Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fabric Questions....

I went fabric shopping today, looking for background, but realized I had some questions before I could buy.  I am wondering...
1.  Do you cut your background squares extra large to allow for shrink up from the stitching, since these blocks are heavily appliqued, and if so, how much larger?  Say on a 15 inch finished block, how large do you cut it?  (I ask because I have had blocks shrink a bunch when I applique--maybe I am pulling too tightly?)
2.  Is the normal 1/2 inch seam allowance the amount that is called for in the pattern (and thus fabric requirements)?
3.  For anyone making the Roseville quilt, was the 9.5 yards recommended on Glorious Color for the background plenty of fabric or did you have a bit extra left? 

I'm just trying to guess how much extra to buy to be safe and have it all match.  I haven't gotten the pattern yet, but wanted to have an idea if I find some fabric this next weekend as I'll be able to shop a couple stores out of my area, and still won't have the pattern when I'm able to shop.  Hope that makes sense--I'd appreciate your advice.


  1. Hi Donna,
    Kim's patterns always allow for trimming later and I would think the yardage is right. I bought 10 yards.

  2. I normally cut my blocks out 3" larger than the pattern calls for.
    To be safe I have 12 yards of the background fabric. I like to have plenty in case I make a mistake cutting.
    I would rather be safe than sorry!
    if your applique blocks shrink A LOT then it could be the background fabric this is not the time to buy the cheapest fabric you can buy in mho.
    It could be that your pulling too tight but then your block won't lay flat.
    I think if it shrinks less than 1/8th of an inch thats about normal
    maybe try not pulling so hard if you think thats a problem I just measured one of my finished blocks and its still the 20" I cut it out .
    hope this helps, go ahead and order the pattern you won't regret it!

  3. Donna - the cutting directions allow for the finished applique blocks to be trimmed to size once completed. Originally you cut an 18 inch block, applique, and then trim to a 16 1/2 (sixteen and a half) inch block, for a finished block which will measure 16 inches. If you have difficulty with blocks that shrink, you may wish to start with a larger block, try not pulling your stitches too tight, and I suggest laundering your background fabric before you begin stitching just to prevent shrinkage when the quilt is washed. Have FUN fabric shopping!!! Can't wait to see what you buy...?!

  4. I always cut my background fabric larger and then when I am ready to put the quilt together will trim to the size indicated. I also use the blue ink on the background for the placement of my applique so I am rinsing the block and pulling out the freezer paper templates just as soon as I finish the applique, iron it and wait to finish the quilt.

  5. Yes like the other say, Kim's patterns have extra included when cutting the blocks, when using other applique patterns I add a good inch all the way around so I can trim after applique.


  6. For me the main reason to cut a block bigger than required is to allow for some fabric fraying while you work on the block, especially when there is a lot of stitching to be done.

    Judy B

  7. Hi Donna,

    I'll copy the cutting instruction from the pattern:

    Background fabric:

    1. Cut a length of 96” and further cut into 4 strips 96” x 10” – this is for the last vine border.
    2. Cut 2 lengths of 52” and further cut into 4 strips 52” x 18” – this is for the 4 wide borders.
    3. Cut 7 strips of 18” and further cut into 14 pieces 18” x 18” – only 13 pieces are used.

    If you add these figures, it comes to 326" = 9.05 yards. I've added 2" to the finished size to allow for shrinkage. However, you need to straighten up when cutting, so measure twice and cut once! Hope this helps, Kim McLean