Can You Make a Quilt in a Day?

JBalyeatQuiltI certainly cannot make a quilt in a day!  But that is because when I set out to do something I know nothing about, I have to learn through trial and error…sometimes a tiny error that turns out to be massive by the time I follow it to the end.  I was staring at some 8 inch swatches, trying to decide what to make with them, when the thought of a guest room quilt to go on my not-so-lovely air mattress, popped into my mind.  The trouble is, I didn’t want to do squares.  So I  found a lovely little tutorial on how to make a diamond shaped quilt on Pinterest.  But the process looked way too time consuming for my short attention span.

Then inspiration struck.  What about designing a “cheater” quilt with fabrics from my collection?  (For those who don’t sew, a “cheater” quilt is a panel of fabric with all the designs printed, so all you have to do is sandwich some quilting batting between the decorative front side and a coordinating back side, sew along the lines, and add a binding.)  Easy peasy right?  Well, theoretically…

My problem was that I had to design the decorative panel template before I could “sew it in a day”.  Also I wanted to make it a bit bigger than a twin…just in case I wanted to use it on my double size bed.  Well, at last it is designed, but the whole design process from start to finish was much longer than a day!  Through trial and error, I discovered that when doing a diamond pattern, one must be sure to line up the diagonal axis not just the horizontal and vertical axises.  Um…’bout that, I didn’t discover the offset diagonal until I went to sew.  JBalyeatQuiltCloseUpThe picture above shows the weird jog I had to do in the intersections to get my needle back on track.  I have since fixed this in the design template so anyone else who orders yardage of the JBalyeat Quilt Sampler won’t have that to deal with.  The upside is that my sample is still usable, arguably plenty nice for an air mattress.  Also, Blaze, who is seven, was able to sew with me (since my personal “perfection meter” was stuck in “reboot” for an entire 30 minutes after seeing my mistake).

So, let’s tally up the time all together now shall we?

  • Time surfing pinterest for quilt ideas = Not countable.
  • Planning dimensions = At least a day
  • Designing template = At least another day
  • Trying to visualize the binding I wanted = A day
  • Pinning and sewing the top = Portions of two days
  • Trying to be frugal and piece together scraps of a friend’s discarded satin sheets for the binding = Another day
  • Redesigning the template after realizing my geometry gift hasn’t evolved since high school = Another day
  • Waiting for my computer to upload the file to Spoonflower = Another day…ok, not really but it felt like it!
  • Setting up the dining room like a pretend guest bedroom and photo-shopping a sunset outside the window to make a pretty picture = Yep, you guessed it…part of another day.

So for me it was more than a week.  But anyone content to start with a template already made, do a traditional binding, and not rearrange their entire house for a photo shoot, could totally pull this off in a day…Easy Peasy!

JBalyeatQuiltCornerOh, and for any one who wants to make their own template.  Just a couple days after I ordered my sample, Spoonflower posted a tutorial on how to make your own cheater quilt…hummm…must have been a good idea after all!

Inspirational Scripture:
Proverbs 31:22

Pleasure in Planning

ArcDivSmI am really excited about some of the projects that are coming up in the next few weeks before school is out. As more designs are finally coming through the proofing process, I have a crazy goal to put together a few examples of what is possible.  I would love to see some of the things that you create as well!

This latest application for a few of the designs found in the Linen Looks Collection fits beautifully together as dividers for my weekly planner.  It may seem a little crazy to carry a paper planner along with my iPad, and iPhone, but I find it convenient to have real paper with me to capture notes when I am out and about.  There is something about having a full calendar where you can see your month in advance that helps me plan with the big picture in mind.  So here is my Downloadable 2014 Planner 5.5″ x 8.5″ Monthly Calendar, Dividers, Bill Log, To Dos, and More.  I made up one of these for a birthday gift, and I had one other sample which was purchased before I could even finish the Etsy listing.  So I decided to make the downloadable PDF files available in case others love the nostalgia of planning on paper, and the look of linen!

The Etsy listing is to purchase 4 downloadable electronic pdf files so that one can print out pages and make their planner with the dividers and insert pages. I designed them for my ARC Binder that I purchased from Staples, but the pages can be hole punched to fit other 5.5″ x 8.5″ planners.

Except for the Dividers, each page in these files is designed to be printed on standard 8.5″ x 11″ paper and then cut in half to form two pages (4.25″ x 5.5″ panels) that can then be hole punched to fit your planner. In the description below “panel” refers to HALF of a standard 8.5″ x 11″ inch page, and “page” refers to 8.5″ x 11″. The dividers print one per page.

The 12 Pages included in the PDF File ArcCalendar2014 are:
Monthly Calendar (Jan-Dec, 2 panels per month per page)
The Pages included in the PDF File ArcPlannerPages are:
Bill Log (Jan-Dec, 12 panels (6 pages) total)
Notes (2 panels)
Prayer Log (2 panels)
To Do List Task Page (2 panels)
Goal Planning (2 panels)
Needs/Wants/Wishes List (2 panels)
Menu Planning & Grocery List (1 panel Menu & 1 panel Grocery List)
Special Days to Remember (2 panels)
Hospitality Record (1 panel Entertained & 1 panel To Invite)
Nutritional Notes (2 panels)
Health (1 panel Exercise & 1 panel Nutrition Pages)
Ponder Pages (2 panels Journal Planning)ArcPgs

The Pages included in the PDF Files ArcPlannerDividersFront & ArcPlannerDividersBack are:
8 Tabbed Dividers (designed to be printed two sided. The borders of the design on the back of each divider has been extended further than those on the front (this is called a bleed) and allows for slight variation in printer registration so that when the divider is cut out along the outlines on the FRONT side, the design on the back will extend far enough to “bleed” off of the edges. Because of the file size, I split the dividers into two files. One file contains the Front sides of the divider pages and the other file contains the Back sides. I would recommend printing out the first side, and then reloading the paper in your printer to print out the back side. Please note before you print the backs, which way your particular printer needs to have the paper loaded so that the backs print with the proper orientation.

Personally, I like to laminate my dividers before cutting them out. But this is optional. If you do laminate your dividers, you can label the tabs with a fine point sharpie, which stays on quite well. If you make a mistake it can be “erased” with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) or fingernail polish remover.


Staples carries a few different fun supplies that can help you customize your planner.  I like the Martha Stewart discbound rings and of course had to pick up the little ruler.  Because I figured I would be using a system like this for years, I also invested in the hole puncher for this style of binding system.  BUT the digital files can be used for any round hole ring binding system that requires a 4.25″ x 5.5″ page!

ArcRulerArcTaskPadThe designs, layouts, printables, digital files, and photographs were created by Jolene Balyeat and are copyrighted: © 2014 Jolene Balyeat Designs. All rights reserved.  The watermark words “preview” will not show up on the version of the files sent to you.  Digital PDF Files are available for instant download promptly after payment is received through Etsy.

Inspirational Scripture:
Proverbs 31:27