Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Quilting Methods

I've said before that I am self taught. That is a good thing because if I had taken a class where the instructor insisted on exact 1/4 inch seams and perfect cuts, I never would have taken up the hobby. I think you have to decide what is important to you. For me, what is important, is making a quilt that will be loved. Not making one to win awards at quilt shows. Not making one that is so perfect, the recipient won't use it. If it isn't used, it will never be loved. Finishing a quilt is important to me.

So, to keep things real I want to show you my methods.....realizing that many quilters will cringe at this sight....

I will press to make the seams join, most of the time, but I do not take the time to make sure the back looks perfectly pressed, meaning the joined seams lay flat. I press from the front. As long as it is fairly flat I know it will quilt out fine.

I am just not good enough in cutting and seaming that all my cut pieces go together nicely. So, I use the 1/4 inch seam to *adjust*. If I see that one side is barely picking up the fabric, I'll go over it again.

I often make my quilts in sections because I am so anxious to see what it is going to look like. Maybe that is because I have to have some reassurance that it will look good despite all my mistakes.

I realize that I will never be making custom quilts for customers. I am not good enough. However, I do know that when I make a Remembrance quilt, my "customer" is usually overcome with appreciation and really loves and uses the quilt. That is where I get satisfaction.

I wanted to post this because I surely don't want anyone to think I've got it all together in my quilting. I also want to encourage others who, like me, just can't do things with perfection. I have been making my blog posts every year or so into a book (I use Blog2Print). I hope that if I have a grand-daughter or great-grand-daughter who, one day, wants to take up the hobby of quilting, she can read from my blog book that her work doesn't have to be perfect. Imperfections are not necessarily indicative of carelessness or sloppiness, but just an indication that my goal may be different from others. Finishing is much more important to me than making quilts where every seam is free of puckers and every point matched.

We each have to decide our goals and that will direct what is good enough.

One last thought. Please don't think I am being critical of those whose work is nearly perfect. I wish my work could be more like that! It just isn't the way I roll. I probably need to do more paper piecing. My one paper pieced quilt was the closest I've ever come to having perfect work....but that method is so slow!

So, sorry for the long post. Are you shocked at my methods? What are your methods? Any advice for me?


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