The next skill builder is…

We’ll be posting the next entry in the skill builder series on Sunday. Again, both Jeanne and I will post on the same topic – this time we’ll talk about fabric choices. If there’s anything in particular you’d like us to address, let us know. Also, be sure to comment in the posts if you have any suggestions to add.

I think the third post in the series will be about accuracy – also known as “that darned 1/4″ seam!”

Also, I’ll be compiling the results of the survey this weekend, so if you haven’t completed it yet, please take a couple of minutes to fill it out.

Double Wedding Ring decision

After some deliberation, I finally decided what I want to do for Jeanne’s Double Wedding Ring Quilt Along in April. I’m pulling fabric, and as soon as Mom heads out to a baby shower I’m taking over the Go Cutter.

I didn’t want to go too traditional with the fabric and I wanted to work entirely from my stash. I played with brights and a yellow/green solid background, but I would have had to purchase the solid fabric, and a LOT of it. Also, it just didn’t click for me. The only thing about it I really liked was the light green background.

Version 1

I clicked through Flickr for inspiration and saw a Pickle Dish quilt (a DWR variation) with different pastel prints for the background. That led me to think about using different light greens in the background.

Version 2

I found I really didn’t like the brights with the variety of greens. I thought about making the arcs out of a single color group instead of a bunch of different colors. When I think green, I automatically go to purple. This is the result:

Spring Crocus Double Wedding Ring Alternative

I really like this, and I almost stopped there. Fortunately (or unfortunately, sometimes!) EQ7 is just too much fun to play in, and I tried another color palette. This time I replaced all of the yellow greens with soft blues ranging from aqua to lilac to grey.

Dusk Double Wedding Ring

Because I don’t have a lot of darker purples, I thought I might need to change the arcs to incorporate some dark teals and burgundies, but I find I don’t like this quite as much as the softer one.

Double Wedding Ring plan

I love all three quilts, but I’m going with the second to last, softer one for a few reasons. It will go well in my room and I have more of the blue toned fabrics than of the yellow-greens. Also, the softer palette just appeals to me right now. Finally, I need to stop playing and start cutting. I want to get all of my stuff cut as quickly as possible, so when Jeanne’s ready to start using her Go Cutter I can give it back without having to borrow it again.

PM/GC Quilts Skill Builder Series: Part 1 – Half Square Triangles & Pinwheels

Oof, that’s a long title, isn’t it? But it’s nothing compared to this post. Just for the record, I’m starting to write it at 7:40 – let’s see how long it takes…

Pinwheels are made of half square triangles, one of the most basic components of traditional type quilt blocks. There are many ways to make HSTs, and between Jeanne and I we’ll show you four methods.

Here is Jeanne’s post with the other two construction methods.

You’ll make four pinwheels and then sew them together into a single block that looks like this:

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The traditional method for making half square triangles (which Jeanne is showing you over on Grey Cat Quilts), involves a precisely measured square cut diagonally, matched with another triangle, then sewn together along the bias edge. The challenges include accurate measuring to the 1/8th of an inch, handling bias edges which are much stretchier than straight of grain edges, and accurate quarter inch seams. The accurate measurement and seam allowance can be avoided by deliberately cutting the squares larger than needed, then trimming the finished HST to size, but you’re still dealing with the bias edge.

Method 1: Papers

When I’m making HSTs, I consider the project before I decide my method. If my project requires a lot of identical HSTs, I go right for the Triangle Paper. There are different products that do essentially the same thing, including Triangles on a Roll and Thangles. I prefer Triangle Paper, but that’s just me. With Triangle Paper I can make a lot of HST units very quickly with relatively little accuracy required. It’s literally sewing and cutting on the lines. These products come pre-printed in many different sizes. You can also purchase a computer program called Triangulations that will allow you to print papers in any size you need.

While you can cut the papers apart to make just a few HSTs, I’d rather not waste them and use my second favorite method. If I just need 2 HSTs, or if I’m making a project that uses different combinations of fabric in the HST units, my method is similar to the traditional way, but instead of cutting triangles then sewing, I sew the triangles, then cut. This way I secure the bias edge with a seam before it is exposed by cutting.

I’m going to tell you right now, like many quilters I struggle with a perfectly accurate 1/4″ seam. We’ll get into that in a later (but not too much later) Skill Builder post. Rather than agonize over my seams, I prefer to cut the components larger then trim to size after I’ve sewn them. Yes, it means a little extra time trimming. I believe I spend less time trimming than I would ripping and resewing, so I think the trade off is worth it.

