A Note to my Quilt Guilt
Sometimes it just takes a while to finish a quilt. This is something that I have come to accept over time. It wasn't easy though, because when I first started sewing I had this mantra that I should finish a project before starting a new one. I felt that this was the most efficient way of working. And for some time it worked really well. And then it suddenly didn't, because I got stressed.
We all know the lecture children get from their parents when they start too many projects at once, but never finish what they started. While this serves an educational purpose for children I am not sure it is optimal for adults. Our brains are made to handle several things at once and we need variety to keep our brains creative center going, so why not start a new project despite not having finished the last one?
Some quilts have been known to take years to finish. Not becuse they were difficult to sew, but because the maker simply didn't feel like working on it. And that is perfectly fine. Quilting is supposed to bring you happiness and pleasure and not guilt and stress over working on something that you don't want to work on.
This is a part of a quilt that is still on my design wall. The squares are not yet sewn together and the pattern keeps changing. I have been working on this project for about half a year now and every now and again I ignore it completely to work on other things. I know that I will finish it eventually, and I am looking forward to that, but for now I am taking my time.
I made it a rule for myself not to make quilting a chore and therefore I do not have to feel guilty if I abandon a project for a little while to work on something that is more interesting. And that is perfectly ok!
Just find a proper place to store your project and leave it there until you feel like working on it again. If you never feel like working on it again consider giving it to someone who wants to.
After all the best quilts are the ones that were made with passion and love.
My Happy Colors Quilt
I did it! I finished my happy color quilt. For the longest time I had 2/3 of a jelly roll hidden away in a corner, because I didn't know what to do with it. About a month ago I was browsing through various quilting channels and then it struck me - finally I had an idea! I used Angela Walters' Strip City Quilt from the Midnight Quilt Show as an inspiration. I improvised here and there, so I did not follow here instructions to the point. For example I added three squares that are different than the others to make it more interesting.
At first I didn't have enough color strips in my jelly roll, but I just added some leftover black and white strips from another roll and that solved my problem. I finished piecing the top after only two nights, because it was so much fun! I spent a lot of time measuring and cutting my pieces as accurately as possible and for this reason almost all the points matched up perfectly in the end.
This time I found it really difficult to find a proper backing for my quilt. I spent A LOT of time going back and forth between different fabrics at the fabric store and I ultimately decided on an apple background - I was still doubting my decision even when I had bought the fabric - but when I added it to the quilt sandwich I had finished the binding I was really happy about my decision. I ended up liking the backing so much, because all the colors from the front are represented in the apples and it gives the quilt a playful touch.
For the quilting I chose a simple diamond pattern. Angela Walters does a similar thing, though she adds a floral pattern to the middle of each square. I chose not to do that, because the colors on my quilt were already busy enough. I quilted with a walking foot to make sure that all the layers got fed through the sewing machine evenly. I used the fabric corners as orientation points for my quilting and I think it turned out great. We already love it here at home. It adds some color and happiness to these dark winter days.
The Singer and I
My very first sewing machine was a very old Bernina, but I didn't use it very much. I was around 18 when I got it and all I could think about at the time was finishing high school. I didn't really have time for learning a new skill - and on top of that I could not figure out how to thread my machine properly. I ended up giving it away eventually.
When I got older I wanted to start sewing with a machine after hand sewing for many years, so I told my grandma about it. I asked her for advice on prices and brands and quickly found a machine that I liked. But before I could buy it my grandma told me that my aunt had an old Privileg machine that she didn't use anymore and she wanted to give it to me for free. Of course I said yes. Before my aunt got it my grandma used it for many years, so it was old and did not have all the modern stitch options, a visible bobbin and back stitching. But it was the perfect machine for a beginner. I used it almost every day for about a year, until I broke it. I was so sad, because it had become so important to me. Silly me...
I decided that I needed a new sewing machine and it had to be here and now. I did some research on the internet and decided to buy a Singer, since I had only heard good things about it and it had all the basic functions plus a few extras. I got it the next day. I have since used it with great joy every day.
It is a Singer Confidence 7467 - it came with a few bobbin spools, an appliqué foot, a zipper foot, a blind stitch foot, a satin stitch foot, a buttonhole foot and a lot of other things. I went through the manual meticulously when I first got it and I would recommend everyone do this. First of all you will discover things that you did not know a sewing machine could do. Second of all you reduce the risk of breaking your machine by a billion, because you actually know how it works.
I love my sewing machine and I think that all fellow sewing people out there know what I mean when I say that I feel a strange connection to it.
Protip: Now I know that buttonhole foot look weird and scary, but I would really recommend trying it out, since it is so easy to use once you have tried it. I made a tutorial for it. Find it HERE.