Putting It All Together

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dsc04708If you haven’t already finished your Single Irish Chain block, these are the instructions for completing the block

1. As with the initial instructions for the four-patches, I encourage you to lay out your pieces in the way the block will end up: the solid white block in the middle; the four solid blue blocks at North, South, East, and West; and the four-patch blocks at the corners.

Pay particular attention to the four-patches because it’s easy to get them turned! One WHITE square should be on the actual corner of the block and the other white square should be at the corner of the center white square, as shown above.

You will, of course, note that you have an uneven number of blocks/units ,nine of them, so pairing them off to sew is not an option.  I usually sew them in rows.

dsc047102. Pair the first and second units in each row together, so four-patch to blue, blue to white, and four-patch to blue.

You will have one blue square and two of the four-patch units left to be sewn.

If you look closely at the photo, you can see I turned the bottom four-patch by mistake. This is a relatively easy mistake to fix since we’ve only just stated the 9-patch.

3. Sew these pairs together.

4. Open and press the seam towards the bigger blue (unsewn) squares.

dsc04711I usually cut the seam between the blocks, but people don’t saying it helps them line up the seams later. (I probably cut the seams because I’m always turning one of the units the wrong way no matter how careful I am. *sigh*)

5. Lay the block out again. With the units you left out at the second step.

Of course, there is where I can “correct” any units I have flipped.

dsc047126. Pair up each two-block unit with one of the extras so you have three rows of three units.

Make sure the four patch units are reflections of each other!  (You can only correct that mistake after this point by taking out the “offending” seam.)

7. Sew the units.

8. Press the seam towards the bigger solid blue block.

9. Lay your block out ago.  You will have three strips of three blocks as shown.

10. Take the upper strip of three, and fold it down over dsc04713the middle strip.

If you always pressed the seams towards the bigger solid blue blocks, the seams will nest and you can easy butt the two seams of each unit.

11. Sew the seam.

12. Press open.

If you want and haven’t done so already, you can clip the extra bit of thread from between the seams (just the thread, not the material!) and press the long seam into three sections: towards the 4-patch, towards the solid white square, and towards the four patch. This will enable you to see a tiny four patch in the corner where the 4-patches and solid squares meet. (I always thought that was kind of cute, but I’m a sewing nerd…)

dsc0470813. Flip the block 180 degrees, so you can fold the three-unit strip towards the 6-unit rectangular block, ready to sew the last seam.

14. Sew the last seam, the way you did in step 11.

15. Press the seam open the way you did in step 12.

You’re done.

Congratulations, you’ve completed the Single Irish Chain block! (I hope…)

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them here or email me.

NOTE to my fellow Guild members: Although the picture of the Raffle Quilt mockup shows some of the blocks with yellow and white fabric, it’s a goof on my part.  You should be making 9″ stars with only blues and whites, and the outermost blue should co-ordinate with the swatch we gave you (i.e. the blue of the Single Irish Chain blocks.)

The photos illustrating this tutorial were (mostly) taken before we cut the fabric for the quilt and therefore are a different color, especially in the four-patches.  I picked a different blue for the four-patches so show contrast between the units.

I hope I haven’t confused you.  I’ll be around if you have any questions! –a

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…But Wait, There’s More!

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dsc04696-1So, you went to the Guild meeting and picked up your Single Irish Chain kit, and looked at my blog post and said to yourself, “Surely, she doesn’t expect me to cut up everything into little squares and do all that tedious piecing.”

You’re right, I don’t expect you to do all that “tedious piecing.” (And, just to show my age, “don’t call me Shirley.”)

If you know shortcuts, I expect you to use them… as long as the Irish Chain blocks come out to 9.5″ square, no one but you will know how you made them!

But just in case you don’t know another way to make the 4-patch units, here’s another couple of ways you can do it:

Strip Piecing

If you’ve been around quilting for a bit, you’ve heard of Eleanor Burns (and if you don’t, she’s a well known quilt teacher, writer, etc and champion of strip piecing.)

So, you could cut the 4″x 6″ rectangles into 2″x 6″ strips, or you use do a shortcut:

1. Lay the two rectangles print sides together, aligned on all four sides. dsc04682
2. Sew 1/4″ from both long sides. dsc04685
3. Cut the  rectangles you have just sewn together into 2″ strips, on the long side. DSC04687 (1).jpg
4. Press the strip sets open. I usually press towards the dark fabric.

