Monday, June 9, 2014

what do YOU need?

I'm getting ready to start the first project in what I hope will be a series of projects designed to help us all get scrappy this summer.  I for one get an extra dose of "sewing is awesome!" when I use scraps to make something beautiful or useful (or both!).  I know a little bit of extra focus in that direction over the summer will be so rewarding for me, and I hope it may inspire you too!

getting scrappy this summer

But, as I started brainstorming scrapalicious ideas, it occurred to me that what I need more of in my sewing life may not be the same as what you need more of in your sewing life.  In fact, variety seems highly probably - we being different people and all.

Now I am going to go ahead with my scrap-focused series - have no fear - but I would love to also help you out if I can.  I mean, this being a business of mine, I am truly and actually here to serve you.  And, I like it, I do.

So, so, so...  I would like to know what I can do to help you.  What is your main challenge or hurdle or sticking point when it comes to sewing?  What one main thing would enable you to enjoy this hobby more

Consider that a totally open-ended question.  But, should your mind be blank, these ideas might get the wheels turning:
  • new fabrics
  • more time to sew
  • more basic quilting how-to's
  • more ways to use the fabrics I have (would that be scraps? or fat quarters?)
  • a better sewing machine or some other tools
  • tutorial's for useful, non-quilty items
  • a quilt-along
  • inspiration posts about sewing trends or color or whatnot

Wait!  Before rushing to answer, give this a minute of thought.

Is it really that you need more time, for example, or is it that you get bogged down and feel like you waste it (psst... social media or something else)?  Is inspiration at a low point or are you so inspired you're turning in circles?   Is there something specific you really want to accomplish, like a bed quilt or a kitchen rug, or are you kind of along for the ride - anything goes?   If there is something specific, please tell me what!

And, I am well aware that I may be totally unable to provide what you need, but I it never hurts to ask, right? 

I am So Curious to hear your response!

75 comments:

  1. Hi Rachel, I do have a problem (or two). I can't stand to go to a new project if I haven't finished something, but sometimes the project isn't turning out right, or I just hate it. But I just get in a frozen position, not finishing something I don't like anymore, but not allowing myself to move on. You probably wish you had not asked! But thanks for listening. Love your blog, Marsha

    ReplyDelete
  2. I adore scrap quilts but I really like to be able to make other stuff from scraps! Quick but useful things that you can give as gifts or keep for yourself! It's always nice to have little projects for inbetween large projects or when you just need a satisfying fast finish. I'm making slippers, hot pads and baskets and those are all fun!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am making blocks for two different quilts (2013 & 2014 Sugar Block Club) and Blocks from a Bee I am in. I am stuck with how to set them into a quilt, design, layout, size, whether to add more blocks, sashing, etc... It's like I get to this point and FREEZE...

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have a combination of hold backs. I have a mile long list of want to makes, but I also have to quilt the things I have done. I can't afford to send them out, I know practice is necessary for improvement, but every time I quilt, it seems like something goes wrong. Machine tension, thread breakage, you name it. Also, my husband and I are handicapped and have a hard time basting the quilts. I like using the scraps though. That's a great idea.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Inspiration. Seems like a lot of what I've worked on this last couple years is driven by necessity and deadlines. Of course, everything gets places on the back burner at a moments notice, too. Crazy, busy home life. I've been painting and loving it. I'm wishing I could keep that artistic zeal for quilting again. I also fear losing the passion I have for painting, just like I did for quilting.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Video tutorials on how to FMQ. I have watched them all over the place, but when I watch a video of yours, I just 'get it'! That and inspiration/ideas. I don't know how many times I have looked at your blog and bought fabric based on your suggestiongs, or made a project similar to yours.