So, on to my HST methods!

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Since I can’t expect everyone to run right out and purchase Triangle Papers just to make four HSTs, I’ve created a smaller version and made a PDF for you to download. One sheet will make eight HSTs that finish at 3″.

Terminology clarification: When a block or component “finishes” at a size, that is the size it will measure after it is sewn into a finished project. The component or block will measure 1/2″ larger than the finished size. So a 3″ finished HST will measure 3 1/2″ until you sew it into a block.

Although the sheet makes eight HSTs, you only need four for one pinwheel. Cut the sheet in half and save the other half for another project. There is a 1″ guide on the PDF – make sure that the box measures exactly 1″ on your paper before you use it. If it doesn’t, check your printer settings for page scaling or page size adjustments.

Choose two fabrics for your pinwheels. Fabric selection will be the subject of the next Skill Builder, but for this one I recommend choosing fabrics that have a pretty good contrast. You want to be able to see those lovely points and pinwheels you’re going to make! Also, in order to make nice neat points and press everything easily, try choosing one fabric (or one type of fabric, i.e. print, solid, small scale, etc.) to use in all four blocks as your background, then four other fabrics for the pinwheels. In the picture above my “background” fabric is the print.

Cut a piece of each big enough to extend a little bit past the paper. Place the two fabrics right sides together then lay the paper over them. Keep the square lines going the same direction as the grain of the fabric. Pin in a couple of places that won’t interfere with your sewing. Make sure the fabric stays flat and doesn’t pucker or twist when you pin it. You can lessen the number of times you stick yourself with the pins by pointing them all to the left or to the right.

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Set your stitch length a little shorter than usual (I used 2.0 instead of 2.5) to make tearing the paper easier. Sew just inside (toward the seam allowance) the thicker blue lines. Look closely at the photo to see where I place the foot in order to get the stitching just at the inner edge of the line.

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Your machine’s foot may look different from mine – experiment with placement until you see how your foot lines up with the needle. As you sew, watch the line where it meets the foot, NOT where it goes under the needle. By that point it’s too late to make any corrections. Ooh, that’s a good one, so I’ll emphasize it…

Sneaky Little Quilting Tip: As you sew, watch the line where it meets the foot, NOT where it goes under the needle. By that point it’s too late to make any corrections.

If you’re wondering why I sewed just inside the blue line instead of directly on it, it’s one of those perfect quarter inch seam allowance things. Folding the fabric back takes up a little space, as does the thickness of the thread. Sew a little inside the line and everything comes out better. (That one’s worth emphasizing, but I’ll do it in the quarter inch post!)

After you’ve sewn all of the blue lines, cut on all of the black lines. That includes the outer edges, the center + lines and the diagonals between your seams. By the way – before you cut your diagonals, notice the size of the square:

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It’s exactly 3 7/8″, the size you’re supposed to cut your squares before cutting them diagonally when making HSTs the traditional way. But you didn’t have to measure that, because the paper did it for you.

When you’ve cut all of your pieces apart it should look like this:

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Fold the paper back and crease it a bit along the sewing line.

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Rip the paper off (it’s easier to hold the smaller side and pull the larger side). Try not to pull out stitches. Because you’ve reinforced the bias with the seam, your fabric won’t stretch unless you break or pull out the stitches. This is a good project for sitting in front of the tv or if you have kids you can delegate it to.

Press.

Oh, I’ll bet a couple of you just swore at me! “Press” is a loaded word. Press how? Open? To the side? Which side? Why?!?!! I’ll start with open vs. side: Both are right. Yep, I said it. Your quilt will not disintegrate into tiny shreds if you press your seams open. Your quilt will still look awesome after it’s quilted if you press your seams to one side. I do both, depending on the project. If I’m working with very small pieces, I nearly always press open because it’s easier to keep the blocks flat. With larger projects I tend to press to one side because I like nesting my seams together, and I’d rather work without pins when possible. Whoops – there’s another one! Pinning…

Some quilters like to pin the heck out of their pieces. Give it a try, that may be what works best for you. Also try different size pins – thinner, longer, etc. Don’t be afraid to try sewing without pins, too. With the seams pressed to opposite sides the two pieces nest neatly together and keep the fabrics from sliding. I find that pinning tends to make my fabric buckle and I’m less accurate. Check my finished block – it was all sewn without a single pin, and the points look pretty good to me.

