Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hater no more

I've always loved making quilts -- picking patterns, colors, fabrics. There is nothing more fun than seeing 2 fabrics joined together with stitching! Then laying out the units to make the whole -- pure joy! But in my long history of quilt-making, different phases of the process have come & gone as my least favorite part.

I think when I started out, I liked least/hated cutting out of the quilt. I suspect the reason may have been that I was using scissors & sand paper templates. Rotary cutters, rulers & mats were brand new when I began getting serious about quilting (does that make me sound ancient!?). Once I got my "whizzy whacker", I was faster & (usually) more accurate, but I still did not love it. Over the years, I've learned tips & techniques that make me better at it. Now, I get on cutting jags & just cut & cut & cut.

Even when I was young & limber, basting used to kill me. I'd clear a space on the floor & crawl & stretch & reach -- it makes my muscles ache just thinking about it! Now I have Shug set a tabletop on a couple of saw horses; clamps & spray baste are a great help, too. I still have to reach a bit & if I baste more than one top my back gets tired, but there is no more up & down to the floor. I do a better job & even look forward to making my quilt sandwiches.

It was not all that long ago that quilting was my bĂȘte noir. I nearly always machine quilt & I used to dread it. Again, I think better techniques have helped. Early on, I was taught to 'put my pedal to the metal' when doing free-motion. My shoulders hunched, I didn't breath & I ended up with jagged, uneven stitches. Slowing down & relaxing has done wonders -- I'm no pro mind you, but not that bad. I also experiment more with my walking foot quilting & like the results I'm getting.

Another part of quilt-making that I did not like was anything that involved handwork. Projects flying forwards would come to a screeching halt when I needed to get out needle, thread & thimble. With hand-sewing, it is not better skills that have made me more appreciative, but learning to slow down & to like slowing down. I don't think I would ever do much hand piecing & I'm not particularly good at hand-quilting, but sometimes I wish for some handwork to curl up with.

Easter Sunday was beautiful down here on the Gulf Coast. I was able to indulge in a bit of all aspects of quilting. I hope you & yours had a wonderful day as well.


Rachaeldaisy said...

What a great post! A great reminder that all parts of quilt making have their good sides. I still haven't made friends with machine quilting so you've given me hope that maybe one day I will. I love your little Easter party photo at the end.

amy and the bad cats said...

happy Easter!

Jodi said...

Beautiful quilts/fabrics! I know what you mean about basting on the floor - ugh! Three years ago I basted a queen-sized quilt on my floor the weekend before going in for total hip replacement surgery. I was determined to get it done, and I did! Never again, though. I'd rather drive to the LQS and use their big table. and no charge either - sweet!