    ReplyDelete
  7. See comment number 1--BUT I am the reverse. I love to start new projects which I think will be better than previous ones--and so my quilt tops keep one another company.
    The thought of making the quilt sandwich and then machine quilting is where I stop every time. I have a massive stash (have already given much of it away and to charity but I am buying more to take its place!
    Also, would love to get some time saving tips and I am always interested in fabric and other storage. These alone should keep your blog full for the summer and beyond.
    Kind regards, Sandra in Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think mine would being able to actually USE my longarm that I have, it has never worked correctly and I am so frustrated and intimidated by it. Its a huge chunk of money just sitting out in the garage, meanwhile the quilt tops keep piling up and I really need to get them finished!

    ReplyDelete
  9. i find i get bogged down in too many choices for projects. i know i am lucky to have a good amount of time and materials for my hobbies (i sew, quilt, embroider) but i have so many ideas and so many projects i want to do (and have started but not finished) that i often end up doing nothing. i know that must sound weird. it is like i don't know which project to start, so i end up starting nothing...or on the flipside i sometimes will go through a phase of starting many projects and then get hung up on which one to work on. i do complete a good amount, but sometimes i just find myself crafty mojo gone.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I seriously have a fear of mixing different fabric lines. I've always been a matchy, matchy sort of girl. Ridiculous, I know. So my fabric stash, which is immense, is stacked by lines, designers and not by color. I'm afraid to mix it up. So that is what I need help, practice, with! Thanks for asking!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Time is the given for everyone, right? :D What I really need is better organization. It seems I spend half my time just trying to find that one fabric I KNOW I have, but I can't find. If I was better organized, maybe my cutting space wouldn't be littered with scraps, other projects, etc, and I could cut more efficiently. Also, could you make me stop forgetting deadlines? Or at least realize that I don't, in fact, sew at lightspeed? :D I always seem to think I can do more in x amount of time than I really can.... This is a really great question to get the brain wheels turning!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think I'm interested in some of the smaller things as well because I need to practice my free motion quilting. Sarah has pretty much said everything for me. and I also have too many projects on the go. So short and sweet.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I feel very fortunate to be able to say that I don't have any major needs right at the moment. I have a full table tennis table covered in various quilting projects, and something different to work on each day if so desire. It's winter here in New Zealand and I find I get more quilting done in winter. The kids are off at school each day, and I can juggle work and quilting and browsing the internet. I feel very fortunate.

    ReplyDelete
  14. A better way to organize my sewing space, especially scraps.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Time is my biggest challenge right now. That paired with an overwhelming number of projects floating in my head that I have fabric for, but not enough time to work on. I have been trying to work on UFOs and smaller projects (pillows) in between the bigger ones to help motivate myself. Ironically, blog land (which I love) is almost a hindrance, not just time wise, but the inspiration just sparks so many ideas in my head it's hard to commit one stack of fabric to one idea and actually do it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Really and truly, I need some structured sewing time for *me.* I belong to two charity groups, one is do.Good stitches and the other is a local church group that donates quilts for NICU babies, and I put those first because I've given my word and they are for others. After that comes requests by family: currently, my mother would like a baby quilt for a friend's new grand-baby on the way - an art quilt that I've patterned myself, but before that I made a dress for my niece out of fabric from my husband's ailing grandmother (I can't make it, will you?), and before that a donated item for a Veteran's benefit for a friend (who lost her husband in Afghanistan). Those things are all difficult to say "no" to, so I generally find myself saying "yes." I don't regret it, but I wish I had more time for things *I* wanted to make - case in point, the penny sampler quilt (which is languishing at only the long churn dash block left to make before construction...).

    I can't spend all my time sewing - spending quality time with my family and friends is important, and I have other hobbies, too, like gardening and cooking and entertaining. I need a solution for project / time management. I'm usually pretty good at this kind of thing, but I don't think I prioritize "me" enough, because it feels selfish.

