Layer Cake Finishing Instructions

So I know I usually post these first thing in the morning, but I have been working on these finishing instructions all day — actually all week because I got the quilt made, quilted (not bound yet), but photographed! 
I think Gari made an appropriate comment that this Layer Cake being a little more of a challenge than the Jelly Roll Quilt Along.  I think some of this was because I didn’t include any background fabric, so we used every inch of fabric in the layer cake.  This creates design issues because sometimes you have to work with what you have, and it isn’t exactly what you were initially thinking.
I would love to hear your thoughts, good and bad, about the quilt along over all.  I am curious if those who used the fat quarter bundle had the same issues as those who used fat quarters.  I am looking forward to doing another quilt along and right now I am going three directions:  1) doing another jelly roll QA, 2)  doing a fat quarter QA, or 3)  do a mini block QA using scraps or maybe charms or even a layer cake.  I think a layer cake would be oodles of fabric for a smaller block.  So I would love to know what you think.
Anyway — on to finishing this quilt!
I changed what I was doing with this quilt many times because the layer cake didn’t go as far as I thought.  Here’s my quilt: 
I like the way it turned out.  My blocks seemed a little wild, but I think they really came together.  (Sorry the picture has a light spot.) 
You are welcome to use my finishing instructions or use the layout of your choice.  Check out the Jelly Roll Quilt Along flickr group for some pictures of alternate layouts.  I don’t have directions for the creative layouts quilter’s cam up with, but there’s some fun ideas for you there.
Happy Quilting!


  1. Gene Black
    April 8, 2011 at 12:46 am

    I used a FQ bundle and had no issues with running out of fabric that would work or even running out of contrast. I had bought an extra yard of one of the darks “just in case” – it is still uncut.
    I have to decide on sashing fabric so I can get moving on the finishing.

  2. Kate
    April 8, 2011 at 12:53 am

    I acutally had 2 layer cakes of the same fabric, one of which was partially used and I had enough to do most of what I wanted to. I did supplement with a background fabric, but I didn’t really use that much of it.

    I think a fat quarter quilt along would be my pick of the 3 that you are considering.

    Thank you for hosting the LCQA. I really enjoyed it.

  3. VickiM35
    April 8, 2011 at 1:34 am

    I used a fat quarter bundle & some yardage from my stash (the kids quilt), had no problems with anything. The other one I used strictly scraps (I do alot of Americana type things–so lots of scraps), no problems with that either. I will have to pull from my stash for the finishing though. Thank you for hosting this.

    I would like to do a fat quarter quilt along…I’m sure I’m not the only one who has collected them & not gotten around to using many of them. That’s one reason I used some for the kid’s quilt.

  4. Karen
    April 8, 2011 at 1:42 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Karen
    April 8, 2011 at 1:43 am

    I used almost my entire layer cake, but used a lot of scraps, some questionably. I liked not having a background fabric so the blocks didn’t have a matchy-matchy look. There was also a lot of variety in blocks. I think having a bigger fabric piece to begin with (rather than a 2 1/2 in strip) helped with that.
    I would say another layer cake quilt along or maybe a fat eighth bundle. Fat quarter bundles can get a little pricey. Charm packs seem to allow little room for error. They make me nervous 🙂
    Thanks Konda! You did a lot of work coordinating all the block designers. MUCH appreciated.

  6. Ann Marie
    April 8, 2011 at 3:34 am

    I would love to do another QA, maybe even do it one block per week. Jelly roll or FQ this time around?.

  7. Gari
    April 8, 2011 at 3:45 am

    What a surprise to see my name in your blog post. And I love your QAs and will vote for whatever you choose. Now, I am saying this and I still have the last two blocks to make but hope to have them done this weekend.

  8. Merete
    April 8, 2011 at 7:29 am

    I made my quilt a 9-block quilt instead, or actually both. Several reasons for that, but mainly I was not sure I had enough fabric left from the LC. And I had trouble making nice looking blocks with the fabrics left. But its ok, they will be nice quilts anyway :o) For the next QA, it will be great with a FQ, because I have some…. :o) Maybe you should give the designers a theme next QA, so the blocks have a common base (hope you understand what I mean….). Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for the fun!!