The trick in pressing to one side is to know which side to press to. I confess I still don’t always have that figured out in advance, so I’ll find myself re-pressing as I make a block. Pressing is another good subject that we’ll address in a future Skill Builder. For pinwheels, choose one fabric and always press to that one. In this case, you should press to your background fabric. I used the print fabric in all four pinwheels, so when I joined those pinwheels all of the seams were going the correct direction.

Once your HSTs are pressed, trim the dog ears and trim to size, if necessary. They should measure 3 1/2″.

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Your first four HSTs are finished! You’ll sew them into a pinwheel, but before I show you how to do that, let’s try the second method.

Method 2: Squares with Diagonal Lines

In this method, you’ll cut squares that are a little larger than necessary. If you’re making a 3″ finished HST, the traditional method has you cutting the squares at 3 7/8″, then cutting diagonally. (The traditional rule is to add 7/8″ to the finished size.) I like to add 1 1/4″ to the finished size when I cut my squares. That gives me enough extra that my cutting and quarter inch seam don’t have to be perfect, and the HSTs will be large enough that I can see what I need to trim. If you’d rather, you can try cutting 1″ larger, but you’ll need to be more precise.

So… cut two 4 1/4″ squares of each fabric.

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On the back of one of the fabrics, draw a diagonal line, then draw a line 1/4″ to either side of that line. If you prefer you can omit the center line and just line up the ruler’s 1/4″ line at the corner points.

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I used a SewLine Fabric Pencil with white ceramic lead (and I love this product!), but on lighter fabric a regular mechanical pencil works just fine. Hold the ruler firmly and try not to stretch the fabric when you draw the line. Short, light strokes are best, even if you have to go over it a couple of times to make the line dark enough.

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Sew on the two outer lines. Unlike the Triangle Papers, you can sew directly on the lines, since you have a little extra fabric.

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When you’re finished, cut on the diagonal line in the middle. It doesn’t matter if you cut exactly on the line – the sewing lines are the ones that need to be accurate. Sometimes I just use scissors for this.

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Press your HSTs (see above!). They’re larger than the 3 1/2″ you need, so you’ll have to trim them to size. (I’m left handed so some of my photos will look really wrong to you. I rotated the photos here to show you a right handed perspective.)

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When you trim the HSTs, use the diagonal line on your ruler as a guide. Line it up with you seam then see how much extra you have to trim. I prefer to cut about half of the extra off of each side (rather than most off one side and little off the other). I think it helps me be more accurate.

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Sneaky Little Quilting Tip: Look closely at the fabric under the ruler at the left side. See the cut edge in relation to the lines on the ruler? Measure from the outside of the line on the ruler, not the inside. It’s just a couple of threads, but it makes a difference.

Now you have two sets of half square triangles. It’s time to make pinwheels! From this point forward, the pinwheel construction method is the same.

Lay your four HSTs out next to your sewing machine. Make sure the HSTs are turned in the correct direction to form a pinwheel. This is important: the background fabric, the one that is the same in all of the HSTs, should be at the top of the top left HST. It sounds confusing, but look at the photo and use the print as your guide.

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Turn the top right HST over on top of the top left HST. Keeping the pieces oriented in the right direction, slide them together until the right edge lines up and the seams nest together tightly. When you squeeze the seam between your finger and thumb it will feel flat. If they aren’t nested tightly you’ll feel a gap and if they’re overlapping you’ll feel a bump.

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Pin if you like, then sew. Watch your quarter inch seam here. (I know, I know – that post is coming soon!) When the first two HSTs are nearly sewn together, leave them under the foot and pick turn the bottom right HST over the bottom left HST. Nest, squeeze, and pin if you like, then lift the foot a tiny bit and place the squares just under the front edge of the foot.

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Sneaky Little Quilting Tip: If you lift the foot a tiny bit, you’re less likely to push the top layer of fabric out of alignment. This also helps prevent the machine from eating a point when you’re sewing triangles. It takes a second longer than just feeding the next edge it, but it’s worth it.

Sew the second set of HST units. I like to leave the little chain of thread connecting the two pieces. That ensure that I don’t accidentally turn one of the sets upside down.

