Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Bored Quilter

Quilting can make or break a quilt. It's true. This statement is not meant to make you fret. I don't think quilting has to be perfectly chosen (is there even such a thing?) or perfectly executed to finish a quilt and make it beautiful (have you seen The Great Stitch Length Debate?). However, if you consider your quilting an element of your quilt, it absolutely does matter. It can be more than just utilitarian (holding those layers together).

When I reached the quilting step on the map quilt project, I paused. This was ironic because usually I'm raring to get to that point. But the quilting I had decided on was making me bored already.

I have two rules when it comes to quilting on my home machine:

1. The quilting should enhance the quilt somehow.
2. The quilting step should be FUN. If it is not FUN in some way, I simply choose another route. Because if it's not fun, I shouldn't be doing it!

What do I mean? Well, have you ever straight-line quilted an entire quilt, edge to edge? I have, and it's not fun. This is not to knock straight line quilting (straight lines can be the perfect addition to your quilt!) but if I'm going to do it, I need to distract myself and/or break it up over a week or two. I love quilting, and it's often my happy place, so it needs to be enjoyable.

Back to the map quilt. My plan was to echo quilt every single shape to make them stand out and then densely quilt the white spaces (roads) with straight lines, back and forth. I want to make the shapes stand out. Then, it hit me. Once I let go of perfection (all those echoes being equi-distant, mostly), it became a game. And it went much faster than I expected, because I was changing thread colors (and enjoying it) plus listening to an awesome audiobook (Britt-Marie Was Here, which I talked about more in today's newsletter). It's coming along.

So, in between book projects, I'm looking forward to quilting this quilt now. I just need to find another audiobook since I finished this one. :)

If you're dreading a step of the quilting process, how do you make it fun? I'd love to know!


  1. I totally agree, quilting has to be fun and I get bored quilting the same thing over and over (walking foot quilting is not my favorite to do though I love the way it looks).

  2. Quilting can certainly enhance a final quilt, and finding a way to enjoy the process makes it so much easier to get through. I recently had a quilt that I had to quilt differently than my vision (I went with boring edge to edge straight lines on my longarm to get it done, haha) but in the end it worked well because I met a deadline and the design stood out more than my original quilting plan probably would have let it. Where to you like to get your audio books from? My husband is really interested in them and we are just starting to try to navigate the audio book purchasing channels.

    1. Does your public library have Overdrive or Hoopla digital services available?

  3. It is often a choice between getting it done and enjoying the process! I love that you found something that can make your heart sing while quilting this quilt. It's looking great!

  4. My most recent favorite Audiobook was Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (which you've probably already read, but the audio is super fun, plus you wouldn't have to pay as close attention haha!)

  5. I really like this post because I don't tend to think in those terms when it comes to the actual quilting process and I really should. I am planning to start quilting a top I recently finished and I will have to think more about how I could make that fun (other than taking chocolate breaks). ;)


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