Quilt Along or Quilt Alone?

Interestingly, the quilt along group is posting pictures of their blocks this week, as most people are making the last of their blocks this week. While I’ve made good progress, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve fallen off the pace. I can no longer say that I’m really keeping up with the group.

But it doesn’t bother me. My reason for joining the quilt-along has been fulfilled. What I wanted was to quilt. Before signing up for it, I had a project that I was moving toward, but no real work had begun. Signing up for the quilt along changed all that, and I started moving along. Selecting fabric from the stash, cutting the pieces, and starting to piece. The last time, I left off with this step, in which two four-patches are assembled with two solid squares. The one in the bottom right corner is an example of a completed one. And if you look at the next picture, you can see examples of completed blocks in all four colors.

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Next, I took two of those completed blocks and alternated them with two larger solid squares, as shown below.

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Now it’s time to repeat the process by taking two of these larger blocks and alternating them with larger solid pieces of fabric as shown below.

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I have most of the rest of this size block set up to sew the final seams. So a pieced block is joined to a solid block. The next sewing involves taking those two halves and putting them together into blocks like the purple ones above. The halves are stacked with their partners in a neat pile next to the sewing machine so I can finish that step next. Then it will be time to play on the design wall to plan the next move.

What I’ve Learned

2.  I don’t need to have a dedicated quilting area. By setting up a spot for my sewing machine and being willing to do cutting and pressing on the kitchen counter (and sharing that counter with food prep), I am able to use smaller chunks of time to keep the forward moving momentum.

3. It’s good to have a plan, but it helps to be flexible about adjustments. Maybe that one isn’t just about the quilting.  😉

4. Even though I don’t feel like I’m really part of the quilt along group anymore, I still feel like this project is a huge success. Those who stay with it will have a finished quilt by Christmas. That’s great, but even if I have my quilt top half finished by Christmas, that’s half a quilt more than I would have had if I had not signed up for the quilt along. The directions, suggestions, and timetable for getting started got me moving and kept me from stalling or putting it off (again) indefinitely.

5. While I still need to work on the staging of photos, at least there is a record of this project. That’s significant, since it hasn’t happened before. In addition, knowing that photos are going to be taken keeps me focused on the process itself, so that I am more likely to finish all pieces of one step before moving on.

6. Unlike my last attempt at bringing quilting back into my life, I am having a lot of fun.

Stay tuned for the next update!

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20 comments on “Quilt Along or Quilt Alone?

    • Finger pressing is how I get through some of the piecing in between the times when the kitchen counter is available for my small ironing board. 😉 Still, eventually, I have to get “serious.” haha

    • Thanks, Sharon! If it’s not fun, there’s not point in doing it. But I hadn’t found the head space to allow myself to enjoy it before. All the deadlines around me became more important. Now that I’m taking time for me, it’s much easier to just enjoy the moment rather than beating myself up for not working on all the projects and deadlines that are part of my life. Even in small doses, playing and being creative provides renewal. Surprising it took me so long to learn that, but I think I’ve got it. 🙂

      I love the purples too! 🙂

  1. I don’t know how to quilt, but I admire the patience and dedication it takes to complete one. (And I’m amazed at how pretty the final product looks!)

    I like your fabrics…especially the purples 🙂

    • Thanks, Janna! I am really happy with the way the fabrics are playing nicely together. 😉 I’ve discovered (FINALLY) that what quilting really takes (for me) is steadiness and perseverance. It can be done in small increments and it really shows over time. When I look at it as the whole quilt, it can seem overwhelming. It reminds me of something I clipped from a magazine years ago. Simple, but effective: “If you knit one row of a sweater every day, eventually you will have a sweater.” 🙂

  2. I do hope you will keep posting pictures of your progress, even if you are out of sync with the group. Do you have a work space that allows you to keep your project out to be worked on as you pass by or as time allows? Or do you have to pack up after each session? Having to keep clearing away does slow down progress … a lot. I missed some of your posts. What will the finished dimensions be? 🙂

    • Hi Bear! I will keep posting, but the next post will be surprising to everyone, as it was to me in its occurrence. How’s that for building suspense? As for my workspace, I figured out a way to leave my machine on the table next to my computer. I still have to move things around when I want to actually sew, but many times already, I’ve been able to just say, “I think I’ll just sew a few seams,” and before I know it, I’m making progress again. The sewing and cutting stuff has to be picked up each time, but this is so much better than when everything was packed away. 🙂

      The finished dimensions will be about 60 x 72–a good sized throw.

  3. Pingback: An Update on the Quilting Update | Container Chronicles

  4. Pingback: The Quilt Top Takes Shape | Container Chronicles

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