Star Sampler Quilt | Finishing Touches

After almost a year of getting the ball rolling, the end of my Star Sampler Quilt Along has come to an end! *insert sad/happy face – whichever one applies!*

In the final instalment of the series, I’ve jammed packed it full of all of the ‘finishing touches’ we need to do to have a completed quilt!

This time ’round there’s no pattern sheet to follow or to download, instead everything you’ll need to know is either in the video tutorial or listed here in this post…

So once you’ve finished piecing together your quilt top with sashing and borders, it’s ready to be backed and basted in preparation for quilting! If you’ve made your quilt with the same measurements as mine, you’ll need:

BACKING: WOF*x150cm (59″)

BATTING: 120cmx150cm (47″x59″)

For my batting I’m using a lovely Premium 100% Cotton Quilt Batting in an Autumn weight by a company called Bosal. To be honest, before receiving this, I never knew that batting was or could be available in ‘seasonal weights’. I chose an Autumn weight as it’s not too fluffy (or lofty) to sandwich between my quilt top and backing, while still being light/heavy enough to keep one warm on a chilly winter’s eve.

When it comes to basting your quilt, use the method that you feel the most comfortable with. For me, that’s spray basting. It’s quick, simple and equates to less time rolling on the floor pricking my fingers with pesky pins! 😀

The same advice goes for your choice in quilting. From the early stages of planning this QAL, I always envisaged this quilt to have a subtle mathematical grid texture to it’s surface. To achieve it, I used my handy Clover Hera Marker and long quilting ruler to mark a 2″ grid pattern across the top of the quilt, three lines at a time (ie. mark three lines, quilt, then mark another three lines, quilt etc.) until the entire quilt was finished.

After trimming away any excess backing/batting from around the edges of the quilt, it’s time to bind! To make your own quick and easy binding, you’ll need:

BINDING: WOF*x40cm (16″)

Cut this into x6 2.5″ strips and sewn end to end on a diagonal to create a long binding strip.

After pressing the binding in half, simply machine sew it onto the front of the quilt as shown in the tutorial, then bring it around to the back and slip-stitch the other edge to the back of the quilt. Too easy!!

Don’t forget to label your quilt with the month/year the quilt was completed, the name of the quilt as well as the name of the person who made it! My label is still to be made (oops, my bad!) but when I do, hopefully I’ll remember to come back to this post and upload a photo of it for you! 😀

FINISHED QUILT MEASUREMENT: 141cmx107cm (55.5″x42″)

*WOF = Width of Fabric


I want to extend a HUGE thank you to the lovely ladies over at Dayview Textiles who so generously helped out with the fabrics and materials I used for this series. Without them I would’ve been able to have the pleasure of using such beautiful fabrics from the Printshop Fabric Range!

And of course, thank you to all of you who participated so patiently in this series! I’ve absolutely loved seeing all of your gorgeous blocks, quilt tops and finished quilts – you’re all so talented and amazing! Although the series is finished, keep on sharing them with me using the hashtag #AmandasQuiltAlong on Instagram as well as over on my Facebook page!

So now that the QAL is finished, it’s time to move on to some more ‘old-school’ content that you’ve been used to seeing! That means some new block tutorials, crafty sewing tutorials, flower based tutorials, some fun Christmas things as well as other usual stuff like Monthly Favourites, Vlogs, Hauls etc! Exciting times ahead people!! Yeah!

So while I go and enjoy my last week of being in my twenties (It’s my 30th Birthday this coming Sunday! Eek!), I hope you all have fun completing your gorgeous quilts!

Happy Sewing, Friends!!


PS. Happy News! I now have a PO Box! If you would like to send me something lovely, you can using this address:

Amanda Rolfe
PO Box 1179
St Marys NSW 1790


‘Quilt-Along-With-Me!’ Part Three: Backing, Batting & Basting!

GET THE INFO SHEET: QuiltAlongWithMe – Part Three


Whew! Part Three in my QAWM series is finally here! It almost seems that the universe was throwing everything at me last week preventing me from getting this stage filmed, edited and published!

For starters, the weather in Sydney at the the start of last week went absolutely crazy! I had never seen so much rain fall in my life! It literally never stopped! Thus resulting in me being confined to the house to simply wait it out. (It was advised by authorities not to leave your home if you really didn’t need to! That’s how dangerous the rain had become!) So after three to four days stuck inside, cabin fever kicked in and I couldn’t help singing to myself this song from one of my favourite childhood movies, Muppet Treasure Island! Finally on Thursday the rain stopped and I was able to visit my local fabric store to buy the fabric for the backing, the exact batting I wanted, a new can of basting spray and thread that matched the colour of my backing fabric.

