Monday, July 16, 2007

Things I've learned between my first and second quilts...

I've been amazed how much I've learned about quilting since completing my first quilt. It is especially evident now that I am adding more quilting to Evan's quilt because I didn't realize how much I needed to quilt the first time around. Here's a list of things I came up with that would have been helpful to learn earlier:
  1. Buying a quilting book is a great investment.
    • I realize now that I should have bought my quilting books before making my FIRST quilt, not the second. It's amazing how much information is in them! I guess that is why they're written. Most of the things I realize that I did wrong were because of looking through those books. I bought these ones and they are pretty good: The Quilters Ultimate Visual Guide and The Quilter's Recipe Book.
  2. Buying the cheapest batting JoAnn's has to offer is generally only a good idea for my wallet.
    • Upon a recommendation from a friend, I've used "Warm and White" batting for my new quilt. It seemed like regular old batting to me and I didn't think anything of it until Evan's quilt was returned to me. It seems paper thin compared to the quilt I am working on now! I've also decided that I love "Warm and White". It is still low loft, but it is 100% cotton and a little thicker so it makes my quilting look wonderful. I will be using this for all of my quilting projects from now on. It makes it more difficult to hand quilt, but the result is worth it.
  3. Your batting should tell you how much quilting you have to do.
    • I didn't realize this until reading "You only need to quilt every 10 inches!" on the label for my new quilt's batting. At that point I started thinking, "Is that supposed to be good or something? How much did the last package of batting say I needed to quilt? I don't think I did it even every 10 inches. This could be bad." Upon inspecting a similar type of batting, I realized Evan's quilt needed to be quilted every 4-6 inches. Darn it! So I've asked my cousin for the quilt back and I'm now working on making it have a respectable amount of quilting.
  4. There is a proper way to hand quilt.
    • When doing the random and small amount if quilting I did for Evan's quilt, I just improvised and made some stitches. Now that I've learned the proper technique, my stitches are so much straighter and it is much easier. It has been more difficult to get used to and figure out, but it is getting easier.
  5. You should pre-wash you fabric.
    • Seems like common sense, but apparently it's not for me. I'm somewhat scared to see how my quilts are going to shrink when I put them through the wash. Maybe I'll end up liking it. One woman at JoAnn's said that some people don't pre-wash because they like how it looks afterwards. We'll see.
  6. Basting your quilt useful and makes everything stay smooth.
    • Once again, something that I would have figured out if I had bought a quilting book sooner.
  7. And lastly, my boyfriend is an unsuspecting wealth of quilting information thanks to his mom. I am truly grateful. Who knew that there are different sized thimbles and mine needed to fit snugly to my finger?

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