What Did I Learn in 2018?

My friend Melanie recently listed some (quilty) things she learned or re-learned in 2018, and it seemed like a good idea! So here goes…

And while I’m at it, I’ll re-introduce a few of the quilts I finished in 2018.

The center piece is a fabric”jewel” made in the same guild workshop as the block

1. Despite my history of using high-loft batting, I learned that it is much easier to neatly trim, square up, and bind a quilt made with LOW loft batting!

Mini-Quilt for Jill made from an orphan block

2. Deb Tucker’s “Tucker Trimmer” is the bomb for making half square triangles!  A friend introduced me to this tool.  I have used at least 3 other methods for trimming HSTs, and this is by far the best.  Much better than the (considerably more expensive) Bloc Loc tool, more accurate than my slotted square-up ruler, faster and easier than just using a regular ruler.

art quilt

Small quilt for a challenge with my local MQG

3. After many years of quilting, I have LOTS of small pieces of fabric but not many big pieces. I went to pull blue fabric for a quilt from my blue drawer.  I thought I had plenty since the drawer is full, but most pieces were less than half a yard!  So…

donation quilt

Donation quilt: The concentric squares are pieced; the other pieces are a print from Michael Miller

4. When I buy fabric for stash now, I often buy 3 yards at a time because that’s likely what will be needed for a single fabric in a planned quilt.

Gypsy Wife quilt

Finished Gypsy Wife; it was made from a couple of FQ bundles but the background required yardage

5. I want to do everything, but I’m going to have to choose and prioritize or nothing gets done.  Maybe a little of everything???

slabs, scrap blocks, scrap quilt

Donation quilt from single-color scrap blocks

6. Some projects just need to go in the fizzle drawer!

One for the fizzle drawer, but I have taken it apart and will re-purpose the fabrics in 2019

And a few opinions I haven’t changed my mind about:

  1. Almost all quilts need some purple in them somewhere!

    Block made in a workshop with Rosalie Dace

  2. Superior So Fine is a great thread for piecing, resulting in very little lint in my machine.

    I will be teaching this triangle quilt in March at Studio Stitch in Greensboro

  3. Almost any day is a good day if I learn something new

As always, these opinions are my own and I have received no compensation for sharing my favorite tools.  Your opinions and results may vary 😉


23 thoughts on “What Did I Learn in 2018?

  1. I share your opinions! A little of everything and almost any day is a good day if I learn something. I have a What-Was-I-Thinking? Bin that is equivalent to your Fizzle Drawer.
    It looks like you had a busy and productive year. Looking forward to seeing what 2019 brings.

  2. I’m with you on this! Thanks for the shout-out. It was fun seeing your list. I love the mini-quilt for Jill and the donation quilt with the concentric squares. And finding a useful thread? Wow what a difference that can make! I piece with So Fine, too, and have little patience for heavier or cotton thread anymore. Also I mentioned in my list using Microquilter (also from Superior) for quilting, where you don’t want the thread to show, just texture. I’m finishing a quilt now with it and really love it.

      • It still shows, yes, but less!! 🙂 And I’m getting less concerned about my mis-steps like that all the time. Just keep going, finish it up, and the texture is what will show the most.

  3. Such beautiful and cheerful quilts! And I have that Michael Miller print, thanks to you, and I see it every day, and I love it! I may never use it in anything, I love it just the way it is.
    Also, I learned several things from this post and I will look up that Tucker Trimmer — again, procrastination has paid off for me because I have meant to research the best ways to make HSTs but haven’t gotten around to it. So now this counts as A Day I Learned Something. 🙂

  4. I enjoyed your year recap. I love the term the “fizzle drawer”! You made some beautiful and artful pieces! Someone advised me against making Gypsy Wife but I love your interpretation of it!

  5. I love that little quilt with the Michael Miller striped fabric. What a great combination. Is that fabric still available? Do you remember it’s name?

    This is giving me renewed love if stripes and why straight of the grain can be ignored to great effect. Thanks!

  6. Ah yes, your ‘fizzle’ drawer from a great-aunt if I remember correctly? It must be getting filled to the brim! HA!

    Love these ideas and ‘lessons learned’…the purple center piece (first photo) is it crinkled via the steam iron shrinking trick with that special fusible?

    You’re all set to start in on this New Year’s quilty adventures.

    • Hi Laura, thanks for reading and commenting even if you aren’t blogging at the moment. The wrinkled fabric was made by pushing damp fabric into a cookie rack, drying it, then removing it and fusing interfacing to the back to hold it. We all did it together as a guild program.

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