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Thread: Ok To Just Create the Tops?

  1. #1
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    Ok To Just Create the Tops?

    Is it ok to just make quilt tops? I really love the creative process: developing the design, chosing the fabrics, cutting and stitching, etc. Not so much the ripping and resewing. I love to learn new methods and techniques. I just don't care for making the quilt sandwich and basting. That part doesn't come easy to me. I even tried the Sharon Schamber method which wasn't any better. My DH got the boards for me and luckily he could return them. I have tried pinning things to no avail. I have pretty much decided that for right now I am hopeless. I know I can learn, but I am self- taught. How can I teach myself something I just haven't been able to master even poorly?

    I do make strip quilts for babies using Jenny's QAYG method on the Missouri Quilt Star Company website. I have attempted other QAYG methods and found them tedious.

    Right now I am excited about the quilt tops and I need something to do to keep my mind off the fact that my DH's cancer is getting worse and it looks like he will have to go back into treatment very soon which breaks my heart. I just feel that I will not be finishing what I start and I already have a few larger quilt tops that are not done. I can't afford to have someone else finish them.


    I guess I will just have to give myself permission to enjoy the quilt tops and not worry about completing them now. I will be using my very small stash plus a few extra fabrics I find on sale.


    My DH doesn't see a problem here and encourages me to do whatever I enjoy.
    Thanks for listening. I think I expect too much of myself. Still I can't gift unfinished quilts.

  2. #2
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    It is okay to do whatever you enjoy.

    You can quilt by check or just have a big top collection. Or, if you have a guild you can donate the tops for charity and someone else can do the quilting part.

    Hope you DH gets better.

  3. #3
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    Nothing wrong with just enjoying the tops. you can always send them out to be finished or donate as is if you want.

  4. #4
    Super Member Pinkiris's Avatar
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    It is absolutely fine to do whatever part of this pasttime that you enjoy. Don't beat yourself up over what you can't do right now. Maybe in time you will find a quilting friend who will help you to conquer the parts of quilting that you can't do on your own.

    Hope that your husband is feeling better and recovers from his illness.
    Sue

  5. #5
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Sew whatever you want whenever you can. It sounds like you need the distraction. At some point you can find a charity to donate unfinished top to or find someone to help you learn to baste or quilt by credit card. Many famous quilters seldom actually quilt the tops themself.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Scraplady's Avatar
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    Have you considered making coverlets, rather than quilts, with your finished tops? Just add a backing and either tie or quilt. Less hassle than quilting with batting. You could even birth the quilts quite easily that way, and then they would be finished and useable. Whatever you do with them, it sounds like making the tops is therapy for you, and so the time and $$$ spent is beyond value in the long run.
    www.makeminepatchwork.etsy.com
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    "Piecin' a quilt's like livin' a life...The Lord sends us the pieces, but we can cut 'em out and put 'em together pretty much to suit ourselves, and there's a heap more in the cuttin' and the sewin' than there is in the caliker...I've had a heap of comfort all my life making quilts, and now in my old age I wouldn't take a fortune for them." (Eliza Calvert Hall, Aunt Jane of Kentucky)

  7. #7
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    I really like using Hobbs 80/20 fusible quilt batt. You do need a large surface to dry iron your sandwich together but it is my batt of choice. I have tried the 505 basting spray and I like it also but not as much as my Hobbs fusible.

  8. #8
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    What do you mean quilt by credit card???

  9. #9
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    There are many quilting charities who would love to have your tops. Maybe as you make them, you can put them into your collection, and then every so often go through the collection and select one or two to pass on to a charity. For me, time changes my perspective, and I can "let go" after I have "loved on" some of my work for awhile.

  10. #10
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    Of course it's okay! You're a "topper" - someone who just likes making the tops and there's not a thing wrong with that. Some people really only like doing the quilting, some people really like doing the binding...seems to me you need to do a little networking with a local guild and find people with complementary skills and then all your tops will find homes. Or just stockpile them...some day when you're less stressed/distracted you might discover a technique that works for you and then you'll have a lot of tops to practice on.

    I'm kind of the same way...the top is the part I like. I can do the rest, but the rest feels like a chore (and I'm not as good at it) whereas making the top is a joy and is the part where I really feel like I get to express myself. To each their own! If nothing else, even if you just get rid of them when you're done it's cheap therapy. Have fun doing what you like and whatever you do DON'T feel guilty about not "finishing" them. It's your art, your therapy, and YOU decide what is and is not "finished".

  11. #11
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Do what makes YOU happy/ Forcing yourself to do otherwise may make you hate anything to do with quilting.

    Hope hubby's health improves
    Bad Spellers of the World
    U N T I E

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    Thank you so much for your replies. I feel better about not finishing them all now. I guess, when things get better, again, for my DH I will be able to learn how to make the sandwich. I will research how to make coverlets. Making miniatures sounds like fun and I won't need as much fabric. My baby quilts are going to Ronald McDonald House. I do enjoy getting out my small collection and seeing how much I have learned and how far I have progressed. Thank you all, again.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjtravis View Post
    What do you mean quilt by credit card???
    Pay someone to finish the top into a quilt. They also do the basting.

