On the Straight and Narrow

As folks commented on facebook about my last blog post, there are about as many ways to block a quilt as there are quilters. When I spoke with MQU’s Senior Editor, Kit Robinson about blocking, she was quick to chime in. “I hate blocking!” she said. Though blocking can be straightforward (and easier than you think), she regards it as a task she’d rather not do and has graciously  shared her technique for avoiding it.

Kit’s beautiful quilts are generally appliquéd and heavily stitched. So how does she keep her work looking pristine? Non-woven interfacing. Using featherweight to lightweight “sew-in” interfacing keeps her work on the straight and narrow.

4th of July – Terry Lake ©Kit Robinson Adding all those leaves to this quilt could have heavily distorted the top. Since Kit used interfacing, though, it hangs straight and flat.

She constructs her quilt top directly on the interfacing. In addition to whatever appliqué she’s including, she will often add some machine embroidery at this point. Once the top is complete, she layers it with batting and backing. This means that she incorporates four layers in her quilts: the top fabric, interfacing, batting, then backing. Kit goes on to quilt as desired. She says that the top stays true to size and square. Since she leaves a little extra margin all around, she can always trim off some excess to finalize the project.

Many of us find some aspect of completing a quilt unappealing. If that happens to be blocking for you, try Kit’s tip and see if it it helps.

3 Responses to On the Straight and Narrow

  1. Hi.
    Can you please give more details on the use of interfacing written about here. How exactly does one construct a quilt top onto interfacing? Do you cut it out afterwards then apply it onto the fabric top ? Do you iron it on? Is the interfacing fusible?

    I am baffled as you can tell. This sounds intriguing and I want to try it but my brain hasn’t connected the dots yet. Please help.


    PS, I have only recently discovered your fabulous magazine. I love it!

  2. Carolyn – This is for applique. Cut out interfacing about 2″ larger than art quilt. Place your pattern on a large window and place interfacing over it. Trace pattern onto interfacing. Place interfacing on design wall. I fuse my fabric pieces (could be glued) and then pin in appropriate location on interfacing. You will cover some of the pattern because of the 1/4″ that is placed under on some edges, but using the guide of other lines they can be placed correctly. As you do a section,iron on permanently when happy. When done, machine stitch all applique down, then sandwich and quilt.

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