July 10, 2014

Deep Thoughts and A Quilty Fun Finish

I do have a finish to share, but since it's been a while since my last post, I thought I'd also share some "deep thoughts" I've had in the last month of two.

I have learned a lot about myself since I have started quilting.   As with all things in life, sometimes you want to do everything yourself. Sometimes you want people to do things for you. And sometimes, you just want to get things DONE.  Mainly, though, since I just turned 40, I find myself just wanting to have FUN ~ I want to enjoy my family, my work and I definitely want to enjoy my hobby.  So, why did that big pile of quilt tops in my sewing room cause so much anxiety??

As I stared at the {gulp} six finished quilt tops sitting in my sewing room, I keep hearing the new shiny fabric calling to me "sew me, sew me!"  My practical and thrifty side kept saying "You cannot start a new project until you quilt these tops!" 

I started to ask myself "What if I like the piecing, more than the quilting?" "Is that OK?" "Why can't I finish these projects" "Am I still a legitimate quilter if I just send these all out to be quilted??"

I am very blessed to be in a monthly quilting bee with some fantastic ladies who have taught me a lot about quilting. One of them is a very well known quilter who basically told me just to "get over myself" and that "quilting by check" is just as acceptable as doing it yourself.  Where is it written that all quilts have to be done by one person? Life is TOO SHORT to waste time or energy not doing what you love.  If you love piecing, piece.  If you love quilting, quilt. Figure out what part of this hobby you love, and do it. Don't waste any space stressing out about it!

The truth is, I do like quilting, but anything bigger than a baby quilt on my domestic machine tends to unnerve me. When I really want to quilt something larger, and do it all by myself, I usually rent time on a longarm at one of my local quilt shops.  But I can only do one per day usually and it's a whole day away from the family (usually on a precious weekend) and I usually have to schedule it months out, so it's just not all that practical.

Soooo, long story short, I bit the bullet and sent THREE quilt tops out to be professionally quilted.  I rented time for next month for the long arm and will quilt 2 at home. It's time just to get these puppies DONE. 

One quilt is being done by a friend who is a phenomenal long arm artist - and I mean artist! It is my Red and White Double Wedding Ring and I felt like that quilt really needed something special.  It will be my first show quilt and I was literally having anxiety attacks about quilting that thing.  My husband asked, "why are you stressing out so much about something you love doing? Just send the damn thing out!" (He's the voice of reason in this story, ha!)  The other two were done by a friend who does computerized pantograph design - quick and easy, and fairly affordable! In fact, she got it back to me in 2 days - double bonus!

So, here's the first of the two that I had quilted this week.  This is a gift for the wonderful teacher that got both of my boys through Pre-K ~ a true saint! 

Quilty Fun Sampler
 52" x 52"
Pattern: Quilty Fun Sampler Quilt Along by Fat Quarter Shop
Adapted from Quilty Fun by Lori Holt
Fabrics: 1930's Reproductions
Thread: Aurifil 50wt for piecing
Quilting: Clamshell Pantograph by Happy Me Quilting

Special props to the hubby for indulging me today in 99 degree temps to snap a few pictures before this gets gifted.

I feel much better for getting all of this quilty stress off my chest :) Have a wonderful day - hope you are sewing something fabulous!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict to share my finish!
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  1. I totally agree with your logic! The quilt is absolutely gorgeous too.

  2. Wow! Stacey. That is a fabulous gift for your children's teacer. I'm sure she will treasure it.instruggle with the quikting too! So hard to find the time to quilt. No guilt if you send it out, cause then it is done! Mary

  3. Life is too short. Funny how a milestone birthday makes us rethink what is truly important. Luv what your friend said that kwilting by check is still kwilting.

  4. It's true that life is too short to spend time doing the parts you really don't like! Funny how a milestone birthday can make us think deep thoughts. I found myself wondering why I wasn't making the kind of quilts that I most enjoy looking at! Something I've tried to change about my quilting habits for sure.:) Great looking finish!

  5. Fantastic quilt (I love Lori's patterns)!! And good for you for biting the bullet and being honest with yourself! I have the same quandaries myself! I have 3 or more quilts tops sitting around, waiting for me to get brave enough to quilt them!! I should send them out, but the cheap side of me says that if I quilt it myself, that's more money for fabric!! :-) Show us the other ones when they are finished: we'd love to see them!! Have a great weekend! Hugs, H in Healdsburg

  6. I do both. Sometimes I like the quilting and sometimes it is nice to send them off to be finished especially the bigs one. Great job for realizing it and getting it done. You will have some great finishes coming up!

  7. Great post. I came to this conclusion just about 2 yrs. ago. I tried to do it all and realized I like piecing and trying new techniques and wanted the quilts finished, so I pay to have them quilted. This quilt is lovely and that teacher will be so appreciative. (As a retired kindergarten teacher, I know it means so much when a parent or child just writes a note and says thank you for making this year good for my child.)

  8. I'm like you, I much prefer the piecing over the quilting. My budget doesn't allow for longarm services right now, but when it does, I will be a faithful customer!

  9. Beautiful finish! I don't have a long arm quilter...so mine are done on my machine. Luckily the quilting I like is semi easy with my machine!

  10. visiting from crazy mum quilts. That is a lot of piecing to make that! well done on the finish

  11. I totally like piecing, cutting and binding, more than quilting (and basting! Hate it!) I am not that experienced in quilting on my home machine, but the few larger quilts I've done weren't fun and then they didn't look that great. I hope to continue practicing on smaller quilts, and as I get better maybe I will like it more. In the meantime, I send most of my quilts to the long-arm quilter.

  12. I have been quilting for 20 years now and have lots of UFOs including my first quilt. I get intimidated using the long arm machine my mom has, but I make myself do it because I feel guilty when my mom quilts for me. I can totally understand your quandary and I am glad you are doing what is best for you!

  13. A double finish: the quilt and a finish on the decision front. The latter are often the hardest to make. Congrats, a beautiful quilt!


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