    Also, I'd really like a kitchen rug :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Time management, I loose focus easily and I'm easily lured away from my sewing machine by the internet. I am always on the look out for tutorials and patterns for useful things to make as gifts...usually on the internet while I'm sewing something lol

    ReplyDelete
  18. For me, it's figuring out how to best use my resources. I have a pretty modest stash, and I'd like to keep it that way. I'm not the kind of person that has 15 different aqua-blue prints to pull from for a two or three color quilt. I'd love to do an "everything but the kitchen sink"-type quilt-a-long that explores using fabrics that don't always match perfectly, or really anything that would help me figure out ways make a non-cohesive rainbow come alive!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I do need more time to sew. I have young kids and a full time job, so I squeeze in time here and there. As a result projects take longer than they really should

    ReplyDelete
  20. Better organizational ideas so I waste less time looking for things, less paralysis in terms of putting fabrics together for a project, more small quick project to feed my need to complete something, ideas for scrap quilts that are really scrap quilts- a lot of what is passed off as scrap quilting is, in my mind, not scrap quilting.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Inspiration to sew leftover fabrics. You know when you get a fat quarter bundle and you don't use all the fat quarters? What to do with a collection of all those random fabrics? I would feel less guilty about my fabric collection if I could make something with them. You are always such an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Boy I can see myself in so many of the other comments I don't even know why I am writing!!! I to have so many things I want to make and my stash could be so much better organized. I probably shouldn't even look at the internet, but I do so enjoy blogs like yours. I love to make small projects and try new things. Any thing scrappy is just calling my name. Whatever you come up with will be enjoyed by all of us I know.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Boy I can see myself in so many of the other comments I don't even know why I am writing!!! I to have so many things I want to make and my stash could be so much better organized. I probably shouldn't even look at the internet, but I do so enjoy blogs like yours. I love to make small projects and try new things. Any thing scrappy is just calling my name. Whatever you come up with will be enjoyed by all of us I know.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Umm that's a tough question. I would LOVE some ideas to use up those scraps because sometimes, when my drawers are too full, I throw some away (I know!).

    And I would love to have ideas for more things to sew for my home because while I love making quilts, I have enough for now and am not one to just give them away to anyone (because they are so much work!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh and some tips on how to organize my sewing room would be much appreciated. It's a mess in here and I'm always looking for my tools and it's so annoying.

      Thank you :)

      Delete
  25. Just want to encourage you all to keep them coming! I'm making a list and kind of tabulating them. I plan to share it later on, because I think it's so interesting and is nice to know we're all in this together!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Yikes. I think what I really need is a way to rescue my WIPs. I think that the issue is I love to start a project, pick colors, and designs, but then I run into some sort of block. I then lose interest and feel guilty. Then I just donate my half done project to a charity. It would really help me out if I could "save my UFO".

    ReplyDelete
  27. Rachel - thanks for your help, and all the inspiration you provide us. As for challenges, I can think of a couple that I have. One is that I always feel like when I sit down to work on a quilt that I need a big chunk of time. How can I do quilts in a smaller time periods (without just down sizing the project)? I also feel like my cutting isn't quite as precise as it should be. I feel like I might not truly understand how to correctly layout the fabric and cut on the grain. Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes - this was so me. I always felt like I had to block out an entire afternoon or something in order to be productive. Now I do realize that productivity can happen in 15 minute chunks of time...even progress can be made in 5 minutes. It's not as relaxing as sewing away an afternoon, but at least it gets me in there.

      Delete
  28. I REALLY REALLY need help with some tips on how to use the fabric that I already have. When I first fell in love with patchwork, I enthusiastically started buying fat quarters aplenty, but in so many different styles, as I didn't really know what I liked then or what my style was... sounds ridiculous I know. So now that I'm a few years into learning and doing patchwork, I have this really mismatched stash of fabrics (some that I don't even like now) and I don't know what to do with it all and how to integrate them into projects where they will look good. I also would love ideas on organising and storing my fabrics. Thanks for your great ideas and inspiration as always. Kelly

    ReplyDelete
  29. My biggest problem, I think, is not liking to be interrupted. And I have 3 small children. :) It gets to the point that it is more stress to try to continue sewing than just stop. I also don't like starting up once I stop, and I don't like stopping once I start! :) sarah@forrussia.org

