Thursday, August 13, 2009

Quilting and Me

Both Melodye and Nancy W. predicted I would love quilting. I'm not sure I've progressed to love, but I am deeply infatuated.

I was afraid I would be bored by quilting. That is not the case. Yes, I'm sewing the same block over and over - 42 times to be exact - but the repetitiveness is more relaxing than boring. Sometimes a numb mind is just what I need. More than once, I sewed both my class project and this current project way past my bedtime. I plan to sew several blocks between garments. When the process gets too dull, I can switch back to clothes.

Here's what I've learned so far:
  1. You have to look carefully at the diagrams and follow them exactly. In order for this pinwheel design to work, the two smaller triangles have to be sewn together exactly as shown - background triangle on the left and pieced triangle on the right. I thought it wouldn't make a difference, but it does. I had to rip out about six of them.

  2. It's best if I don't buy the background fabrics and block fabrics at the same time. The fabrics look different when they are sewn into blocks because of the way they interact with regard to their positions. I originally chose a light blue fabric for the background and it looked great in the store. But, when the blocks were assembled, I wasn't as pleased with my choice.

  3. Since I have such a problem with putting fabrics and colors together, I should stick with the readily available, coordinated, pre-cut bundles and packages. The bundle I bought for this quilt contained 40 different prints. I would have had a stroke right there in the store if I had to select 40 different prints. And, the owner may have banned me from ever returning to her store.

  4. Sometimes, it's best not to over-think things. I'm putting very little thought into which triangles go together to make the pinwheels. This isn't easy for an anal control freak like me, but it's a lesson I have to learn.
This quilt project will be the ultimate test. I finished my first quilt because it was a class project. The fate of this quilt is totally up to me. I'm counting on my aversion to UFO's to sustain me though to the end.


  1. Do you get the Keepsake Quilting or Hancock's of Paducah catalogs? Those help me visualize fabric combinations.

  2. I don't think at this point I have the patience for quilting, maybe some day, though. You are doing a beautiful job.

  3. You can do it! You know I'm smitten myself with quilting! lol

  4. LOL, it was obviously a different Nancy, since even the thought of quilting makes me shudder. My sil is a quilter and she built a whole room onto her house to accomodate it. She wasn't willing to share her sewing room with guests. She has cabinets built just for her fabrcs and she has a lot of them. You really do need a lot of fabrics to be able to make choices and build a quilt. When I was still making art, I worked in pastels and I had hundreds of colors from at least 4 different brands. If you really want to go crazy take a look at this quilters work!
    She has her own line of fabrics. It seems like you've found a very nice place to learn. Enjoy

  5. Elaray, I am speechless! You are doing so well with quilting. Who would have known (had you not told us) that you just started quilting? I hope I'll be able to progress as well as you are when I take lessons. Based on your previous posts, you seem to have had a good learning experience. I often "overthink" things, too.

    I could go on & on--this is just downright pretty to me. :-)

  6. I'm really impressed with your quilt! I wish I had the patience to tackle a project like this. I also don't think I have the eye to match fabrics, so I would have to buy a set of 40 fabrics as well. Maybe one day ...

  7. Piecing a quilt is fun. Relaxing. And it doesn't require an FBA !!

  8. Wow - these look great. Yes, the lighter background is better as it is not the same or close to the same value as the strips you are using. With the lighter background those colors really pop! You're doing a great job, and this is something very easy to come back to whenever you have some spare time or are tired of making apparel.

  9. Beautiful blocks. Yes, I feel the same, when garment sewing gets me down, I switch to blocks in progress for a bit, refocus.