Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Lifetime of Learning - Part 1

My first quilt -- QUEEN SIZE!!!

I have been quilting for more than 16 years, and sewing for at least 45 years, and I find that I learn something from just about every quilt or project I make. I think I'll take a trip down memory lane every once in a while here on my blog, and list some of the things I've learned.

This is a photo of my very first quilt, started in late 1998 and finished in late 2000. It's been hanging on the wall of the great room in my house since then.

What I learned from making this quilt --

1)  If you're a beginner, don't start with a queen-size quilt as your first quilt! Start small; you'll finish it faster and won't get as frustrated.

2)  Don't think you have to be a perfect hand-quilter right from the start. I hand-quilted this baby (except for the borders, which I machine quilted) because at that stage in my quilting life, I was under the impression that "it's not a quilt if it's not hand quilted" and that the quilt police would put me in jail if I didn't hand quilt it. Balderdash, I say! If you don't want to hand quilt, don't. Of course, I absolutely admire the wonderful work done by hand quilters, past and present, but I learned early on that it's not my passion, so why do it.

3)  Not everything I learned is a "don't". I learned from this quilt that strip piecing is a wonderful technique!

Oh, and here's a closeup of the hand quilting I did on this quilt, diagonally through the center of 1.5-inch squares -- all 2200 of them!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Time To Get Back in the Saddle

Wow, I've gone four weeks without blogging. There are a number of reasons....some of it involving traveling, some involving helping my parents with selling a house, some of it involving planning more travel, etc.

Another main reason for my blog being quiet is that I haven't really done too much quilting lately. I've been in a bit of a funk because my pile of completed quilts has gotten higher than I like. These are mostly quilts that I've made in the past year without any plan for where they will end up. And when the pile gets this high, I don't have much motivation to make more unless I have a particular goal like a graduation, baby, wedding, etc. This weekend I did decide on recipients for two of these, but I will probably hold on to the rest to enter in a local show or two in the next year.

But I also now have a reason to make another quilt. A family member has learned the sex of her grandchild-to-be, so I can now get started on that quilt. When it's done, it won't be added to my pile, but will find a loving home!