One of my objections to some of the quilting establishment is that every single thing about a quilt is supposed to be “perfect”—meaning made to the specifications of the current quilt maven, whoever (s)he may be. I once signed up for a series of classes that lead through many quilting techniques to the ULTIMATE QUILTING ACHIEVEMENT: a quilt with many tiny pieces cut on the bias, all points perfectly matched!
I did make some quilts I liked in those classes! Design by Cindy Williams
Part way through the class I realized that, for me, learning to make everything more precise was not an enjoyable activity. I quilt for my own satisfaction, and my version of fun involves developing designs rather than copying somebody else’s design as precisely as possible. In fact, even when I buy a pattern, I rarely follow it exactly. My “variations” on these patterns are a (friendly) joke among my quilting buddies: “Mary can’t just make the pattern, she has to change something.”
I substituted one large block for 4 of the small ones.
My goal is to give each task the time and energy it deserves, no more and no less. For example, I think doing a quilt binding the traditional way, by hand, is a waste of time and energy in many cases. A machine-applied binding is more durable, faster, and at least as attractive. I even read one modern quilter’s opinion that a machine binding “adds an extra line of quilting on the back!” So much for the quilt maven’s worry that the machine stitching from the front shows on the back! I do occasionally apply a binding by hand, but there has to be a reason for it.
I applied this binding by hand in the traditional way because I didn’t want machine stitching on the front to “fight” with the striped border
So what’s your opinion? Which quilting techniques/designs/details are worth the trouble and which should be modified? Leave me a comment!
My friend Melanie mentioned recently how much inspiration comes from travel, and I agree. While travelling in New England last summer, I came across this book in a quilt shop.
I enjoy making landscape quilts and made quite a few at one time, but donated them almost all of them to the free clinic where I worked for a while. It’s time now to make some more! I have been saving this project as a reward for getting some other things done!
My First Tiny Landscape
Karen gives very, very detailed step-by-step instructions and I must say that’s a good thing! The book is well illustrated and I had no trouble making this little village on my first attempt. Because I already had the materials, it is postcard size (4″ x 6″)! As you can see in the picture, her directions involve finishing the piece with tulle over everything to be sure none of the tiny pieces comes loose.
I enjoyed this project and like the way it came out. I must note, however, that it took all day to make one postcard 😀
Have you ever noticed that, whenever you try to finish a big project, other little projects just creep in?
Since I always have at least one “big project” going, I guess it’s inevitable that the other things that need doing have to be fit in sideways. Lately there’s been a lot of that.
First, I appliqued an orphan block to a bag for a speaker I invited to our modern guild.
This is a great use for orphan blocks. Just attach to a bag, and you have a handmade gift!
Then I found a tutorial for a pyramid bag and had to make a few…plus one more this week!Finally, our travel wine glasses (they are Lexan, and disassemble for safe travel) needed a travel case:In the midst of all this, I started having trouble with my walking foot while trying to quilt another project! Does a walking foot wear out???
In any case, I think I have procrastinated with little projects as long as I can, so I’d better go bind a few quilts. Have a good week!
So I went to the Asheville Quilt Guild’s annual show, which usually has lots of inspiration. There were many nice quilts, but two quilt makers stood out, in my opinion.
The first is Diana Ramsay, whom I know from the Modern Quilt Guild, which used to exist in Asheville. Here are her quilts:
Dutch Holiday by Diana Ramsay
Detail of Dutch Holiday
Fascinating Rhythm by Diana Ramsay
Bulls Eye II, by Diana Ramsay
Although I don’t know Linda Fiedler, I was very impressed by her quilts, as well:
Moonglow, by Linda Fiedler
Detail of Fusion by Linda
Fusion, by Linda Fiedler
The guild’s gift shop always has something I wish I had made, and this year it was a little pyramid bag. Of course I bought it.
I’ve always liked pyramid bags, which I first saw years ago in a craft store in Berea, Kentucky. I had a pattern to make one, but it seemed pretty complex. The internet to the rescue! I found several sets of instructions and even videos. Here are the instructions I used:
And here is the first set of pyramids.
They were quick and easy! Do I hear a Christmas gift idea?