January 11, 2009

High Points Low Points

I have my pedal to the metal, working hard to finish assembling the Kudzu Baskets quilt and I'm very very close. As I've sat sewing today I've been thinking about what sort of things slow down or stop progress on my quilt projects. And the other side of the token, what makes me commit to a new quilt.

Things I dislike

  • Ripping. I do it but with gritted teeth. I just bring to mind a childhood needlework teacher who said "ripping out is one of the most important parts of the learning process because it shows you what you should have done." Mostly should have done was pay more attention. Thank you Gramma Bessie, for the lesson and the memories.

  • Clipping seams. You can see in the attached photo where I am requiring myself to do this, because it makes a great deal of difference in how the points meet. I think this quilt is worth the effort and I'll be really glad I did it, both during the quilting process, and enjoying it on the bed. But it sure slows down the piecing.

  • Putting the big sections together. At that point the quilt top is very close to finished but that is lots and lots of intersections to meet. One nice thing I don't have to pin because my 1/4" seams are dead on so there is that saving grace as I Herk the sections around.

  • Finding I don't have enough components made. I really frown when I have to go back and make more sashing or corner blocks or whatever. Which is foolish, I nearly always have some extra fabric cut. My contrary nature I guess.

  • Standing on a stool to reach the top sections on my working wall. I would love to be 5'8" tall in my quilt room. The rest of the time my feet touch the floor when I walk and that seems to be sufficient to my needs.

Things I like

  • The smell of clean prewashed fabric as I press it
  • when something I experiment with works early on
  • The incredible resources at our fingers today; books, quilt shops, on-line blogs and websites, the generosity of bloggers who do tutorials, DVDs and TV quilt shows, guilds, magazines. When I began quilting in 1970 there was basically nothing unless you had a granny or auntie who could get you started. And it was all template then...each and every piece in a quilt had to be traced around and cut with scissors. Think about that next time you admire an intricate 1800's quilt! The only tools readily available in stores were the Aunt Martha's patterns and wooden quilt hoops.
  • The sheer variety of prints and patterns in our fabric availability. Walking through a fabric shop is like a free art gallery tour.
  • Rotary cutter, rulers, mats. What a difference in how quick and easy it is to make a quilt. Or get one started. Probably also the chief reason there are so many UFO's. We didn't cut up much fabric to start new quilts when all the pattern pieces had to be traced one by one by hand.
  • Quilt shows. Wow. From small local shows to regional to national to international. Talk about eye candy and inspiration. You can see in a few hours that your work is indeed better than some-worse than some, and you can see the quality and time commitment required in becoming a top show winner.
  • Binding. I love cutting it, sewing it on and getting my corners perfect, and stitching it down by hand. That last 8 hours is when I get to really snuggle under what is basically a finished quilt for the first time. To run my hands over the blocks as I go along...being surprised at fabric combinations, seams matchings, the quilting stitches, the joy of a project well done...and DONE.

Sunday Thankies
Yoga Bolsters
Cell Phones


Bizarre Quilter said...

Your post really made me stoip and think. Why do I dislike some of the parts of the process? Is it because it slows me down? Does that link me to the Y generation of instant gratification? *shudder* I hope not! I am definitely X generation.

I think you're spot on with the number of UFOs being related to the ease of finding quilt supplies and ease of cutting up new projects. Maybe it's also because when there is a class or workshop we tend to want to join in.

Jo Morton showed me how she clips her seams and I agree with you, it's time consuming, but it sits so much better.

I really can't wait to see the baskets quilt. I am bouncing up and down with anticipation! *bounce bounce*

Loz in Oz

Numismatist Facts said...

Things I dislike: The two little girl's dresses that are cut out but not sewn (they have to be done for next Sunday). Also, the pants waiting to be hemmed before I can sew the dresses.

Things I like: The vintage pattern in the upper left corner. Yah, I looked like that once. Not. And the price of $.25??? Both good for a nice nostalgic chuckle!

Anonymous said...

One thing I dislike is that with all the fabric available now I am finding it harder to find the one I want, probably because it is hidden in a corner, or I am simply distracted by something else! I can come home with five fabrics I love, but not the one I need!
Judy B

Bizarre Quilter said...

LOL!!! Size 14 my foot!!! I love the pattern though.

Pieceful Afternoon said...

I love the binding too - although I love most parts of quilting - or I wouldn't do it - but the binding is the sign that the quilt is almost done and ready to use - yippeeee.

Great post!

Lindah said...

Sharyn, I enjoyed reading/reminiscing through your lists of likes/dislikes as you sew. I can certainly identify with many of them....especially contrasting the resources available today compared to the 70's and earlier. Along that line, the old Advance dress pattern in your sidebar brought back many happy memories of earlier sewing days.