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Thread: I don't get it. How do they do this?

  1. #1
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    I don't get it. How do they do this?

    Okay, I've been quilting for almost 40 years. It's been a passion since I retired 9 years ago and I do something related to quilting almost every day. There was the 4 month layoff while my arm was broken last winter, and I can't do much when we have company. But that doesn't happen that often. But, I try to get on QB for a little bit everyday and I read on here that some people are making 50 quilts a year. How do they do that??? I mean, I'm not that much of a perfectionist but 50 quilts a year??? There's no way I could do that.

    Are they just talking about making tops? I've done a few tops in a week but not that many. I mean, really..... I'm lucky to get 12 done a year. Actually, I don't think I've done 12 in a year unless you're talking about baby quilts.

    Right now I have one quilt on my quilting frame..... hope to finish it in the fall. I'm working on a cathedral window quilt that I've been working on for over a year (Those do take awhile.... especially since it's a queen sized.) I brought 5 UFOs with me to the cabin this summer to try and finish but I'll feel really good if I accomplish that.... 3 months before I go back downstate. It will take me a week to just do the quilting on the first one..... I said I'd join in on the UFO group trying to finish 1 quilt a month. I sure haven't met that level yet.

    So, How do they do this?

  2. #2
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    I have also wondered that - - - -

  3. #3
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    Maybe they're in a guild. I suppose if you get that many women together, then you can accomplish a lot more. I'm happy if I finish one a season! I'm a mom, married, have other hobbies and work full time. There's no way I'd be able to finish even 12 baby quilts a year. When I don't know what to make and don't have anyone in particular in mind, I make crib size quilts and donate them to the NICU next to my unit in the hospital. I give one to a nurse that's being nice to me and then she holds onto it until she meets a newborn or family she feels deserves it.
    Go forth and sew!

  4. #4
    Super Member WTxRed's Avatar
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    I haven't made 50 a year but I have made 20+, 5 of those were queen or larger, in 2012.
    I either LAQ mine or have them LAQ'ed.
    If I'm working on a labor intensive top, I may take a day or 2 and make something quick to break that thought process. All of my quilts have homes before I start them, and my list always has 3-7 on it, and I would say the majority of mine are used on a regular basis if not daily.

    Goes without saying, there is a huge time difference in having a LAQ. I have however, spent 52 hours quilting on one and 46-48 hours on another on the LAQ. Can't even imagine how many months that would've taken by hand.

  5. #5
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    They either have absolutely nothing else to do or have some others do everything else (i.e.) chauffeur, cook, housekeeper, wet nurse, personal vet, yard man, mechanic, errand runner.

  6. #6
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    Unless I have a deadline...what's the rush? Quilting is my fun, creative, LEISURE activity. I also can't afford to do 50 quilts a year.

  7. #7
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    I will confess that I make at least 200 Linus quilts a year but they are simple child friendly prints backed with flannel and made envelope or pillowcase style. I do very little piecing and they are simply machine quilted and do not have separate bindings. I also make a number of them by just crocheting a decorative edge on fleece. I like to work with cheaters cloth when I do a lot of hand quilting. Last year I purchased preprinted fabric that looked like piecing, added a border to made it bed size and then hand quilted it. I think I made four of them in a couple of months. While I am very fast at hand quilting I do not like to piece and confess that it is not my strong suit.

  8. #8
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I know several charity quilters that produce at least 50 a year. One in particular uses a simple pattern and precuts several quilts at once and then sews them up. She does simple, machine quilting and machine binding. She literally can do a quilt a day.

  9. #9
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I could no way do 50 quilts a year, nor afford to. Quilting is my fun afraid trying to do that many that fast could make me very nuts!!!!

  10. #10
    Super Member QuiltingNinaSue's Avatar
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    I have done six tops in about five weeks; queen sized...for gifts in the family...and three quilt tops in four weeks. Quickest one was for gs in about two hours...one piece quilted by machine by neighbor on her long arm...for him to just have to carry around. I try to have a quilt for him every time he gets to Grandma's house, which is never often enough for me. LOL!!

    Then again, I have taken five to ten years to finish other quilts to satisfy what I 'seen' my way to be happy with the quilt...finding the right fabric for the stash that I have. Always have at least twenty to thirty quilts in various stages from ideas to starting stage.

    I am excited now, because I finally have my quilt room set up with new sewing tables and two new sewing machines or will have next Wednesday. May be even get Grandma's treadle out of my closet.

  11. #11
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    50 a year? No way. I might get a whole bunch of tops made, but getting them quilted and bound is a whole other thing

  12. #12
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    when i was a member of my guild but working full time, i did manage to make 1 full-sized quilt per month and sometimes some other small projects. when i retired, though, i decided i just wanted to take my time and enjoy the process and the rest of life
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak T.H.I.N.K.
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?