(If you have elected to cut the rectangles as strips and sewn them together separately, you can use the instructions from now on.

dsc04690
5. Lay the strip sets print side together, with the dark fabric facing the light fabric, aligned on all sides, but pay special attention to the seams (they should meet exactly and the lump of one should be on one side, and the lump of the other, on the other.)
6. Cut 2″ units from the strip sets you arranged in the previous step (you should get 4.) dsc04691
7.  Keeping the units aligned as when you cut then, sew on the long side.

(Here, I have my pins pointing to the edge I will use to sew my seam.)

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8. Press open. dsc04693-1

Hip to Be Square

There’s one more shortcut I’m going to show you using the rectangles we provided in the Irish Chain kit to make the 4-patches.

1. Cut the 4″x 8″ rectangles into 4″x4″ squares. DSC04697.jpg
2. Align one blue square and one white square, printed sides together, aligned on all sides.
3. Sew a 1/4″ seam on one side of the pair of squares.
4. Sew a 1/4″ seam on the opposite side of the squares DSC04698.jpg
5. Cut the square in half, parallel to the seams DSC04699.jpg
6. Press the units open.

I usually press the seam towards the darker fabric.

DSC04700.jpg
7. Lay the squares print side together, with the dark fabric facing the light fabric, aligned on all sides, but pay special attention to the seams (they should meet exactly and the lump of one should be on one side, and the lump of the other, on the other.) dsc04701
8. Sew a 1/4″ seam on the side of the pair of squares that has two colors
9. Sew a 1/4″ seam on the opposite side of the pair of squares (which will also have two colors DSC04702.jpg
10. Cut the square in half, parallel to the seams. DSC04703.jpg
11. Press open.

Each pair of squares will yield a pair of 4-patches.

dsc04705

There.  That should give you some ideas of how to make the corner 4-patch units.

Next week, I hope to have the written (and photographed) instructions on how to make the 9-patch portion of the Single Irish Chain, but if you can’t wait, there is a YouTube video by The Quilt Codex that should give you an idea of how to do it. Just be aware that ours is a 9″ block and theirs is a 12″ block.

It Starts With Four Little Squares…

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miniraffle

I am on the Raffle Quilt Design committee this year for my Guild. We have decided on a very simple quilt design with plenty of room for our members to use their creativity.

Every other block is intended to be a 9″ star with a dark blue background. Our members will choose which stars they want to make.

To tie the whole thing together, we have cut the fabric for the Single Irish Chain blocks (the blocks that go between the stars.)

Unlike in the mockup, we are using a slightly different Irish Chain block, and since I have to write the instructions on how to make those blocks, I thought I’d share them with you on my blog.

Overview

irishblock1The Single Irish Chain block we are doing boils down to a traditional 9-patch block with 4-patch blocks in each of the corners.

We figured that such a block would be easy for anyone who is a beginning quilter since you are working with squares and straight seams.

For our Raffle Quilt, we provided a kit. You can make one for yourself. For each block you will need:

  • 1 white 3.5″ x 3.5″ square,
  • 4 blue 3.5″ x 3.5″ squares,
  • 1 blue 4″ x 8″ rectangle, and
  • 1 white 4″ x 8″ rectangle.

If you lay out the fabric as provided, you should notice that the 9-patch is almost ready to piece except for the corners and those rectangles just don’t fit. That’s because you need to make the 4-patch blocks from the rectangles provided before you can sew the 9-patch.

Four-Patch Blocks

dsc04683The easiest way to make them would be to cut those rectangles into 2″ squares. You will end up with 8 blue squares and 8 white squares.

You only need two blue squares and 2 white squares to make a single 4-patch block, but since you need 4 of those blocks, you must have 8 squares of each color.

1. Pair each blue block with a white block and sew them together with a 1/4″ seam allowance. dsc04686
2. Press all sewn pairs open. I usually press the seams together, towards the darker fabric so there is no “shadow” where the colored fabric might show through the white fabric. dsc04688
3. Pair up each of the blue & white units. Align the white side of the unit with blue side of the second unit, so the other white square will align with the other blue.
(In the photo, the units are slightly out of alignment to show that the white square should be against the blue and the blue against the white.  You will need align the units on all sides before you sew.)
 dsc04689
 4. Sew the units together on the long side (using a 1/4″ seam) dsc04694
 5. Press open. (Your block should measure 3.5″ square. If it is too large, you can trim it down, but if it is too small, you will need to sew it again, maybe trying to make your seams a tad under 1/4″.)  dsc04695

A slightly different set of instructions with better photos can be found here.

