Friday, July 24, 2009

Beginner Quilting Class: Quilting Is Much Like Sports!!

I bet ya' did not see that one coming did you??? There was no quilt class this week, the last class is the show and tell class and it is next week. I decided I wanted to finish up this quilt top and be done and all ready for class next week and not be stressed. Yea, like that happened. Not. I did finish up the top, but it was not without mishap.

Now, back to the post title. As I worked on finishing the quilt top this week, it occurred to me, that quilting is very much like sports. If you are confused....I'll tell you how I came to this all happened when I was having the worse day of quilting yet.....seriously, that day, I never wanted to see this quilt again. Ever.

Quilting is very much like Football....if the players are not lined up just right, the officials call off-sides and the play is stopped. If your rows are not lined up just right in quilting, well, you are stopped in your tracks and have to rip seams out, and start again. You know, I never really cared much for football.

Quilting is very much like Soccer......Some get a kick out of quilting, others not so much. Soccer is a high energy sport, draining you once the game is over. Quilting is much like that, with all the measuring, cutting of fabric, measuring again, you can feel drained once you have finished this step of the process. You know, I never really liked soccer all that much but I am now, running to the fabric store for more fabrics to start a new quilting project. Like soccer, some steps may be draining, but I am getting a kick out of doing it.

Quilting is very much like Basketball....the players run back and forth down a court sweating buckets of sweat trying to make the right plays. In quilting, part of the process is the ironing, and that causes me to sweat buckets. It is hot and you can work up a sweat gliding that steaming iron down the ironing board trying to press the seams just right. You know, I never really cared for basketball..and still don't.

Quilting is very much like Golf....The oldies are still the goodies. The great golf legends like Nicholson and Hogan are hard to beat. In quilting, the vintage designs and vintage fabrics are much like the old golf legends, very hard to replace in today's world. You know, I have never played golf, but I do enjoy vintage designs. And those vintage designs and fabrics put a swing in my step!

Quilting is very much like Track.....or more specifically, like the track star who works and works, rounds the last bend and stumbles and gets passed up at the finish line. In quilting, that is how I felt this week...almost done with the very last row of stitching, I could see myself coming around the bend to the finish line...guess what? My bobbin ran out.....yep, I felt like a track star!

Quilting is very much like need more than one player to play the game and the word Love is in the scoring. In quilting, you need more than one person to successfully help you hold your quilt top up before you can take a picture of the finished product. That's right, Love is the key to scoring a perfect shot with the my team players and the sacrifice and sore arm muscles it took for me to take a perfect picture. You know, I have always enjoyed tennis...maybe because of the love part and the partners you play the game with.

Yes, I have decided quilting is very much like sports...You set your mind on a goal, strive to achieve your goal, make mistakes along the way, realize practice makes perfect and in the end, feel like an Olympic champion with your accomplishments when you reach the finish line. So the next time someone says I'm not athletic or don't like sports...I'm going to tell them of course I'm athletic...I quilt!!

Well, this is the finished top and I made a few changes along the way..

~~The nine patches in the corners should not have been there. I did not want to make any more rail fence blocks, so I substituted the nine patches which I already had made. No telling what Leo will say, because he told me to finish off with the rail fence....Well, it did not happen.....
~~The small border was supposed to be green, not blue. In fact, I had already purchased the green fabric, but I really did not like the way it looked once the top was finished so I purchased the blue instead. I like it much better.
~~The first picture that shows things not lining up, is just the reality of it. I was so tired of ripping out and starting over I just left it alone. This is really the worse of the blocks not lining up. In fact, most all do line up fine but about 8 blocks, I decided I could live with it, I was not going to rip anything else out. Now, I just need to figure out how to correct this with the nine patch and snowball blocks.
~~The biggest challenge of all was the fact I insisted on enlarging this quilt from full size to king size to fit our bed. Boy, did I make some dumb mistakes along the way, but I know what not to do next time. I can not even believe I thought I could do this with no problems....sometimes my goals are much higher than my abilities.

