Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Change Of Pace


If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that my week has been more about snip, snipping than it has been about stitch, stitching... which is highly unusual for me. When I work on a quilt, I usually cut a few blocks at a time, and then throw them under the machine, because if I'm being perfectly honest, then I might be a little impatient in that way. 


I suppose there are two main reasons for this: firstly, I need a constant change of pace - I don't think I've cut a whole quilt before I started sewing it... ever! Perhaps it's because I just can't wait to get to the best part - sewing! I know, I know, it can really be a time saver to cut everything ahead, but it feels like pure torture to me to not just sit down and get started when the inspiration hits.



Secondly, I like to make things up as I go... it's just that sometimes I just don't know where I'm going with a quilt until I start. Once the first blocks are done, then they give me hints on how I should address the next ones. It somehow give me a freedom to go a different direction than previously planned if needed.
 

I get teased sometimes that I usually don't know how big a quilt top will be until I've actually finished it. (which is why I often end up with much bigger quilts than I'd planned) But there is something to be said about letting the quilt tell you how big it wants to be rather then me putting too many limits on it.


So now that it's not even two weeks until our fall retreat, I've decided to pull my Penny Sampler back out to have something to work on... I have to say that these are pretty labor intensive, one-thousand-bits-in-one-block blocks. But just to mix things up a bit for a change, it will actually be nice to just sit down and sew.


Do cut everything before you start sewing or do you let your quilts tell you how big they want to be?

11 comments:

  1. I've never cut everything before starting a quilt, but I don't think I've ever followed a pattern so I guess I'm an improv quilter. Nothing ever goes as planned but everything is a learning experience:)

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  2. I always make several blocks early in the process because I don't want to cut a lot of pieces for a quilt that I will not enjoy making. Like you, I don't know how big the quilt will be until I have most of the top completed.

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  3. This is looking so cool! It depends on the project for me -- if I know I am going to follow a pattern to a T, I usually cut everything. For more scrappy quilts, I usually just cut as I go.

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  4. I do cut all my fabric first, however I write novels much like you begin a quilt, and for the very same reason; you never know how the quilt will develop until you start sewing it together. ;)

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  5. Depends on my project. If I'm working on a project that is supposed to be a specific size, I will cut all. If I am working from a "let the quilt tell me", I will cut some blocks and then make decisions.

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  6. I rarely cut everything out at once. If I've never made the block before, I definitely only cut one or two to test them. And if I'm following a pattern, it usually gets modified to fit the fabric I already have, so there's some trial and error there.

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  7. Ah, well it depends. I just as often study patterns or blocks and cut en masse - though certainly not all of the fabric for one quilt - as much as I just make it up on the spot. Not much chain piecing for me as I am also running around cuting the next pieces =)

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  8. I can't cut all the pieces in advance. I have to start sewing at some point and then I decide whether the colors and the color combination really pleases me. But I usually decide about the size in advance because I make my quilts for a special person or place :-)

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  9. I am in the "cut all at once" category. Mostly in one cutting session. But when I don't know how much I need extra, eg. for a beequilt, than not in more than two or three sessions - for the quilt top - borders, backing and binding will be cut later on. Uuhhh, and I might cut the color parts but forget to cut the background fabric :)

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  10. I never cut everything ahead! First I make one block, and if all goes well, I prep for two to four at a time. Like you, I might want to change something along the way!

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  11. This is going to be beautiful, Allison, and I love your color scheme!!
    It really just depends on the quilt, if I cut all at once or not. (but I usually know the size I'm aiming for when I start whether or not I cut my fabric all at once or not)

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