Did you know there is a calendar with all kinds of “national days”? I found it after seeing some posts about National Tape Measure Day today. Today is also listed as Grand Marnier and Nude day. Hey, does that mean we should run around nude drinking Grand Marnier and Measuring things? Uh, not this girl! Too scary! I think I’ll focus on the Grand Marnier…ha…maybe I better pick the tape measure, better for quilting tips.
How many tape measures do you own? Short ones? 120″? Metal? Cloth? Cute animal shapes? Do you carry one in your purse or bag?
A cute turtle has been one of my favorites. ( it is hiding in my supplies, so I don’t have a picture of it) It is my 120″ that I reach for the most! I have one hanging on my Longarm, one upstairs always ready when laying out quilts and another in my Flat Mat Bag that I take on all getaways and sewing events. The little heart tape measure had traveled in my purse for years. I downsized what I carry, so it now stays at home most of the time.
Do you measure your quilt top with a metal tape measure? Somewhere along the way I heard it was recommended because it did not stretch. I have used one at times, but much prefer my 120″. Fabric moves and I find I can smooth things out as I measure a large quilt for the borders. I typically use my family room floor to lay out a quilt to measure. I do use the same tape measure to then measure and cut my borders. BEST to get the most accurate “same” measurement.
#1 – Use the same measuring tool for measuring borders and then measuring to cut the length for that border.
When measuring for borders, do you take several measurements and compare? I DO!! And I’ll tell you why. If you only measure the edge, it tends to stretch as you smooth it out. Only measure the middle? If there is more pieced seams across the center it is more “stiff” and does not stretch much at all when smoothed. So, measure in several spots and use the average. This helps keep the top nice and “square”. If you add borders without measuring first, your machine tends to push the fabrics. (Actually the operator also pulls and pushes…don’t do that!). If you do not measure and whack off the extra and then do that again on the other side, I am almost certain each border will measure a different length.
#2 – Measure in several spots across a quilt when determining border lengths. Taking the average keeps a square neat quilt.
So, grab a tape measure and MEASURE!
Debbie ~ Wendt Quilting
Yes, I carry one all the time. My son John knows I have it and when he needs to measure something, it’s “Ma, can I use your tape measure.” It comes in handy.