I guess next week we will discuss the finishing class. I don't know if I am going to quilt this myself or not. I may hire someone to quilt it and finish it for me. Can you tell, I am tired tonight, and the thought of messing up with the quilting part of it and having to rip out is more than I can even think about...we will just week. Really the size of this is hard to work with and to think my very first quilt is this large and trying to quilt too, I just don't know about that.
Any suggestions from you guys on the colors for the back fabric and binding? What do you think about the nine patch blocks in the corner? Does it look OK like that? Of course, it's a little late to be asking your least on the nine patch blocks in the corners.

Next week, in class I am going to take pictures of the different quilts the other ladies made. I would really like to show you the different looks with the same quilt design using very different fabrics. It really is amazing to see.


  1. What a beautiful quilt and \I like what you tell about all the sports

  2. What a job this must have been. It turned out very pretty. Cute story to compare it to sports...sure does fit, right?

    Have a great weekend. Get some rest!!

  3. suzanne.. you did a great job! what a pretty quilt! and I like how you compare quilting with sports.. so creative of you! I really like the quilt..

    wishing you a great weekend!

  4. I would never have the nerve to try and make something that looks so hard to make. Was it as hard as it looks?
    Great job. Glad I stopped by for a look-see.

  5. you are very silly! but this post has a lot of truth to it! that quilt is lovely girl. One thing I can't do!!!

  6. Amazing quilt to be your first one! I started with practicing blocks and a lap size quilt many years back.
    Funny comparision to sport, and so very true. Quilting gives me better endorphines than sport! I like the 9-patch blocks in the corners and the blue frame.

  7. I really like the 9 patches in the corners! I think it gives it a different look that you don't see very often.

    Since it's so big, I would really consider having someone else quilt it for you.

  8. your quilt top looks FABULOUS, Suzanne!!..the nine patch blocks in each corner look great much better than fence rails!..for the backing why not use one of the lighter fabrics on the front, something with a pattern always works better than plain colour!.. definitely get it machine quilted by a professional will be well worth it believe me!..can't wait to see it when it's finished :)

  9. LOL! Loved your sports metaphor...especially the football and tennis-too true!

    I love how your quilt turned out-the bouncing back and forth between the dominant orange or blue-just great! I'm crazy about the 9 patches in the corner-if Leo isn't...

    I agree with Marian-let a professional long arm quilter quilt it up for you! King-size quilts are not easy to quilt on a home machine plus you can be starting on that new quilt top while this one is being quilted :)
    What efficiency!

    The Scrap Mania blocks were 4 1/2" finished but it would look great with 6" blocks too.

  10. Absolutely Beautiful! If I had to compare my quilting to sports it would be shotput. Halfway through, just wad it up and toss it as far as you can...
    You've created quite the family heirloom. Congratulations!

  11. I am amazed that you stuck to it and did this amazing job. I cannot offer any suggestions as to the backing.

  12. Suzanne, you did a wonderful job. As you quilt more, your seems will become more consistant, and you will have less of an issue with the seams matching. The corner nine patches are perfect, just perfect. Have this one quilted by someone else. Its too hard to learn machine quilting on that big of a piece. You could do it, but it may be more frustration than you need. Very nice job!

  13. That looks super - you GOT R DONE!

  14. So, I haven't been commenting much the past few months because typing has been difficult, but I've been reading. And I just had to comment today...


    Woman, do you realize how amazingly talented you are? That is your first quilt and it is phenomenal!!!

    So dang proud. Great job!!!!

  15. Bravo on all counts! Love the metaphors, love the 9 patch corners and just plain love the overall quilt!

    I agree with those who suggested having it quilted by someone with a long arm machine. Talk to them about backing if you are unsure. Having someone else quilt it DOES NOT take away from your accomplishment (in case you thought that).