In the days (or more likely, weeks) ahead I will share with you a couple more ways to make the four patch blocks with the rectangles included in the CQG block package, as well as a more detailed version of how to construct the final block.

Quilt Labels: Do As I Say (And Not As I Do…)

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LemonDazeI have to confess that while I am a “quilt namer,” I am not a “quilt labeler.”  The only time I put labels on my quilts is when they are going out of my home (most likely to a quilt show.)

I don’t know why I don’t label my quilts. It may just be that I don’t feel I need to “for posterity.”  I have no kids and my quilts are utilitarian, so they will probably end up with someone who just enjoys the patterns and/or colors and really doesn’t know who I am (or care.)

dragonframeMaybe it’s a rebellious streak, though. After years of people telling me “but you HAVE to label your quilts,” I just don’t.  So there.

It’s silly, I know, but up until a couple of years ago, I just felt that labels were something I just added on at the end.  It really didn’t strike me as an opportunity to add to the design.

And then I had to take a bunch of my quilts to my Guild for a “Member Spotlight,” and I knew that I was going to get grief for not having labeled my quilts.

So, I decided to improvise and make some “fancy” quilt labels.

Googling “free quilt labels” got me the same old, same old. Some were nice, but none were inspirational.

TributeLabelSo, I combed free clip art sites and noticed that the designs that attracted me were bookplates.

The big problem with using images off of the web is you have to make sure that you are using royalty-free, and not someone’s artwork.

If you do find a piece of art you’d like to adapt to a quilt label, just email the artist and explain what you want to do.  They might say “no” but they “yes,” or that you have to put a copyright info next to the artwork on the label itself.

CrossedI like vintage art, so most of the designs I choose are in the public domain, but a scan of the actual image may not be, so that requires a little more research if I fall in love with an image.

After I find the image (and get the necessary permission, if I have to), I create the label. I use Photoshop Elements, but any application that allows you to layer text over images (or move it around along side the image, or whatever) will do.

Then, I print my labels on muslin using something like Bubble Jet Set, stitch them on to the quilt, and, voila! It’s not as painful as stitching down a binding by hand, so I don’t really have an excuse when I’ve made it that far.

The Naming of Quilts

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It's not every day you get to name an actually living being so I have to settle for naming quilts.

It’s not every day you get to name an actually living being so I have to settle for naming quilts.

Once upon a time I was going to rewrite T.S. Eliot’s “The Naming of Cats” to reflect the naming of quilts. I didn’t get far because it’s easier for me to work on “filk” with other people around and these days I don’t work in an office.

Anyway, since writing about my Guild’s upcoming Quilt Show, I read some of the comments and got to thinking about that topic again.

My mother (and other people) seem to really like the names I come up with for my quilts and always want to know how I think them up.

Detail of Spirographology taken by Jeff Lomicka at my Guild talk.

Detail of Spirographology taken by Jeff Lomicka at my Guild talk.

I can’t claim any particularly clever scheme for naming them… the names just “come” to me, usually while I’m working on them (sometimes if I’ve been working on them too much!)

For instance: Spirographology. I had bought the black and white fabric in the centers of what came to be the Jack’s Chain specifically to do a “stack n whack” kind of quilt. I had fun working on the other two I had made, so I thought this would be a quick, fun project.

But it didn’t work out that way since, with just the black & white fabric, I thought it was dull. I didn’t like it.  I sent a picture to my mom, and my dad saw it and said that they looked like something I made from a Spirograph. That stuck with me and, as I was assembling the Jack’s Chain, I eventually decided would “spice up” the monochromatic stack n whack, I came up with the name Spirographology.

bed_road

The Road from Malden to Lowell is Paved With Broken Dishes… is probably the longest name I’ve ever named a quilt.

So, as you can see, I usually change the name of a quilt as I work on it. I start out most times with the name of the block and sometimes I keep fairly closely to name, as in the case of the broken dishes quilt that I was working on it when I moved from Malden to Lowell.

 

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Learning Curve is one of my favorite quilts.

In the case of my Baltimore Album quilt.  I was learning to appliqué, and when I got 9 blocks done I had to make a decision about whether to include my early blocks (which I thought weren’t very good.)

