Keep Calm and Get the Seam Ripper



So, last Monday I sent off the first official quilt from Yellow Bug Quilts.  It was the one I talked about in the last couple of posts.  I forgot to take a picture (ugh!) but it made me happy.  Hopefully, Jean will send me a pic when it is up on her wall.

A couple of things I learned from making that quilt:

  • Color test your reds.  I’m lazy about this because most fabrics are color fast now but the moment I pulled that blanket out of the dryer was not a moment I want to relive.

If something goes wrong, don’t contact the customer (even if it is someone close to you) until you are emotionally under control.  I wrote to  Jean asking her what she wanted me to do, remake the quilt or just send the one that had bled.  That was stupid.  At the time I was still in shock that the quilt was ruined and  could not face the idea that I was going to have to start over.  I wasn’t thinking.  Of course I needed to make a new one!  I should never have put that on her shoulders.  If I had waited one more day to contact her I would never have asked her anything.  I would have just been contacting her to tell her I was remaking the blanket.

  • Doing it right is more important than doing it quickly.  After I finished piecing it the second time. I realized that I had reversed two of the borders.  No one else would have seen this or noticed but I knew that the other way looked better.  I took all the borders apart and put them in the right order.  As I was ripping the seams my daughter said, “Mom, it looks fine the way it is.  It is such a small difference, Jean won’t care.”  I said, “I’ll care and whenever I think of that quilt I will know it isn’t right.”  Jean had to wait a couple extra days for the quilt but I know she’ll be happy with it and so will I.

I have four more quilts in the works but between the first week of school, kids coming home from their summer Europe trip and getting them off to to school in Utah again, the quilting has come to a stand still.  Hopefully I can get going again next week.

Two Large Pieces of Fabric . . .


What I like most about quilts is their simplicity. The designs of the quilt top may not be alike and the fabrics may differ in weave and make up. Every quilt however, no matter how big it is, how old it is, whether it was pieced by hand or machine is same it its basic construction. It is two large pieces of fabric with cushioning in between to help capture heat, sewn together to make a useful household item.

I used to say that quilting was easy because the construction and the patterns I worked with were easy for me to understand and to learn. Then I found that was hurting feelings. In my mind I was saying, “If I can learn this anyone can learn it, let me show you.” (Good) What people were hearing however was, “I’m so talented and churn these things out without even trying.” (Bad)

So I rethought what I was trying to say and realized that simple, was the word I wanted.

Saying it is simple is not to say it is easy. We’ve all seen quilts like this one with a zillion tiny pieces carefully planned and sewn together to make an exquisite piece of art.

Karen Brimhall

photo by Karen Brimhall via flickr

Kaffe Fassett’s quilts always makes my heart skip a beat. His brilliant use of both colorful fabrics and imaginative patterns to create quilts like the one above, is unparalleled.

At its core however, it is still two large pieces of fabric with cushioning in between to help capture heat, sewn together to make a useful household item.