Evaluating My Choices in Quilting – July 2022

When I select a pattern to make there are many thoughts that go into my process. I have learned (the hard way) to read the pattern closely to make sure that the Designer has provided clear and easily understood instructions, measurements for each segment of the blocks, and if blessed a great visual to follow along. I have been quilting for 20 years now and I learned 15 years ago how to look at a quilt and figure out the pattern.

I seem to have forgotten some of my rules for my quilting. Mostly the above process. I never have problems with color with my quilts, UNLESS – UNLESS, I step out of my little box and attempt to shut my eyes, throw scraps in a bag, reach in and just sew! My logical thought process stops me from doing that. I have tried and tried, but it seems that my success with any scrappy quilt means using small blocks, i.e., Reproduction Quilts such as Dear Jane, OMIGOSH, and Sitar’s 9 patch quilt (the blocks were 3 1/2”).

This year I reviewed the mountain of patterns that I have because I saw a quilt, loved it, and had to have the pattern! When I was entering my quilts in Shows, it was challenging to make the quilts as best as I could and I learned from a lot of mistakes. I learned how important it is to have fabric movement in the quilt to compete in Quilt Shows. Colors were extremely important. In the last 8 years scrappy quilts have become the most popular along with the Modern Quilt movement. I knew I was going to have issues with both of the movements that were taking hold in the Quilt World.

As you can see I am a fish out of water now and still in the Traditional Method of quilt making. This year I have tried 3 quilts and given up on them before completion. Sitar’s Alaska (problem with templates and pattern); The Medallion Quilt that I gifted Kathy all the fabric from that project (could not stand to have it around anymore); and now the Double Wedding Ring. Yesterday I began sewing the blocks together and I found that there was an issue with the seam allowance (at least that is where I think the problem is). Things were not coming together as they should. BUT, the biggest is the colors I chose. They are not my colors, I was attempting to do a scrappy in Batiks, and I should know better. To make this quilt it takes time, effort, and care! Each section must be perfect, or the quilt will not shine!

When I left the Studio yesterday, I was frustrated with it. I had all my normal indicators that I should have stopped this project early on and ignored them. Check out the Saga here. Additionally, I could see that rather than be excited about the project, I was finding any reason to stay far away from it. But I was determined to not give up!

After supper I told Clay that I was not going to continue on with the DWR and that I needed to go to the Studio and put it away in the never never basket. He convinced me to wait until this morning. He also told me that he could tell that the project was weighing heavy on me as I tried to push through it. I woke up about 4:00 AM and could not get back to sleep. We got up at 5:00! Long story short, DWR is now in the history books for me and gone to the never never again land!

I do believe that I now understand where UFO’s come from! We quilters see a quilt that we would love to have, jump into it 100% only to find out that we become bored, frustrated, and decide to put it away for another day! I believe this is happens because we do not want to give in or give up on something that we spent money and time in making a quilt that we “thought” we loved! There is nothing wrong with having UFOs, but I know my time is limited in this life so it is important for me that I stop this madness and sit down and go through patterns that I have always wanted to make BUT before I make a selection, I will have to read the pattern to ensure that the directions are clear, concise, and provide measurements of each segment. I need to go back and make practice blocks before I just jump into making the quilt.

So with that, I am now sitting at my table and reviewing the patterns that I have pre-selected and review them for the criteria that is important to me. I am totally enjoying the Churn Dash SAL. They are easy, fun to make, and I will be using up some of my 1930 fat quarters that have been around about 8 years, and some even longer.

I enjoyed making the placemats that I made – quick, easy, and finished in a day! I am enjoying my Cross Stitch and Embroidery projects. I want to start appliquéing again as that is really my first love and need to get back to it!!!

So without boring you anymore (this is more for me to remember how I got to this point) I will wish you a wonderful week-end and great sewing week! It appears that we might only have another month to have the temperatures so high. Yesterday we reached 112 about 5:00PM. I have adjusted to the heat, but now I need to find a quilt that I want to make and FINISH IT! I also would like to get back to quilting some tops because I do not understand why I am just not interested. I am still waiting on a long arm quilter to quilt 10 quilts…. I may have to search for another by September if there is no progress there.

