Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Little Art Quilter That Could: The Construction

What I've Learned So Far:
1) No matter how hard you try, it is virtually impossible to cut fabric on your cutting mat if the fabric is the EXACT SAME COLOR as the cutting mat.
2) The iron is your best friend.
3) It is entirely possible to pin two pieces of a block together and also pin them to your pants at the same time.
4) Henry Ford knew what he was talking about: It is far more efficient to put things together using an assembly line.


This month has been a time of great learning for me. I decided to make one complete quilt top from my commission before tackling the other three, which are identical to the first. It was one of the great decisions of my life. There were so many bugs to work out and so many mistakes in calculation that, had I cut out all the pieces for all four quilts, I might now be ordering more fabric.
I made a chart (shown below) to determine the amount of fabric I needed by drawing diagrams of the layouts I planned to use for the pieces. This was time-consuming, but immensely valuable. However, I over-ordered the fabric by more than I had hoped, so I now have enough to make two more quilts. If I can just convince the nursing home directors to build two more facilities, I'm all set.

I’m now on track with the remaining three quilts, doing production work. I have even managed to channel Eleanor Burns: I am chain-piecing like a pro, and, when I’m cutting fabric, I throw the excess over my shoulder with carefree abandon.
Shown above is a picture of the completed quilt top; the suggestions that many of you gave to me regarding the best thread to use for piecing were greatly appreciated; I'm finding that the Aurifil 50-weight is moving through the fabric like butter.  So, on to the quilting!


Diane

11 comments:

Jackie said...

Funny, I have learned some of the same things that you have along the way. The pinning to the pants seems to be a recurrent one though. I love your chart and notice that you are using Kona cottons. Love them!! They are currently in my shop on sale through the end of the day! Also, you are correct 50 weight is just wonderful to piece with and great if you are using it for quilting and wish your quilting to blend more than stand out. But I know you already knew that!

Bee said...

Yes, I think many of us have pinned our quilts to our pants at one time or another (or to the carpet when basting). While hand quilting,I've even stitched the quilt to my finger underneath the hoop. I'm with you...I love Aurifil thread. It doesn't break and it sews like a dream. Sounds like you are coming along very well!

Ruth Anne Olson said...

I thought I remembered that you were a mathematician, and I had to verify it when I saw your chart.

I've learned all those things, too, and one more: If you sew right through your fingernail, it actually looks worse than it feels. And after you pull out the needle, it doesn't bleed much. (Sorry if I made anyone feel nauseous). It does teach you to be more careful about feeding your fabric under the presser foot.

Marilyn Rock said...

Love to see your chart, there, as it reminds me of a scientist at work! But; that is you - the fabric scientist who is creating beautiful things in her lab :) I love the pattern and colors of this piece! You're amazing! xxoo

Quilt Rat said...

ah......so the lesson learned is to always wear your pants????

I LOVE the Aurifil thread.....have a piece that will be exhibited soon done entirely with it. Wonderful!

都一樣 said...

真正的愛心,是照顧好自己的這顆心。........................................

Chris said...

Thanks so much for the laugh. Good luck with your progress!

imquilternity said...

You are sooooo funny!! Yet again though, a perfect quilt! Gorgeous colors and the perfect pattern!

moosestashquilting said...

Say it ain't so. If "we" as quilting could write a book on our trials and tribulations, it would surely become a top selling comedy act! As usual I am seeing very motivating things on your blog. Your like the "energizer bunny" of quilting and inspiration to me!

tangled stitch said...

It's very lovely Diane. I love the colors.

ArtGirl/California/United States said...

the quilt top is lovely! at first it looked to me like something out of EQ6 - it was pieced too perfectly to be true, but lo and behold it's real! nice work!!

and the colors are calm and soothing

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