Murphy's Laws for Quilters

Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Quilters - Fun Stuff!
by Judy Grow

  • On any given day the number of employees in a quilt shop is inversely proportional to the number of customers needing quick attention.
  • Every quilt will take twice as long as you expect and be ½ as beautiful (we are never satisfied).
  • There are only 2 kinds of masking tape: that which won't stay on and that which won't come off.
  • In cutting an intricate multi-piece block, your ruler will slip on the last side of the last patch.
  • When there is no time to do something right, there will always be time to do it over.
  • The value of any piece of fabric is directly proportional to the speed and ease with which you will ruin it.
  • In any mail-order shipment the item you need the most will be back-ordered.
  • The pattern in a special fabric will never repeat when or where you want it to.
  • Accidental destruction of a fabric will only occur to an expensive imported cotton, never to muslin bought at 50% off.
  • Fabric dyes will never run until the quilt has been completed.
  • A block with flawlessly straight sides, precision corners and perfect color placement will always be the wrong size.
  • A quilt that has to be completed for a birthday in two months will take two years to finish. And its corollary: A quilt that has no due date will take only two months to complete..
  • When you finally have your sewing space in the empty bedroom exactly the way you want it your son will move back home.
  • You will find the perfect fabric for your quilt only after it has been discontinued by the manufacturer.
  • A quilt judge will give you a bad critique only when the area is full of other people..
  • That same quilt judge will give praise only when no one else is around.
  • The busier you are on any given day the greater the number of quilting inspirations you will want to try.
  • Your quilting thread will break at the needle only when the last stitch has been taken in the line .
  • If a novice quilter decides to watch you use your rotary cutter, you will always ruin the fabric and cut yourself.
  • Your bobbin thread will only run out in the middle of a long line of stitching.
  • That perfect striped fabric you want to use in your sashing has been printed off-grain.
  • The top must be completed and basted to the backing before you notice the one block that has a mistake in it.
  • The quilt-marking pencil that you tested on every fabric before you marked your quilt top won't disappear after you have completed the quilt.
  • You finally get a great idea for your Guild's challenge one week before the quilts are due.
  • No matter how much fabric you have bought, you are not going to have enough for the quilt you want to make.


Did you know there was a real Murphy? Capt. Edward A. Murphy, an engineer working on Air Force Project MX981 found a transducer wired wrong and commented about the technician who installed it, "If there is any way to do it wrong, he'll find it." The contractor's project manager kept a list of "laws" and added this one, which he called Murphy's Law.