One of the most asked questions of new quilters is whether
or not to prewash fabric
I’ve read all the pros and cons, but I really do not like to
prewash fabric. I think I did it once and when the fabric came out of the
dryer, it was a tangled, wrinkled mess. I tamed it with the iron, but I can’t
imagine doing that with everything I buy.
I also like working with fabric right off the bolt. I like the feel of it. But I especially like how it looks in a finished quilt that is washed for the first time.
Yardage over pre-cuts
One of the challenges I have undertaken in my quilting
experience is to learn about colors and patterns, contrast and value in the
fabric we use in our quilts. Matching fabrics is one of the first decisions in
quilt making; it is one I never want to surrender to someone else. Choosing the
right fabrics is part of the thrill of making a quilt. And each one is a
Hand quilting versus free-motion machine quilting
Neither hand-quilting nor machine quilting is a preference
for me because I enjoy both methods. I free-motion quilted my last quilt but I
am currently hand-quilting my latest one. Both methods require practice. Each
is enjoyable in its own way.
At the risk of sounding like a crazy woman, my experience
has shown that the quilt will tell you what it needs. Quilting a quilt as well
as the patterns to use, are the kind of decisions that make a quilt uniquely your
I’ve often said that I love every process in quilt making
but that isn’t quite true
I do love most parts of making a quilt, from fabric
selection, to cutting and sewing, to piecing and quilting, but there is one
process I’m not fond of—sandwiching the quilt. Putting the completed quilt top,
batting, and backing together and basting is not my favorite part. In fact, I
rather dread it. I don’t really have a space for it. I’m too old to lay out a
quilt on the floor, and at my house, that is a perfect invitation for cats to
play on mom’s new quilt. So, rather grudgingly, I use my dining room table. I
drag out the heavy leaf to make it as big as I can. And I set out to get the
three pieces together without wrinkles as I do laps around the table many, many
times. That works well enough, I suppose, but it is far from ideal.
The same is true for basting the quilt. I’ve tried thread
basting, but don’t really like that since the quilt is always bigger, in both length
and width, than my table. I’ve basted using curved safety pins and I’ve even
tried the spray basting method. I have to admit that I was surprised at how
well spray basting worked, but I just don’t have the trust in it, especially
for a hand-quilting project that takes so long to complete. So, my go to is
pin-basting. I rarely use as many pins as I should because I’m too impetuous
and just want to get started quilting. And, I admit that one of my favorite
quilts has a big wrinkle in the backing fabric. It isn’t obvious because it was
densely machine quilted, and just looks like another seam, but I know it is
there. And that is frustrating.
Hand or machine binding
I love binding my quilts by hand. Binding is one of my
favorite things because when the binding is done, the quilt is done. There is
nothing better than finishing a quilt.
Quilting is such an inspiration to me. It is one of the most
fulfilling activities I have found. The best part for me, is the challenge it provides.
I have no idea what quilt will be next, but I do know I will always be a
Please feel free to comment. I’d love to hear your quilting