Sunday, January 20, 2008

bartering + thoughts on quilting

I've mentioned before that my friend Heather has become a quilter. (yay!)

She has been making fabulous quilt tops like crazy. Good crazy. And since she is going to be watching my girl for several days when we go on an upcoming trip, I am going to quilt some of her quilts in exchange.

These are the first two that I am working on...coordinating ones for her boys. Aren't they gorgeous?!?

While working on these this weekend, I was thinking about the quilting process (not to be confused with piecing, which is putting the quilt top together) and how much I really enjoy it now. I used to dread it so very much. I can't even tell you how much. I would get cold sores while quilting. (yes, I take it very seriously-I'm pretty high strung.) All that pressure because quilting really does make the quilt. I have several quilts out there in the world that have tremendous puckers in the back. So I have to say that I was startled to realize that I do enjoy the process now. I am glad that I have stuck with doing the quilting myself, overcoming the HUGE learning curve until I have finally improved enough to have some confidence in my quilting abilities. Hurray for perseverance + improvement. And the best part? It didn't take me until I turned 80 to accomplish this, which was my projected time frame. :)
Since I get so many questions from readers asking for quilting tips, I would like to add that the things that helped me improve the most would have to be changing my basting method, a decent sewing machine and lots and lots and LOTS of practice.

tomorrow...week 10 of the quilt a long. yipee!

28 comments:

Rebekah said...

what a great friend you are to offer to do the quilting! I am the opposite of you...I rush through the piecing process just so that I can get to the quilting, and then I get the cold sore looking at all the mistakes I made during the quilting process : )

Mama Urchin said...

This is my problem, the quilting. I can do straight lines but I need to work on swirly-ness.

Kristin said...

Hi- I just started reading your blog and I'm getting ready to make my first quilt. Thanks for the tips!!

Amy Jo said...

The quilts are gorgeous. And coordinating....what a fantastic idea!! Love it!

Linda said...

I enjoy the piecing and the quilting, it's the sandwiching and basting that I hate! LOL I need some sort of huge table or something so I don't have to crawl around in the floor. It took me about 3 hours to baste the last one because I had to keep taking breaks.
Heather is becoming quite the quilter. These quilt tops are really pretty!

G'G'ma said...

Well, I'm 6 years away from that 80mark. Do you think there is hope for me? My hand isn't letting me hand quilt anymore but I'm working at machime quilting. How many tops do you think I'll mess up before I get it right? I'll keep plugging along though.

Holly said...

This is very encouraging to me. Quilting is a challenge and trial for me, especially free motion quilting. But you have inspired me to stick with it! Thanks!

Marcia said...

Thanks! I too am very anxious when it comes to the quilting part. I can't afford to have every quilt I make quilted, plus, I don't feel like it is truly my work then. I recently bought a pattern for some small charm pac quilts. I think I'm going to make them and try quilting on my own. Maybe some doll quilts are in order for practice too. I've heard humming a song while you are sewing helps to slow you down "do da, do da", and the best tip was to slow the speed of my machine to it's slowest to avoid those whooshes of power. Thank you so much for doing this quilt along.

kathi d said...

Oh my gosh, I can't imagine ever getting to the point that I would ENJOY quilting! I finally gave myself "permission" to have my quilts quilted by a long-arm quilter because just the thought of having to do the quilting kept me from starting new quilts. Yet I can't help feeling every time like I could or "should" be doing the quilting myself.

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

What a lovely way if saying 'thankyou'...your stippling is very good..

de vliegende koe said...

I would love to learn the free motion quilting. Do you draw a line to follow? I bought a new sewing-machine. All I need now is time and some courage to start...

Jodie said...

perhaps there is hope for me yet - if you say you improved before you got to 80- (that only gives me a whisker more than 40 yrs so I am not so convinced.).
Your spectrum quilt is nothing short of spectacular. Certainly the only style that will ever make me tackle another quilt.

Tanya said...

LOVE the colors in this one!!!!

Tanya

Dedee said...

The quilts are awesome. You are going to inspire me to finish mine this year. Yippee. (And very seriously considering starting another one and doing your quilt block of the week!)

Roxanne said...

This quilt is adorable! Nice job Heather! (Time for your own blog now! :) Sounds like a nice trade!!

Anina said...

Great job Heather!
I think I may be 80 and still not able to quilt properly. Maybe I need a new sewing machine...

Anonymous said...

AmandaJean, I just love your quilt on the quilt-in and I would like to be told when a new block is put up on your blog. I do not have a blog myself, so you will have to let me know at my e-mail address. It is lee_943@yahoo.com
Thanks!!
Carol in NC

Scrapnchick said...

I just found your blog through a link on another site. I have really enjoyed getting to read through you archives and am thinking hard about starting on week nine of the quilt along and trying to get caught up LOL.

I am so impressed at how much you manage to get done. I am no where near as ambitious as you LOL

Anyway, thanks for your fun blog, I look forward to future entries.

Also a question, when you do your quilting do you use the bicycle clips? Or do you just wad? I am getting close to the point of quilting my first project that is larger than a wall hanging or table runner and I am trying to figure out the logistics.

capello said...

i'm hyperventilating at the shear idea of getting past the piecing stage.

Becca said...

I am just beginning to quilt and this is a very helpful post! I do eventually want to quilt my own quilts but it's a bit scary right now. This post, however, is encouraging.

Katie said...

those quilts are beautiful! it is good to know it does take time. i tend to stay away from doing this, but i may just change my mind now!

Jody said...

I love piecing the tops and hand-stitching the binding ... the "sandwiching" and quilting are my achilles heels right now, thank you for the hope that that may change someday. The quilt is beautiful, I love the colors.

Anonymous said...

As always your quilting is beautiful!!
I love to machine quilt!!! I also baste with the curved safety pins, but not on the floor, my knees wouldn't go for that. I go to our churches family life center/gym put several large tables together, tape down the backing, etc. It works wonderfully :-)
Another tip for beginners is practice, practice, practice, just sew together some scraps, or use pieces of fabric.....whatever, I also use scraps of batting. I just layer and "play" or "scribble" with my machine. Sometimes the piece is good enough to make a make-up bag, tissue holder or change purse.
It isn't stressful for me as a matter of fact, it de-stresses me....."the faster I sew the faster the stress flows away!"....LOL
Happy Stitchin'.......Carolyn

Thimbleanna said...

Your friend's quilts are beautiful -- made even more so by your quilting. Also, I love the quilt you're doing for your son -- so neat and fresh!

Hip Mama Crafts said...

Way to go Heather! I like the boys quilts...

Suze said...

I must give machine quilting a try. Overcoming the fear is the hard part.

LauraJ said...

Oooohhh I love the colours!! Awesome!! I'm doing one of my own here for my own boy in those SAME colours!!

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