31 March, 2009

"Let's Talk" Tuesday...

One of the best things about making a quilt is each one of the various steps involved; from planning the project to gathering the fabrics, cutting it out, piecing and/or applique, basting, quilting and finally (at long last) binding your masterpiece. I read an article this past week where the author stated that starting a new project was her favorite part. That got me to thinking and provided this week's topic:

Which is your favorite part of the quilt making process, and why?

I really enjoy every step along the way, I think the very fact that there's always something new to do keeps the process fresh and interesting through to that very last stitch. Quilting the quilt is my favorite step. I just love witnessing the transformation from a flat surface to a quilted one. Whether it is giving definition to the straight lines of patchwork through quilting in the ditch or adding swirls and feathers with a contrasting thread for a new and exciting visual element, it's the quilting that makes my heart skip a beat. I find myself dreaming and planning my next project while I'm creating hills and valleys, light and shadows, on the quilt's surface. Without a doubt, it's the quilting that is my favorite part of the process. Before I had my longarm machine I never had quilts stack up at the binding stage, but now I do. Apparently I need to force myself to move beyond my favorite part and celebrate a few completions, too!


Life is Good!
...and sew, let's talk...

21 comments:

Teresa said...

I, too, enjoy all phases of quilting, but I think my favorite is cutting out the pieces and organizing them into neat little stacks of different sizes of fabrics. At one time the quilting part was not all that fun for me, but that was because I was always in a hurry at that point to get it done so I could start the next project. I guess its age or the stack of completed quilts I have made, but I have learned to slow down and enjoy the journey, rather than rushing to the end and missing all the scenery along the way.

*karendianne. said...

I had a talk with myself about this recently. I wanted to be sure I was finding the joy in every step of the process because I need to allow the flexibility in. That Said! I do know I really enjoy the "block party" stage. I like it when I get going at an even clip and start churning and burning. Just making the blocks. I love a block party! And I recently learned I love my bags of UFO's for they hold a state of goodness I never knew they had.

Janet said...

Another great topic ! I'll have to come back and read more comments later.


This is something I really hadn't thought about but there are definitely more good parts than bad! First - I enjoy browsing all the wonderful websites and blogs for ideas. What a wealth of information is out there! Second - Shopping. Enough said. But as much as I enjoy shopping, sometimes it is so overwhelming to choose from all the beautiful fabrics and put them all together. Third - once my choices have been made, cutting and piecing. The machine quilting is one thing that I'm still finding a challenge. So Fourth - getting the quilt back from the LAQ and binding it and watching it transform from a project to a real quilt. Fifth - that could be either giving it to whomever as a gift or laying it across the bed and running my hand across it, smoothing and admiring my work. Now there hasn't been much of that last one, so I really need to make myself something!

LauraQuilts said...

My favorite part of the process has to be picking out the colors! What HUGE fun to find a fabric that speaks volumes to me and then to pick out its "enhancers". When I can find what I need in my stash, so much the better.

Nane said...

I hate to machine stitch on binding but love the hand stitching finale.

paula, the quilter said...

Hands down, my favorite part is designing a quilt. I sometimes use EQ, sometimes CorelDraw, sometimes by the tried and true pencil & paper, or a combination of these. I love to design a pieced block or an applique block, the overall look of the quilt and even the quilting itself. Design, that is my mostest fav. That said, the rest of the process is enjoyable, because I have been know the change that design once the fabric comes out I realization hits that what works on paper sometimes does not work in fabric.

Domestic Designer said...

My favorite part is probably picking out the fabric. I definitely am addicted to fabric. Because I make a lot of my own clothes sometimes it is hard for me to stick to quilts and not start dreaming about my wardrobe!:-) I also love the feeling I get when I take the last stitch on the binding, because I know I can start dreaming about the next project!

di said...

I like what karendianne said about the "block party" - that is my favorite part too. The whole process if joyful, but making the blocks and seeing how the fabrics work together make me "ooh and ahh". This also may exlain a couple of "bags 'o blocks" that haven't quite made it to a whole quilt.....yet......

Karen Newman Fridy said...

I think for me the front end part is the most fun...coming up with an idea, doing whatever is needed to get it started - dyeing, gathering supplies...stash hunting...shopping! Once I get started the best ones seem to make themselves and when I'm done it's almost like 'that's neat...where did that come from?'

