Day 195: Musings on Quilting

So, technically it’s Day 195, since it’s after midnight in my part of the world, even though it’s not long past midnight. But I had some thoughts I wanted to share.

First of all, I wanted to clarify that what I do most of the time with regards to quilting would more accurately be called “piecing” or “patchwork”. I really enjoy the design process, and usually enjoy the actual sewing together of the pieces to make the top. But when it comes time to do the actual quilting, I often struggle, especially with larger projects. ManChild’s quilt had me cussing like a sailor, because it was too large to work with easily. Even though I was using our dining room table, it would slide off the table much of the time, and I had trouble controlling the sandwich. Then, of course, I go online and find all these photos of amazing quilts with the most perfect, intricate stitching, and I get depressed because I know I don’t have the space, equipment, time or patience to learn to do that. Well, maybe someday…

Lately I’ve been wanting to make a specific design concept for a quilt. It will take some time to do, probably more than I should spare before the holidays, or at least before I get my presents done for family members. Then I will probably want to send it out to have it quilted, since I simply don’t have the space to do it right. And that won’t be cheap, either.

I’d like to design a bed quilt for our king-size bed. I’m trying to decide what sort of pattern to use: modern or traditional; simple or complex; large blocks or small ones…  you get the idea. I think I’ve settled on a color pallet (black, browns and golds), but I could change my mind about that, too. I’ll probably try to use precuts, like jelly rolls, and maybe some charm squares and/or layer cakes. But I’ll probably need some yardage, too. And then again, there will be the quilting to arrange. I think I know who I will ask. I hope she will do it for me! I’m not sure she’s taking commissions these days.

I have dozens of ideas bouncing around in my brain for Christmas presents, and as soon as I finish WomanChild’s quilt, I’ll get started. I’m thinking “low-hanging fruit”, meaning finish off the one project I have almost done first (just need to sew on the binding), then do the two wall hangings I want to do, then make the 6 additional presents I plan on making for this year. By using my stash on these projects, I should be able to minimize the costs this year. I have a huge stash of yardage and a bunch of precuts, so I’m sure I’ll be able to find enough for everybody on my list. And then some.

I’ve also been giving some thought as to how to improve my patchwork and quilting skills. But there’s no way around it: I just have to do more of it. Over and over and over again. Truly it’s the practice that makes perfect. And honestly, I’m not worried about “perfect”, but I’d like to improve. I know I’m capable of doing better. I just need more practice with the basics.

I have more designs in my head, and so much inspiration from other quilters, than I could possibly ever complete. I’d love to meet other quilters who might be interested in beta-testing some patterns for me, mainly to see if the instructions make sense, and to provide finished pieces for photography for a pattern book. You would receive a free copy of the book, and credit for your work. If you or a friend might be interested, let me know via email at Guide (AT) SerendipityMuse [dot] com. I don’t have anything ready to send at the moment, but I could have it ready by the end of August.

Well, now it’s nearly 1 AM, so I guess I’d better go on to bed. After all, I still have work to do on that quilt!

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