  9. grendelskin
    April 8, 2011 at 11:38 am

    This has been terrific; I had a FQ bundle onhand and used it because I knew I’d screw up a few! I’ve learned so much here, am feeling much more confident about my piecing and even my own color preferences. I’d like to see a scrappy quiltalong, maybe with one base color and everything else from stash thrown in!

  10. Cathy
    April 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I used my own fabrics throughout this quilt, I chose purples as my color scheme. I think it was fun and I learned some new skills. Laying it out on the floor I see that I have a block that needs redoing as it doesn’t go along with my other and seems to stand out. The blocks were a little wild but I hope when I get them together they will mesh nicely. thanks for putting this together. The next QAL I would like to use scraps again. I have soooo many and I so don’t want to buy (well I do want to buy new fabric) but I shouldn’t buy new fabric till I use up what I got. I would QAL no matter what you choose. I’ll just use my scraps and stash again.!!


  11. Wilma
    April 8, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I used a layer cake for each of my 2 LCQA.

    Lollipops by Sandy Gervais – I ran nearly out, but I did have to buy some coordinating fat quarters from my local quilt shop. Block 11 was my tight-squeeze block.

    Collections for a Cause – I started this one a few blocks in, but I also purchased some background fabric, so at the end of the quilt along I still have lots of fabric left which I’ll probably use for the backing.

    Thanks again, Konda, for hosting the LCQA. It was very enjoyable.

  12. tumbleweedsandtwisters
    April 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    I too have pretty much used all of my layer cake, but then I also cheated some by using some white background fabric in some blocks.
    Thanks for all your hard work, its been fun!!!

  13. luvtoquilt
    April 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I absolutely LOVE your layout — can’t wait to implement it. This was a great quilt along. I incorporated some neutral background fabric in some of the blocks because I was afraid of running out. As it turns out, I had fabric left over, so I probably wouldn’t have needed to do that. I’m up for another quilt along whenever you’re ready. I love using the precuts because everything’s so coordinated — not really interested in a mini block — more partial to FQ or jelly roll.

  14. Michelle G
    April 8, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I really enjoyed this process. I made a lot of blocks that I normally wouldn’t have tried, and the end result is great.

    I was frustrated toward the end, because I was running low on layer cake squares, but I thought we were making 16 blocks! I don’t know why I thought that…some of my blocks may have turned out different if I thought I had more material to work with! Obviously, my mistake, because I’m the only one who didn’t know. 🙂 So now, instead of being out of material, I actually have quite a bit left, because I was trying to use up those scraps.

    But, I would definitely do another quilt-along, because I learned a lot! I would be most interested in a fat-quarter one, because the smaller cuts make me nervous. 😉

  15. Michele
    April 8, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    Thanks so much for hosting this quilt along! It has been a blast. I used a Layer Cake for my blocks and toward the middle of the quilt along I bought some extra fabrics, because I wasn’t so thrilled with the selection I had left. I was also concerned if I’d have enough darks and lights left to make nice blocks. Some of the blocks seemed so different than the others. Not that this is a bad thing. This was my first quilt along so I probably would have been a little more comfortable with blocks with a modern look or a traditional look as the theme, rather than a mix. My vote for the next one is jelly roll! I can’t wait to see some finished quilts.

  16. crickets
    April 9, 2011 at 3:28 am

    What a fabulous qult along! I used a fat quarter bundle, and only added some solids after making block #1 when I realized my bundle didn’t contain enough “restful” patterns – many medium and large prints and no small or monotone ones. I have plenty of fabric leftover.

    I love every block in this QAL and can’t wait to finish it up.

    I’m in for another (did the JRQAL, too) and would love fat quarters, but will do anything you choose!

