Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Shortcuts Make Me Happy.

Quilting shortcuts make me very, very happy.
The only problem is, there's not that many of them.
Except for when I make quilts for myself.
Then, there's lots and lots and lots of shortcuts.
I never take shortcuts when making quilts for others... I want to make sure I put my best work into what I send out into the world.
My quilts are a reflection of myself in some ways... and I don't want to look cheap and thrown together, if you know what I mean.


But, oh man, when I make a quilt for myself I like to push the limits in the way of shortcuts.
I will cut corners like there's no tomorrow.
I don't know why this is.
Maybe my need for instant gratification?
Maybe because I sometimes feel guilty when making something for myself when I could be making something for somebody else so I try to make whatever it is as fast as possible?
Maybe because I'm usually trying to squeeze in the making of an entire quilt between several nap times?
(And who knows how long those last, right?)


Whatever the reasons for my shortcut taking... this quilt was FULL of them.
And guess what?
It was one of the most problem free quilts I've ever made!
It came together like a dream!
Weird, right?
I know. It shouldn't make sense.
But that's the true story and it makes me ohsohappy!


So, here's my shortcut-laden zig-zag quilt that I love dearly!


I was originally inspired by this quilt.
I loved how big it was- so I asked her what her dimensions were and she kindly answered.
(HST method, 8x8" squares, and 10 x 12 rows...I love it when people share!)
My plan was to follow her dimensions exactly, but when I started cutting my fabric,
(that I've been saving for this quilt for quite some time!)
I realized I was only going to be able to make my quilt 8 x 9 rows.
Kind of a bummer, because I like the hugeness of the original quilt, but not a deal breaker for me.
Finished measurements are 56"x 64"... so it's still a nice sized quilt.


Other shortcuts:
I didn't draw lines on the diagonals of my squares for making the HSTs
(I'm sure other quilters are cringing right now- sorry!)
I didn't iron or trim my HSTs once finished.
(another cringe!)
I didn't pin a single thing.
(but I never do when quilting...)
And, I didn't iron the completed quilt top before layering everything for basting.
Oh, and I didn't use a walking foot to do my quilting either!
That one was kind of an accidental shortcut because I forgot to switch feet (foots? whatever.)
But the zig-zag quilting was just easy peasy!


Pieced back:

All those shortcuts allowed me to take my time while basting...
I actually taped every layer down and pin basted (<---- my fave method!)
All of my points lined up perfectly... magically even!
I didn't have any bunches or uneven/mismatched corners.
(Unfortunately common in quilts I make for myself.)
And, I saved so much time I was able to hand-stitch the binding!

A fairly amazing trade off if you ask me!

Also, I've decided that this year I am going to make at least 10 quilts for myself.
I just decided this like a month ago.
Of all the quilting and sewing I do, it's a shame how few quilts I actually have in our home.

So, I made a list:
(I just typed this exactly how I wrote my list- so it may not make total sense to everybody!)
  1. Asterisk quilt
  2. Herringbone quilt (red, yellow, aqua)
  3. Houndstooth
  4. Swoon blocks (yellow/pink/orange/brown with linen)
  5. Granny squares (scrappy)
  6. HUGE patchwork (scrappy)
  7. Loulouthi whole cloth quilt (handquilted)
  8. Willow/Ellie quilts (room colors)
  9. HUGE lonestar quilt (brights)
  10. Plus quilt (yellow and purple)
  11. Log Cabin quilt
  12. HUGE(er) zig-zag quilt (10 x12 rows)
  13. Subway tiles
  14. Mod Bento Box (aqua, orange, yellow, grey)
  15. Big zig-zag quilt
  16. Finish my king size string quilt and get it quilted
My goal is to make at least 12 quilt tops and of those tops, complete 10 quilts.
I get a lot of my inspiration from other quilts/quilters... I have a flickr group of my favorites here if you'd like to check it out.
There's lots of amazing stuff out there!

Sneak peek of the next quilt I get to cross off the list:

Happy Creating everyone!

And a big thanks to everyone who welcomed me back... you're the best!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy to hear you're going to take some time out occasionally to make some lovelies for yourself. As for me, you can take all the shortcuts you want when you make one for me. And I will PAY you!! Lots of love! Aunt Peggy


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