Friday, August 28, 2015

Rather Piece than Quilt?

I'm home and unpacked from my teaching trip to the Remembrance Quilt Guild in Springfield, Ohio where I taught Set-In Piecing Simplified and the gals started scrappy tumbling blocks quilts.  We had a good time on Tuesday!
But now it's time to get back to the third quarter list for the 2015 Finish Along -- eight on the list, two finished, one in progress (hand quilting), and if I stay focused I can get this one quilted and back to my daughter when I see her next weekend!! 
(That will leave only four to finish in September?)
So I auditioned threads, wound bobbins, changed the needle, oiled my machine, made a cuppa', found my gloves and started!!
I layered this quilt before leaving (so I could get right to it) and have been trying to think about how to quilt it.  I've done some finger sketching on the flower motifs and still haven't come up with the simplest path though I do have a germ of a design idea.
I plunged in by starting with some continuous curve work through the 9-patch blocks.  I am working across them diagonally, coming down the right side of the center patches and out into the right corner.
When I reach the end of that diagonal row, I head back up the left side of the blocks.
Before leaving the last corner of the center patch,
I am retracing another series of curves inside the first set to give it an extra detail.
I like the impact and it reminds me a bit of a "god's-eye".
I expect to finish this part of the quilting quickly and will have to face the next set of design decisions.  One of the gals in the workshop Tuesday asked me how I stay focused on quilting when piecing is so much more fun?  Her question was in the forefront of my mind as I began to work on this piece.  I've been trying out several answers while I stitch and I think I've settled on the basic issue for me.
When I piece a quilt top, I know what it will look like before I start -- I have a diagram of some sort that satisfies my need to see where I'm going. 
But when I begin to quilt a piece, I very seldom can see what it will look like when it's finished.  The exception is when I'm making a quilt for the second or third time -- then I've quilted that design once before and know what the finished product will look like. 
So I waffle and demure and procrastinate and go piece another quilt top to add to my "to-be-quilted" piles.
What about you?  What keeps you from quilting as many tops as you piece?
Mary Huey


  1. Simple! The piecing is more fun than quilting. I think I like the playing with colour and jigsaw aspect of piecing. Quilting is just holding the layers together for me, and large quilts are either frightening (wresting under machine throat) or expensive (long arm professional). I need to work on that.

  2. My reason is the same as yours - I am afraid I will ruin the quilt with awful quilting since I can't picture it. Plus, I tend to get some kind of problem when I try to quilt, and get frustrated easily with them.

  3. I do like making quilt tops, but my hold up is the sandwiching! I just couldn't get down on my knees any more. I figured out a way to do it on the kitchen table, but the table seems to be in use all the time. I need to do it early in the morning between breakfast and lunch, and so many things get in the way of that. Ah me - always something. I actually like the time for FMQ.

  4. What keeps me from quilting more quilt is time! I have plenty of good intentions but the piecing distracts me. My goal for the Fall months is to do some serious quilting so I can try to put a dent in the pile of quilt tops!

  5. I am blessed with a small long arm on a frame. I still had a minor pile of quilt tops to do until I got it computerized. Now the pile is definitely diminishing. I have no rhythm and never really got decent on the free motion quilting except stippling and definitely not great on pantos. I think I have a perfection need on the quilting side of things. I do have unfinished quilts because tops take so much less room to store than finished quilts. Interesting conversation on quilting versus piecing. I love to piece but I also like to finish a quilt. So it seems to be keeping it in balance. And, I do a few quilts for pay which helps pay for the ... well, not much but it does add to the mix.

  6. Great looking quilting you have going there! It IS hard to decide how sew the quilting lines! You've chosen well for this one.

  7. Beautiful quilting. Since I work full time, my sewing time is really limited. I've chosen to send my quilts out for quilting for now. I'd never finish any thing if I did my own quilting