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Quilting with a Friend

Quilting with a Friend

Old 05-26-2018, 02:21 PM
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Default Quilting with a Friend

Has anyone else tried to make a quilt with a friend? I tried once to make a quilt for a retiring colleague with one of the other teachers who quilts. We decided on a pattern and bought the fabric together. We Did get the quilt made and quilted by a local longarm quilter, but it was a nightmare.

These were my mistakes:
1. Fabric choices weren't easy. She loves modern fabrics, I love more traditional ones. She loves large patterns and puts patterns and patterns and patterns together with no quiet space or tone-on-tone to rest the eye; I love tone-on-tone and use larger patterns to showcase them. Neither is wrong, but trying to choose fabric together was difficult.

2. I have and use a special quarter inch foot. I sew carefully and quickly, but really watch my seams. She Thought she used a quarter inch foot. We could not get the blocks we made to be the same size. I went over to her house and finally figured out what the problem was. She was eyeballing the quarter inch and did not have a special foot. I left one of my blocks with her and her blocks came out closer to mine after that.

3. We tried this again a couple of years later. She said she didn't realize she had a quarter inch foot that came with her machine, so I agreed to do the quilt together, But No! Still eyeballing the seam or using her machine foot as a guide. (Not the quarter inch one! Which she didn't have after all.) Again, the same problems as above, but at least I did all the cutting at her house so the fabric was all cut the same.

It did go a little better that time, but that is the last time I try to sew with someone who sews so much differently from me. She can make her quilts; I will make mine, but quilting together on the same quilt is not going to happen again.

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-26-2018 at 04:49 PM. Reason: remove shouting/all caps
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Old 05-26-2018, 02:49 PM
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I was a very new quilter when I volunteered to help make a quilt to be donated to the Make A Wish Foundation for them to auction. I fully expected that the effort would be spearheaded by more experienced quilters, and I volunteered only because I thought it would be a good learning experience, and it sure was. The more experienced quilters picked out the pattern and selected the fabric. After that it seemed that I was on my own to enlarge the pattern to queen size, cut the fabric, make up packets with instructions and enough fabric for several blocks, distribute the packets to the few ladies who volunteered to make them, and put the blocks together. How did they expect a new quilter to do all that? Why did I take it on? My biggest surprise was when blocks started coming back, and they were all different sizes. Some were so poorly sewn that the seams were coming apart, and seams were pressed every which way. These came from one of the most experienced quilters in the group, but she was getting older and less steady and probably couldn't see very well. (She asked me if her blocks were okay, and I assured her that they were.) I took many blocks apart and sewed them back together, made more blocks (thank goodness we had extra fabric) and finally had a queen-size top. Someone else volunteered to do the quilting. From what we heard, Make A Wish was delighted, and I don't think that guild made another group quilt.

I know some quilters that I would gladly share a project with, but I really don't want to participate in a group quilt again.
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:20 PM
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The only time I ever did this was hand quilting. My parents were about to celebrate their 50th anniversary and my quilt group and I got together to finish it. We had so much fun!!!
But sewing- no.
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:22 PM
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Sounds like an experience that could either end a friendship or cement it for life.

Recently was showing my sister how to use the long arm. I could not believe how many things went wrong while we were quilting the first quilt she brought! We even wound up with a hole in the backing...but it was at the bottom of the quilt top, so that turned out ok. And she learned what not to do And what to do for those mistakes.

Second quilt was going much better until we reached the last row. Then a nasty 'flute' showed up. There was no way to fix that on the long arm, so the quilt came off the frame. Luckily (?), I was able to show her two of my quilts that had been taken off the frame for the exact same reason. They haven't made it back on the frame yet.

And we are still talking.

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-26-2018 at 04:50 PM. Reason: remove shouting/all caps
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:27 PM
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I only sew by myself.
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:03 PM
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I consider the swaps that are done on Quilting Board as quilting with a friend, although virtual. I've done several of them. I've been very pleased with the Boom swap blocks-- they were all sewn well and the same size. I did swaps where all in the group made the same pattern for the blocks, then we swapped. I understand that everyone's taste in fabric is not going to all be the same and that kind of swap would produce more of a scrappy look for the quilt, and I was fine with that.

I did one round robin where a top was missing in the mail for a long time, and that was not fun, but it wasn't because of the girls in the group. I thought it was very fun to sew together with quilters here on the Board. Each brings their own flavor to the project that when melded together create a unique and special shared endeavor.

I did a round robin with friends in my local quilting group, and that was a ton of fun and produced one of my all time favorite quilts.

I did an individual block swap with a friend, where we agreed on the pattern together, then agreed to use plaids. The blocks were great, and the friendship was richer because of the shared project.

The friend I sew with most often is my sister. We chose fabric together and have used modern, traditional, or novelty prints. We mostly choose fabric that is on sale actually, and agree about the price. lol When we get together, she cuts and irons. I sew. Then we lay out blocks together in a pleasing manner, she hands them to me, I sew, and she irons. It all works out great. We chat, have tea and a lunch, and get a lot done in one day every time we do it.

I think the key to being happy sewing together is to be kind. Accept construction flaws. Accept colors, patterns, or fabric you don't particularly like. Accept that what you make together isn't what you make alone-- and be generous in your mind, in order to enjoy the process and like the result.
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:06 PM
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I've learned that I play better "beside" rather than "with" when it comes to group projects.

Give me "my" pile/stack - and you can have "your" pile/stack - and we can show off our results when we are done.
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:32 PM
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My daughter and I have made several quilts. We do everything at my house. I do most of the sewing since I am more familiar with my sewing machine. She irons and lays the blocks out for the pattern. Then we sew them together. She typically does the long arming.

One recently, we started together and then she finished the sewing. It was a more modern quilt that we were making similar to a pattern she had seen, Ricky Tims Bargello Convergence. We couldn't find a pattern, so we worked it out without any real instructions. A lot of counting to find out how many fabrics. A lot of strip piecing. We used 20 fabrics in each strata of which there is two. We did have to rip several seams, but overall, it turned out good.

The first quilt in the upper left corner was the one we were trying to make. The picture is by @Hugfisch
This is our version.

Edited to add: Now if I could figure out how to make these pictures come out the way they look on my laptop. The stripes run vertical on the bed. It was made for a full size bed with enough width that it could be used for a queen.

And now looking at the pinterest page I see that the pattern is offered by Quiltwoman. https://www.quiltwoman.com/patterns/...attern-pc-197/ It probably has nothing to do with Ricky Tims.
Attached Thumbnails jacobs-quilt-rick-tims-bargello-convergence.jpg  

Last edited by Barb in Louisiana; 05-26-2018 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:33 PM
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oh yes! On several occasions I have, but not really by choice!
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:39 PM
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I absolutely hate working on anyone else's work, so I don't think I would ever attempt to make one together. Even if you two had the same fabric loves, and both used quarter inch foot, each machine is a little bit different, even though it shouldn't be, it's for this same reason that the ruler/mats manufacturers, say that if you start with a certain ruler, to continue to use it for the whole quilt, and NOT to use the lines on the mats as lines to cut by.
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