    ReplyDelete
  30. I took on your challenge to really think about it and I came up with FOCUS. I am blessed to have great sewing machines, my own little space to sew in, and a nice stash and for those, I am thankful. My first reaction to your question was "more time" but it isn't more time that I need, it's the focus. I have lots of projects started and, for the record, I am perfectly okay with that - it isn't hurting anyone, it's MY hobby to delight in so who cares if I have several things on the go. What I want, however, is focus. I could do better with the time I have, but I waste a lot of it reading blogs and looking at social media - I don't want to stop those things but I feel like if I had focus, I'd be able to tear myself away becaue I'd have the goal of finishing whatever step or project I was working toward completing. I would enjoy my hobby more if I stopped pining about all the lovely things I want to make or how badly I want to be able to lay my day job aside for something related to quilting and actually started just...doing. Having said all that, I think I would become a better quilter if I had a design wall. I just don't have a space for that right now or even a floor space but one time, when I taped all the blocks to a wall and played with them from there, I really loved how the quilt turned out (and, btw, it was a DGS top!). Thanks for asking.

    ReplyDelete
  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Something that keeps me coming back to, and really enjoying my sewing time, is small useful projects, that are quick, but still nicely put together. I like having my bigger projects in the mix, but having smaller projects ready, really helps me for these days when I just want to finish something worth finishing (so many of my daily tasks never really finish, e.x. Dishes, so it's nice to be done with something every once and a while!). Also organization of my sewing area sometimes limits my enjoyment of sewing... But I definitely know the fix, I am just unmotivated! Learning new systems for that type of thing wouldn't hurt though. :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. I think my biggest obstacle is that since I have recently found myself in an extremely difficult financial situation and not able to spend any money on fabric, then my fabric stash has become too valuable to me. I am afraid of using the fabric and regretting my design decisions, feeling that I am not making the most out of it and that I have wasted a precious resource,

    ReplyDelete
  34. I love seeing what you do with scraps! Always inspiring to me. I would like to continue seeing more ways to use fabric I already have...particularly with pieces FQ size or smaller. Its fun to come across ideas for quicker sewing items than quilts.
    Oh and I'm waiting patiently for a new online class. :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. I would love to be able to take my WIP/UFOs from "in progress" to "completed'. I've got one that is 3 quarters of a postage stamp quilt, one lap quilt cut, and an entire quilt's worth of half finished solid wonky nine patches. On the one hand I really would like to complete them, on the other I've completely lost interest.

    ReplyDelete
  36. More time is surely what I need. But I also need a possibility to write down all my ideas I have all day long. I also have to find a way to not be overwhelmed so much that I want to make more than I'll ever be able to make. When it comes to scraps I have to find a possibility to use those very small scraps that are unuseful because there's not enough for seam allowances. Otherwise I'd have to throw them away. That are just topics that come to my head. There's of course much more like being able to finish what I begin before being distracted or losing interest...

    ReplyDelete
  37. It seems to me there are three categories of issues mainly for me and many others. One is stuck or time to finish what we have already started. Two, inspiration and courage to tackle something new, whether it be design or size or kind of quilt that might be new like paper piecing and the like, and Three, organizing, using up and coming up with what to do with scraps and left over oddities from past quilts or how to use scraps into something useful.
    I have been working on the DYO sampler from last month to use up some orphan blocks and big scraps from past quilts in the same color scheme. I started a leader and ender scrap quilt to save thread and use up those tiny little odd snips from making my own binding, and I am trying to design and implement my own designs into something quilt show worthy (not judged but seen by fellow peers). It is overwhelming and exhausting. I wonder if there might be something to the old 'quilt in a day' idea where you set aside time and focus your efforts to completing so much in one day. Almost everyone who doesn't have time can pick 4 hours once in a blue moon to get something done. I am not sure, but maybe you have the guidance we need.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Firstly I'd like to say, I love your blog. I've been following for quite a while and really love it.
    I'd love to have more smaller projects - you know those projects you can whip up when you need a teacher gift or find one of your friends have a birthday tomorrow that you have forgotten. Scrap use is always useful. I'd love a tutorial on the type of interfacings used for the quilted bags

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oooo - interfacing - good question. I'd like to know more about how to use the different types or various projects to make with the different types of interfacing.

