Friday, May 30, 2014

Adding Length to an Almost Finished Quilt

Ever have an 'oops' when making a quilt?  Well, my 'oops' is a quilt that's too short!  
The Twinkler quilt needed to measure at least 5' x 7'.  As I was quilting it, I counted six 13" blocks along the length.  Remeasuring and checking my math led to the sad realization that it was a bit short.

Fortunately, due to the design, I could easily add another row of nickels to both ends to make it longer, even after quilting it.  How you ask?  Here's how!

After removing the quilt from the frame, I did not cut any of the edges off.  I then sewed up two 6" wide backing strips, and two strips of nickels for the two front edges.  I had used up all of the backing fabric, so I just substituted a plain green.
The backing strip got pinned to the backside, right sides together, using the edge basting on the quilt top as a seam guide on the back.  The strip overlaps the seam by at least a 1/4".
The nickel strip is pinned to the front, right sides together, aligning the raw edges and seams, and stitched with a 1/4" seam allowance.
After cutting the excess original backing from the back
I now have the additional back, batting, and top ready for quilting.  I folded the excess batting to show the amount of backing in relation to the front.  Not a lot!
I know that I can work with this small amount, but please don't leave this small amount for your longarm quilter.  Give her more to work with!

This process was repeated for the other side, though I didn't have enough batting on this end.
But that's another easy fix!  After the one edge was quilted, I trimmed the excess batting, butted it up against this one, and zig zagged them together.

Now for the quilting.  Using the smallest amount of backing fabric to pin it to the leader

the top was basted along the edge, then the quilting finished.
The same was done on the other edge.  The new ends, front and back, blend right in.

And the back.
Mission accomplished!  The quilt now measures 85".  To see a few more pictures, check out my Twinkler Quilt post.

This technique won't work for every quilt, but I'm so glad this was made of busy scraps to hide the joins.  And this doesn't have to be done on a longarm either.  So, if ever you find yourself with this predicament, feel free to use my solution!

Happy Quilting!



  1. Bravo! I imagine you were fortunate too to be able incorporate your quilting into the existing design. Your quilt looks lovely.


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