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Thread: Quilting - assembly line style or as you go?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Prissnboot's Avatar
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    Quilting - assembly line style or as you go?

    I'm not talking about QAYG, I'm talking about making the quilt top, then quilting it, then making another quilt top, then quilting it, as opposed to making all of your quilt tops one right after another, then quilting them one right after another.

    Myself, since I tend to put projects off till the last minute then complicate them as they are made, I quilt each top after it's made, then gift the quilt well after its intended occasion! The last wedding quilt I made was given in March or April of 2012 - the wedding was November 2011.

    And I have a quilt top ready to be quilted for a housewarming that was 3 weeks ago.....for some reason I just can't get motivated to get this one done.

    So, which method do you prefer?
    She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight.

  2. #2
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    I have a tendency to have multiple projects going at different times in different stages. One in the cutting stage; one in the assembly stage and one in the quilting stage. I hand quilt so this way I still have something quilty going on al the time. I can usually manage to make the important deadlines but otherwise I don't worry about the 'race'. I pretty much just quilt for my own pleasure and usually leave myself plenty of time to make my self-imposed deadlines.

  3. #3
    Super Member Sierra's Avatar
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    I prioritize my quilts as to which is needed NEXT and which can wait. Mostly, once I begin a quilt I finish it. I have 2 UFOs, both from a class I took several years ago, and neither expresses who I am or anyone I know that might like either one. I plan to make them into quilts for children or lap quilts, just as soon as I have time. Then I'll give them away.

    For me, an unfinished quilt is just too sad (if it's really mine). The two UFOs aren't "really mine!"

  4. #4
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Depends on what I'm doing. Right now I'm making three quilts from the same pattern. They're not exactly the same but it's the same pattern. I cut quilt 1 and 2 at the same time. Then I pieced quilt 1 and then cut quilt 3 while I was piecing quilt 2. When quilt 2 was ready for borders I pieced quilt 3. Quilt 1 is ready to be basted and quilt 2 and 3 will get borders today. Then I'll set up my basting set up and baste all three of them and then quilt them one after the other.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    For me the quilt is done when I put binding on it. If I leave a top sitting too long it will never be done since I am a procrastinator by nature. I am trying to change that about myself so I do it all in order - patchwork, sandwich, quilt, bind, wash, done!
    I have a quilt which is due end of November and I am almost done with the patchwork. Since I am accident prone when it comes to quilting process, I want to have enough time to make another one if I screw something up on it between now and than, or if my life throws me a curve ball. I am far from disciplined but I am trying to get there, eventually.

  6. #6
    Senior Member pinkcastle's Avatar
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    I have lots of projects lined up, but I work on them one at a time. I sort of have them prioritized in my head so hopefully I'll get them all done! I think that if I had two machines available for use all the time then I might work on two quilt projects. Although, the way my brain works lately, I'd probably mess them both up!

  7. #7
    Super Member Vanuatu Jill's Avatar
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    I have always completed quilting and never started the next quilt until the last stitch was done on the binding, and I hand quilt! However, a few years ago when preparing to move back to the US from overseas, I made a few quilt tops, one after the other, thinking I probably wouldn't have a machine for a while once in the US so I would have plenty hand quilting to do( my old machine was 220 volts), but I did get a new one and was so excited to have access to fabric shops (which I didn't overseas where I lived), I quickly started on new ones. I felt guilty just letting the other tops sit (most were queen size), so sent them to a LA from this board. Now, I am tempted to send her most of my tops, she did such a fantastic job. However, currently, I am into making purses and totes, so my quilts have been on the back burner for a year!

  8. #8
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    LIFE tends to dictate when I do what. My sewing room is the hottest room in the house so I do any sewing I have in the mornings...and after 7pm. So I plan ahead and do all my cutting and designing etc during the hours I can't be in the room! Now, my kids are back with me so my sewing room is now in my b edroom and the weathe rist starting to cool off. I do the cutting and such on the kitchen table while they are gone and then can sew pretty much anytime in my bedroom. I also have several going at once...for diff reasons. Right now.. I am working on ones for my grand kids for christmas as I work ont he one for the GD that lives with me in the mornings while she is in school. Once home... I pull out another quilt to work on. I also have to wait for supplies sometimes, so I will start on while waiting for the money to get the supplies to finish the other. I have a civil war quilt in the works and have made those blocks while waiting on other things.

