Friday, 13 September 2019

"How long did it take you to hand quilt that?"

Yes, I frequently get asked, "How long did it take you to hand quilt that?".

Well, this week. as I put the final stitches into my Shuttles quilt, I tried to quantify how long it had taken me to hand quilt it.


But before I came up with a number, I started to wonder if there is some magic number that people are looking for!

If I say two months, will that scare people off even trying hand quilting?

If I say two weeks will they still think that's too long when they could just send it out to a long armer who could quilt a pantograph (edge to edge design) all over it and return it to the maker within a week?

What number would be acceptable I wondered.

I hand quilt because I enjoy doing it, and I love the unique finish it gives to my quilts.  My hand quilted quilts are personal - they are a part of me.  I can remember what was going on in my life at the time I hand quilted most of my quilts.   Some have stretched over six months or more, but I can usually pinpoint something significant that happened during the course of the quilting. I also think it's important to keep traditional arts and crafts alive, even if my style is a modern interpretation of hand quilting. 

Of course there's a place for long arm quilting too.  I've had pantographs quilted onto two of my quilts.

quilted on a long arm with a pantograph

I chose to have a pantograph on Tussie Mussie because I bought the fancy Kaffe Fassett wide back before I realised it would be too thick to hand quilt through.  I didn't know it was sateen before I bought it, but I do love the design and really wanted it on the back of this quilt.

The second time I chose to have a pantograph is when I got Spotty quilted.  I don't especially love this quilt, and I will probably give it away soon, so I didn't want to spend hours hand quilting it.

I've also had long armers do free motion quilting on two of my quilts. I'll talk about those ones next time, but again, there were special reasons.

So back to the initial question - how long did it take me to hand quilt my Shuttles quilt?

I started in late June 2019 with a few blocks to get a feel for the plan I had in my head.
I did a bit at our retreat in July.
I did some more during August.
Most of the quilting occurred during the two weeks of the US Open tennis championship, and the following week.
So all up I think I would have spent about 75 hours on this quilt, spread over 3 months.

Of course that doesn't mean that my next quilt will be done that quickly.  This quilt isn't huge, and the quilting is quite straight forward.  I've only used one colour throughout which also makes it a bit quicker.

The fact is that I enjoyed hand quilting this quilt, and I'm happy with how it looks. I just love that yellow Aurifil 12wt that I chose to use, and the big stitches. 

Is 75 hours acceptable? Would you hand quilt something if you knew it might take 75 hours?

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  What have you been up to this week?  Feel free to link up below.

PS - I'm going to stop mentioning the Peacock Party in the title of my Friday posts, however you can be sure that there will be a Peacock Party every Friday, even when I'm away from home.  I know how disappointing it is when you've got something special to share, but your favourite link party host is on holiday.  I won't do that to you!

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Friday, 6 September 2019

Two guest speaker gigs (and the Peacock Party)

What a busy week that was!  I was invited to speak at two guilds within a week. 

First up was Capital Quilters at Lower Hutt last Saturday.  The stitching group that I belong to, The Stitching Cartel, were asked to show some of our quilts.  We have 9 members in our group, but due to work and family commitments, we don't all make it to every one of our monthly dinners.

We had six members at the show and tell, and here's some of what we showed:

A quilt we all made for Adrianne's wedding

A baby quilt for Vic's baby boy

A baby quilt for Adrianne's baby girl.

We have developed a pattern and we use it to make quilts for group members when they have a significant birthday ending in zero - 30, 40, 50 etc.  No one has reached 60 yet.  The birthday girl provides some of her all time favourite fabric, and we make blocks to work with that fabric.  goodness know what I'll choose when it's my turn.  Fortunately I have a lot of years to think about that. 

Here are the four quilts we have made to date:

for Lyndy

for Adrianne

For Helen

For Vicky

We have two more birthday quilts in progress for significant birthdays happening next year.

Two of us have made My Small World, and another person in the audience just happened to have her version with her for show and tell.  So we had 3 My Small World's on display. 

Makers left to right: Marrilyn, Anne, Wendy

After the show and tell the poor piano looked like this:

Then last night I was the guest speaker at Kapiti Quilters at Waikanae.  I took some of my quilts from the Capital Quilters show and tell, but I added more too.  Here are my quilts hanging on the display frames. 

It was lovely to meet more local quilters.  We are fortunate to have so many quilting guilds in Wellington -
Capital Quilters in Lower Hutt
Wellington Quilters in Wellington central
Coastal Quilters in Plimmerton
Pinestream Quilters in Upper Hutt
Kapiti Quilters in Waikanae. 

If you don't belong to a guild, I suggest visiting some and seeing if there's one that's right for you. 

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  What's everyone else been up to?  Feel free to link up below. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter