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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Those Superstitious Quilters!

My oldest son is a baseball fan. I'm not sure how it came about because he's never played.

It may have been my fault for giving him the initials MLB.

One of his treasures is a fist full of grass clipping from Yankee Stadium. The great part about being a Yankee's fan is that it makes him easy to shop for. Anything Yankee's will make him happy.

One Christmas I gave him a toaster that branded the bread with the Yankee's logo. He thought he'd died and gone to toast heaven.

Yeah! Toast!

Baseball players are notoriously superstitious. From lucky socks that can't be laundered, to tapping the plate before an at-bat, to fans wearing their hats inside out, the list of baseball superstitions is long, sometimes ridiculous and often disgusting. But enough about that.

Superstition is Everywhere!

What about quilters? Are there quilting superstitions?

Yes! there are many, and I dare say, almost none involve spitting.

There is that one that says to use your own saliva to remove your blood from the quilt if you prick your finger. But I'm not sure if that qualifies as a superstition or a life hack.

Here are a few that definitely qualify as superstitions:
  •  Only a brides quilt, begun after the lady is engaged to be married, should be quilted with heart motifs. This quilt should be the 13th quilt prepared for the brides hope chest and never used before the wedding night.
  • Remember the movie a few years ago that referenced the family's lucky quilt? They called it the Baby Maker.
  • Quilts should never be started on a Friday, Good Friday excepted. If so, they will never be finished. Check your stash of UFO's. Any of them started on a Friday?
  • I know quilters that keep a scrap of every quilt they make. For luck?
  •  There should be an error worked into everything you make. Only God makes perfect things. (I've always wondered about this one. If you make an error on purpose, is it still an error?)
  • I haven't been quilting long but I've already succumbed to my own superstition: Anything stitched after midnight will need to be unstitched in the morning.

That last one has proven true on too many occasions to ignore.

But at least I won't be tearing stitches out with my teeth as a punishment for stitching on the Sabbath.

What about you?

Do you have any quilting superstitions? I'd love to hear about them.

What does this have to do with quilting?

My youngest son's bride wanted an album quilt for their reception rather than a traditional guest book. The guests were each invited to sign a block to be sewn into the quilt.

After the reception I quickly sewed the blocks together, arranged backing fabric and set the quilt aside until I became brave enough to quilt this special quilt. 

They were married in December 2017.

I've finally accepted that if I'm waiting to feel skilled enough to quilt this quilt, it's never going to happen. Ah well. Best laid plans, and all that.

Their cute baby is 10 months old now. It's time to get the quilt finished and gifted to them before he starts walking kindergarten.

Therefore, the quilt was professionally quilted using a heart motif. The quilt was certainly begun after the engagement and never used before the wedding night. I'm not sure if it's the brides 13th quilt but either way, it's a lovely thought.

After “only” a year and a half, the pretty wedding quilt is finally signed, sealed and ready to deliver. I was beginning to wonder if I'd started the quilt on a Friday.

To Landon and Fabiana, Best Wishes and Eternal Joy to you both.
Loves, Mom

Want to make a signature quilt?

I'd planned to share the pattern I'd used BUT... I began reviewing the notes I took while making it and remembered how many ways I'd jury rigged the blocks to make the quilt.
Unnoticeable without a ruler, the blocks come in several sizes depending on where they are sewn into the quilt. Some are 5 3/4" square, some are 5 1/2" x 5 3/4', and some are 5 1/2" x 5 1/4".

I decided to spare you that organizational nightmare.


Signature quilts are very simple to make, and you can use nearly any block that has an open space.

Pinterest is a good place to begin to look for... anything crafty.

Here's a link to a page full of signature blocks on Pinterest. The one I used is included, along with several versions of the super simple tutorial. There's even a paper piecing option if you prefer.

So where did I go wrong?

Notice that none of the finished signature quilts on Pinterest have blocks outside a border like mine does.

There's a reason for that.

Once the border is added, the blocks no longer fit together in tidy rows around the quilt.

So the blocks in the center of my quilt are all the same size and sew together slick and trouble free. The blocks on the sides outside the border are taller than they are wide, and on the top and bottom, again outside the border, are wider than they are tall.

My new general recommendation regarding signature quilt design is: signature blocks go inside the borders, end of story.

When pieced properly the signature quilt is a thoughtful, unique and wonderful gift... especially if it's not 2 years overdue.

Don't forget to share a link to the blog and invite your friends to quilt with us.

Follow the blog by clicking the Followers box in the right sidebar.

Please leave comments below or photos on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest.

The LAST section of the mystery quilt goes live NEXT week. Can you believe it? We're almost done! It makes me feel a little nostalgic.

Not to worry though. I have a few surprises up my sleeve.

See you next time!


PS. Wanna see where I hang out when I'm not at Seamless Piecing?

Discover the power of a single block!

The Quilt Pattern Magazine is an online, monthly magazine where I publish some of my designs.
AND... it's not just a magazine. It's also a delightful, private, online community called Pattern Pastiche. Some of the best and nicest quilters around hang out there along with others, like me, who just want to rub shoulders with them.

Currently we are doing a Design Challenge on Pattern Pastiche. We're making 9-patch blocks using components provided by Cindy McCoy, Owner and CEO of TQPM.

The challenge makes designing a snap. I've designed nearly a dozen clever quilts THIS MONTH alone. Some of them (only my favorites) will appear on the blog, but there are lots of design ideas flying around.

Come join the fun and design your own quilts.

AND... If you go there from here you can use a special discount code just for Seamless Piecing readers. Here's the link. The code is: SP

I hope to see you there soon. The design challenge won't go on forever and it won't be back for a year or more.


  1. RB - I always enjoy reading your posts because you have such a humorous style. Thank you. Also, what a great plug for TQPM and Pattern Pastiche.


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