Never Say Never

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

When I started quilting 18 months ago, there were plenty of things I swore up and down that would never interest me. To be honest, I had even sworn I would never make a second quilt. Within two weeks, I had changed my mind. My mercurial personality has been a blessing when it comes to quilting, and it encourages me to try everything at least once. I've even become quite fond of a few things I promised I would never bother with.

Traditional Blocks

I admit it. I used to think "traditional" was a dirty, stinky word that evoked the smell of mothballs. I wanted every quilt to be revolutionary! Why go backwards? Ah, the ignorance of the newbie.

Lately, my Pinterest board has been dotted with traditional blocks, albeit with modern fabrics. Bear Paws, Pickle Dishes, kaleidoscopes, Dresdens, and even plain half-square triangles! Red Pepper Quilts is probably where this guilty pleasure began. There is nothing you can't make modern with bright, cheery prints. And there is something to be said for simplicity.


I used to loathe handwork. I had spent my first 10 years sewing with nothing but a needle and thread, and handwork felt like baby stuff. But after a few EPP projects, I had an itch to do more. I've come to love needle turn applique. I've even sworn off machine binding (okay, maybe I shouldn't swear anything off). I don't relish the process of finding matching thread colors, but a simple hand sewing project is the closest I can get to relaxing before I get the nagging need to be productive.

Hand Quilting

My second quilt was hand quilted, but it had been a means to an end rather than something I set out to do. The queen size quilt was too much for me to handle on my machine, so my options were hand quilting or send it to a longarm quilter, which wasn't in my budget. It took 4 weeks of slow, steady stitching...far larger than I am patient for.

Since then, I hadn't hand quilted anything larger than a mini up until I was ready to quilt my Circle Lattice. Then I hand quilted BUB, which was a blast. I used to be feel the urge to finish a quilt ASAP, but I've learned to savor the time I spend with each project. Hand quilting lets all that time and love show.

Making Bags

This one is downright laughable. I can distinctly remember telling Patty that bags (and most 3D projects) seemed far too complicated for me to ever be interested in. When I changed my mind, I did ease myself into bag making rather than plunging. My first bag was uber simple: a scrappy QAYG foldover tote that was little more than a trapezoid with boxed corners. 

It didn't take long to get the swing of things. After working through a few patterns by Noodlehead and Sew Sweetness, I was able to grasp the basics of bag construction. I started studying store bought bags I owned and photos of bags I coveted. Being able to visually deconstruct a photo of a bag is so satisfying. It's the best kind of brain teaser. 

Are there any things you've said you would never try? Did you change your mind?

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