About Our Quilts|
I have a collection of fabric whose colors and textures speak to me in the
middle of the night. I definitely dream in color! Curves don't frighten me, but hand piecing gives me
the willies. I see quilts in sunsets, in landscapes, in the moment of knowing that
colors breathe on their own and that light flashes across the sky.
My quilts are machine pieced and machine quilted on a Bernina Quilter's Edition 170. I
use mostly cotton fabrics and cotton batting. And whatever else I might have on hand.
My quilting tends to be free-spirited and jubilant, following the design of the quilt, the
texture of the fabric, or the fancy of the quilter. Depending on the design, thread
choices vary from metallic to cotton to rayon to silk. And whatever else I might have on hand.
Handy Guide to Quilting
Because so many people have asked, here are some of my the thiings I've learned over the past 10+ years. Enjoy!
- If the color is wrong, soak it in some tea. Grape juice works, too.
- Remove all straight pins before putting it on the bed.
- Save scraps. When you finally realize that you will never sort them, iron them and use them for
anything, put them in a box and take them to the art teacher at the local elementary school.
S/He'll be delighted to receive them. You might even get invited to teach a quilting class and
introduce a whole new generation to the art form.
- Use colors like orange and olive green. You will be surprised at the depth of color you get as you
add more complex colors to your palette.
- Never, and I mean never, use only the fabrics from a single fabric company's collection.* No matter
how well designed the fabric collection is, your quilt will look flat. Add similar fabrics from
other fabric lines (analogous fabrics) and your quilt will come alive. Yes, this goes for batiks, too.
- Don't measure. Eyeball it and use the rotary cutter.
- Put the cat(s) out.
- Buy fabric in fat quarter cuts. If you like it, buy it. Fabric is seasonal and it won't be there
next time you come to the fabric store.
- If you find a fabric that will make a good border or binding, always buy twice what you need. You'll
use it again for another quilt.
- Fabric travels well. Buying fabric on vacation, especially if you are somewhere interesting like
Senegal, Hawaii, Japan or Bali, is a really good idea. And you can always trade scraps with your
quilting friends back home.
- Don't measure. Use the lines of the floorboards as straight edges and eyeball it.
- Learn to say phrases like "Quilting in the ditch" at appropriate times. People will think you actually
know something about quilting and will talk to you like a quilter. Eventually, you will learn what
you are talking about.
- Don't measure. Use striped fabric for borders.
- Stay up all night if you have to. **
- Use unexpected colors and prints. People will say things like "how creative."
- Quit being so persnickety. No one but you will see the mistakes. Just finish the damn thing.
- Plan the next one before the first one is done. And the one after that.
*||Unless you are deliberately trying to create a
boring quilt. To each his own.|
**||This tip was modified after the infamous
"hand-caught-in-the-sewing-machine-in-the-middle-of-the-night" incident. Only stay up for as long
as you can see straight. And if you absolutely must stay up late, make sure the phone is within reach of the