And for traditional quilts, I'm one of those who actually loves doing binding! I still struggle with thinking up what quilting motif would be best. Thank goodness for LAQers!

quiltkeemosabe said...

I definitely love picking out the fabrics and colors. Sometimes at work at the LQS,I will do what I call "playing" and just put a group of fabrics together that work well together--no pattern or design in mind, but oh, the possibilities!!!
I don't hate any of the other steps, but I do get bogged down in them. Once in a great while, maybe when the wind is just right and the moon is in the right phase, I can see the entire process clearly and I can plainly see how I have to do step one and then step two, etc and they all just seem to flow from one to the next. Those are the quilts that just seem to put themselves together with no problems. Wish I could get to that wonderful state more often.......

Bonnie said...

I'm a piecing fool. I love being "in the zen" with the books on MP3 or music in my ears..just sitting at the machine, feeding the pieces through. And as much as I hate ironing clothes, There is something about pressing quilt seams after joining the patches and seeing how they all come together in their finished size that just gets to me....

I really do love it all...but the piecing is my fave part.

Bonnie

Trudi said...

I love all the staes, and like a lot of others, its the choosing of fabrics, particularly satisfying when it all comes from the stash. Then when it flows togethr like a dream. I used to falter at the quilting, until I got a table top frame setup, now I am even more prolific than I ever was pre-frame. LAQs are not so common here, now I love seeing what I can achieve, and if it means I have to stare at a top for a while to work out whats best, then all the more time to make some more! lol

Loris said...

Having been sucked in yet again by emails from Hancock's of Paducah...new fabric collections are sometimes just to hard to pass by..I love buying fabric! I'm trying really hard not to since I have more than I can sew up in a lifetime but it sure is fun.
I also know though that sitting at the sewing machine, piecing..is really needed to keep me content.

Quilt Hollow said...

I love every bit of the quilting process from cutting the fabrics to the last of the binding. When I worked in the quilt shop I'd love to unwrap new bolts as though stroking a new pet! Then cutting it all and putting it back together in some sort of magical way it turns into a gorgeous quilt top. Then the quilting....much more fun now with Gam in the house. Then it is always gratifying to stitch down binding in front of the tv in the evenings...

quiltteacher said...

My favorite phase starts with the planning of blocks or pattern, followed by the process of picking just the right color value & its intensity. It's like training your brain to "see" the completed project in your "minds eye" before its finished. The excitment of seeing if the plan turns out as imagined is another part that is rewarding.

Salem Stitcher said...

I love every bit of it except the basting part. That is the pain in the back...literally. I will get "cravings" every now and then to cut up fabric. I can't rest until I cut something out.

quiltmom said...

HI Mrs. Goodneedle,
I like most parts but my favorite part is choosing the design and playing in the fabrics to fit the pattern that I have chosen. Sometimes I play too long and don't get down to the work part LOL.
I am not keen on the quilting part-I am not very brave about doing quilting designs so I tend to meander or quilt in the ditch. Maybe some day I will want to explore that part of the process but for now I am content playing in the fabric. The other part I really enjoy is seeing how the design comes together and whether it comes the way that I had anticipated... Quilting feeds the creative spirit in many different ways - it sure is different from person to person..
Regards,
Anna

The Calico Cat said...

I absolutely adore the pulling fabric part!

(I also like the tadah! moment when it is done done!)

sewinggeek said...

I really like the anticipation of cutting out the material. Somehow (for a wierd reason?)this is the most exciting part for me. Mindless sewing is good at times and I love sewing on binding. the binding thing is because I can hand sew with a rythym. I also like hand quilting but my hands can get really sore doing that. Now I will read everyone elses answer to see what they say

Carrie P. said...

I like the process of seeing what I can do to make a patten "mine" I have a tendency to change things up a little bit.
One think I don't like about making a quilt is putting the back together. I know it is simple but it is boring to me. UGH!

Nan said...

I truly think my favorite part of quilting is in the choosing of the fabric and pattern. I then love ironing my fabrics and cutting them into whatever shapes I need for the project. It feels good to see the different piles of pieces sitting on my work table. I feel a real sense of accomplishment having done that.
It's always exciting to see those different piles of fabric pieces take shape as a lovely quilt top.
Having said that, I do try to slow down and enjoy each and every step of the creative process. It's not always easy, but at least I try.