Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Yet again...

I really should count how many times I have used this pattern in baby quilts and lap quilts. It is my "go to" when I want something quick and a little on the less traditional side.
It is from Kim Schaeffer's "Cozy Modern Quilts" book and I have a love-hate relationship with her patterns as some of you know. Her designs appeal to me and I have made a lot of them. Her instructions are a little sparse. The only reason I mention this in almost every post where I have used one of her patterns is to caution anyone buying the book (which I recommend) to read through and make sure they understand the cutting instructions for every component before they start.

This particular quilt is heading to Texas to a young woman who will be delivering her first child in a few months. Married a little over a year, her husband was deployed to Afghanistan and she promptly found out she was pregnant, alone on a base in Texas, family in South Carolina, and not sure her husband would be home in time for the delivery. As it turns out, he is home and will be there for the blessed event!  Love happy endings.
I just stippled it as it's hopefully going to get lots of use and lots of washing. These blocks lend themselves to some fun quilting - but I would never do that for a baby quilt. They need to be much more utilitarian!

I hope you are working on something that makes you happy and enjoying the pleasure of marking one more thing off your quilting "to do" list!


PS -- these pix are dreadful.  I must have had a yellow filter on!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Learning can hurt

Learning can definitely hurt.  Your feelings!  Your confidence!  Your sense of creativity!  But it can make you grow....and this quilt has helped me grow in lots of ways.  Although there has been plenty of pain!

I'm so lucky to have mom22smartchix wanting to "invest" in my longarm improvement.  She kindly donated this homespun quilt top for me to "play" on and I decided that I would use each block as a "sampler" of stitches.   That seemed reasonable at first.  And a great "resource".  And it is.  But it hurts.
I chose to use 30wt thread -- which is HEAVY and shows every little glitch.  Basically, it's the thread that is used to topstitch jeans to give you an idea of what quilting with it was like.  I had just heard Angela Walters (who I deeply admire as a longarm expert) say that she didn't rip out stitches if things weren't perfect.  I chose that philosophy on this quilt.  Otherwise, I would have ripped out more than I put in.  Plus, ripping out stitches on solid homespuns is never a good idea.
I learned a lot.  I learned there are some fillers that I can do and want to do again. 
I learned there are some fillers that I am not ready to put on a quilt that I plan to give as a gift.
I learned that I don't know as many fillers as I thought I did.  But I made a few up.
I learned that skinny rectangles don't lend themselves to some stitches.
I learned that I should have been burying my stitches rather than backstitching.  They look like little nests.
But I learned!  And it was humbling.  And it was painful.  And it helped me grow as a longarmer.  

I hope you are learning (even if it creates a little "pain")!!!!