I knew I shouldn’t call it “Baltimore Album” because I’ve never lived in Baltimore, and not even all the blocks are from Baltimore.

In the end, I did decide to use the early blocks, and felt that this way the quilt really shows my learning progress, so I named it Learning Curve.

 

DSC04449

Suburbia… partly done.

My current machine piecing project is Suburbia.

 

I started out calling it “9-Patch Houses”, but when I got them all together I thought about where I grew up and how here were 4-5 different house layouts/designs in our “housing plan.” We all started out looking similar, but, after a while, our houses were all different because of doors, shutters and landscaping.

The houses on my quilt are the same because they start off with a 9-patch, but, like my neighborhood, they ended up looking a bit different because of the fabrics used.

If you have read this blog for a while, I sometimes talk about how the names of my various quilts come to be. I will, of course, continue to share this on the quilts as I’m working on them, but I hope this post gives you a little insight on how I do it if you don’t want to go back and read my old posts.

Showing Off

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No, I won't have the Christmas "Dear Jane" completed before my Guild's Show.

No, I won’t have the Christmas “Dear Jane” completed before my Guild’s Show.

‘Tis Spring (finally!) and Quilt Show Season seems to be gearing up.  My Guild has it’s show in May (almost always Mother’s Day weekend.)

I have a love/hate relationship with quilt shows.  I love seeing what other people have done, what colors and fabrics they’ve chosen to work with, what patterns or designs have inspired them to pick up needle and thread (or sit down at their sewing machine.)

Teal There Was You will have been long gone to its destination by our quilt show. *sigh*

Teal There Was You will have been long gone to its destination by our quilt show. *sigh*

I dislike displaying my own quilts. I don’t know why. It seems to me that there are other who love what I love about quilt shows and I’m not holding up my side of the bargain.

The reason I enter my Guild’s show, though, is because of something I was told my first year in the Guild: The biennial show (i.e. every other year) is basically, a hanging “show and tell.”

I like show and tell. It’s one of my favorite parts of our Guild meetings. I like the giving and receiving of feedback by applause or “oohs” and “ahhhs” (which is something you don’t get at the show.)

'Cause everyone knows the true use for quilts is to wrap your loved ones (or cats)  in warmth...

‘Cause everyone knows the true use for quilts is to wrap your loved ones (or cats) in warmth…

I also like knowing the stories behind the quilts, but many people filling out the show form don’t choose to put their stories, inspirations or even reasons for making the quilts in the “artist statement,” even though they usually do at show and tell.

Maybe it’s because they think it’s too personal, or that no one would want to read “that stuff,” but, to me, “that stuff” is almost as interesting as the quilt itself.

Anyway, I’m entering two quilts this year: A Tribute to Maryellen Hopkins (without being wrapped around Miko) and Flying in Formation (if it’s done. Right now it’s on the long arm.) And I’m agonizing over what to write about them.

What kinds of things do you want to read about the quilts you are viewing in a quilt show?

Hey. She’s Posted Again…

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Flying in Formation is too big to photograph on my floor.

Flying in Formation is too big to photograph on my floor.

Today you actually get two posts, because the one I wrote 2 weeks ago was posted as a page and didn’t get publicized. I have reformatted it, and now you can see it.

This was just supposed to be a quick note to say that I’ve stalled.  I finished piecing Flying in Formation (using a cool border idea I saw on a quilt at the Bennington QuiltFest and the airship propeller blocks I made a billion years ago.)  I now no longer have any groups of blocks needing to be put into a quilt so I have to start a new one… from scratch (so to speak.)

And I’m stalled.

The only question I have about Teal There Was You  is should I buy fabric for the binding or use something I already own... that I don't like as much.

The only question I have about Teal There Was You is should I buy fabric for the binding or use something I already own… that I don’t like as much.

Yesterday I finished the quilting on  Teal There Was You.  The only thing left is the binding, so I need to come up with another quilt to put on the long arm next week.  One that is smaller than a twin since that’s the only batt I have left.

I have no idea what to do next (although I do have 17 options but none that are calling my name and saying “quilt me, quilt me.”) Ergo, Stalled.

I am still making Meezer Teaser Balls, but that’s pretty much all the quilting I’m doing at the moment.

I am, however, being creative.  I am prepping for NaNoWriMo by actually doing a rough outline for the book I will be working on. We’ll see how well that works.

