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.
Fabric choices in a quilt
Rotary cutting tips (like don’t cut off your finger!)
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
English paper piecing
Applique (in all of its variations, but we’ll need a guest blogger to take care of that one!)
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)
Drafting your own block
Border options – solid vs. pieced, borders vs. no borders, how many borders, what fabric, what width, straight vs. mitered
Choosing a quilting design
Basting a quilt
Quilting on a domestic sewing machine
Documenting your quilts