      Delete
  39. When it comes to sewing with scraps, I often have the problem to give it a modern touch. In books about modern scrap quilting the authors don't really use "real" scraps. They often sew with various ranges from modern fabric collections with the result of creating stunning quilts but what's about sewing with ordinary scraps? Kind regards from mARTINA

    ReplyDelete
  40. I am a neat freak so I can become overly consumed with storage solutions, specifically how to fold fabric that lets say is not a perfect fat quarter, but still lots of good usable fabric. Tips on this would be great.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'd love information on how to make my quilting pay for itself. I don't necessarily want to make my living at it, though that would be nice too, but if I could just make enough money to pay for my fabric and thread that would be a great start. Any ideas, tips, cautions, etc would be welcome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GREAT question! I have this question too.

      Delete
  42. What a great question...I thought at first I knew what my answer would be but then I stopped and really thought about it and I'm glad I did. At first I thought it was a lack of focus but then I realized that my greatest "issue" is not knowing how to finish the quilt I just spent so much time making. I have so many tops done and they're all lovely...IMHO :)...but they're just hanging on a quilt rack waiting to get quilted. I don't have the funds to be able to afford having them long arm machine quilted...and I really do enjoy the process of quilting, I just don't know which pattern to choose. Would the quilt look better with a lot of dense overall quilting or would simple cross-hatching lines be best. To me the quilting design is what makes or breaks the whole quilt - I've spent so much time on the fabric selection, cutting, and sewing that I really want to be sure that the quilting design I choose is going to complement the quilt. But, I have a very hard time choosing a design. So, I put the top aside and just let it go unfinished (sometimes for a few years!). And the larger the quilt the harder it is to decide what to do. Any tips would be most welcome. Thank you for this great question. LOVE your blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! I too, struggle with how to finish! I am fairly new to machine quilting (believe it or not, I usually quilt everything by hand which takes FOREVER!!!) I would like to get better with FMQing or machine quilting on my own domestic machine in general.

      Delete
  43. I would love some tips on making a large quilt (king size). I want to make one for my bed and I am pretty new to quilting. As in I've finished three and am working on two more. I have a Singer Heritage sewing machine. Do you have any tips for quilting something that large on a home sewing machine? I love your work and can't wait to see what you make with all those beautiful scraps! I would love to follow along with your series, but don't have enough scraps yet. I guess I had better get quilting huh? Thank you for everything you do!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Good question! I'm commenting because I'm hoping to get some tips from other readers - no one else seems to have asked this one yet. I need a way to entertain my 17 month old while I sew. This should give me more time, because then I don't have to wait for her to go to bed to get a little bit of sewing done. No matter what toys I bring in, they don't hold her interest. She constantly wants to be underfoot, on my lap (which is sometimes ok except she has gotten more wiggly and will slide off my leg, and she has gotten more interested in the machine itself and I don't want her to get her hands in the way), or she wants to play with the case of bobbins and box of needles on the side table. I have a large open space in the middle of the room for her to play but she won't stay over there, she has to be by my machine. Does anyone get sewing done with a toddler around?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel that, except swap out curious toddler for colicky infant...

      Delete
    2. Jess, I actually found it much easier to sew when she was a baby. I would put her in the carrier and she would usually fall asleep, or at least be entertained by the sewing machine's motion and sounds. Now she never sits still!

