Tuesday, 10 December 2013

What's on my mind today....

What's on my mind today?
Well, I recently had a reply to one of my blog entries ...it's not easy being a quilter......and this has really got me thinking!  (if you aren't interested in all this, just skip it & check back in for my next sewing pics later in the week!!!)
For me personally, patchwork has been a real creative outlet!  My mum wouldn't let me take art at high school...it had to be Geography/French/History.... happily we worked thru' all that!  But right from my early years of sewing I have loved working with colour and design.  
Ask any quilter, selecting the fabrics is really the fun part of making a new quilt.  
However, unlike the "daily- dinner- decision",  making fabric decisions can be a bit trickier.....there's the expense of course, then chosing from the vast selection available, not to mention combining colours and achieving contrast - which is challenging/exciting for all of us,  and then putting in all the sewing hours only to be possibly dissappointed with the results. 
I have found that if I just  love the fabrics and feel they work well together, then it's do -able! 
Too simple I hear you all say?!?!??!? 
Ok, what I have also found, & hope is helpful to others, is this -
  • I really want to make something that is pleasing to my eye ....and I do tend to only buy fabric I like!  Are others the same?  Often simply separating your colours into "warm" & "cool"  groups is an effective way to create some excitment.  Laying your blocks out on a flat surface (like a design wall, the floor or spare bed) really helps get a good overall view of your work, then auditioning & rejection are vital steps to get a good balance of colour & pattern.    
  • I want to use up my stash ....and this does prove tricky at times, combining the old with the newer.  Over the years while still working I managed to collect a bit of fabric, and Glenys & I have often laughed & justified buying a particular fabric for  "when we retire" !!!  Scrap quilts I have found are a perfect way for using up every last bit of fabric to make quilts that I love making & using.  And often many a "bad" purchase or ugly fabric can be hidden away undetected within a lovely scrap quilt!  
  • I certainly don't want to waste my fabrics, and the cost of fabric in NZ makes us all selective in our purchases, but here's the crunch ......sadly sometimes what you plan in your mind just doesn't work in reality.  Experimenting with colour is, for me, one of the pleasures of quilting, but maths was never my favourite!  I try to make a sample block/small section first. The other thing I feel - & this seems to be the case for others too - is that leaving something for a while, then coming back to it can often be quite liberating!  I do keep all my "rejects" and have, over the years, been able to include them into other improvisational type projects or quilt backings.   
  • I really want to make quilts that others can enjoy .....and it's been my experience that people just love receiving a quilt, whether it's traditional/vintage/contemporary/modern.

I have just scratched the surface here today, simply adding a few of my thoughts. There are of course lots of books availabe, and I find  blogs - each offering a different perspective on quilting -are a great source of inspiration for me.

Cutting, sewing,quilting, and yes - unpicking too! - it really is a wonderful hobby!! 


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Linda, this is very interesting. I am often torn between trying to find the perfect fabric/combination on one hand, and my natural frugal tendancies to make best use of my stash/scraps and vintage fabrics. I like to think that sometimes it is the use of an unexpected scrap to fill a gap (instead of running to the store to get more of a fabric) which makes quilts more interesting.

  2. I really like your relaxed approach to quilting - sometimes I get caught up in thinking too much! And giving yourself permission to abandon something that isn't working is so liberating, I need to do it a bit more :-)

  3. Well being new to quilting, I have already found out i'm a scrap hoarder....I now have a selection of plastic baggies filled with 2" bits 3" squares 4" squares and others, and I'm only on my 4th project !!! Frugal maybe but I plan on using them all with ideas I have already researched, and I think as I cut them into sizes as I go then it will make piecing blocks together a breeze. I am using the lay project on the spare bed method, and as I'm making a unique design right now it's helped extensively, a couple of days more sewing and I will have the top finished ready for basting


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