On Friday, we were forced out of the house as scheduled electrical work was happening in our area, thus resulting in losing our power for four hours between the time of 8am and 4pm. So to the city we went! We caught a train to Circular Quay, had some lunch and then hopped onto a ferry that took us around to Darling Harbour where we went to have a look at the Madame Tussauds Museum.

Sydney was looking beautiful this day!
Sydney was looking beautiful this day!
I met an Avenger!
I met an Avenger! Squee!!

Saturday was the centenary of ANZAC Day, a special national day that all Australians and New Zealanders hold close. It was the day that our troops landed on the shores of Gallipoli during World War One. The history is a tragic one of poor leadership decisions, of being led to the wrong place and of heavy losses that weren’t at all necessary. ANZAC Day is a public holiday for us where we are given the chance to honour, remember and celebrate what the ANZACs did for our nation as well as recognise the others who have and who still do serve our country.

On Saturday afternoon, I thought I’d take the time to get started on filming part three. However, after discovering unfixable holes in my backing fabric after cutting it in half and sewing them together, I threw it in and spent the rest of my time making and sewing hexies!

Pretty Hexies!
Pretty Hexies!

Venturing out again to the fabric store was a no go as most stores closed early due to ANZAC Day and to add insult to injury, a huge storm was currently battling its way across Sydney that brought very heavy rain and hail stones! Eek!

Roll on Sunday… I bought some new backing fabric, ensuring that it was perfect! My camera was charged and ready to go. The sun was shining which meant my lighting would be perfect! And most importantly, I was in a good mood! So I jumped on the moment and got it filmed and done!


So that was my week… Although I did forget to mention the numerous people we had around for lunches and dinners (we were the most sociable house on the block last week!) as well as the horrid bout of stomach flu I suffered on Monday and Tuesday, adding to my rainy day blues!

On the positive side, on the down days I was able to write and publish a very over due blog post (my March Favourites) as well as make a quick and very spontaneous tutorial on how to make an ANZAC Poppy Felt Brooch! Win!


So in Part Three of the series we’ll be looking at how to make a pieced quilt backing, how to chose the right batting as well as how to baste a quilt together so that it’s ready to be quilted.

As always, everything you’ll need to know regarding measurements and cutting instructions is in the information sheet linked above!

Part Four will be all about quilting our quilt! I’ll go through the different ways you can do this while also discussing the way I’ve chosen to quilt my quilt. I’ll show you how to set up your sewing machine for quilting as well as the way I like to organise my space so I’m comfortable and happy!

Also, don’t forget to show me your finished blocks and quilts! Tag me on Instagram or Twitter at @3and3quarters, send me an email or share them on Facebook!

If you have any questions or thoughts about the block, the finished quilt or the series as a whole, please comment below and I’ll try my very best to help you out!!

Happy Sewing, Friends!


Catchup on the series here:

+ Part One

+ Part Two

5 Quilting Tools I Couldn’t Live Without!

Over my past few weeks of sewing I’ve come to the conclusion that there are a select few quilting tools that I just could not function without!

The obvious tools such as my sewing machine, sewing desk, scissors, threads, pins, rulers etc. don’t count in this definitive list because they’re already there without question!

This list focuses more on those little things that just make my sewing/quilting experience a breeze!

Let’s start with something small…

1. Quilting Thimble (The Quilter’s Thumb)

I just simply love this little tool. I love it so much that I actually have two!

Collins Quilter's Thumble
Collins Quilter’s Thumble

It’s solid, fits snuggly on my thumb and allows me to push my super sharp needle through multiple layers of fabric without causing any serious injury to myself!

I particularly use this thimble when I’m stitching the binding onto a quilt or when I’m doing any ‘heavy duty’ hand stitching.

I bought mine at my local Spotlight store in packaging that looks like this…PS. I had a good look around on the web to find where they’re sold and I have a slight feeling this product has been discontinued. *insert sad face*


2. Clover Seam Ripper

This seam ripper is like the Hummer of all seam rippers!

It’s super sharp, feels sturdy and robust in hand and it rips up seams like there’s no tomorrow. I now no longer dread making a mistake because I then have a legible reason to whip this little baby out!

Clover Seam Ripper | Made in Japan
Clover Seam Ripper | Made in Japan

I can’t rate Clover products any higher – they make some of the best quilting tools around…but they can be quite pricey!

It’s totes worth it though!

3. Olfa Rotating Cutting Mat

This is a newly purchased item to my quilting tool stash so I’m still getting used to it.

But, from the time I’ve spent using, it’s safe to say, ‘I’m in love. I’m in love. I’m in love!’