      Delete
  45. I'm always up for a really good tutorial no mater what it's for. On my list would be;

    1) How to square up a FULL size quilt. All the videos I watch show how to do this process on a small sample which is all good and well when your rulers are the size of your project but what if they are not (insert FULL size quilt).
    2) Always looking for a great binding tutorial. I don't know why? I've watched hundreds of tutorials yet every time I do mine I just don't feel that my binding is "full". Does that make sense.
    3) I do not FMQ, it's straight line for me. I'd love to know the proper way to start and stop stitches. Especially if I don't want to start at the edge of my quilt. Maybe I want to get a little fancier and have my straight lines go in different directions depending on my quilt pattern. How do I start stitching in the middle of my quilt.
    4) Of course there is always room for learning techniques for making a flying geese, snowball etc.
    I know these probably seem like really basic things but I feel like a lot of people tend to skip over the seemingly basic steps.

    Thanks for your question Rachael, hope your no too bogged down by all of the replies. :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean by a "full" binding. Sometimes I'm successful and sometimes not. I just finished binding a quilt that seriously lacks fullness in the binding. I use 2 1/2 binding strips and find I do better if I'm careful to attach the binding on with more than a 1/4" seam. This time I wasn't careful. That technique does make it a little more difficult when I finish the binding as I do that by hand, but it is totally worth the result.

      Delete
    2. You can use a large deck or hardwood floor to square a full size quilt. Use the floor lines to be your 'rulers'. You can also create a square using painters tape, and any square ruler (for the 90 angles), use the floor..

      Personally, I 'square' my full size quilts by cutting the batting and backing to fit the top size. If there is a slight angle or parallelogram shape, I am OK with that. It's nearly impossible to see when the quilt is on a bed. Squaring is more important when it's a wall-hanging, IMO.

      Delete
  46. Hmmm. I need focus, organization, and decisiveness.

    Focus - lately I just seem to flit from one thing to another without settling down on any one project.

    Organization - Lack of focus may be due to my lack of organization as I think I will start Project A and then I can't find half the stuff I need for it even though I know I have it ... somewhere.

    Decisiveness - I have some wonderful fabrics that I just can't seem to decide how to use. This pattern or that pattern? Or maybe something else entirely. Yikes!

    Yes, Rachel, I do need help. Love your blog and your projects. You are very inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I'd like more projects that can be done in discrete sections, so I can feel a sense of accomplishment, but at the same time--I want the sewing to be relaxing.

    Fussy fancy blocks are gorgeous, but it's not where I'm at right now. I've been doing improv blocks, and that's better. Something scrappy but relaxing? Sometimes I just make a lot of journal covers, but now everyone I know has one--so something like that, but different?

    I can only really sew in short chunks of time--twenty minutes here, fifteen there. If I have a rare afternoon, it's probably used to put the quilt together, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  48. My first instinct is to say, "I need more time!" but that is only part of the story. I could use more time, though. I work full time and barely keep up with the house and getting food in all the mouths when I'm not at work, so I could definitely use the time. On long weekends I feel much happier quilting, probably because I've had the time to breathe and some of the housework gets done. But I can't really quit my job...at least not without seriously ruining my life.

    I have several projects going now that have deadlines, so I've been working on them when I do have the time, and not necessarily the projects I would rather be doing. I could stop doing projects that have deadlines, or minimize them. With the deadlines, I feel rushed, and don't often do my best work. It comes back to the time thing.

    Working within my limitations (time) I think I would most benefit from some quick projects. Not necessarily small projects, but projects I can easily break up into 15-minute slices. I could hide in the sewing area for 15 minutes after getting home from work without too much impact on the rest of them. The 15-minute slices of time would work better if they were well-planned out. I tend to spend the first 15 minutes of any sewing time just sitting there planning or organizing.

    Yeah, 15-minute project intervals!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I can see myself in so many of the other responses. My life feels like it's been turned upside down these past few weeks, and while I have a quilt to finish and one to start I just can't bring myself to sit down and do it. I wouldn't say it's a lack of motivation or focus... It feels as though each new big thing in my life has drained away a good amount of my creative energy and now I'm left with next to nothing. It's not a simple need, but definitely something that needs fixing.

