Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It's All About Fit

I often read or hear quilters say “why do I need to this, that, such and such”. The responses at least on the internet are usually “it’s your quilt you can do whatever you want, there are no Quilt Police here”. 

Well, it is not something set in stone, as they say. 

However, patchwork is much like a jig saw puzzle.   The pieces need to fit.  Accuracy in seams, pressing and cutting are necessary to make the block fit with the next one.    While the world won’t come to end if points are cut on triangles or diamonds…. pleats in squares and rectangles or one side of the quilt is shorter than another or the binding looks like a ruffle rather than a picture frame with straight sides.  And then what about the time it takes to squash the seams to give some degree of matching. 


It does take less time to do it “right” the first time rather than rip and redo, rip and redo or whatever time it takes to achieve satisfactory results.

So…….quilters, experienced or new, accuracy in measuring, cutting and piecing is important.


Make it good the first time and look ahead to the next quilt with piece of mind, clarity of direction and renewed energy in walking this long and exciting road called quilt making.


(Another Thought from a Seamless Mind by Holice Turnbow)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thoughts from a Seamless Mind

Quilting Technology and Style I am an old fashioned quilter. I started quilting seriously back in a time when there were rules about the “accepted way” quilting was done. That was also back before pizza cutters were discovered as a way to cut fabric rather than bread and pepperoni and only admitted its use in the privacy of our own sewing space and vodka and water was a good way to get the wrinkles out of fabric. I have been through all the trends and phases of quilt design style and eagerly embraced the new tools and technology, although I still resist even touching a long-arm quilting machine. I guess I still think the long-arm quilting machine is only for making bedspreads. I have to admit that I have jumped on that wagon somewhat having designed quilting patterns/motifs for use on the long-arm. So guess I am only half a hypocrite. Now comes the 21st century and the latest trend called “Modern Quilting”. I have conflicting emotions about this trend. I am confused by its title because the style has been around a long time. I recently picked up a magazine at the grocery story with a title “Modern Patchwork” and felt a familiarity as I flipped through the pages then realized the samples were very similar to those in a book/magazine of the same title published in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. So, could it really be true that “everything old comes around again”, but perhaps in another title or updated with new designs and colors of fabrics. On the other hand the fabrics I see in shops are very similar to those fabrics in a quilt I have made in the 1940’s. Now you may think I am bashing this new trend. On the contrary, I embrace it because it may just be giving a boost to quilting in a number of ways. The style can unleash one’s quilting creativity. The more simple shapes and use of “outrageous” fabrics and colors will cause you to think about quilting styles and designs in a different way. The simplicity of patterns releases one from what might have been the tediousness of small pieces and structured patterns. New colors allow one to be bold in their designs. It is a little like my reaction to machine quilting when I realized machine quilting is ok…….now that I can do it. I encourage those reading this rambling about quilting to look to the new technology and trends as a way to freshen up your quilting techniques and style. We all need an occasional change in our routine. It keeps our minds fresh and exciting. But remember, if you do catch the “bug” there might not be a vaccine to cure it. But does that really matter?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What is Right and Wrong in Quiltmaking Techniques

The internet has provided an almost instant source for instructions on how to make a quilt.  There are tutorials everywhere you look. There are YouTube videos showing the smallest details of the craft, but, there are also 10 (or more) different answers to the same basic question. 

All these show the specific technique of the host or writer.  It can be confusing to the person trying to learn this way. 

I tend to look at all this as showing how and leaving out the why.  If we ask our self WHY and then start looking for the HOW, our search might just be easier, less stress free and achieve the results we want.  Below is my "Why List".  This list shows the end results - the how is another matter.

Good Quiltmaking is:

- Respect the nature of the fabric

- Good, clear and accurate patterns and directions

- Accurate marking and measuring

- Accurate cutting

- Accurate piecing

- Good pressing techniques

- Good finishing techniques

- Good overall workmanship

If you master the techniques in the above list, you can do almost anything you want in this great adventure called Quiltmaking!