Friday, November 8, 2013

A few more things every quilter should do

During a little be-bop around the blogosphere yesterday, I came upon this little gem, which I immediately loved beyond reason for its simple truths:

100 Things Every Quilter Should Do, over at Quiltmaker's "Quilty Pleasures" blog. If you haven't yet read it, I hope you will. But not until after I wax poetic about what they forgot.

But first, I wax poetic about my favorites:

#62 - Creatively piece a backing. I love that QM assumes we do this on purpose, and not because we went to sandwich our quilt and realized the backing was 6" too short.

#67 Cuss mildly upon realizing we have been sewing air (ie run out of bobbin thread). My mild cuss of choice in the air-sewing situation tends to be "frickin' frackin' bobbin."


#77 Determine your favorite piecing thread. Not so long ago, I was convinced thread was thread. Then I fell in love with Presencia 60 weight. It is strong, three ply, 600 meter long skinny mini thread that lasts forever and ever on the spool and comes in one million shades of grey, white, beige and taupe. I have a theory that the Presencia color people used to be realtors and/or home stagers, but it hasn't been proven. In any case, I'm now a favorite piecing thread believer.


#81 Take a guild speaker to dinner. Why wouldn't I love this? I like dinner. I also thoroughly enjoyed and will always remember the pickle bar at the restaurant in PA I never would have experienced if it weren't for a lovely host who just seemed to know I was ready to experience Pickle Nirvana.

#52 Use a color you detest. I take that a step further. Use a fabric style you detest. I've participated in several log cabin swaps, wherein the owner of the block gets to determine the colors, styles, etc. I am not a 30s fabrics girl. At. All. But I was to work on my friend Sue's blocks, and Sue wanted 30s. By the time I was done with all 64 blocks, I could actually see the merits, and knew this quilt would be lovely. Which it will be if Sue ever puts it together. DaGMT 2014 is coming, Sue!

I'm still avoiding the 30s fabric section of my favorite shops, but admit these turned out well and that they were fun to work on.
And now for the items I would have added to the list, which is in no way meant to imply the list was not comprehensive. I was very impressed, but I'm sure we all have a few extras!

#101 Have a go-to Pandora or other music streaming station. Need to sew your face off all day to hit a deadline? Just want to sew your face off all day because it is fun? Nothing gets you going and accomplishing like music you can rock out to, sing at the top of your lungs, and dance to as you are pressing like a good Pandora station. My stations of choice are Gloriana radio, for the times I'm good with some funkier country, and Hair Bands radio, because it is surprisingly awesome, especially if you are a child of the 80s as am I.

#16a Have a favorite binding tool. To go along with QM's #16, "have a favorite method of binding," I give you 16a, wherein we cheat a little and use a tool to help us. There are so many tools on the market designed to help with getting those pesky binding ends to meet up properly, and I know you can find one that helps eliminate the "mild cussing" that often occurs when the final 4" of binding takes longer to attach than the other 400 inches combined. My personal favorite is called, weirdly enough, "The Binding Tool." It has changed my life.

#48a - "Take a class from a local or not-yet-so-famous teacher." QM's #48, Take a class from a nationally known teacher, is for sure a must-do. I've been fortunate to take classes from Carol Doak and Dianne Hire in the last few years alone, and they are everything you would hope they might be and I've come away with boatloads of knowledge. But I encourage you, and yes this is somewhat self-serving but I do have a point, to take a chance on the newer, more local, and little known teachers, too. Just because they aren't nationally known (yet) doesn't mean they aren't awesome (and most really are!) - and as a bonus they are a lot cheaper, which makes them great choices for guilds, who generally don't have a ton to spend on any one speaker or workshop. Even Judy Niemeyer was an unknown once, right?

#101 - "Shop small." The big box has the almighty 40% off coupon. But your LQS knows you, and won't be there in three years if you aren't there now. Support your LQS.

#102 - "Have a favorite pair of scissors." - Like The Binding Tool, and the Presencia, I've been introduced to my favorite scissors by my friend Terri of the awesome Purple Moose Designs and her online shop. (Shop small, remember?) Karen Kay Buckley makes the most amazing scissors around, appropriately called "Perfect Scissors." They are sharper than your wildest dreams. I have no lie impaled mine in the hardwood flooring more than once, accidentally of course, and a fact which has not been brought to the attention of Mr. Quilting Hottie. They cut like a dream, and they are so darn soft to hold. The loss of my small pair was among the factors that lead me to conduct a huge studio cleanup this fall. When I found them, bizarrely in the living room, I am sure you heard me rejoice.

Watch video of scissor joy here. I promise it is quick. Who needs 50 minutes of scissors? I could have found you that, though, if you wanted. But I knew you didn't.

So there you go. My additions to the 100 Things list. What might you add?


A Girl Named Speedy said...

I haven't read the whole list, although I will go there now, but I have to give a big *THUMBS UP* to visiting your LQS!!! Support the little guy!

Thanks for this post. I'm now off to read the rest of the list!

Terri, Head Moose said...

Awe...I'm blushing. What a great list and I LOVE your add-ons. You rock!

Sarah J. said...

Wow, thanks for letting me know about the binding tool. I have indeed spent 30+ minutes trying to finish that last 4". I always think I should write it down so I'll remember next time except I'm never sure how I actually did it in the first place! Thank goodness someone did and I'll happily give them my money for it!

Kelli Fannin Quilts said...

I try to support my LQS, really I do, but when I asked about a certain fabric I needed to finish a project, the owner told me she doesn't order from that company (and a couple of others, too) b/c they just aren't her style. :( Unfortunately, they are my style, so I must look elsewhere. I really should check out that binding tool! And scissors. And thread. ha! :D And probably at some point take a class. So much to do! I love your additions to the list!

Annmarie said...

Thanks for the laughs. I came here from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks but now I MUST follow you & will!

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