    My other challenge lies in my stash. I love working with scraps, and have a ton all organized by color, but I feel as though I've used up all my favorites and now all I'm left with are the ones I have no idea what to do with (they aren't ugly, but just aren't my style or taste). I'm trying to use them up in an EPP star quilt, but I'm still left with many scraps that I have no idea what to do with. And because I have little fun money with which to purchase fabric that I love, pretty scraps don't often enter the picture these days. I'd love to see some small projects that would solve that problem.

    These aren't real problems in the grand scheme of things, but nice-to-haves that would be... well... nice to have. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe you should swap scraps with another quilter

      Delete
    2. could you cut your scraps into charm packs or smaller squares and sell them? Or, add some neutrals to them and make donation quilts? Or "I Spy" quilts? Also like the idea of swapping with someone else.....I have the opposite problem....I'm fairly new to quilting and have very few scraps.

      Delete
  50. I love the ideas about using up random scraps of fabric that aren't remotely related and don't look good next to each other. However, my main wish is for a better machine. I actually read your FMQ entry before this one, and I was sad and slightly frustrated that I don't have the budget for a more reliable machine. I'm thankful for the one I have, for sure, and it does the basics, but it has quirks that cause problems. I suppose I could try again and make sure it's not just a lack of practice, but my machine sometimes also skips stitches, keeps running even after my foot leaves the pedal, etc. Grrr! It would be SO nice to be able to finish my quilts more efficiently and not be confined to straight lines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, my machine is a straight stitch only bugger

      Delete
  51. I need to find a way to create a method that gets me to spend some time- even if only 15 minutes every day sewing something.....My sewing stuff is stashed away from the rest of the house. Thinking about setting up a table in the main hub area just for those 15 minute chunks..... I could use some motivation help too.....Love the color class this winter and that was a really good way to get motivated!

    ReplyDelete
  52. I really love the idea of a scraps project because they just keep multiplying. I have tiny scraps, selvedges, strips, triangles etc that I can’t bear to throw away. Maybe projects that can make a dent in the scrap bin and are easy to assemble like scrappy mini quilt projects? I recently joined a bee and have found it so fun (and satisfying) to put a few different types of blocks together without that daunting feeling of having to make 20 more in order to complete a quilt. These blocks were done in under 2h - scrappy sprouts and a chunky cross. I really loved the AMH skirt sew along you hosted because it was such an instant gratification project with beautiful results. So, I’m suggesting some short, easy to assemble scrap projects if that’s possible as a sew along. I was hoping you’d have a FMQ class at some point for those of us who haven’t done it at all. Hope that helps. I love your blog and your classes.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I'm a beginner so I appreciate your basic quilting tips. I don't belong to any quilting groups so the internet is where I learn the "how to" of quilting. I would also appreciate reviews of different machine feet and general quilting accessories as I get a bit bewilder eat the quilt fairs by the volume of things available. Are they essential or gimmicks? Which ones are worth buying? Love your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Time is my biggest issue right now but its a season I have to plow through. Oh, but that doesn't stop my mind from thinking, planning, dreaming of color....oh the colors :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi, Rachel! Love your blog and all of the very useful information you provide. And I love the stories behind the quilting that give a glimpse into your life. About the scraps, well, I think I mostly get overwhelmed by the amount of scraps I have and honestly, sometimes I'm overwhelmed by all of the "inspiration" in the form of books and material on the web. I'm currently working on organizing and making a space to actually create in so I can get busy! How do you organize your "inspiration"? Is being over-inspired even a problem? Seems like mostly I think about what I could make instead of making it but not because I don't want to make, maybe I don't know what to make....

