Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's a Hoot!

I recently finished a project for the Quilter's Connection newsletter, which I called It's a Hoot! I had a great time making this little mini quilt and was thrilled that Quilter's Connection wished to publish it in their newsletter. If you don't already subscribe to their newsletter, you can do so on their website at www.quiltersconnection.ca, where you can also subscribe to their wonderful Canadian quilting magazine.

Although I'm not a hand quilter, I did stitch the appliqués down and quilt this project by hand. But I didn't really consider it hand quilting, although it wasn't done by a machine. I considered this more like embroidering the project. I used perle cotton and did large stitches, à la Kim Diehl, that were meant to be obvious. I even used a contrasting colour of perle cotton so the stitches would really show. I thought that this part of the project would take a long time, but it really didn't. I started to stitch and before I knew it the appliqués were stitched down and the project was quilted. 

Does this mean that I'll start hand quilting my projects? Doubtful! It's one thing to do a small project like this one and quite another to tackle a large quilt. I think I'll continue using my mid-arm machine for my quilting and admire the workmanship of those who choose to hand quilt their quilts.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Queen size quilt???

I’ll never make a queen size quilt. No, it’s not the thought of the cost of all that fabric - I have enough fabric stashed in my shelves to stock a quilt shoppe, nor is it because the thought of quilting it is overwhelming – I have a mid-arm quilting machine that would handle it just fine. No, while these might be valid reasons, the truth is - and I'll admit it - I get bored easily. 

Whether it’s baking some cookies or making a quilt, it has to be something that I can do quickly and then move on to the next project before I lose interest (ask me how many partially completed quilt tops are lurking in my cupboards!). I look for projects that are simple and quick to construct but have a “boy, that must’ve been difficult to make” look. While I marvel at intricate patterns with dozens of fabrics in them, the truth is that I’ll never construct a large quilt using one of those patterns. I might take them out and look at them from time to time, I might even make one up in a smaller size, but I’ll never drape a large quilt across my bed. I know my limits and try to quilt according to them. Quick projects that use fewer than a dozen fabrics are my reality. Queen size quilts, not so much; wall hangings much more so.

So now that you know that I'm more of a smaller project size gal, I'll also let you know that I’m not one of those quilters who feels compelled to finish one project before starting the next one. In fact, I can’t honestly remember when I actually did finish one project before starting another one. I have a plethora of partially completed wall hangings, bags and quilts in my cupboards. I have several quilt tops waiting in my closet to be quilted, batting and backing already cut. I know, it's shocking and I do envy and admire quilters who can focus and complete one project at a time. But that's just not me. I love deciding on a pattern, choosing just the right fabrics for it and getting the fabric cut out and pieced together. Then I'm usually distracted by a new quilt magazine or book, or I get bored with my current project, and I'm off planning another quilt. I guess I just have a short attention span or, as my husband says, I have monkey brain. I jump from thing to thing and have difficulty staying focused on one single project. 

I don't find this distressing, although finding room for all my projects gets a bit worrisome at times. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed by my projects-in-waiting, I just remind myself of the number of quilt businesses I support in my never-ending shopping spree for quilt items and dream about that queen size quilt.