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Look closely at that photo above. See how the seams intersect, one straight, one diagonal? That is a magic arrow that shows you exactly where your next seam should go. If you sew across that arrow, you’ll cut off a point. If you sew just a hair past the tip of it, your points will be beautiful. The thing is, if you press your fabric the wrong way, you’ll cover up the magic arrow. That’s why I made such a big deal out of the placement of the fabrics.

Press the HSTs, once again pressing to to the background fabric.

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Put the pieces right sides together and nest the seams as you did before. If you’re going to pin, now’s the time. When I do pin a seam intersection, I always pin the side that will go under the needle first. I don’t bother pinning both sides if the seam intersection. When I was first taught to quilt, she had us put a pin through the center of the intersection. This is about the only thing she taught us that I disagree with. I think if you put the pin through the point where the seams meet you’ll push them apart a little.

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Sew the two halves together. See that magic arrow? The needle is lined up to pass a hair (a very fine hair!) outside the point.

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Your pinwheel is finished! Except – if you pressed to the side that center intersection looks awfully lumpy. After all, that’s eight layers of fabric. No matter which way you press it isn’t going to lie flat.

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So, split the difference! Clip that little chain that held the two pairs of HST units together. Gently slip out a couple of stitches in the seam allowance. You don’t have to pick them, just press one half of the seam allowance one way, and the other half the other way. It will be obvious which way the way to go. Wiggle the seams a little from the back until it opens up. Look at that! A cute little pinwheel on the back:

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Press that little pinwheel flat, then press the rest of the seams. Flip it over, and there you go! (Please don’t mind Buttercup’s paw in this photo. She was getting pretty desperate for attention by this time.)

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Check the block – it should now measure 6 1/2″. Because each of those HSTs were exactly the right size, your blocks should be pretty close to accurate.

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Lay out your four completed Pinwheel blocks, making sure everything lines up properly as far as fabric placement.

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Sew the four pinwheels together the same way you did the individual pinwheel blocks. You’ll even have a final tiny pinwheel on the back when you’re finished.

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And there you have it! It should measure 12 1/2″ square.

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So how did yours turn out? What do you think of half square triangles and pinwheels? After trying all four methods, do you have a favorite? Can you see how each method has advantages for certain types of projects? Do you have any recommendations (preferably with links) for other HST methods? Is there anything I didn’t explain clearly enough?

Are you still reading?!?!!

Whew. And for the record, it’s been exactly 3 hours. Boy, am I long-winded.

PM/GC* Quilts Skill Builder Series – Intro

Jeanne and I sat down today (okay, we stood in the store where she works and chatted in between checking that the kids on spring break were just standing in a cluster, not actually shoplifting) to brainstorm on the Skill Builder Series.

Here is the plan, at least what we have so far:

We will create a project that the skill builder series… uh… builds to. It will be a sampler quilt, with each new skill introduced, then used in a block. If you want to do every skill builder with us and make the quilt, great! If you’d rather just work on the components and use them in other projects (or put them in the “yeah, I made it, now what do I do with it?” drawer), that’s fine, too. If you decide to make the Skill Builder Sampler Quilt, you might think about fabric choices a little. Fabric choices will be the subject of the second skill builder post. Why the second one, you ask? Because the first one must be about half square triangles. It is the pinwheel post. Come on, where else could I start?! Watch both blogs tomorrow, as Jeanne and I will both be posting entries. We will each demonstrate two different techniques for creating half square triangles. Try all four methods and see which you prefer. The four sets of HSTs will be assembled into a pinwheel block.

Most of the posts will be in a chronological order. We’ll talk about fabric choices, then cutting, then components of quilt blocks, each progressively more challenging. Along the way, we’ll mix in some other bits.

We’ll also ask for your input. If there’s something you’d particularly like to learn, let us know. We might have a couple of things we’re thinking about, and we’ll ask which you’d rather we start with. I hope this will be very much a collaboration, not between Jeanne and I, but among all of us.

We plan on posting a new Skill Builder every 1-2 weeks, depending on your input. Sometimes it will be on Jeanne’s blog, sometimes on mine, and sometimes we’ll both contribute to the same Skill Builder.

I’m creating a separate page with links to all of the Skill Builder posts on both sites. The actual posts will be in our blogs, but you’ll be able to click over to the Skill Builder page and see a chronological listing of all of the skills we cover.

We are by no means expert quilters. There are a number of topics that we’ll be looking for help with. If there’s anything that you’re especially proficient with, please comment or send one of us an email. We’d love to have a guest blogger every now and then.