    ReplyDelete
  56. I'm overflowing with creativity and ideas.....lacking a good, dedicated work space...it takes over our dining room . Once I put it away, then it's hard to get it all out again. do you have any pull with HGTV or DIY channel for a craft room addition???? LOL

    Otherwise, I agree on videos for FMQ would be helpful. I've been working on it but very slowly. I hate sandwiching quilts....so tend to do Quilt as you Go or smaller art quilts that I can manage easier on my machine.....speaking of which....I'd LOVE, LOVE, LOVE a new, better machine! .....you asked

    ReplyDelete
  57. I have inherited a lot of fabric from my mother, it is decent fabric, but old and not really my style. I'd love to figure out how to make them work together with my small stash of newer fabrics. I don't want to spend a lot of money on fabric when I have yardage here, but the fabrics just don't go together. Bottom line- I'd love help brainstorming ways to make scrap quilts.
    Also, I'd love a way to encourage me to work on my quilting everyday- even if it is just for 5 minutes. How do I organize my time so that the 5 minutes is productive?
    Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  58. I think the time management/time motivation ideas are great. I love insights into exactly how people sew. Do you get up in the morning and straight away sew in your pj's? Do you get ready, get husband/kids/dogs ready, plan out your day, all your meals, schedule your sewing. Do you sew when you can. I think maybe even a series of guest posts about exactly how people sew would be great. I read a blog where in one post she had an hourly or half hourly break down of one of her typical days. I find it helps to have real examples of how others do it besides "find the time".

    Small but useful projects ( very detailed ) would be great. Simple modern ways for scraps. I don't have much time for 1,487 HST carpenter block from scraps.

    Maybe ways people organize/store their projects so that they can take them out and work on them for 15 or so min at a time. I have no sewing space. I have to pull out my machine, project, fabrics, thread, notions, any possible fabrics, threads, notions I might need as well. Or I'm running around trying to find that one thing I need. I am always having to move everything usually a couple times a week. I sometimes have to move my entire fairly considerable stash from one side of the house to the other depending on what's going on.

    Maybe a challenge to use some of our favorite, precious or special fabrics. Maybe in a smaller project, or a pick your own quilt design but cut, piece and quilt at the same time "fave fabs" QAL.

    And maybe a series of posts or guest posts on what quilting/sewing means to people. How special it is, why do we do it, why is it important? Sometimes I need to be reminded that what we are doing is being makers, creators, fashioning beauty from bits and pieces. Carrying a part of the divine in us that is expressed through cloth.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I love the idea of tutorials for useful small projects. My scraps are all over the place in terms of design and don't necessarily play well together. Having smaller items I could finish quickly, rather than the big projects I seem to tackle all the time would be great. Thanks for asking!

    ReplyDelete
  60. I want to know how to create a quilt without my house looking like a tornado hit it! :) Seriously though, I haven't quilted in like four months because I just don't want the mess that comes with it!

    ReplyDelete
  61. A little late to the comments but I feel like time is my biggest problem, too. I feel like I need a big chunk of time set aside to start sewing. Also, sometimes just going to the machine and getting started is a big obstacle. I get distracted by other things. Once I get there, I enjoy myself, it's just sometimes hard to get started. I never experienced that with knitting, when I could pick it up and put it down whenever.

    And the one thing that will stall me faster than anything is the when the next step is either basting (ugh, I hate basting!) or starting a new quilt (I get paralyzed when it's time to start cutting fabric).

    ReplyDelete
  62. The number one thing that would allow me to enjoy this hobby more is more $$$$!

    ReplyDelete
  63. I'm a newer quilter/sewer, so I have a very small stash. But though I obviously wouldn't say no to you sending me a whole pile of fabric, I'd love to learn how to use what I have. My budget allows me to buy mostly fat quarters here and there, maybe a half yard if I really love it or there's a great sale. So leading off of that, I love tutorials for small projects. They really build my confidence. Tutorials for adding zippers or other basics are also huge for me. That being said, I love (maybe a bit of envy) that other quilters can churn out quilts quickly and I draw so much inspiration from that. Yours is one of my favorite blogs- I'll keep following no matter what you do!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails