Tip for built-to-last quilts: sewing one final seam

Quilting 101: sewing one final quilt seam

What a wonderful feeling it is to finish a quilt top! Whether the next step is to quilt it yourself or to send it out for professional quilting, it’s important to make sure your top is as sturdy as can be to withstand all the quilting ahead.

Little Red Layer Cake quilt
“Little Red” Layer Cake quilt by Carrie Nelson

What does Carrie Nelson, best-selling author of Schnibbles Times Two and Another Bite of Schnibbles, do to her quilt tops for an extra dose of durability? Her final step adds strength, cuts down on stretching, and guarantees that pieced borders won’t come undone.

Who doesn’t want stronger quilts that will last through years of use? Learn Carrie’s simple technique below—make it the last thing you do on all of your quilt tops too!

Plan C small quiltBuilt-to-last quilts: sewing one final seam

From Schnibbles Times Two by Carrie Nelson

I always do one last thing before my quilt top is truly finished and ready to be quilted. I always stay stitch around the outer edge of the quilt top, stitching about ⅛" from the edge. This helps keep the edges from stretching and also prevents seams on my pieced borders from separating.

Most of the quilters I’ve worked with say it helps, especially if you’re planning to have your quilt top professionally machine quilted.

Now you know Carrie’s secret for stronger quilts. But do you know what a schnibble is?

McGuffey quilt
“McGuffey” schnibble quilt

A schnibble is simply a scrap, a small piece of cloth, or a leftover bit of fabric. In Schnibbles Times Two, Carrie first shows you how to create beautiful quilts with Layer Cakes (10″ squares):

Nice Day Layer Cake quilt
“Nice Day” Layer Cake quilt from Schnibbles Times Two

Then she’ll show you show to make the same quilts in schnibble-size versions with charms (5″ squares).

Nice Day small quilt
“Nice Day” schnibble quilt from Schnibbles Times Two

Schnibbles Times TwoSee all 12 pairs of quilts in Schnibbles Times Two >
Print book (with free eBook): $26.99
eBook only: $18.99


Find even more of Carrie’s fun-to-sew quilts in her second book, Another Bite of Schnibbles:

Lincoln large and small quilts
“Lincoln” Layer Cake quilt and schnibble quilt from
Another Bite of Schnibbles

Two Percent large and small quilts
“Two Percent” Layer Cake quilt and schnibble quilt from Another Bite of Schnibbles

See more from Another Bite of Schnibbles >
Print book (with free eBook): $26.99
eBook only: $18.99

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What type of schnibbles do you own more of: the precut kind or the scrappy kind? Tell us in the comments!

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14 Comments (leave a comment)

  • Scrappy….as a relative newbie to quilting I like to stretch myself by working hard to put different fabric colors and patterns together on my own — a task that I find challenging and exciting. Also, the few things that I have made using precuts usually involves using all of it 🙂

    —Kate on March 23, 2015
  • I like the pre-cuts and scrappy schnibbles because I have lots of both.

    —Patricia D. Roberts on March 23, 2015
  • Mine would definitely be the scrappy kind. With an entire room full of fabric stash I seek out patterns where I can grab a number of quarter yard fabrics, fat quarters, or the like and whip up a quilt top. I even take a distinct pattern and turn it totally scrappy to my liking. Most of all my quilts are given away so I know they will be loved by whomever is the recipient. Besides who doesn’t like a home made quilt?!

    —Sue Fender on March 23, 2015
    I have "Schnibbles Times Two"+it’s one of my most favorites!

    —LINDA on March 23, 2015
  • I love the precuts for having all the fabrics coordinating for me, and I also like the scrappy look too. Love the Schnibbles books!

    —Christy on March 23, 2015
  • I have an abundance of both. There is nothing better than making a "free" quilt. You’ve already made a quilt and now you are using the scraps to make a "free" one.

    —connie b on March 23, 2015
  • I have far more scrappy schnibbles than precuts, mainly because I buy more yardage than precuts. I very much enjoy using "leftover" fabric for new projects, and like to remind myself where each was originally used. There is a certain comfort in the continuity. I recently included in a new project a fabric that I first used several years ago. This is project #8 for that fabric. I’m down to the last 6″ square and a few 1-2″ scraps of that fabric. Plenty of opportunities!

    —Jane on March 23, 2015
  • I have way too many scraps, I think they are multiplying all by themselves. I am also a fan of the gorgeous 2 1/2″ strips and charm squares, I think I "collect" those.

    —JoAnne T. on March 23, 2015
  • Oh, I definitely have more scrappy schnibbles than precuts. I love working with scraps and try hard to make sure my supply doesn’t run low.

    —Sandy W. on March 23, 2015
  • I probably have equal of scraps and precut pieces you never know when they might come in handy a schnibbles here abnd a schnibble there.

    —vickster on March 24, 2015
  • I have mostly scraps from my fabric purchases but also keep bits left from precuts. You just never know what you are going to need and it is so hard to throw any of it away. I save scraps of batting and interfacings and stabilizers, also.

    —Kay on March 24, 2015
  • Scrappy. Whether they started out as precuts or measured yardage, once their first project is completed what’s left is scrappy.

    —Pearl on March 27, 2015
  • Scrappy all the way, as I don’t buy precuts. I prefer to mix my own fabrics together for unique palettes.

    —Linda Towers on March 29, 2015
  • Mostly scrappy. I find that if I keep them "sorted", ha ha, I can pull colors that I wouldn’t usually use together. And all of my scrappy quilts produce more scraps. I’ll never catch-up.

    —Norma on March 29, 2015

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