So, are you ready? Let’s go!

*PieceMeal/Grey Cat Quilts, of course!

Quilting Skill Builder Series

There have been so many amazing comments over the past few days! As well as those who gently reeled me in, I’ve heard from people who said, “Yeah, what’s up with that?!” Others have let me know that, as beginners, they really like to see bloggers explain their processes more completely. They don’t necessarily want to see step by step instructions on how to make a block – they’re wondering about less concrete things. I’m going to quote a couple of comments because they put it so well:

I appreciate all of you wonderfully talented artists giving me your thoughts as to why you choose the fabrics you choose (so I can be inside your head), problems you encounter as you’re piecing your quilt (and how you think through your resolution of those problems), various options you consider when considering what the quilt will finally look like (and why you rejected some and decided on the one you chose).
I like seeing the process involved getting from Point A to Point Z when making a quilt. Seeing the finished product is nice, but I’m still trying to learn how to sew a consistent 1/4″ seam. So I enjoy seeing the process from beginning to end. And I love hearing all of you “seasoned” quilters tell me “WHY” you picked the colors you did, and “WHY” you changed your mind about some color choices when you did that. And “HOW” you fixed something you screwed up because you didn’t want to go buy more fabric, or you just wanted to prove to yourself you could fix a problem you created because you cut the fabric too short, or sewed something together wrong and didn’t discover you did it until you had sewn more fabric to that incorrect item. – Deborah in Atlanta

…one of the things that drew me to quilting is the design aspect of it. And from a design perspective, simpler quilts can be just as good, if not better, than complicated ones. Choosing colors and fabric and making them work together IS a very challenging part of the process, and a huge part of what makes a quilt successful, regardless of how difficult it is to piece. So the design aspect, in my mind, is a separate issue from the technical execution aspect, but shouldn’t be considered any less important. – Lee from Freshly Pieced

Perhaps as new quilters develop confidence with less demanding patterns we will see more complex patterns reappear because there will be a larger demand for complicated patterns. – Anna from Quilt Mom’s Journey

A friend of mine (and yours, I imagine, since I keep posting links to her blog!), Jeanne from Grey Cat Quilts, talked about creating a series of skill builder posts. The recent comments seem like such a great time to start, and she and have decided to tag-team it. We will work together to provide constructive information geared toward newer quilters. Here are some things we talked about, and we’d love it if you could chime in with any suggestions. If there’s something in particular you’ve always wondered how to do, or know how to do but still struggle with, let us know and we’ll try to work it in.

Purchasing fabric
Color theory
Fabric choices in a quilt
Rotary cutting tips (like don’t cut off your finger!)
Quilting terminology
Basic components of quilt blocks and their construction: squares, rectangles, half square triangles, quarter square triangles, flying geese
That darned scan quarter-inch seam!
Rescuing blocks (wrong sizes, etc.)
60/30 degree triangles
Foundation piecing techniques
Curved piecing
English paper piecing
Applique (in all of its variations, but we’ll need a guest blogger to take care of that one!)
Leader/Ender projects
How to break down the construction of a block so you can recreate it without a pattern (there are hundreds, if not thousands of traditional blocks that are copyright free)
Resizing blocks
Drafting your own block
Calculating yardage
Border options – solid vs. pieced, borders vs. no borders, how many borders, what fabric, what width, straight vs. mitered
Backing options
Choosing a quilting design
Basting a quilt
Quilting on a domestic sewing machine
Binding
Documenting your quilts

The dumbing down of quilting, part 3 (final!)

This is the last post with this title, I promise!

A lot of people happened by this blog today, thanks to a post by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co. What prompted it has been resolved by a couple of classy ladies. Interestingly, their opinions are really much more alike than they are different.

Although the response to my dumbing down posts has been very supportive for the most part, I’ve had a few comments along the lines of “if you don’t like something, stop reading. People have the right to make whatever they want, and you should stop being the quilt police.”

That has never been my intention! I don’t want to tell people not to make quilts – I want them to receive the support they need to expand their skills and grow. I’ve experienced the quilt police. I attended a guild meeting – just one – and I was politely discouraged from speaking, thinking, participating. It was “us against them,” and I was most definitely not part of “us.” I don’t want to make people feel that way with my blog, but neither do I feel I should keep my mouth shut and smile and nod and, with my silence, imply that everything is just fine the way it is.