Hugs, Nanette

Linking To:  My Quilt InfatuationConfessions of a Fabric AddictFinished or Not Friday ; Em’s Scrap BagBOM’s Away;  Sew Fresh Quilts; Crazy Mom Quilts;  Oh ScrapScrap Happy SaturdaySlow Sunday Stitching  Quilt Fabrication Mid Week Makers; Peacock PartyDesign Wall Monday, Scrap Happy DaysQuilting Patch Linky Party, To Do Tuesdays

16 Replies to “Evaluating My Choices in Quilting – July 2022”

  1. Oh boy do I relate! Everything you said about “having” to have a pattern, jumping in, less-than-perfect instructions, and color choices – those all plague me. I think you did the best thing for you, which was to put it away. The wedding quilt I’m working on right now is in the same category – I was excited at first and now look for any reason not to work on it. And it’s a wedding quilt for goodness sake!
    Anyway, it’s good to relax and enjoy the things you really love doing!

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    1. I am really studying some patterns and trying to decide where to go next. In the meantime, I have some left over pieces of the blue quilt on my header and think I am going to make me one. It is very easy and I will have some fun along with my August Churn Dashes. July went slower for me because there were no appointments, just phone problems with idiots. Maybe things will get quieter this month. I can hardly wait for cooler mornings – As soon as it gets in the 60’s, I will be walking agin. Hugs and hoping your eyes are doing well and close to stopping drops.

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  2. I also second everything you said Nanette. I find myself caught somewhere in the middle of the quilt movements and struggle sometimes to find what fabrics/patterns etc. I want to work on. I lean away from modern and improv. And I’ve learned if anything will get finished in this house, I’ve got to really really like the fabrics and colours and have a real comfort level with the pattern. Our time is precious, lets face it, so we need to enjoy it all!

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    1. Yes you are correct – time is important to us and wasting it on something that we thought we liked. So going through patterns that I thought I loved and reading them and seeing that there would be problems with it, then it will be put in a bucket!

      The Modern quilts do not resemble quilts to me, especially the “improv”. They have been trying to get rid of the Traditional Quilters for the last 20 years. Introducing glue into needle turn applique and a lot of machine applique has almost made the hand traditional needle turn appliquer’s a thing of the past.

      Have a great week. Hugs

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  3. I’m chuckling ….. yes, put your stress quilt in the never never box and enjoy what your working on! Quilting shouldn’t be a stress!

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        1. The delay is on the guy who makes the partial (the metal portion). He does the Lost Wax Technique – worth waiting for, besides maybe it will be snowing when I have to go back to San Antonio to pick them up!!!!!!! LOL! Hugs

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  4. Today I gave up trying to do free motion quilting on my domestic machine. The thread kept bunching up on the underside of the quilt the last two times I worked on it. I changed the needle 3 times (that usually does the trick), popped the throat plate out and brushed away all the dust and lint (usually helps), and oiled the heck out of the bobbin hook (usually helps). After doing all those steps multiple times and the bunching still happening, I raised the feed dogs, put the top tension back to normal, changed back to a standard foot, and did some regular sewing. No problems! Lowered the feed dogs, reduced the top tension, put the darning foot back on, tangles and bunching again. Set it up for regular sewing, no problem. I give up. I get the frustration.

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    1. I would be frustrated also with your experience! I am working on checking the patterns that I thought I would want to make and weeding thru the ones that are useless. I will donate them to the Library! Hugs

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  5. It’s frustrating and I understand how you feel when a project isn’t doing what you want ……
    Maybe pops it up on you blog to find a new home…… Someone will want to finish it……
    I am so pleased you are enjoying the churn dash blocks……I am loving seeing what everyone is doing…….
    Goodluck with your next choice……I never read a pattern before I make it…… I rarely read it when making a quilt only to find the cutting directions………….

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    1. I look to see if the Designer provides the size of the blocks, and the measurements of each section. This ensures that the quilt will turn out square!

      I have found a pattern from Susan Smith in her Quiltmania where she uses Churn Dash blocks. I am good to use that pattern to make a quilt! Hugs

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  6. Oh, yes, UFO land! Haha! Your commentary reminds me that I have a quilt, all pieced and lovely, that has needed that applique border for a number of years now–not my first love, like yours. Maybe I need to push through and just do it. I’ll be interested in seeing what you’re working on next, Nanette.

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  7. I get your frustration and we have all been there. Just keep trying and forging ahead lady. You will come up with a fun and wonderful sew. Yes we ALL have UFO’s and that is why. I have yet to meet a quilter who is perfect and has no UFO’s. Hugs to you.

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