Ten Quilty Little Secrets

This morning I ran across Quilting Jetgirl’s list of 10 quilty little secrets. She linked back to Amy at 13spools.com, who started the notion.

What ten secrets do I have about my quilting? Nothing I’m ashamed of, I can assure you! So I don’t mind sharing.

  1. Like Amy and Yvonne, I sew over pins. ALL the time. As long as I’ve sewed, I may have broken one needle. But I also use very thin pins, and I’m extremely careful to remove basting pins at the long-arm. And I’m good about changing needles regularly.
  2. I don’t believe in “setting seams.” Truly, I can’t figure out what we’re supposedly setting. Sure, you can get a seam to press open better by pressing it flat first. But is that because you are “setting the seam?” I don’t think so. I think it’s because you flattened the fabrics around the threads, and because you’ve warmed up the fabrics and thread to make them more pliable.
  3. I’m glad for the Modern Quilt movement. It’s brought a lot of new quilters into the world. But I don’t agree there is anything “modern” about it other than style. A kiss is still a kiss, and a quilt is still a quilt.
  4. I get a kick out of having perfect points.
  5. And I get a kick out of having my work sized correctly.
  6. AND I’m not a perfectionist. But I am a pretty-goodist. For me it’s more fun to create when not struggling with size issues.
  7. I’ve rarely bought fabric on-line. I like to feel it and to see the crispness of the print.
  8. I’ve only bought fat quarter bundles a couple of times.
  9. I don’t care who the designer is. The DESIGN is what’s important, not the name behind it.
  10. I am unceasingly grateful to my blog readers, and in particular to those who take a moment to comment. We are connected, and the power of our connection shines when we support each other in our creativity.

Do you have quilty secrets? I’d love to hear them.

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24 thoughts on “Ten Quilty Little Secrets

  1. farmquilter

    I also agree about the designers. I’ve been aware of specific designers, but I can honestly say that in every collection there is one fabric I don’t care for, so I never buy a whole collection. Buying precuts is not my thing – I would rather buy yardage (the evidence is in my stash!!!). The design on the fabric is what is important to me too (after the quality of the fabric) and how it will work with what I already have. I am amazed at how my taste in fabric has changed in the 6.5 years I have been quilting!!!

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    1. Cjhaab

      My secrets include
      1) I’m a needle cheapskate. I’ll spend “big bucks” on fabric, batting and thread, but try to stretch the life of needles as far as possible. Why? They only cost about $.30 each, certainly a small investment to change them more often, and I do notice better results when I use a new needle.
      2) My fabric collection is made up of just stuff I like and have randomly purchased over the last few years. There is little rhyme, reason or consistency in style or color preferences. However, I feel many of the quilts I make come out as being “my style.” If you know the secret to that, let me in on it!
      3) I used to sew clothes and now I’d rather sew quilts. Is that a secret? ? ?
      4) I am looking forward to retiring for more time to work on quilts.

      Can’t come up with ten right now, but thanks for sharing yours.

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      1. Melanie McNeil Post author

        You’re welcome. I don’t know about my rhyme or reason on fabric purchases. You have more varied taste than I, I think. But yes, what you make all looks like you.

        No worries on replying. I’m just glad to hear from you on this.

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      2. Nann

        “I’ll bet you’re getting a lot of quilts made since you’ve retired.” Many people have said that to me this summer. They are mistaken. I still have to plan time in my studio. And my to-do list is not getting any shorter.

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    2. Melanie McNeil Post author

      My taste has changed, too. Mostly I’ve moved away from distinctly floral prints and toward more tone-on-tone and solids. I still like geometrics, too. Plaids, stripes, dots!! I still buy them when I find ones I like. And I’ve never bought pre-cuts other than fat quarters. I wash everything before using, so the smaller the cut, the more edges there are to fray.

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  2. Erica

    Followed you here from Yvonne’s blog and thoroughly enjoye my visit. I like well-done points as well, makes me feel like I’m actually getting good at something! Thanks for the read.

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  3. Sharon - IN

    #3! Great quote! “A kiss is still a kiss, and a quilt is still a quilt.” There is too much side picking going on right now! I’ll be back to hop around your blog soon!

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  4. snarkyquilter

    I think quilty secrets are like sneaking down to the kitchen late at night and eating Cherry Garcia right out of the carton – just a little bit bad. My main “secret” is that I’m terrible at 1/4 inch seams and have evolved ways to compensate so things match up. However, I’d never sew over a pin for fear my grandmother’s ghost would strike me down. I also hate sewing in hanging sleeves and so have quilts that haven’t seen the light of day since I made them.

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Well, if they haven’t seen the light of day, they are not sun-faded, so there’s that… 🙂

      Yeah, I guess I’m not very bad. I need to be badder, perhaps… I’ll think about that…

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        1. Melanie McNeil Post author

          Yes. I struggle with how to respond — if at all — when I see blog posts from some that are quilt show photos, no attribution to the quilt makers. Or yesterday I was looking at a site that purports to give quilt history. It displays abundant photos with no attribution to maker or owner or photographer. In a past life (different venue) I would have been able to politely say, “the custom is to give credit.” But within the blog world that seems very difficult.

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  5. Granny Maud's Girl

    Yes, a quilt is still a quilt.
    I am not a perfectionist either, but I hate wrestling with things to force them to fit so I try to sew accurately. I do the best I can. If I think I can redo it better, I will. If I think that is as good as it gets, it stays.
    I slow down (a bit) when I sew over pins.

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I’ve thought about it a lot and still don’t get it. What I’ve read is that “setting” it sets the threads embedded into the fabrics. But if your tension is right, that shouldn’t be an issue. And what that would have to do with getting a nice press, I don’t know anyway! Thanks for taking a look.

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  6. Anne Beier

    I am a pretty-goodist too! I’m 5’2″, and when I shop I don’t care if the jeans are made by a designer or not. If they make me look taller, great. It’s the same with me and fabrics.

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