June is month #6 in our 1 Million Mile Quilted Postcard Challenge. The theme is “Hit the Road, Jack”.
June is a time when many people start their summer vacations. Maybe its a destination, maybe its a landmark, maybe its landscape, maybe its a memory. Normally I don’t tell you what my cards will be like until the reveal on the last Wednesday of the month, but this time I will let you know that my cards will be a landscape. What about you? What story can your scraps of your fabric tell? If you want to make a postcard but need help getting started, check out Quilted Postcards in 5 easy steps.
My cards will once again be mailed from a mystery location. Would you like one? Let me know this week so that I know how many to make. And I would love to see what you come up with. Send me a postcard, or a picture of your creations.
Finally, it’s done and its time to reveal a big quilt. Make that two. My quilts – Sister Act I and Sister Act II have been in the works for almost a year. It started with a trip to Keystone Quilts, a local quilt store that had just opened. They were hosting ‘Gravity’ – a pattern by Jaybird Quilts as a Block of the Month series. I loved it from the minute I saw it.
Here is my Gravity quilt called Sister Act I. It is a modern quilt that combines 107 solid colours of Kona cotton. My quilt looks just like everyone else who purchased and made this kit. That is a good thing. It is why a person buys a kit. You know what you are getting, and you know what it will look like in the end. Someone else had done all the thinking and planning. Success is almost guaranteed. The only difference between my quilt and the quilt made by at least 25 other people in this area is the actual quilting pattern. My quilting was done by Donna at Inthreadible Quilting and the pattern we chose was an edge-to-edge design called Modern Curves.
Here is Sister Act II. I love them both but for different reasons. This one is made from batiks and I discovered that although I like the look of plain fabrics, I prefer sewing batiks. There is movement. There is personality. The picture really doesn’t do it justice.
Why make two? A kit guarantees success, but takes away the mystery. Following the directions someone else has laid out turns a pleasurable hobby into a job. It is working towards the end, but not necessarily enjoying the journey. Choosing your own fabric increases the risk, but adds mystery. Sometimes you deliberately choose a piece of fabric because you think it’s the best one; sometimes you use a piece because it’s all you have; sometimes you let the fabric decide where it will go. You don’t know exactly what will happen but you just can’t wait to finish the block. There is anticipation and excitement to see what it will look like. It also makes it unique. There won’t be another 25 identical quilts floating around the same guild. Making 2 gives you the best of both worlds. Guaranteed success with one and continued motivation with the other. That brings me to reason #2 – cost.
All of the initial costs went into the first quilt. The rulers cost the same, whether you make one quilt or 10. Same with the pattern. But I already had most of the fabric for the second quilt, so I figured I could make the second one for little extra cost.
Reason #3 is efficiency. Making two quilts simultaneously is much faster than making one after the other. (And what are the chances of that anyway?) Reading the instructions and comprehending them will take the same amount of time for 1 quilt as it does for 2. Cutting the fabrics (in this case 12 for each block) will take more time, but you already have everything set up for cutting so the time does not double. Sewing is not only faster the second time around, it is also more precise. Small mistakes can be corrected, making your second block better than your first.
At this point I must say that Jaybird Quilts did a fabulous job on their pattern. It was a fun pattern to make. There was variety with each block to keep you interested and on your toes. Then I loved the fact that the blocks weren’t square. It added a whole new dimension, especially at the end when you were combining the blocks. My biggest challenge was lining up seams that were not at a 90 degree angle, but you are well practiced by the end. Also, working on the bias makes some things easier.
Variety. Cost. Efficiency. Results? Sister Act II definitely had more variety and I enjoyed the process more, but it was at the cost of efficiency. The time I saved executing the pattern, was spent thinking about which fabrics to use and where to place them. And costs? In the end, the kit was cheaper. There is always sticker shock associated with kits. Somehow we think the fabric in our stash is free. But at some point we paid for it. And that didn’t include the border fabric, which was surprisingly hard to find. My theory about saving time and money was blown out of the water. Not the individual parts, but when all was considered.
Moral of the story? Do what it takes to stay motivated. If you don’t want to waste time thinking, stay with the kit. If you want to save money, stay with the kit. If you want a great looking quilt, stay with the kit. On the other hand, if you like the planning process, use your own fabrics. If you like some mystery, use your own fabrics. If you like a quilt that is unique, use your own fabrics. Or, do what I did – make both.