Wednesday, January 11, 2012

W.i.P Wednesday #1

I have a whole list of projects that are in some form or fashion underway. I've decided to link up with W.i.P Wednesdays over at freshlypieced to help myself to keep moving forward on them. To help clarify my list and where each quilt is at I thought I'd give you a little insight into my quilting process and stages.

Step 1: Fabric - I'm usually inspired by the fabric and not by a pattern. I rarely use a pattern for my quilts. I usually fall in love with a print(s) and then work from there. I never have all my fabric when I start a quilt, it's usually just a few main pieces.

Step 2: Design - This is where I usually sit with the fabric and just start drawing. Sometimes I search the net for inspiration but most of the time the fabric gives me the idea. I've always worked with graph paper and colored pencils but recently got EQ7 so I'm kinda in transition. I'm still sketching while I learn the program and when I need to really work something out I still go to paper but I do love some of the EQ features and how easy it is to make a few changes to a pattern without having to redraw it.

Step 3: Cutting - I say cutting but this is also my buying phase. I look for fabrics to fill in my design and get to cutting. Sometimes I get hung up here since I can't find exactly what I want so a quilt can get partially cut and sit for awhile. I'm trying to keep a good enough stash of stuff around that I love so that I can find something that will work right at home. This has been working lately and hopefully will continue. Since I don't always have access to a shop when I'm on the boat I really do want to build up some more fabric. Plus it's almost always more expensive out of the US so it'd be good if I could take some back with me in April.

Step 4: Piecing - This is where the majority of the sewing is done. Usually it goes with the cutting phase since we all know that there are some shortcuts out there if you cut and sew and then cut again but sometimes I cut everything first and then sew. This is the step in which the front of my quilt gets completed. I have to say that the design, cutting, and piecing steps end up blending a lot of the time since I tend to start reworking stuff as I go.

Step 5: Backing - I usually try to buy a yard or so of backing material at the time I buy whatever fabric has inspired me to make a new quilt but sometimes I use one of the other fabrics I pick up later. I use the whatever I have left over from the front to figure out what my back is going to be. Sometimes it's just a solid or print and other times it's a simpler pieced pattern.

Step 6: Quilting - I'm not really the best machine quilter and I tend to like just straight lines so that is what I do most. Sometimes I create a pattern with my lines but this again depends on the design of the quilt and what I think is appropriate. I like heavier quilted quilts but they take so much time to do that sometimes I'm lazy and just quilt what I think the minimum amount is to reinforce the seems.

Step 7: Binding - I'm not a fan of the binding process because by this point I just want my creation to be done so I can show it off but it is necessary in order to finish so I get it done.

So here is my list of projects and the basic phase that they are currently in...

I have 5 quilts that were supposed to be done for Christmas - ooops: My husband sorta made me stop sewing the week of Christmas because I had a total breakdown about not being ready for the baby to come (he's due today - tick tock) so I switched gears for a few weeks but am back at it. Unfortunately there are five little kids wondering why their aunt and uncle don't love them enough to get them a Christmas present. Guess it's good we didn't see them on Christmas? Hopefully I can get these done before I go into labor or see them...which ever comes first. I've named them after the kids and have actually finished 3 of the 5 but I kinda see them as a package deal since they were all supposed to be done together.
*Alex: Done
*Zela: Done
*Beck: Done
*Rudy: I was in the quilting stage this morning but now I'm done - only one to go...
*Elle: Backing
I'll try to post some pictures of these finished projects on Friday.

I'm working on a quilt for my sister. I found fabric that just reminded me of her. I had the squares finished when I returned to the states in August and got the front done once I was home but got stuck on the back which is where the quilt stands. I think I have it figured out now but I have to get it done.
*Stephanie: Backing

My BF from college had a baby boy last year and I'm horrible because I didn't even start a quilt for him until October (a year after he was born) but I'm working on it. Most of the front squares are done but I'm not entirely sure how I want to lay it out.
*Evan: Piecing

I had this awesome idea for a pinwheel quilt that I started before I got on the boat 2.5 years ago. It is one of the projects that ended up in a cabinet on the boat and tucked away for two years. I pulled it out last year when we were in New Zealand and living on land. I was actually sewing the last three blocks when the earthquake in Christchurch hit and we had to abandon our apartment. Long story short, I'm just lucky to have gotten it back and want to get it done asap. I'd actually like to rework this pattern and do another of it.
*Pinwheels: Piecing

After the Earthquake happened my husband and I left Christchurch and stayed in a hostel for awhile. Luckily there was a quilt shop across the street and I bought fabric to keep my mind off of things. I started hand sewing a quilt but have taken out my hand stitching to do it on the machine now that I am back in business. I keep changing my mind on exactly how I want to do this one.
*Golf: Design, Cutting, Piecing

I've found myself buying a bunch of panels in the last year. One of them being an alphabet for kids. I wanted to sew it up in an unusual way so I've made it into a maze. I've got about half of the front done.
*Animal Alphabet: Piecing

I started the Tokyo Quilt Along by Elizabeth Hartman. I just fell in love with this quilt and shopped all over NZ to find fabrics for it. I've got all the colored squares cut but am reworking the squares so that I don't have to cut so many of the white squares. I may do this in the end but I'll probably piece it differently.
*Tokyo: Cutting

I'd like to make a growth chart that I can store easily on the boat for the little man to come. I've got some ideas and fabric.
*Growth Chart: Design

I have some fabric that made me think of my dad. I've got an idea in my head but nothing on paper yet.
*Boats: Fabric

I have this fabric that I think would be perfect for a little boy who lives on a boat :) but I haven't really started working on the design yet. Some ideas are floating around in my head but I have so many other projects going I'm not really there yet.
*World People: Fabric

I bought fabric that I think will make a fun table runner and possibly placemats.
*Sweets: Fabric

I have a box of fabric that I know has at least a few other projects in it but these are my priority at the moment. I'll dig through it this week and see what others I'd like to get started soon. As you can see I like to be working on a bunch of things all at once and keeping stuff in different stages makes it so that I can work on my quilting anywhere at any time.

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