Sunday, December 13, 2009

Decorating with Quilts

I love looking at quilting books to see how the photo shoot has been set up. When I get a glimpse into rooms that are "staged", it makes me want to get rid of everything I own and decorate from scratch. But that would be impossible. I have too many things that I could never part with. This is one of them. Although this top has some technical issues, it was the first sampler I made without a pattern. My inspiration came from this book by Alex Anderson, a staple in most quilters library.

I made this quilt in 2001 or 2002. It was before I knew anything about machine quilting or longarm quilting. I thought everything was hand quilted. Silly me! I used Warm and Natural batting and variegated machine quilting thread to hand quilt. My hand and wrist was so sore when I finally finished this baby. Would I do things differently? You bet. But I believe the biggest lessons in quilting are the ones you learn as you make something and then apply in your future quilts. So I don't hand quilt with W & N batting, I use wool, and I now have a nice supply of hand quilting threads.
This next quilt was the first class I took when I moved to the U.S. It was offered at The Cotton Shop, a funky shop in The Dalles, OR. There were lessons learned on this quilt. One. Well, maybe more, but one big one. Five minutes of machine quilting is an hour of unquilting. I decided I didn't like this top when it was finished, so I removed every single machine quilted stitch. Yup, the whole thing, every stitch. Crazy time! I love it now, but had I left the original quilting in this top, it would look just as nice. Well, maybe not quite as nice, but I could have lived with it. It's amazing how the first wash just takes away any little issues you think you have with your quilting.
But now it's done, I love the border/binding efforts on this top. I had to get creative as I was running out of fabrics; sometimes the best design ideas are not planned, but of necessity.
It's snowing out right now, my curtains are closed as I'm posting, so I must go check and see if I'm staying in or doing some Christmas shopping this afternoon.
Stitch today, even for a few minutes.


belinda said...

Both of these quilts are lovely....LOL...I
love hearing about your 'adventures' getting
them finished.....ooouuuu...I had been wondering about the warm and natural for hand
quilting....I was planning to do a little
sample 'hand' quilting to see how it worked!!

Lisa D. said...

Both quilts are great, but your sampler quilt is absolutely stunning!