Photo Finishes

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I’m overdue for an update, so I gathered photos of my most recent finishes to show what I’ve been up to.  Thanks to Jeff Lomicka (of Jeff & Cricket quilts) for the photos that I did not take (mostly the long shots of everything but Susan’s Quilt and the close up of the quilting on The Wrong Shade of Red.)

Susan’s Quilt:  I got this quilt top in my Guild’s Auction and decided to use it to practice hand guiding the long arm… to mixed results.  Eventually, some of the blocks were freehand, and some were programmed block by block.

I called this quilt Susan's Quilt because I gave it to my friend Susan. Yeah, not the most original name...

I called this quilt Susan’s Quilt because I gave it to my friend Susan. Yeah, not the most inspired name…

Detail of Susan's Quilt on the long arm.

Detail of Susan’s Quilt on the long arm.

Teal There Was You: I am well on the way to finishing this quilt for my brother. I might just be able to finish the quilting next week and then work on the binding (which, since it’s a queen-sized quilt, will take forever…)

Teal There was You was a

Teal There was You was a “commission” quilt from my Mom to my brother David.

Teal There Was You on the long arm.

Teal There Was You on the long arm.

The Wrong Shade of Red: Finished and bound and on my bed in time for the falling temperatures in New England. For such a simple quilt, I really like the way it turned out, but I didn’t use all my black & white fabrics…

The Wrong Shade of Red was made up of blocks I took away from another quilt and turned into this one.

The Wrong Shade of Red was made up of blocks I took away from another quilt and turned into this one.

You can actually see the quilting in this photo. Some how apples seemed appropriate.

You can actually see the quilting in this photo. Some how apples seemed appropriate for a red quilt.

Comfort Quilts: My Guild has a committee that takes in quilts for various charities.  This year, in addition to making the Meezer Teaser Balls, I was able to finish three quilts for them.

Didn't love the way the quilting came out on V is for Victory, but the quilt is quite festival and, as a comfort quilt, I'm sure someone will be happy to receive it.

Didn’t love the way the quilting came out on V is for Victory, but the quilt is quite festive and, as a comfort quilt, I’m sure someone will be happy to receive it. (And, yes, it’s being held upside down… doesn’t matter, I think.)

V is for Victory Ii, came out a little more satisfactory. I like the brighter colors in the original, but I'm sure someone will like this more muted version.

V is for Victory II, came out a little more satisfactory. I like the brighter colors in the original, but I’m sure someone will like this more muted version.

I called this quilt April Showers Bring May Flowers, and the quilting motif is big 1960s-like flower-power flowers. Made with the 10

I called this quilt April Showers Bring May Flowers, and the quilting motif is big 1960s-like flower-power flowers. Made with the 10″ squares I won in my Guild’s layer cake raffle, the pattern can be found on the Moda BakeShop site.

Back from the Black…

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Spring in New England... yeah, I didn't update you. If you didn't have spring where you were, just wait a bit. You're probably on a different schedule

Spring in New England… yeah, I didn’t update you. If you didn’t have Spring where you were, just wait a bit. You’re probably on a different schedule

Here’s what happened:  I got tired of talking about myself, so I stopped updating my blog for a couple of weeks.

Then, I was feeling guilty about not updating my blog and I couldn’t find a way past that so I avoided thinking about adding to my blog. That lasted a couple of weeks.

Then, I got tired of feeling guilty, and I started resenting the blog.  How dare it tell me what to do? Yeah, lost a couple of weeks there, too.

I finished V is for Victory. I even quilted V is for Victory... as soon as I bind it, I'll take another picture.

I finished V is for Victory. I even quilted V is for Victory… as soon as I bind it, I’ll take another picture.

Then I realized that this was all very silly, and no one resented me for not updating my blog.  No one’s life came to a standstill because I couldn’t bring myself to blog about what I was up to.

I didn’t stop sewing, just blogging.

I hope this means I will be more regularly updating my blog… but you never know.

Long story short: still alive, still quilting, may even go back to weekly blogging, but I’m not sure yet.

Hope you all are well.

 


A second version of V is for Victory made with some orphan blocks I got somewhere.

A second version of V is for Victory made with some orphan blocks I got somewhere.

I won a bunch of floral 10" square which were really not the kind of thing I usually use, even though most of them were really pretty. This was a pattern on the Moda site for using layer cakes.

