quick projects, slow finishes, totally worth it

scrappy tripalong quilt

Remember that scrappy tripalong top I banged out in a night? Or was it two nights? I can’t even remember, so I certainly don’t expect anyone else to do so. Well, heh, I threw that top on a pile of other tops and stacked them on a “to be quilted” shelf and promptly forgot about them – ALL of them. Eh, you know how it goes. Life happens, there are places to go, there are other projects that you are more excited about, other ideas need to be explored, and the wees need to go out and play. Every now and then, I look at the stack (as I throw another top on it) and think, “Oh shit! I better get quilting.” Annnnnnnd then I forget all about it all over again. Heh.
Recently, my father-in-law commented on my Halloween-y Kaleidoscope quilt, saying he really likes it and that he’d like a quilt of his own. I intend to make him an awesome one for xmas, but for now, I figured the ST quilt, measuring roughly 45 x 60 inches, would be the perfect size for a lap quilt/throw as he sits in his rocking chair grading papers.
As I mentioned before, I am not crazy about this design in general. It’s just not my thing. However, I am really glad I tried this particular strip-piecing technique because I love learning new techniques and this one has given me a million ideas for other designs that can be pieced in a similar fashion. Learning something new and gaining inspiration for other quilts? I’d say this was a win. And I also had a top at the ready to quilt and give to someone I love. Even more win!

more free motion practice

I backed it with a snuggle-worthy flannel in a colorway that matched the top and went to town with some free-motion quilting on it. At first, I debated how to quilt it. Originally I was going to do criss-crossing straight lines on a 45º diagonal. I thought that might be a bit redundant and boring, though, and opted to free-motion quilt echoing petals which would be a contrast to the rectilinear composition of the quilt. Also? Any opportunity to practice free-motion quilting is great. I’m starting to actually see improvements in my skills – more even and consistent stitches, better flow, and I’m finding it easier to move the quilt around while I’m stitching. Slowly, I’m growing more confident in my abilities with this and having fun with it while I’m at it. And isn’t that the way to go/grow? There’s no better way to learn something than to dive in and do it, to not be afraid of mistakes because we only learn from them, to practice and practice more. Because practice makes us better at it. Every time we go to do it again, we see how it becomes easier and more natural.
Anyhoo, here’s the corner shot:


I’m happy to report my father-in-law is thrilled with it. So hooray to awesome people, learning new techniques, and another happy finished quilt!

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