10 Quilty Little Secrets..

Yep I am going to do this… I am taking the 13 Spools Challenge

13 Spools

1.  I do not know the difference between pressing and ironing but I am assuming I do it the wrong way!

2.  I struggle with quilt math… it makes my brain hurt and I suck at it.  Often my paper pieced quilt blocks are a weird size – whatever size is the biggest I can fit on a sheet of paper.  My Atlantic Sea block is 13.78 inches square!

paper pieced quilt block3.  I do not understand holiday quilts… what use is a quilt that you only use once a year?

4.  I dislike the quilting part of the process… it physically hurts me and I am usually on painkiller for a couple of days after finishing a quilt!

5.  and while on the subject of quilting… I started hand quilting a quilt in 2000, got bored with the process and bound it before I finished the quilting.  I feel a little guilty every time I use this quilt.


6.  I am not keen on the look and feel of machine binding but I still do it on charity quilts. Does this make me a bad person?

Scrappy binding

7.  I get annoyed by people who try to dictate what is “modern quilting” and what is not…and a lot of time the definitions seem self-serving to me.  The movement is bigger than just a few people and I think only history will be able to give us a clear definition.

8.  I do not pin my quilt blocks enough to every have the problem of sewing over the pins.

9.  I am too lazy to pre-wash my fabric.

10.  I get bored way to easily.  I have too many ideas and too many wips.  I counted 16 quilt tops last week in need of a finish.  I may have a problem…

Wow that was very therapeutic.  You should give it a go….

46 thoughts on “10 Quilty Little Secrets..

  1. I agree on the machine binding but lately I have been machine binding on quilts that I know will get a lot more washings than others. Charity quilts especially!

      • Hand binding takes way too long and I don’t have binding clips so I usually get pricked by needles and end up swearing at the quilt too much. I wonder if the vibes go with the quilt. Have you ever used rounded corners?

      • Well you have to cut the binding on the bias. That was my first ever experience machine sewing a binding on, which is why I think my two thoughts merged here. I love the way the quilt looks, especially for newborn baby quilts. Such soft edges! I will do it again. Problem I face is that my bindings are usually pieced from remaining scraps. Bias binding requires a good piece of fabric! You should try it sometime maybe on a mug rug or something really small. It’s satisfying!

  2. YES …. You put it so well. The first rule of quilting… IMHO.. is ……… There are no rules in quilting. There are people who LOVE rules so I guss there have to be some for them but those of us who are more..inlightened .(LOL) know that there are wayyyy to many quilts.. blocks.. snippits of things to put together to worry about someone elses rules.
    Although… there are things that people need to know for their own safety.. closing rotary cutters and like that..

  3. I love your secrets 🙂 Think we all have them, a few of mine are, I prefer scraps over buying meters, will make quilt tops all day ever day, the rest of process bores and annoys me. Oh and I agree with maths, horrid requirement of life hahahahaha

  4. #3–totally agree, I never intend to make a holiday quilt! I think machine binding on a charity quilt is a great idea because they are more likely to be frequently washed, or used roughly and the machine stitches will hold up better. I love what you said on the modern movement and how history will give us a definition!

  5. I love machine quilting and can hardly wait to finish a top so that I get to quilt it. But I hate all forms of binding. Right now I hate the look of machine binding more than the process of hand binding, so I did my last two by hand. That won’t last. I keep looking for a perfect machine technique but there isn’t one.

  6. Great list. I had been quilting for 20+ years before I learned the difference between ironing and pressing. All of the quilts made during those 20+ years were fine and well loved by the recipients. I, too, have many more quilts in progress as it’s more fun to start than to continue on doing the same thing – must be a character flaw or something I didn’t learn in Kindergarten. Thanks for your sharing.

  7. I like making the tops best, the quilting is a necessary torture between that and binding. I’m getting to like hand quilting (apart from the damage it inflicts on my fingers) because I’m waaaaay too impatient to learn to FMQ properly, so hand quilting lets me do all the shapes I can’t do with a walking foot. And I love hand stitching the binding because it’s a soothing, gentle process of finishing off after that nasty quilting business, plus my hand sewing is quite fast so it doesn’t take forever.

  8. Thanks for the list. I do like math, including quilt math. However I agree about hand vs machine binding. I don’t love machine binding’s look or feel. I do it, more and more, primarily because I have neck pain for days after hand binding. So I pick those quilts for hand work carefully these days.

  9. Oh my gosh do I feel better reading everything you wrote!! Feeling the same all around!! Thanks for helping me feel somewhat normal

  10. ok, I’ve not got enough experiences with patchwork & quilting until now – but suppos I do (nearly) everything wrong … doesn’t matter, I’m more intuitive than systematic… Love your kind of statements!

  11. It is therapeutic to create these lists, and read others as well! I totally don’t get seasonal quilts, but I’d happily make one for someone if they paid me to! Ha! I also never prewash and pin my blocks.