So, time to put my money where my mouth is.

Jeanne of Grey Cat Quilts and I have discussed the idea of a Skill Builder series of blog posts. She and I are going to “tag-team” it, writing about the sort of things that less experienced quilters may find useful. We’d love your input, so please ask questions and make suggestions. You can find links to all of our posts on this page.

The dumbing down of quilting, part 2

While many comments were supportive of my original “dumbing down” post, there were enough who felt I was overly harsh that I want to clarify it a bit, without the passion and snarkiness. Please do not be critical of those who disagreed – I am grateful that they took the time to share their point of view.

As I said in the original post, I do love the look of simple quilts and I believe the quilts and quiltmakers should be respected. I’m actually working on a coin quilt right now, as well as the Dear Jane, and a Double Wedding Ring is in the planning stages. I expect over the course of those two more complicated quilts I’ll work on a lot of simpler quilts. Less complex quilts were not the target of my post. I took issue with the idea that very simple quilting techniques are being portrayed as much more challenging than they actually are. This discourages new quilters from trying them.

I believe many, if not most, new quilters are from a younger generation and tend to be attracted to “modern” quilts and quilt bloggers. That’s fantastic – I’m thrilled that more young people are being drawn to quilting, and it’s a lovely aesthetic. Those same people are blogging to share their excitement for their craft. Now we have a huge group of young, new quilters blogging about their quilts. They are proud of their accomplishments, and they have every right to be. But because they’re mostly relatively new to quilting and are often self-taught or “blog taught,” they don’t know a lot of different techniques and they tend to make the same things over and over. Remember that old saw, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?” It’s true. When we see something that we find beautiful, we naturally want to create something similar ourselves.

I would like to see some of these bloggers with a leadership role push themselves to try new things and share their efforts with other new quilters. If popular bloggers were to showcase some new techniques, others would follow. People would realize that half square triangles are not hard, and mastering them could help new quilters open up to a world of possibilities. If these new quilters learned how to make half square triangles, quarter square triangles, and flying geese, they would be able to create more than half of the pieced blocks in the quilting world, if they wanted to.

Now, several people made a point that I think it’s only fair to acknowledge. Sometimes people choose to do simple quilts, and don’t want to do anything more complex. Certainly that is their right, and I respect their decision – and their quilts. My frustration lies in the fact that some people are making simple quilts because that’s all they know how to do, and they’re afraid they can’t learn anything else. When they see a pinwheel block referred to as “a challenge for an intermediate to advanced quilter,” how can you blame them?

Here’s an analogy: Say you make chicken breast, peas and brown rice. It’s pretty good for you, and you’ve practiced to master it. It is the best chicken breast, peas and brown rice ever. It’s a little boring when you eat it every evening, so you try sprinkling some paprika on the chicken breast. Wow! What a change! After a week you realize you’re still making chicken breast, peas and brown rice, and even though the paprika perked it up for a day or two, you’re still bored. Unfortunately, you don’t know how to make anything else, so you’re stuck with it – chicken, peas and brown rice. CP&BR, CP&BR… Boy, that lasagna looks good, but it’s way too difficult. You could never make that. CP&BR. Then one day someone tells you how to make lasagna. Well, that doesn’t sound so hard. You give it a try, and – look out! – it’s pretty good! Sure, you didn’t put enough sauce over the top noodles and they’re a little crunchy around the edges, but you can fix that next time. Your success encourages you to try meatloaf, and then one day you chance a souffle. Maybe you succeed, maybe you don’t, but now you know that it’s okay to try it. And you know what? You can still make chicken, peas and brown rice when it sounds good. (Insert any other creative endeavor if you don’t enjoy cooking!)

I hope that I was more clear in this post – I truly do not believe that anyone should be discouraged from quilting and sharing their accomplishments because they choose to make uncomplicated quilts. They may prefer that aesthetic, and that’s their right. I just don’t want them to shut themselves off from other possibilities because of fear of the unknown.

(Also, I know there are many young quilters who have been quilting since childhood, there are many modern quilters with mad skills, and there are many new quilters who seek out new techniques on their own. Go, ladies (and gentlemen)! My comments here are based on a generalization, and I mean no disrespect to those of you who already experiment with new ideas.)

Please read The dumbing down of quilting, part 3 (final!)

Also, I’d love it if you could take the time to complete a brief survey about quilting. This post has an introduction to the survey as well as a giveaway.