey, someone needs to tidy up their bedroom!)

If I add a border and bring the width up to 55-57″ it will easily cover the top of a double (twin) bed. Not quite in the bed-size department, but the extra few inches means it could be used as a ‘coverlet’ as well as a throw/lap quilt. What do you think, good idea? Or leave well alone?  What would you do?

I’m linking up with Kelly for Needle and Thread Thursday today, I hope you’ll pop over and check out some of the awesome quilts she showcases each week.  See you back here soon – Sunday hopefully!

Happy stitching

Signature: Stephie © Stephanie Boon, 2015



15 replies
  1. Teje
    Teje says:

    Stephie, this is my most favourite quilt! I love the colours and the creative, improvised design! I enjoy working almost like you, planning as I go, I should try to be more creative. Thank you for inspiration! x Teje

  2. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    I think that I would add a border — but only if you can figure out how to do so while keeping the lovely movement and feel of your quilt and not make it seem boxed in — I can’t think of a way to do it, but if anyone can, you can! I LOVE it. Your sister is very lucky. 🙂

  3. Ann
    Ann says:

    Such a beautiful quilt. Yes, that extra width will be helpful if you can figure a way to add it without losing the movement (as Sarah wrote already.) Ribbon spirals? Spirals of flags seemingly held by one end only?

  4. Jenny M
    Jenny M says:

    yes to extra width! Just keep your idea of flags following right to the edge…i think a border would box it in. Love your design & colours! I have came across from your IG.

  5. Maryse
    Maryse says:

    Oh, that’s amazing!! Among all the quilts you have made to this day, this is most definitely my favorite; it’s one of a kind. I wish I had thought of that!! I too, think it could be wider, but I like it as it is so, if it were mine, I would just add one or two triangles at the end of each row on one side to reach the desired width.

  6. Cynthia
    Cynthia says:

    This is such a joyous quilt in the making – I love it! I will be interested to see how you solve the border idea. I agree that making it wider will make it more versatile.

  7. Kaja
    Kaja says:

    It is such a joyful piece; I think that’s why it is so popular. I would still be inclined to go wider, but with the same proviso as other commenters. If you try out your options and they make things too static, then call it quits. It’s going to be spectacular either way.

  8. Bossymamma
    Bossymamma says:

    Right. First, a disclaimer: I’m only alive today because I managed to escape the stitches of the Quilt Police Death Squad! Now… Why does it need to be more versatile? Why can’t it simply be what it is: a lovingly-made gift from you to your sister? Does it FEEL as though the top is complete? This has been a beautiful improv journey, why spoil all that spontaneity by “planning” to make it wider? I think that, in your heart, you know it’s finished, you’re just feeling that you “should” do whatever. OK, would the Quilt Police kindly form an orderly queue so as not to upset my neighbours and there’s a Sharps Bin by the door for when you’ve all finished pricking me with your needles! Ha ha ha.

  9. Sophie Zaugg
    Sophie Zaugg says:

    Once again … I LOVE this quilt Stephie !!! I wouldn’t change anything. It has such a beautiful movement and is so happy and liberated. I’m afraid a border would break this effect.

  10. Sandra
    Sandra says:

    I agree with the comment made by Bossymama. It feels like the quilt is complete. Although… an avid applique-er I’m trying to imagine what I might do. For some reason, I’m imagining an appliqued border up one side of the quilt. I’m with everyone….this has been one of my favourite quilts to watch come to life!

  11. Maureen
    Maureen says:

    There is wonderful movement in this beauty, If I had made this I would leave it just as is. It comes down to your instincts here. As in the story of the The Three Bears I think it’s “just right”.


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