I won a bunch of floral 10″ square which were really not the kind of thing I usually use, even though most of them were really pretty. This was a pattern on the Moda site for using layer cakes. April Shows Bring May Flowers

My first Barbara Brackman Block of the Week project (the Civil War Sequi-whowhatsit) finally got a border.

My first Barbara Brackman Block of the Week project (the Civil War Sequi-whowhatsit) finally got a border.

My current project is for my brother. I love the block, but I'm kind of dying of boredom since the quilt is so monchromatic.

My current project is for my brother (tentatively named Teal There Was You). I love the block, but I’m kind of dying of boredom since the quilt is so monochromatic.  Work on the border goes on apace…

Three Questions on Quilting

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Last week I went to a quilt show: MQX.  It stand for Machine Quilters Exposition, which, obviously, means that it’s focused on machine quilting.

Now, this isn’t a local Guild show, or even a small regional one. This show features quilts from people all over the U.S. and other countries (I think I saw ones from Germany and New Zealand.)

Going to a show of this caliber means, of course, that one could come away from it feeling that any effort you make as a quilter must be labelled as so much dross. It’s just as easy to feel “in the shade” while looking at some of these quilts as it is to feel inspired (sometimes at the same time!)

I would like to say that this fabulous whole cloth quilt is The Paisley Peacock by Bethanne Nemesh, but I focused on the quilt and not the label, so I'm not entirely sure.

I would like to say that this fabulous whole cloth quilt is The Paisley Peacock by Bethanne Nemesh, but I focused on the quilt and not the label, so I’m not entirely sure.

One of the reasons I go to shows like these is that I have a really hard time figuring how to quilt my tops.  I try to forget comparing myself to the quilters in the show and just try to figure out what I like about the quilts, and what I don’t want to do with my own quilts.

Then I try to apply what I’ve figured out to my own projects.

This show, I came up with three questions to ask myself when I decide what to do about the quilting of a specific top.

1. How much time have I got?

This is actually a two-fold question. The first “fold” is that the quilters at MQX have thousands of hours (probably tens of thousands of hours) experience in their craft. They know their machine. They know their fabric.  They know their thread.

 Way Too Many Circles by Debbi Treusch & Linda Arndt

Way Too Many Circles by Debbi Treusch & Linda Arndt

I don’t have thousands of hours of experience. Well, at least not in the actual quilting part of it since for years I’ve been stopping just shy of that. I’m still just learning to use a long arm, to choose which patterns and which thread.

The second “fold” is just how much time to I want to spend on this particular project.

The truth is that the quilts I make are mostly intended to be used on a bed. Spending a year planning, programming and quilting just one quilt is not my idea of a fine ol’ time. It turns out that I don’t want to spend that much time on my quilts.

While I love the look of very dense quilting when it’s used to enhance the block design (as shown in Way Too Many Circles), it’s something I usually decide against when I realize how long it would take to do and how much practice I would need to get ready to do something like that.

La Passion by Grit Kovacs, quilted by Laurena McDermott

La Passion by Grit Kovacs, quilted by Laurena McDermott is like my Spiro.  Sometimes, no matter how you quilt it, the piecing design will be the standout element.

2. How much will it show?

A whole cloth quilt (like The Paisley Peacock, above) shows the design of the quilting and allows it to shine.  Ditto the quilting in the “space” between the appliqué in Way Too Many Circles. However, to make that sort of effort really wasn’t necessary in a quilt like Spirographology. It would simply have been lost, overlooked.

I could have tried something a bit more , but, as I learned on the border of Got Dots, sometimes the effort just isn’t worth it.

DnA1 is next up.  I'm going to try something a little different inspired by Too Many Circles

DnA1 is next up. I think I’m going to try something a little different inspired by Too Many Circles

3. Do I want to do “something different?”

Yes, there are times I want to experiment, to learn more and gain more experience, but prepping for a quilt talk was not the time for me. I wanted to show some nice quilts.  I really wanted to feature the piecing designs. I wanted to finish as many quilts as I could so I wouldn’t be just showing tops.

Now that that is over, I can look at my projects with new eyes and decide if I want to be a little more experimental. Maybe some hand-guided quilting for DnA1. Maybe change-up the thread color or weight in another quilt.

Who knows what else I’ll learn in the next year now that I feel like I’ve got the time and the motivation.