  14. #14
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    If you do decide that you might like to learn how to finish the quilt, start small with something like a Quilt for Kids kit. Contact them on line at Quilts for Kids and they will send you a precut kit. Then get a book at the library on how to "quilt" the top, batting, and backing together. Check at your nearest quilt shop. I'LL BET THEY CAN INTRODUCE YOU TO A NEW FRIEND WHO CAN TEACH YOU HOW TO FINISH A QUILT.
    Please do not let your husbands's illness eat up your life. You can love him and care without shutting out the rest of the world. Let your friends help you through this difficult time and avoid depressing people.

  15. #15
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    I agree with you 100% ! I love making the tops but the rest of the job is just plain tedious for me. My DH helped me get the backing and batting ready for several quilt tops and he even says it is a boring yucky job. I have finished several quilts on my DSM, but I would rather make tops all day long than finish them. The only good thing is that they look so pretty when finished. I have found an older woman who does the most lovely work on her Long Arm and doesn't charge much at all. I wonder if you would like doing the sandwich the way Eleanor Burns suggested and then tie the quilts. Not such a big job and then you can enjoy them. So sorry about your DH, I have been where you are now, just one day at a time works.

  16. #16
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    So sorry about your husband's illness. I lost my fiance 2 years ago. My thoughts are with you in this difficult time.

    All my best to you.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 12-30-2012 at 03:30 AM.

  17. #17
    Super Member Belfrybat's Avatar
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    Of course it is fine for you to do just tops. You might also want to ask around and see if you can find a longarmer who doesn't like to piece. You could piece a top for her in exchange for her quilting one of yours for you. That would be a win-win situation. Prayers ascending for your husbands full recovery.

  18. #18
    Junior Member conniemaried's Avatar
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    I also only enjoy the piecing part. It gets my juices flowing. but can't bear the thought of doing the quilting. I know "can't" is supposedly a bad word, but I can't quilt. I have tried FMQ and hand quilting, and I'm hopeless at both. (and other quilters look at you funny when you reveal this deficiency to them) So I can empathize with you. I also had wondered if this was a serious deficiency meaning I had no talent. So I'm glad you posted this thread. Makes me feel better about myself. hope your hubby gets his treatment and recouperates quickly. Just keep on piecing.
    Please meet my avatar quilting buddy, Myrtle McQuilter

  19. #19
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    I don't see a thing wrong with just making tops. If it is comforting to you go for it. One day someone will ask you to help them make a top and you will have these tops to show them. In time you may want to quilt them. Do whatever you want to do. You need an outlet and this is it. I pray for your husband to be well and find peace and comfort watching you make tops.

  20. #20
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    Hi Tropical, enjoy what you do - don' beat yourself up for not enjoying sandwiching and quilting. It's you therapy!!!
    Another solution my be to find someone you can barter with. You make a top for her she quilts for you. Keep making those tops. My grandma left several tops when she died. We so cherish those. Will keep your husband in our prayers.

  21. #21
    Super Member charmpacksplus's Avatar
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    I've seen plenty of quilt tops for sale on ebay and etsy.
    I've sold a few tops at our guild "clean out your sewing room" sale.
    There's plenty more in my closet waiting on me to figure out how to quilt them :-)

  22. #22
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Okay, I have an idea that may work for you. If it doesn't, just ignore it....but, if you enjoy the quilt tops and not the rest of the stuff, just make quilt tops, put a tiny hem around the outside and use them as they are. They could still lie on the top of a bed or sofa, they could cover a chair, they could decorate a wall. They wouldn't be real warm or anything, but that is what a blanket could be for. Your quilt tops are art. They don't have to be quilted in the sandwich thing to be enjoyed. You could even make the last border a bit larger so that if you ever change your mind, you could just cut off the tiny hem....I am thinking like a 1/4 inch hem, just turned under 1/4 inch and then another so there isn't any thread left to ravel.

    Just a thought.

    My best wishes go out to you and your husband.

    Dina

  23. #23
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Dina is right, I think that would really work well!!! Make all the tops you want and enjoy what you do !!!!!!!!!

  24. #24
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    All of my handmade gifts are made by me; I made out the check for most. LOL If you have a guild in your town put out the word that you have tops that anyone learning how to machine quilt can use your quilt tops for practice and get your tops done free that way.
    Got fabric?

  25. #25
    Super Member Quiltaddict's Avatar
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    I agree, making tops is the fun part. I don't quilt my own, I have a friend that does long arm quilting and I have her quilt them. But, I have a huge tub full of just tops that may never get quilted. I also quilt for a charity that has long arm volunteers so I can do all the tops I want for them and have someone else quilt them. Maybe there is something like that where you live.

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