  16. I LOVE the nine blocks in the corners - - - I think to have all rails would be "too much" railing.

    I can't see your nonlined up blocks in the finished quilt even LOOKING for them.

    I love that you put the blue border on - - - I don't think green would do one single thing for it.

    I ADORE this quilt. ADORE.

    I admire you for doing this - - - all that ripping and ironing and ripping and ironing are exactly why I HATE to sew and will never make a quilt. Oh but I do so admire those of you who do do so.


  17. Suzanne, your quilt is beautiful. I like the corners!Great sports analogies, you are creative in so many ways.

  18. You did a great job and I for one, am IMPRESSED!

  19. I think the nine patch corners finish it up perfectly! It looks terrific and I think you should have it quilted by someone else--That way you will still like it! Have you considered just getting a plain muslin type fabric for the backing? It will save you a decision.

    Fun sports analogy! And you've got a great team displaying your beautiful finished top!

  20. I am so glad you had whatever it took to finish this. I know it was not easy, but you have done an outstanding job since it was your first. I bet yours will be the best of the final showing. You did good!

  21. GREAT JOB!!! All that work was worth it. And, I love your analogies! So true and what a great perspective from a new quilter. I'd probably go with blue or red on the back. When I sew, I start with several bobbins already made so I don't have to rethread the machine if one runs out. YEAH for you!!!!!! Lane

  22. I just love your's gorgeous. Can't wait to see it quilted.

  23. I agree that the blue is fantastic. Can't even imagine it in green. Then again blue is my favorite color. You did do a great job.

  24. Oh My Gosh! It's beautiful! I'm so glad you used the blue instead of the green. I (who cannot sew a hem) am so impressed! I think you have created a one-of-a-kind heirloom. Be proud of yourself! laurie

  25. It sure is a beautiful quilt!!! I think you did a fantastic job. I like the 9 patch in the corners. It's your quilt after all who cares what he thinks! lol

    I have a quilt that I started back when I was 16 by hand and believe me it was not cut with right or anything. That poor quilt is in the antique screaming at me to finish it or at least look for it to see if it's ok! lol I hate to tell you how long it has been but I will have to say omg 25 yrs! yikes...... poor poor quilt!
    bad bad me.....

    Have a Great Weekend!

  26. Beautiful! You did a fantastic job. I really love your colors. You made the quilt your own by adding the nine patch; that's what makes it interesting and we are not all the same. I usually like solid backings like with this I would do white but lately I've branched out and you could use any one of your colors and a printed fabric. And you made me smile with the picture of your team holding up the quilt.

  27. Hey Suzanne! Since you are online right now you should go here and get your free candy bar! hehehe

    I just got me one!!!


  28. Suzanne, I have holy heck trying to stay on your blog long enough to leave a comment or read your post. Today is a first in a while.
    The quilt is beautiful and I am jealous of your talent to make such a thing.

    Please come and see me and wish Susan@

  29. Oh, Suzanne! I am so impressed! What a gorgeous quilt top on your very first project. You must feel so proud!

  30. Great job, beautiful quilt top, and I LOVE, <3, LOVE the 9 corner blocks. They look FANTABULOUS!! I have quilt envy now and wish that were a give away item :).

  31. Wow! What a first project! I like the nine patch corners. If you hadn't told me it was not part of the design, I would never have known.


  32. You always make me giggle with your quilt class posts. I wish now that your class wasn't almost done. I will miss your witty stories if you don't take quilt class II.
    Lots more sports could be included ... Race car driving ...getting the squares finished before the next class ...Fishing and gymnastics too!
    The pic that won the biggest giggle of the day was the one with the guys holding your work up. Priceless!

  33. I am so proud of you for sticking it out and finishing this project. I love the nine patch corners. It sets off the rail fence nicely. Looks great that way. And I love the blue border piece too.

    Awesome Job!!



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