Part One in a Series: Experienced Quilt Makers Offer Must-haves, How-Tos and What-nots. Read on for time-saving tips and a quilt top you can complete in one sitting.
Patience & imPerfection & Jelly Roll Gladness! Oh MY!
Ok, I’ve gotta say it: if someone tells you, “Oh it’s simple, easy-peezy, nothin’ to it,” and they’re referencing starting a blog or embarking on the obsession of quilting, you’ve a right to question everything that person says forever and always.
Yet, if this person has a glint in his or her eye, it’s likely he/she so loves what they’re talking about and their goal is to encourage you to soulfully join in their mania. The person knows when creative energy begin flows, rewards are great and outweigh learning curve challenges. And they want to share that with you.
So give ’em grace and embrace this truth: Creative Joy=Therapy=Undeniable Rippling Effects.
These past weeks getting Sew God operational, juggling other commitments and as one busy, experienced maker recently put it “stealing away time to quilt,” have been a blur. Little sleep = great rewards.
It’s been uplifting to to meet so many tremendous, helpful people in the quilt maker world, both in online communities and at local shops.
Experienced maker Mea Clift’s advice to newbie quilters is to have “Patience with yourself.” Mea, who first learned the art of hand quilting from her aunt, also recommends first-timers start with a simple pattern, such as the 9-patch, “then find a bigger, better pattern to run with.”
“Concentrate on finished, not PERFECT,” advises creative cross-stitcher, quilter, blogger Sharon Bennett.
Sharon’s advice couldn’t have come at a better time for me, as I struggle with my obsession over symmetry in pulling together, piecing and translating what’s in my head to a finished top.
My present WIP so mimics the many things I’m juggling right now it’s uncanny: it’s busy, but falling into place.
Longtime quilters recommend Log Cabin and 9-Patch Block Quilts as good choices for beginning your quilting journey. The quilt top I’m now piecing was birthed in my head after watching a Missouri Star Quilt Company (MSQC) YouTube depicting the magical Disappearing 9-Patch.
My personal brand of quilting therapy (poison for some), is to look for fabrics in consideration of whom the quilt is for, then sketch out a design on huge piece of graph paper with blocks that intrigue me.
But my process to-date has been time consuming.
I see HUGE rewards in simplifying, especially for those of us in learning mode. And those seeking the gratification of making a quilt top that doesn’t require big chunks of time to complete.
According to quilter Barbra Martin, the 1600 Race Quilt made from a jelly roll, is great time-saving, learning quilt option. As demonstrated by Jen of MSQC, quilt makers can skip the cutting and other prep stages and focus on sewing. There’s gratification in being able to see the top come together quickly.
“You literally start by sewing each strip end to end and you have 1600 inches of fabric! It’s crazy! It took me about 45 minutes to put the quilt together,” says Barbra.