  17. Cathy
    April 10, 2011 at 9:03 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. Cathy
    April 10, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I am a little verklempt!! Are these blocks 12″ or 12 1/2″? When I went back to the instructions some of the blocks said 12″ finished and others said 12 1/2″ finished. Okay, so I cut them down to 12″. Then I got the finishing instructions and it says to cut 12 1/2″ sashes and add the geese. I guess I will go back and do a little trimming and reconstructing the geese sash to make my block assemble correctly. Where did I go wrong? I went back and trimmed my sashes to 12″ and they fit perfectly. Guess I mis-read the block finishes. So my blocks finished at 12″.

  19. -girl from the bush
    April 10, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Hi Konda, your quilt looks great! love the colours and the stars. i’m just downloading now to decide what i will do . i hope you got my details ok as i won the fourth prize in the last draw. the quilt along was fun and i enjoyed it heaps, what ever you may do next i will most probably have a go thanks again, sue~n.z.

  20. Mama Spark
    April 10, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    I used a lC for this quilt. I also made another JR from the last QAL that you did at the same time using the same fabric. I think this helped in having enough of the fabrics I wanted to use. My fabrics didn’t really have any darks and had lots of BIG prints so it was a struggle at times! I have to say that I liked the JR QAL better although I am not sure why that was. I would like to do another QAL and you did a fantastic job coordinating the whole thing. Maybe, as someone else suggested, the blocks might have a theme this time. That might be a fun way to go with whatever pre-cut you choose to use.

  21. Mama Spark
    April 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Oh, I forgot to say, I put my top together yesterday. I will post pics if the wind ever dies down! Thanks again!!

  22. Michelle G
    April 11, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    And I forgot to say THANK YOU! for organizing this!

  23. Anonymous
    April 11, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I used a layer cake, and it didn’t really have enough contrast colors, but I had enough fabric.

    This quilt-along was fun and I learned a lot. I can’t wait to finish my quilt! 😉

  24. Chris
    April 12, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    I used only a layer cake. It was part of the challenge for me and I really like how it turned out. I would LOVE to do a fq qa next. I think it would be fun.

    I am thinking about going back and doing the jelly roll too LOL.

    Thanks for all your hard work, Konda~

  25. Staci
    April 13, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    I used fat quarters, but not a bundle. I ended up going back to the shop for more of two fabrics. I had plenty of fabric, I just decided I loved two of the prints so much I wanted to feature them in most of the blocks.

    I’d love to do a fq quilt along, or a quilt along with smaller blocks using a layer cake.

    I’m so eager to get my quilt tops together, and to see everyone else’s in the flicker pool!

    Thank you so much for doing this for us all. I can’t imagine how much work it is.

  26. Anonymous
    April 15, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    I used fat quarters from my stash and had a great time putting them all together. I did not have a problem with any of the cutting. I would like to see a fat quarter one, as I have so many in my stash and this was perfect for using some up! I agree with one of the other posters that it would be fun to give the block makers a theme to go by. But would be fun either way! This was my first QA and I am so looking forward to the next one! Thanks Konda for hosting this! You are great!

  27. Ann
    April 16, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I enjoyed doing the QA and feel it was a good experience for me…ie I learned alot for next time. Several of the members of my quilting group did it and I think the success was variable based on their particular layer cake. Some worked out better than others. Mine, not so good. Live and learn.

  28. Cathy
    April 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    I used 12 fq and did have enough fabric. But I made the last four blocks in the last few days – so I was able to look at the blocks and what fabric I had left to make it work. I also had enough to make the 160 1.5 squares for the setting border. Thank-you so much for this layer cake quilt along I enjoyed it very much.

  29. Cathy
    April 18, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    I used a 12 fq bundle and had enough fabric. I did make the last four blocks in the last couple of days so was able to size up the blocks and make the best use of what fabric I had left. I had enough scraps left over for the 160 1.5 squares for the setting borders as well. Thank-you for the quilt along.

  30. Hanswife
    May 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I am done with my quilt no photos of it with the binding as my daughter took it and ran. I love that I kept up till the end but took almost a month to finish. this was my first try at this. I learned so much. I quilted it on my home sewing machine and love the results. my only worry now is what to do next hint hint

    photo of the quilt is here