SAL2 - Let Us Not Quilt Lettuce Leaves!

This is the second in the series of emails based on Ruth's April's Power Point presentation to the String-A-Long Quilt Guild in Porter County Indiana. The title was "Piecing Hints, Tips & Longarming Issues."

Her comments are based on our experience with over 10,000 longarmed quilts in our 20 year history. Additionally, Ruth has published over 160 patterns, three books, and two tools under the nom de plume of "Raggedy Ruth Designs."

However, these newsletters are written by her husband, me. I am writing these from Ruth's presentation notes. Nonetheless, I will be sprinkling my ideas in also.
SAL2 - Let Us Not Quilt Lettuce Leaves!

This topic is the #1 issue in piecing that we see that makes a quilt less than it could be. The ones shown may seem extreme [we got them from the web and therefore are not our clients'], but, nonetheless, we keep getting them. This is not the case on all quilts submitted.

Some quilts, like those of Ruth's and Donna Kidd's, among others, lay flat...Every quilt...Every day! On the other hand, there are those, upon whom you can depend, to submit "lettuce leaf" quilts.

There are many reasons for the creation of borders that "lettuce leaf," from our point of view. It will take several newsletters to address them. In this newsletter we will address the twins: "measure, measure, measure" and "pin, pin, pin."
"Measure, Measure, Measure" & "Pin, Pin, Pin"
I'm a "science"-kind of guy. I spend six years in science fields to get a bachelor's degree and post-graduate work. In the sciences you tend to measure once, correctly, and that's it. I was not expecting the world of quilting where a rectangular quilt is not the rule. They tend to be longer on one side than the other and the centers can bulge out.

I loved it when Ruth said "I'm not kidding, you measure three times!" Measure both sides and the middle. Then, get the average by dividing by three. [Thank goodness for the calculators on our phones!] When you get the average, mark it on the borders.

Notice here that the border fabric is longer than the quilt. That provides fabric beyond the average length marks on both ends. That way there will be border fabric beyond the quilt, for squaring the corner.

Notice that, when pinning, Ruth first pins the top, bottom, and center of the border to the center. The center pin insures that the top part isn't being stretched and the other eased in. Then, "pin the heck out of it!" This keeps the fabric from moving. If, however, the fabric is moving against the pins when you are sewing, then you need an "even feed foot" [AKA: Walking Foot]..
Square, Square, Square

Just kidding. You only have to square the corners once.

However, don't be misled by the illustration. You should use a square ruler that is at least 12 1/2" square to trim the corners. When one uses smaller rulers, and even our own Perfect Corner Ruler, they are too short to get good alignment for the squaring of the corner.

We have seen many angled corners due to having a small ruler with which to square.
What's Next?

The newsletter prefixed "SAL03" will be on "Wonky Quilts". See you then!
If you would like to have Ruth give a presentation or workgroup to your organization, please let me know by email to [with your complete contact information, please] or by phone at 567.208.3572, my mobile.

Al Fin

I trust that this was of assistance or interest. If you have any questions that need to be answered, on this or other longarming or quilting topics, then please write to me at or call 219.255.8085.

Thank you for your time and interest.
May The Lord Richly Bless You!
Rick & Ruth Grihalva
At Forever In Stitches our goal is to further the art of quilting and longarming.
We thank you for your interest in our newsletters. We try to keep our newsletters informative, instructive, and enlightening, in addition to informing you of specials. Please join our private mailing list! Remember to forward applicable newsletters to friends who may benefit from the information contained in them!
Please note that a history of our newsletters, since the second quarter of 2022, can be found on our web-site:
Forever In Stitches, LLC
Perfect Corner Ruler
Raggedy Ruth Designs