I have quilting and sewing on the brain, plus a great question from a friend in the comments last week. So, I put some of my thoughts together for a 5 Favorites post, and I’m linking up with Jenna!
*this post does contain affiliate links. I love what I promote and hope you will, too. If you click through and buy, I earn a small commission which helps me keep blogging! Thanks!*
Last week, Amanda asked about my favorite place to buy fabric.
I have a confession to make: so far my favorite places are either the thrift store, or (affiliate link>) Craftsy! When I go to the thrift store, I always check their fabric and linens section. Even great patterned sheets work! When I was sewing the quilt-as-you-go quilt last year, I wasn’t sure what to back it with, until I found a great rainbow-striped sheet. That was a perfect backing, so bright, cheery, and BIG ENOUGH. I have no shame in reusing fabrics. In fact, many of the fabrics in the quilt I made for Firecracker were thrifted.
Craftsy is awesome for fabric, because they sometimes run sales and you can find a sweet deal on gorgeous prints, or gorgeous backing, or gorgeous quilt kits. The quilt I’m working on right now is a kit from Craftsy, and the backings I’ve bought recently are from there. I mean, don’t you just loooove this ombre fabric? Big enough for a backing?! It doesn’t get any better than that.
Another place I like to find fabrics is ConnectingThreads.com.
Take classes. Going to plug Craftsy again. There are so many classes to choose from, stop and start at your own pace, and learn to quilt or sew any number of things from all kinds of levels. Now that I’ve finished my quilt top (!!!!!!!!!!!), I am going to dive into a few quilting classes, like Small Machine, Big Quilts, Better Results and Start Free-Motion Quilting, with Elizabeth Dackson.
I am so excited to see what kinds of tips I’ll learn, to help my quilt look great and to make the process easier. Let’s face it…It’s *not* that easy to wrangle a quilt that is larger than crib-size on a small machine. I don’t have a long-arm quilting machine, nor do I plan to fork out the cash for that kind of machine in the near future (maybe ever).
I feel like I finished this quilt top in record time…only I didn’t. It’s been 4 months since I started cutting squares until yesterday morning when I sewed the final row to the quilt. However, I did find that finishing happened much quicker when I gave myself time to sew for small chunk of time, instead of waiting for a an hour or two on a Sunday afternoon. I spent a few months waiting on those long hours to sew uninterrupted…and it didn’t happen. (gee, I wonder why.)
Once I started sewing in 5-15 minute spurts, I was able to accomplish more in less time. So amazing. If you do a project like this, just give yourself a little time here and there, a few times a week, and you’ll be amazed with the progress you can make.
Start with something simple but beautiful, that you will love. Don’t go crazy trying a pieced quilt with intricate designs and lots of triangles and things that need to be precise. That will probably drive you crazy and discourage you…unless of course, you’re really into detail and precision and don’t mind being really, really, really careful with how carefully you cut and sew your seams. I am not a precise person. Simple but awesome is my thing.
Remember that no one will be eyeing your quilt with a magnifying glass and ruler to check on how perfect it is! (Most of us aren’t quilting for craft fairs or state fairs and judging!) Quilts are going to look great and most importantly, be fabulous to gift to others or keep for your own family to snuggle under. <<That is what is all about for me. My quilts are made with love, meant to be well-loved.