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Thread: What I learned in my first year of making quilts

  1. #1
    Super Member WTxRed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    West Texas

    What I learned in my first year of making quilts

    I just finished my first year of making quilts / tops.
    I completed 19 tops, and 18 of the 19 completed in total quilts in 13 months. #19 is on the LA and should be finished in the next few days. 5 of those are queen - the others range from lap to cuddle. And I work a full time job. Yes my least favorite 'wifey' chores slipped (housework) . I tend to be a little OCD and somewhat of a perfectionist and typically I see a very firm vision of what the end result should be.
    Some of these are tongue-in-cheek...and in no particular order

    Here's what I've learned in my first year:

    1) All those years of art lessons as a child finally paid off
    2) I should've have geometry in school
    3) Computer Science is my profession but I have never used so much math as I do in quilting.
    4) My Mom is still my greatest inspiration.
    5) It's easier to make a quilt with a drawn out plan (or pattern) than to do it on the fly (and cheaper too!)
    6) No one, other than me, and maybe one other person, is EVER going to see or notice the little "change" I had to make because I short cut one piece along the way.
    7) Color is my friend. Too much color/motion/texture can be my friend, I just have to accept it.
    8) Ignorance is bliss. With no per-conceived ideas about what my attempts/results at various techniques should be - I was able to complete each technique, sometimes even making changes to enhance my experience or the outcome! (Don't tell me I can't do something!)
    9) I do like ironing.
    10) My quilts all talk to me and all get named. Sometime the recipient 'didn't get' what the name meant, but that's ok. It meant something to me!
    11) It's ok not to be perfect because the person receiving the quilt thinks their quilt is perfect!
    12) I don't particularly like making scrappy quilts (too uncontrolled).
    13) I don't particularly like buying fabric without an idea of what I'm going to use it for.
    14) The process of picking out quilt and quilting design and fabrics for a top, cutting, sewing together a top 'calms' me.
    15) I really want to feel confident and comfortable using my mom's computer guided Gammill Optimum Statler Stitcher.
    16) I entered a few quilts in a judged show - won with one (my first quilt) but really did it for the comments. I have to say...the things the Judge commented on are things discussed on this board every day. And even tho you may follow a pattern/instructions perfectly, that may not be what the judge thinks should have happened with it!
    17) This group is such an integral part of my success. I'd venture to say that none of you know that. Your support, compassion, vision, humor, friendship have been a cornerstone for me.

    Thank you all and
    Happy Quilting in 2013!


  2. #2
    Super Member
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    Oct 2012
    Blog Entries
    Good for you! Well said.

  3. #3
    Power Poster gabeway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    Get all hour points and glad it works for you. You've had a busy year.
    Wayne & Gabriele, the married quilters.

  4. #4
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    British Columbia
    Blog Entries
    19 tops in one year AND you work full time???? That alone impresses me!
    I've learned some of the same lessons, although am a much slower learner. I love the marriage of math and art that happens in quilting.

    Samuel Johnson - Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed, not by strength but by perseverance.

  5. #5
    Super Member wuv2quilt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Morganton, North Carolina
    BRAVO!!! Well said indeed. May you always feel blessed with your accomplishments. Beckie
    Happiness is a form of travel...not a destination.

  6. #6
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    So interesting! You made far more quilts than I did in your first year - I think I might have made 12, and none were that big. I actually find that I got a lot more done before I retired than I do now, but I wasn't a quilter then. I find it interesting that so many of your lessons learned are just the opposite of my lessons learned (I love totally scrappy quilts, had no art lessons but tons of math, don't name my quilts, not in love with ironing - but I deal with it), yet as quilters we have so much in common. Quilt on!

  7. #7
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    You forgot that you learned to share with other quilters. And you did that just great. Thanks for sharing with us.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.

  8. #8
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Piedmont Virginia in the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mtns.
    Another Jan on the board.....cool!! Your journey this first year sounds a lot like mine was 3 decades ago. You're more than hooked!! We look forward to seeing your projects this new year.

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.

  9. #9
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Fox Valley Wisconsin
    WOW...you sure accomplished a lot for a first year in quilting....the quilting bug has certainly got you...in a good way!!! Keep quilting!

  10. #10
    Super Member cowgirlquilter's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Norman, Oklahoma
    Wow! Well said. It helps for me to know that someone else has gone through the struggles of learning, and I really agree with you that this board is a great place for support, inspiration, encouragement and smiles!

  11. #11
    Super Member gingerd's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    NE IL
    I totally agree! Great points and congrats on completing so many tops.
    ~stitching one thread at a time~

  12. #12
    Junior Member Juztme's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Chico area, CA
    I've been quilting just 10 months and find your list soooo true. Espcially #11!

  13. #13
    Member Chiclet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Upstate NY
    Love your list!! I find quilting, particularly the cutting and piecing, to blend math and art in a way that is extremely inspiring to me. I love to relax with some hand piecing!

  14. #14
    Junior Member Retiree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Way 2 go! I'm impressed.

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