  9. #9
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    I tend to make a bunch of tops and then quilt a bunch in a row. I was thinking about this question just yesterday as I was thinking about how I have several projects going on at once. The thought of only one project completely stops my creativity as soon as it gets a bit on the tedious side. If I have several going on at once, and don't feel like doing something boring at the moment, I can work on the other project. Plus, I tend to prefer to do a lot of pressing/ironing at once and so I prefer to have a lot to iron to make turning on the iron worth it.

    For example, I had some 9 patches done and needed to lay them out on the ping pong table to get the colors in an okay position (I had previously sewn them). I have a QAYG project ready to layer and quilt (but I needed batting--finally bought batting a few days ago, so started on that--am now on the hand sewing part of that), had my embroidery machine going and was working on a disappearing 4 patch (I'm finding it not very interesting, so having a hard time pushing myself, but managed to make myself do a few blocks.)

    I find that if something isn't really interesting, i can usually MAKE myself do a few blocks or a few seams before going on to something more fun. If I KEEP doing that day after day, eventually I will finish that project that wasn't as fun to do as I thought it was going to be. So, the idea of doing only one project at a time, is, to me, rather awful. It is areal "creativity stifler".

    But I currently have about 60 quilt tops to quilt--all pressed and ready to go. I just bought two 50 meter rolls of batting, however, so I'm planning on getting to work on them. (Many of these are charity quilt tops and will be tied--some I will continue to practice my FMQ on and some are personal and will be quilted by machine.)

  10. #10
    Senior Member asimplelife's Avatar
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    I get bored easily so have multiple projects going at once. I love to piece, so most of my UFOs are pieced tops or blocks that haven't been sewn together yet. I'm trying to change my stumble areas (sandwiching, quilting & binding) by choosing several UFOs to focus on for the rest of the year and I'm mixing in a few new Christmas projects too. I'll never be a start-to-finish one project at time person, as much I admire those who are. I need choices.

  11. #11
    Super Member busy fingers's Avatar
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    I like to start and finish off each quilt as I go. I would rather do each process in sequence then it does not become boring repeating the same step over and over each time.

  12. #12
    Senior Member QuiltingHaven's Avatar
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    I am like NJ Quilter. I have several projects going at one time. One that I can hand quilt in the evening. Another that I am cutting, another that is being machine quilted. Another on the floor that I am working on the binding. Just went to the local quilt shop and got the material to start the next one after the one that I have at the LA back which I will then hand bind it!! I work on them in tandem and whatever I feel like that day or hour. I can work on a quilt at the drop of a hat or go for a walk or shopping or calling the grandchild and/or my mother. I just "love" being retired ;-)
    Busy in Ohio

  13. #13
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    I finish one before starting another. I can't stand a big mess and that's what I would have in my small space if I had more than one quilting project going.
    aka Gale

  14. #14
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I totally finish one quilt before I start another.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  15. #15
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I live in a small mobile home. I have a very tiny area in my BR that I set up a small folding table with my featherweight to piece. It's usually set up. I also cut there, which is sometimes difficult, but I do it anyway. Quilting is another matter. I do not have enough space to keep set up all the time. I use the enclosed porch when I can, but can't stay set up for long. It gets humid and the lighting is terrible. I've got a window AC, but I don't like to leave my machine out there when I'm not using it. It takes so long to move the exercise stuff aside that I only quilt on weekends, and only if not babysitting. So I tend to work assembly line. Piecing whenever I can thru the week and quilting when I can on the weekends. I am almost done with quilting my 4th quilt in 2 weeks. One is done and gone as a gift, 1 is for me 2 are Christmas gifts, of those, 1 needs binding, 1 almost done quilting. I will probably be back to piecing for awhile after these are done.