    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

  13. #13
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    Oh thank goodness, it isn't just me! I was beginning to think I was a real slug when it came to finished quilts. I can piece a quilt quickly but then it takes a while for me to decide on how to quilt it, and then the binding takes several more days. I like to enjoy the process and don't want it to become work. I usually have 5-6 projects I'm actively working on with many more in progress but on the back burner.

  14. #14
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I count how many quilts I have made, but only because an experienced quilter told me to do that, as she wished she had done that. She suggested I write on my calendar a running count, which I have done. I enjoy knowing how many quilts I have made, but I never thought of it as a race or contest to see how many I could get done. What fun would that be? I have only been quilting for about 3 years, and every bit of it has been fun! I wouldn't want to change that. (I am in the process of finishing my 60th quilt. Just plain fun. I have learned so much and love it all!!)

    Dina

    Dina

  15. #15
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    The only way I can see to make so many is to almost make it assembly line style and make several of the same pattern.

    While that may be fun for some, I don't care to do that. I've never made the same pattern twice. To me it's like reading a book. Once I've done it, I want to do a different one.

    Of course, all those speedy folks are what is keeping the charities alive. We need them because if the charities waited for my pokey self, there would be a LOT of cold people in the world.

  16. #16
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    Who does their cooking, cleaning, bed making, laundry, grocery shopping, weeding etc. etc. etc?????

  17. #17
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    I had committed to doing 4 quilts for our guild's charity committee, so I purchased a focus fabric with lots of colors and matching solids. Then I did a little math and cut 9-1/2" blocks, and rectangles and squares that when sewn together would equal 9-1/2". So I had 2-rail blocks, 4-rail blocks, 4-patch blocks, and blocks that had 1 rectangle and 2 squares. Then I started sewing blocks into rows, and rows into quilts. I put a pieced border on each quilt, and got all the sewing done in one day. The next day, I spray basted the quilts and used a large stipple to quilt them. Over the next week, I got the binding sewn on and machine stitched them. So, within a week, I had fulfilled my promise. And honestly, I will NEVER do that again. And I didn't have to do them in a weekend, but I knew that if I didn't get them done right away, they would get pushed aside or would never even get started. And if I ever make that kind of promise again, I will just cut 9-1/2" squares and forget about the subcutting.

  18. #18
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    I am not in a competition when it comes to quilting. Sometimes it takes forever and a day to finish. If someone has the time and the resources to finish that many, then more power to them. A lot depends on the size, pattern, and type of quilting used.

    Last weekend I made 2 child-size tops with simple 4-patch and alternating patches. Those tops went together quickly BUT they are hanging on the banister waiting to be sandwiched, quilted, and bound and THAT is going to take a bit longer.

  19. #19
    Super Member quilt addict's Avatar
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    I don't know how but appreciate those that will and can. I am lucky if I get a handfull of charity quilts done and need to work on processing tops into quilts. But do what you enjoy. I couldn't afford that much fabric.
    Lisa

  20. #20
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    I made 50 in a year, actually 4 months. i'd pc the quilt at home at night and hand quilt it at work the net day,
    I was a casket embroider and would put the design on the machine and go quit. the machine did all the work. these quilts were 58" x 70", donated to a hospital for kids

  21. #21
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    I'm lucky to get one done in a year. But I have 3 kids that are homeschooled too so that takes up time every day. Not so much that I can't quilt though. I should be making more than I do.

  22. #22
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    I am NOT in a competition either: but I can still do AT LEAST one quilt a week and some weeks even more than that. I piece by machine, LA, add the label (again by machine) and add and stitch the binding by machine. And I also do small quilts for a pup lifeline organization here, giving them at least 25 quilts a couple of times a year. I do NOT do fancy very often; if I do, and you ordered it, you will pay for it. My quilts are made to be loved and used, and I don't have a lot of heartbreak when I see the kids using them for outdoor tents, etc. I also do customer quilts in the middle of all of this...
    So it's possible to do at least 50 quilts in a year, if you're not doing the one-of-a-kind ones but rather just trying to help the world a bit. And no, I don't have household help...I live by myself and can do whatever I please. Maybe that enters into my productivity in that it pleases me to quilt!
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  23. #23
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    If I lived alone, I bet I could do a lot more. Only thing is, I'd have to work to support myself. lol. Cleaning up after 5 people, 3 of whom don't do a lot to help, takes time. That will be changing when we move into our new house.

  24. #24
    Senior Member kaelynangelfoot's Avatar
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    I work full time and keep up the house so I don't have a lot of time for quilting. This used to bother me that it seemed to take so long to produce anything. I eventually determined that my quilts are both art and a learning experience and I should just sit back and enjoy the ride. Feeling pressured to get a lot of quilts done in a short amount of time makes quilting stressful and lots of work instead of being fun to put together. Thus, I've removed myself from the Speed Quilting trend as much as possible. Kudos to all those who can work that fast, they have mad skills I don't. It just doesn't work for me.

  25. #25
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I'm not a speed quilter either. Plus I've had my quilting time severely disrupted several times over the last 5 years by several moves.

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