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Thread: figuring out/deciding what works best --

  1. #1
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    figuring out/deciding what works best --

    i think most "newbies" want to know/learn the "best" method/technique for whatever -

    i also think that there are some things each person has to finally decide for her/himself as to being "the preferred" way.

    some of those are:

    to wash or not wash the washable components before cutting them
    what kind of thread to use
    to use starch/ sizing or not
    binding - how wide, which way to cut it, how to sew it on
    the best way to make half square triangle units
    what kind of sewing machine
    to buy fabric "by the project" or acquire a stash

    and the list goes on.

    the main reason i now do some of things the way i do is because of a lot of trial and error.

    are there things you were told to do when you were just learning that you no longer do?

    if so, what had you been taught that you no longer do - and why have you decided that there is a better way for you?
    Last edited by bearisgray; 01-13-2019 at 08:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Member Darcyshannon's Avatar
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    It really depends on your needs. I will say that starching fabric does seem to help, especially if intricate piecing. However, it does help it lay flat which makes the whole block nicer, even on a simple nine patch.

  3. #3
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    I hate taking extra steps, so I don't make oversized half-square triangles that I need to cut to size. I cut squares in half diagonally and sew them together, the old fashioned way, or I use my easy angle ruler to cut two strips laying face to face.

  4. #4
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    The trial and error rule applies to me. I do what works for me. Since there are no hard fast rules of how to get the end result, I just plow through the process. Keep working it until I find something I'm happy with. I have settled into my own "rules" I pre-wash. I starch. I have a stash because when I'm in a fabric store I cannot ignore all the pretty fabric that calls my name. I also never usually have exactly what I need, so I buy more. For me, less is more. If I muddle the water too much, I get confused or frustrated, so I go back to my basics.

  5. #5
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    Something I did just last week after quilting for many, many years. I saw the post here about all those of y'all that sliced pieces of fingers off with the rotary cutters. I bought a package of 4 of those cut resistant gloves that restaurant workers use.. so for $8.95 I a wearing one on the hand that doesn't hold the blade and I reduced my chances of getting hurt.

    What I used to do that don't do anymore? I used to buy pretty fabric even when I had no plans about what to do with it! Now, I am using what I have and not buying anymore!!

  6. #6
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    I don't worry so much anymore of the "correctness" of everything. I've had years of 'tried that done that' and found my own rhythm to my quilting. I also know that what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another.
    SEW MUCH FUN!

  7. #7
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    When we first start quilting, we take every aspect of it so darned seriously. I was told to relax and enjoy the process. Excellent advice.

    Cutting accurately was the most difficult thing for me to learn to do. Lots of trial and error, some seriously wonky quilts later, I have become proficient, but not superb, at cutting. My quilts are more square, which is nice. I also purchased and accuquilt Studio which has improved my cutting considerably. It was worth every penny!

    People talk about squaring blocks - that is a skill I haven't been able to master. So I very rarely try to these days.

    Was advised against stash, but ignored that advice. I probably shouldn't have, but I have admired fabrics since I was a kid. Now I have an excuse to buy it!
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  8. #8
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    I was taught pin basting. Yuck. Once I discovered 505 spray, bye-bye pin basting!

    I was told (by my intro to quilting teacher) that I had made a "wrong block," meaning one that wasn't in the sampler quilt were we "supposed" to be making. When I replied, "but you said it's our quilt, our choice of blocks," I took that to mean I could make any block, so I did." She seemed miffed that I took her literally.

  9. #9
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    I'm pleased that you stuck to your guns and did what YOU wanted. I think a teacher should endeavor to give her student wings to do her/his thing, not control them, but gently guide and suggest to they can "own" their processes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by zozee View Post
    I was taught pin basting. Yuck. Once I discovered 505 spray, bye-bye pin basting!

    I was told (by my intro to quilting teacher) that I had made a "wrong block," meaning one that wasn't in the sampler quilt were we "supposed" to be making. When I replied, "but you said it's our quilt, our choice of blocks," I took that to mean I could make any block, so I did." She seemed miffed that I took her literally.
    I work in a quilt shop and whenever a quilter asks my opinion, I answer honestly, but also remind them that it is their quilt and to do what they want. Sometimes they go with my suggestions, other times not. They may have a preference for a personal reason (favorite color, design, etc.) and I respect that.

  11. #11
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    I've stopped building a stash with whatever hits me at a moment. I've wound up with two many items that won't play with each other and have just donated a huge amount to charity. (I don't even want to think about the dollar amount.) Now I only buy by the project. It's more economical for me, but I still overbuy.
    Last edited by eimay; 01-15-2019 at 11:52 AM. Reason: grammatical error

  12. #12
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    Eimay, I love it when I ask for suggestions from staff at LQS'S and they give them! Lots of times I may walk right by a line of fabric that would be perfect in my quilt, but I may not even notice it without it being pointed out.
    I think the best thing I have learned through the years is to have an open mind and listen to others. it's amazing what you can learn if you are open to trying something new.

  13. #13
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    I was just having a similar conversation with a longtime friend about how differently I quilt now than I did years ago. I feel a large part of that is due the support and encourage I have found on this board.

    Years ago, I was fortunate enough to belong to a quilt group of extremely talented, but very particular, ladies who made show quality quilts. I also had the opportunity to take classes from several well known quilters. I am thankful for many of the skills and techniques I learned during that time. However, I was also heavily influenced about the "right" way to quilt, and feel that it limited me as a quilter. I ended up taking several years off from quilting, and only started up again about a year ago.

    I realize now I have no interest in making show-quality quilts--I want to make quilts that will be used, misused, abused, and, above all else, loved. Quilts with coordinating fabrics are beautiful, but I would rather throw any fabric I have into the scrappy quilts I now realize I truly love to make, no matter where I got the fabric. I have no problem using thrifted sheets as a backings. I refuse to spend hours with a seam ripper taking apart a seam that is the tiniest bit off to make it perfect, when I could instead make 3 more blocks. My fmq has gone from awful to mediocre. With more practice, it may even reach the "not bad" stage one day. I'm working my way through my stash and my UFOs, even if it means giving them away or throwing them out, and I feel a weight being lifted.

    I am not only a more productive quilter, but I enjoy it so much more than I did before, which in turn makes me happier overall.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJBlaine View Post
    I was just having a similar conversation with a longtime friend about how differently I quilt now than I did years ago. I feel a large part of that is due the support and encourage I have found on this board.

    Years ago, I was fortunate enough to belong to a quilt group of extremely talented, but very particular, ladies who made show quality quilts. I also had the opportunity to take classes from several well known quilters. I am thankful for many of the skills and techniques I learned during that time. However, I was also heavily influenced about the "right" way to quilt, and feel that it limited me as a quilter. I ended up taking several years off from quilting, and only started up again about a year ago.

    I realize now I have no interest in making show-quality quilts--I want to make quilts that will be used, misused, abused, and, above all else, loved. Quilts with coordinating fabrics are beautiful, but I would rather throw any fabric I have into the scrappy quilts I now realize I truly love to make, no matter where I got the fabric. I have no problem using thrifted sheets as a backings. I refuse to spend hours with a seam ripper taking apart a seam that is the tiniest bit off to make it perfect, when I could instead make 3 more blocks. My fmq has gone from awful to mediocre. With more practice, it may even reach the "not bad" stage one day. I'm working my way through my stash and my UFOs, even if it means giving them away or throwing them out, and I feel a weight being lifted.

    I am not only a more productive quilter, but I enjoy it so much more than I did before, which in turn makes me happier overall.
    Exactly. Love your way.
    Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind see.
    mark Twain

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