Quilting Wild and Free

I finally have my first finish of 2021 and it’s a big one. Literally. As in king-sized. It’s 96 inches square and a very heavy foundation-pieced string quilt. I call it Blue Jean Dreamin’.

If you want to know who I am as a quilter, you need only look at this quilt. It is SO me. It’s the me-est quilt I’ve ever made. It contains all of my favorite elements:

  • Something vintage
  • Something modern
  • Something gifted
  • And something Tula Pink

Let’s talk specifics. I love scrappy, of course… The Scrappy Camper!! Duh. However… I love scrappy best when it’s a mixture of vintage and modern textiles. I mean, you can be assured of getting a 100 percent unique creation when you mix it up a bit, right? And I’m always amazed at how well the two play together. Vintage is nice. Modern is pretty. But combine them and you get chills, it’s so good. At least I do.

Something vintage – Is it not beautiful!!!
Something modern – PLEASE ignore all that cat hair. Ugh!

I said, “something gifted,” by which I mostly mean fabric scraps given to you by a friend. This category imparts a little magic to your quilt. When a friend gives you their scraps it does two things for you. A) It reminds you of that person every time you use the quilt, so I really hope you like them, and B) It adds some variety to your scrap bucket. Most people, including me, tend to buy similar prints. There’s a certain sameness to them. Infusing a little spice from a friend livens up your quilt and keeps it from being boring. I like to buy scrap bags from some of my favorite online retailers for the same reason.

Something Gifted – one of my all-time favorite scraps

Finally, Tula Pink needs no explanation. She’s the bomb. If I can work even a small piece of her fabric into my quilt, I consider it a success. I have other favorites too. Victoria Findlay Wolfe and Alison Glass spring to mind but there are many more. Who’s your fave designer?

Something Tula Pink

My final thought on why I love scrap quilts so much is that they are so wild and free. They are the cottage gardens of the quilt world. Other, more regimented gardens are beautiful, but they just don’t resonate with my gypsy soul I suppose.

 

 

Why I Am Lazy & Stingy

It’s December 11th as I write this and I need a Christmas gift by December 14th. I happen to have a quilt loaded on my Q’Nique midarm. I thought it would be done with it by now, but who wants to bet I’ll be sewing the binding late into the night on December 13th. Because that’s how I roll, but that’s not how I WANT to roll.

Last weekend I attended a surprise birthday party for a dear friend. I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for it, and it was out of town so there was travel involved, but I had a quilt sitting on the shelf, ready to go, for a birthday gift. Lawd’s sake, that almost never happens for me but that’s the quilter I want to be. I would like to have a closet full of quilts ready for baby showers, weddings, birthday presents, etc.

There are two huge obstacles in my path…

One, I hate giving away quilts. I feel awful admitting that, but I do. I spend SO much time creating them, it’s almost like giving away a child. I mean, some of them took longer to make than my kids did. I started my current work-in-progress in January 2016 so that’s a five-year project. A toddler, if you will. And who wants to give away their toddler? Not me!

The second hurdle is that I’m a procrastinator. Given a hard date and a quilt to make as a gift, I almost never make my deadline. I usually find one excuse after another. My kid needs an emergency appendectomy, I HAVE to clean under the refrigerator, there’s a hurricane on the way. Something!

So there you have it…I’m a lazy grinch. I’ve given away about nine quilts to my favorite family members and close, close friends. That’s it. Not a great record considering I’ve been making about 12 quilts a year for the last few years. I have friends who give away loads of quilts and I feel so small next to them.

I would like to do better. That’s why my goal for 2021 is to make a few extra quilts to put in my gift closet. Wish me luck in my noble quest.

How about you? Are you a quilting Santa or Grinch?

Finishing binding in the car.
Random photo of a cat on the finished quilt.

Earth Song – A Finished Quilt

Or, in other words, A Quilt I Didn’t Quit, or in still other words, a UFO No Mo’.

I just read through my first post on this little quilt.   As you might have guessed, I did procure a long-arm between the writing of that post and this one – a Q’Nique 15Pro from The Grace Company. She and I have had our disagreements but I think maybe we’ve finally come to an understanding. She’ll do whatever the hell she wants and I’ll try my best to deal with it. (Maybe she’s actually a He.) Haha. Seriously though, I love that machine when she’s behaving herself. I did manage to finish this quilt with the help of Angela Walters. Isn’t she amazing!! I have her book, Free Motion Meandering, which is what I used to do this quilting. No offense to Angela. She explained everything perfectly well. I just need more practice. 

Anywho… 

Oh, check out my big-stitch binding. I’ve been doing almost all of my bindings this way lately, and I love it. It’s so much easier, it holds well, and it gives an extra little detail to the back of the quilt. I freely admit I stole the idea from Erica of Kitchen Table Quilting. She has a great tutorial if you’re interested.

The only other item of interest is the improv-pieced backing I did.

I hope you like Earth Song. Thanks for stopping by…

__Amy

Another UFO Bites the Dust – A Story about Long-Arm Machines

Y’all, I did something… I bought a thing, and I’m not sure exactly what it is. I’ve seen it called a mid-arm machine but I’ve also been told it’s a tiny long-arm. At any rate, it’s Uber-fun to drive. (Yah, it’s called “driving.” I didn’t make that up.)

Meet Quita. (Because anything that costs this much $$ should have a name.) She’s a Q’nique 15 Pro from the Grace Company and she sits on my 5-foot Brother Dream Fabric Frame, also made by the Grace Company.

I bought the frame as a package deal with my Brother Innovis VQ2400 but I really liked sewing on that machine so I took it off the frame, which I’ve been using for fabric storage for a couple of years. Meanwhile, my finished tops are stacking up faster than I can quilt them using only my VQ2400.

Enter Quita. Already, I finished my orphan block quilt started in 2017 and just yesterday, I finished quilting another long-time UFO – my Stripey Hawaiian baby quilt. I’ve gotta come up with a better name for that quilt. Maybe while I’m binding it, I’ll think of something.

This quilt already has quite the story to tell. My cat ravaged it, I fixed that problem, then started quilting it on my Brother machine using some echo quilting. See below. But that wasn’t going well, so I folded it up and threw it in a corner until Quita came along. Now, voila, it’s done except for the binding. 

I know… it’s pretty terrible, but I have a few more small quilts to practice on, so hopefully I’ll get better soon. Until then, I’ll probably still send out my best and biggest quilts to my favorite long-armer, but one day… one day, I too, shall be a great long-armer. Maybe. I hope!