    There's nothing wrong with either method. You just do what works for you!

  16. #16
    Senior Member stillclock's Avatar
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    i usually have a couple things on the go too. right now, i have one very near completion that is wholly machine quilted, a hand quilting journey that's maybe 1/3 of the way done and a basted but untouched queens sized lone star that will ultimately have both hand and machine stitching.


    i am planning my brother's quilt and just waiting to begin another scrappy project. plus there are two labels outstanding and and and....

    once i cut though the piecing takes over. i always want to see it done you know?

    aileen

  17. #17
    Senior Member kristakz's Avatar
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    I am still trying to recover from the stack of quilts I built up while waiting for my long arm machine to arrive (and now, for me to get good enough to put a "good" quilt on the frame). Usually, I like to have only one in the piecing stage at any time - but that doesn't count block of the month quilts (I have 4 going right now). Before I had a long arm, I would finish the quilting on one before starting another - because I didn't want to switch my machine back and forth. Now, with 2 separate machines (and rooms) for those 2 stages, I find I am much more likely to start piecing a new top before the previous one is quilted. Trying to stop that, but those new designs are so tempting ....

  18. #18
    Super Member hperttula123's Avatar
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    I like to make a few tops and then quilt them all. I like jumping around from project to project. It might be just the change of fabric or procrastination. I have a pile of quilts at all different stages. Some I leave behind when I'm quilting, just because I don't feel like doing them now. They will get done eventually. I don't usually make things for any special occasion. I grab out of the pile of stuff that is done.
    enjoy your life...it's the only one you have!!!
    Heather

  19. #19
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    I usually get anywhere from 3-6 tops done, then stop and quilt them on my long arm, then make some more tops. Since binding is my least favorite to do, I have to get my self in the mood to do that. So I usually have a large stack of them to get done at a time. I keep trying to convince my self to not put it off, but not doing to well

  20. #20
    Super Member KathyKat's Avatar
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    I finish my large projects completely except for a few rare times when I need to interrupt the process to do a last minute request for a project.

    Having said that I usually have 3 projects going at once. One(sometimes more than one) I'm dreaming and planning for by selecting the fabric or drawing out an idea for a project. I have a quilt notebook that I write my plans for each project in and then write notes/details about the project as I do it. That way I don't forget what I planned and I have a record of the details in case I want to make another like it.

    Then I have one I'm actively working on and a third one that I'm hand binding in the evening, making a label for it,washing it and then photographing it.
    I use the assembly line method when I'm making multiples of one small project such as placemats, makeup bags etc.

    I'm also hand piecing hexagon flowers for a GFG that I'm working on. I do these when I'm watching TV or traveling. That's a 2-4 yr project That I'm having fun with. I plan on having it hand quilted when completed.

    I think each person works in the way that is most comfortable to them, doing the things they enjoy most.
    Kathleen, a lass with a bit of the Irish in her blood and a whole lot of Irish in her heart

  21. #21
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    There is no method to my quilting madness. It is whatever works at that time

  22. #22
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
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    I am beginning 8 handbag/totes for a bride and 7 bridesmaids. I will do assembly line style. I have made one out of my fabric to be my sample and worked out any bugs before cutting into the fabric the bride gave me. By doing the assembly line style work, this will save me from changing feet, stitch size, and remembering any changes I made from the pattern. Kinda of fun to see everything lined up on the cutting table.

  23. #23
    Junior Member jj1150's Avatar
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    I like to finish one before starting another. Knowing how I am .... left unfinished for awhile ... well, that's the way it would stay, I'm sure!!! (just ask me HOW MANY knitting projects I have unfinished, because I started something else!!) lol

    jody

  24. #24
    Super Member Caswews's Avatar
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    Myself: I prefer to cut em all up and assembly line sew them together, especially column quilts.
    When Life brings big winds of change that almost blows you over.Hang on tight and Believe.
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  25. #25
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    I have been making tops for my family. After I get them all made I will have them quilted.

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