Olfa Rotating Cutting Mat (30x30)
Olfa Rotating Cutting Mat (30×30)

Currently, I’m using mine as a mini cutting station for some blocks I’m piecing together. I am able to trim down one side of the block and then rotate the mat without having to move the block thus not stuffing around my measurements etc.

[CLICK HERE] to see a demo on YouTube.

I find using it handy.

Some may find it a nuisance and a bit lazy silly.

But hey, whatever works for you I suppose!


Like all good quality cutting mats, this one was on the expensive side – ranging around 70 bucks AUD.

4. Fiskars Mini Rotary Blade

Here’s another ‘little’ tool that I’d be lost without in my sewing practice.

Fiskars 28mm Classic Stick Rotary Cutter
Fiskars 28mm Classic Stick Rotary Cutter

I use this rotary blade for trimming and when I’m cutting curved pieces.

It’s quick, agile, non-bulky, fabulously light, feels wonderful in the hand and am able to retract the blade with super-sonic speed (like a cowboy with his gun!).


It’s just the best.

Full stop.

5. Basting Spray

Oh Basting Spray, where would I be without you! I bless the day when we first met each other and our quilting sandwiches came together as one!’


Okay, that was a tad bit dramatic.

But truly, I am so happy about the day I finally took the plunge and tried this product out.

It has saved me so much time, effort, muscle spasms, pinpricks and sobbing tears!

Quilt Basting Spray
Quilt Basting Spray

If you’re curious to see how spray basting works [CLICK HERE] to watch a simple yet informative how-to video on YouTube.

So that’s it.

Those are the five quilting tools that I just could not live with out.

And I don’t plan on sewing without them anytime in the near future!

Happy Sewing! xx

In love with progress!

I love a good dose of progress in any way possible and the past few days have been full of it!

I’ve come to the point where I’ve almost, just almost, finished the Butterfly cot quilt and I’m so-so-so-so-so happy with it!

While finishing this little beauty, I tried out two techniques that I’ve always shied away from: spray basting and free-hand quilting (stippling).

First of all: I thought I’d give spray basting a go as I knew that safety-pins would constantly get in the way while I was trying to free-hand quilt. So I bought a small can, sprayed away (following the instructions of course!) and was dumb-founded with the instant results I got. My god, the stuff truly does work!

It’s not too sticky but sticky enough to hold all three layers to one another, it’s repositionable and it doesn’t gum up the sewing machine needle. These were my fears of using spray baste but I was happily proven wrong. Plus it only took like two seconds to baste the whole quilt together compared to a few hours rolling around on the floor, pinning and stabbing yourself while tackling all three layers together.

The next technique I successfully conquered was free-hand quilting or stippling. At first I was hopeless and was having terrible issues with the tension – all of my stitches were too loose and it looked horrible and messy. But with YouTube and the Missouri Star Quilt Company to the rescue, I was able to remedy my troubles by changing the tension (very high or tight!) to achieve beautiful, clean and crisp stitching. Here’s the link to the YouTube clip Check it out as they go over how to spray baste, set up your machine for stippling and do a little demonstration. They do talk a lot, but it’s helpful if you don’t know what you’re doing!

Here is the quilt on it way! A minute into it I had to stop to have a look and see if I was doing it right, and HUZZAH, it was working!!

Now I’m not going to show you a whole finished look of the quilt just yet – I want to wait until it’s reached the ‘mum-to-be’ before I do that. But here are a few sneaky-peeks!

So from one quilt, onto another…. Today I begun cutting and piecing together another project for a friend who bought some adorable Gumnut Babies fabric. I’ve had these fabrics sitting in my to-do pile for the last 3-4 months, so I thought it was about time to get it started! This lovely lady has been ever so patient and tolerant with my poor time management skills!

Here’s a peek at the fabrics just before they were pieced together this morning.

I also managed to finish my babushka embroidery that I started over my horrible sickie weekend.

It’s just so sweet and colourful. I’m not too sure whether I’ll just frame it or if I’ll add a border around it to make it into a little wall-hanging. I’ve got some adorable babushka print fabric I’ve had sitting in my stash for a gazillion years that I’m just itching to use!

Last but not least, two days ago I decided to quit my job and take up quilting, patchwork, crafting, and blogging as my ‘full-time’ career. It was decision that I didn’t make lightly but felt that it was a now or never kind of feeling/situation. Quilting is my life and my deepest passion and I couldn’t think of anything else in this world that I could commit myself to to make me happy and content in life.

I have sat down and written out a full list of goals I want to achieve and know that I will accomplish them with hard work and dedication along with support and encouragement from my family and friends. I’ll also be taking this time to finish my Fine Arts degree with the plan to go on to studying Education so I can teach my craft to others!

So that’s been my week: busy, stressful, teary, successful, content and intense! Hmm.

Happy Sewing! xx