Thursday, May 7, 2015

Answering Questions

If you take a look at the sidebar of this blog, you will see several lists. One of them is a blog roll, a list of blogs that I regularly read and follow. Some I follow more faithfully than others, truth be told. One that I do follow regularly is Sew Many Ways. Karen, the blogger, amazes me with her incredible organizational skills. She'd probably have a heart attack in my sewing room. I tend towards clutter. (I can hear my friends snickering - they know my shortcomings!)

This is clean and somewhat tidy for me.

Anyway, back to Sew Many Ways. Karen asked some questions on her blog yesterday about the things we like and dislike in our quilt-making process. I answered them in the comments section of her blog, but I thought I would share them with you here, as well, and also see if you had opinions or perspectives that you would care to share.

Karen ranked seven steps in the quilt-making process, and asked how her readers would rank them. Here are my rankings. (#1 is favorite; #7 is least favorite)
1. Looking for inspiration in books, magazines or on-line.
2. Shopping for fabric.
3. Piecing.
4. Cutting out the quilt.
5. Binding.
6. Quilting.
7. Making the quilt sandwich.

I just ranked the 7 items that she posed.

Three steps which Karen did not include but whichI really dislike are cutting borders, attaching borders and piecing the backing. So, if I were to amend Karen's list, mine would look like this
1. Looking for inspiration.
2. Piecing.
3. Binding.
5. Cutting borders.
6. Piecing backing.
7. Adding borders.

I took off shopping as I have really cut back. I have a really large stash that must be reduced, so I have been shopping my stash for most of my recent quilts.

I really don't mind binding a quilt, as lots of quilters do. I remember my grandmother telling me that this was a step she disliked. Up until recently, I have always hand-stitched the binding, but I've been using my walking foot and am perfecting machine stitching it.

My bugaboo is applying borders. You have to measure the middle of the quilt and get a good, accurate cut on borders so that the quilt lays flat. I continue to struggle with this, and am taking greater pains to do a better job with borders.

In addition to asking us to rank those 7 items, she also had some random questions.

1. Do you love hand quilting or machine quilting?
My answer: When I do my own quilting, I enjoy hand quilting more. More often than not, though, I send my quilts out to a long-arm quilter. I am too slow when I hand quilt, and I don't have a big enough machine to machine quilt anything bigger than a baby quilt.

 Little frame and big frame.

2. Binding by hand or machine?
My answer: See above. I pretty well covered that earlier.

3. Do you prewash?
My answer: Never. When I learned to sew in 4-H, prewashing was a given. At some point, I learned from quilt shop operators that fabrics have increased in their quality and prewashing is unncessary. So that is a step I gladly skip!

4. Do you buy pre-cuts or yardage?
My answer: I mostly use yardage. That said, I do own a lot of pre-cuts, but I never seem to work on projects that are suitable for pre-cuts.

 5. Quilt or send out?
My answer: I send out my quilts to a friend who has a long-arm machine. I do machine quilt on smaller projects, and I do try to have a quilt in the frame for hand-quilting. I am just so daggone slow with hand-quilting. I tend to go at it in spurts; I will work on it steadily for awhile, and then I might totally ignore it for months on end. I think I am a decent hand quilter, and I enjoy it, but I would never decide to hand quilt something that needs to be done quickly.

I would love to know what some of you think about the various phases of the quilt-making process. Leave a comment! Give us the scoop!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

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