  12. You and I are sisters of the quilting heart. I just finished machine quilting a top for a fund raiser on a different machine than I’m use to. Now I feel awful today. So many of the items of your list fits my life completely. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone.

  13. I’m so intrigued to see you wip’s!! I love other people’s wip’s, and to see them and hear why they have become left behind!!

  14. Holiday quilts. Yeah. I totally need a Christmas quilt for a 40 degree Celsius day, when it is too hot even to leave the air-conditioning to go outside to the pool.

  15. HA! I want to copy and paste so many of your secrets into my own post ;o) I knew there was a reason I liked you so well.

  16. Your list made me laugh, why are there so many rules?!

    There’s a difference between ironing and pressing? There you go, I learn new stuff every day. What is the difference exactly?

    Surely you can outsource the quilting process and then that frees your resources up to complete WIPs. Well that would be my justification. In reality that free time might be tempted by new and shiny but no-one needs to know about that.

    OK, so I’ll fess up that I don’t quilt (What, you take perfectly good fabric and cut it into little pieces then sew it back together? Oh, OK.) however I do admire the skill and creativity of quilters. And your work you put up here is beautiful.

    • I still have not looked up the difference between ironing and pressing…I am a little scared what the answer may be.lol. You do something that I have not been brave enough to do, other than a Halloween costume ever 5 or 6 years. I am in awe of cloth/dress makers. Absolute awe.

      • You are correct Catherine, I do make clothes. Mostly ridiculous special occasion frocks that have a poor cost-per-wear ratio but I do love to parade around in them regardless. Sadly I’m as creative as your average accountant when it comes to crafty stuff…….

  17. I am totally with you, except I do kind of want a holiday quilt. I blame my parents, who had all these rituals and traditions around Christmas that I hated as a teenager but now kind of miss as an adult. A special quilt seems like it could be fun to unwrap with the ornaments every year. That said, I have no idea what it would look like. So many Christmas quilts just look tacky to me.

  18. I loved reading all the wonderful ideas. I didn’t see anything however on quilting math, of which I am terrible at.

    BTW did anyone notice all the beautiful avatars above? The avatars together would make a wonderful quilt.

  19. OK…don’t hate me for saying this but, I love the hand binding process. I find it relaxing to just sit and take my time putting the finishing on a quilt even when those darn pins take a stab at my fingers. I don’t like cutting and squaring up blocks as it seems to take me forever and my wrists hurt. I could spent hours upon hours looking at fabric. Wait a minute, I do spend hours upon hours looking at fabric which I already have plenty of…yikes… did I just say that..no taking that back. As for holiday quilts, sorry, I have fallen for them. Currently making a red and white quilt for my grand baby.

  20. I’m with you on # 7 ~ the whole ‘Modern’ quilt thing totally irritates me and while sitting in the guild meeting I’ve heard people whisper ~ she shouldn’t be sharing that quilt, it isn’t modern (this was a few years ago). GRRR.

  21. I agree with your list… er, 90%. I’m one of those people who can do quilt math in my head most of the time. It comes in handy, since I work in a fabric store – but when I start spouting off the steps to get to how much border or binding fabric to buy, I’m used to seeing the glazed look creep over a customer’s face. 😉

    1) Press is stomping, ironing is skating. You press when you don’t want to push your blocks or components out of shape.

    3) Holiday quilts. Yeah, I’m with you on that one. Some of the fabric is stinkin’ adorable, but I don’t have enough space to store seasonal quilts and wallhangings. If I had that much extra space, I’d fill it with fabric!

    6) I stink at machine binding and hand-stitching makes me whiney. Fortunately I have friends who find it therapeutic and relaxing to do handwork, so I do my best to help them relax by ‘letting’ them hand sew my bindings. However, I’ve found *Susie’s Magic Binding* which, in addition to looking very cool, is not as easy to mess up. It’s my go-to technique for machine binding now. You can find a clear tutorial over on 52quilts.com – it looks kinda scary, but it works wonderfully (and really impresses the muggles)!

  22. I actually love the entire process but I’m better at some parts than others. 🙂 Some charities, such as Quilts For Kids do not want hand stitched bindings. I’m sure that is because of the wear and tear the quilts receive.

  23. Actually the quilting step is a whole different set of skills which seems to put lots of people off because they expect it to be perfect when just learning…so use your charity quilts to practice quilting too.

  24. and on machine binding- it is ok…i only hand stitch if it is a very special quilt and/or person. Others do not appreciate/earn the hand stitched binding and i would rather spend my stitching time doing something more fun 😉

  25. Pingback: 10 Quilty Secrets | Zippy Quilts

  26. I’ve come aroudn on the machine binding, if it looks good! I’m also confused about the pressing and ironing, but I think I just recently figured it out! 🙂 and what is pre-washing??? Ha! I only prewash black! otherwise it doesn’t even cross my mind!

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