Growing Up Odd – a finish


A windy photo shoot in the backyard for the finally finished Growing Up Odd quilt, based on a tutorial from the Wedding Dress Blue blog.


We were racing to take the pictures in the last of the afternoon sunshine, hampered not just by the wind but by the fact that even on a chair and stretching, my son is barely 100” tall.  My husband didn’t need the chair but then he is 6’ 4” tall, before stretching.


This quilt is made up of 2 1/2” squares from my precut scrap bin, sashed in Kona cotton’s windsor blue.  Nine-patch, 21-patch and 49-patch sections combined into 16 giant blocks randomly rotated to make a top that after quilting and washing is almost exactly 100” x 100”.  Bigger than a queen size, not quite a king.  It will be perfect for our bed in summer when the down comforter is too warm.

This is the quilt that I spent hours pinning badly, an epic fail of tape and will.  It ended up at Quilting Longarm Magic, a local service.

This was the first time I’ve ever sent a top out for quilting by someone else.  It felt a little bit like cheating, but then there are no quilt police, and I could never have done as well on my home machine.  It isn’t something I can afford to do often, but I can see doing it again for something equally large or a quilt that deserves really special patterns.  I don’t mind quilting, but it isn’t the part I truly enjoy, so I could finish a lot more quilts with the longarm help.

I chose a meandering squares pattern goes well with the multitude of square blocks.  With all those seams, I also wanted to anchor as many of the squares as possible.  A bed quilt will go in the washing machine and needs to be sturdy.


The pattern shows up better on this section of the backing.  The thread used is almost the same blue as this backing fabric.


He got it back to me in less than two weeks, on Saturday, and I spent Sunday squaring it up and then using the sliced off edges to make the binding.

It gives plenty of coverage on our bed.


This is the largest quilt top I’ve ever made, and I have ambitions to make more now that this was a success.



P.S.  I just did the math and there are 1,552 little squares in this quilt.  And I still have even more than those left in the scrap bin.  The scraps can never be defeated!


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Hello from Washington. I am a knitter, spinner, and quilter who is constantly looking for the next fiber hobby to add.

12 thoughts on “Growing Up Odd – a finish”

  1. There is absolutely no shame in hiring a longarm quilter. You’re supporting a local business, and I have been there and done that and cried the blues over pinning and unpinning and struggling with a giant quilt on a sit-down machine that wasn’t meant for the job. Just because some people can quilt large quilts on a domestic machine and enjoy doing so doesn’t mean EVERY quilter needs to do it that way, every time. There was way more work and artistry involved in your part, choosing the fabrics and constructing the quilt top, and the allover quilting pattern you chose complements the piecing beautifully.

    One more option if you want to quilt a really big quilt yourself — many longarmers will load your quilt on their frame and just baste it for you with their longarm machine for much less than the cost of having them quilt it for you. That way you have it basted with everything perfectly smooth and even, no pinning, pleats or puckers to worry about, and you just clip those basting threads out and pull them out as your quilting. Or you could ask the longarm quilter just to quilt stitch in the ditch between blocks, which would stabilize it wonderfully for you to go back and do whatever additional fun quilting you enjoy, with your walking foot or free motion or whatever. There is no wrong way to finish a quilt, and that includes partnering with a longarm quilter.

    Just think — Tula Pink designs and pieces all of her quilts, but sends them all to Angela Walters to be quilted. Ain’t NOBODY saying that Tula Pink “isn’t a real quilter” because she doesn’t do the quilting herself. 🙂

    Congratulations on your fabulous finish!!


    1. Thank you for that reassurance. I do want to improve my quilting skills, but not to the point of not making larger quilts until I have the tools and the ability to handle them!

      The basting idea is also a great one. I will talk to the man who has the longarm machine and see if he offers that service. Thanks for the tip!


  2. Lovely quilt! I send some of my tops to a long arm quilter. I refuse to even try to quilt a large quilt on my sewing machine and I don’t even feel guilty about it. I think it’s great that some people are able to do beautiful work with their home sewing machine but I’m not one of them. I just discovered Wedding Dress Blues blog. I’m going to use some of her tutorials sometime, lovely patterns. Happy Stitching!


  3. I found this with your link to My Quilt Infatuation-and I love this quilt! This is a true scrappy quilt and I love it! I made a king size quilt and quilted it on my domestic machine- and it’s a lot to handle! Sometimes using a LAQ is the best-and thus turned out beautiful!


    1. I am a big fan of scrappy. 🙂 When you made your king size quilt, did you do anything special to help you maneuver the bulk through your machine? I think I could have managed straight lines, but since that wasn’t what I wanted for this particular quilt, I’m glad I found Charlie and his machine.


    1. Thank you. 🙂 It is a great pattern for using up scraps, and easy to adjust by changing either the size of the squares or the number of big blocks. I highly recommend it!


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