Home

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Unorthodox Quilter... or I should come with a WARNING, do not read before you sleep.


Hi!  I'm Nan from Pots and Pins - back for another fun-filled romp at Stash Manicure...and I'm tickled to be here and hopefully this won’t be my last post but what I’m about to tell you will fly in the face of any and all Quilting Wisdom you have…so, having said that, I'll head straight down my gang-plank...Today I want to talk to you about being an Unorthodox Quilter. Those words describe me, do they describe you, too? Oh I HOPE so!

When I first learned to quilt I took a class in Minneapolis from a lovely Norwegian lady. In her sing-song voice she told me, "Yah, a hand-pieced quilt is a real quilt." After completing my hand-pieced sampler quilt, this same woman then taught me the time-honored art of hand-quilting, "Yah, a hand-quilted quilt is a real quilt."

My first real quilt was hand-pieced and hand-quilted and I was extremely proud...and I was also FOUR YEARS OLDER from the time I started it until it was finished!

Now tell me, who among you has FOUR YEARS to spend on ONE quilt?!?! There are just too many quilts to make to spend FOUR YEARS on one quilt! So I had to adapt...I had to abandon those time-honored traditions so I could make baby quilts and bed quilts and wedding quilts and "sorry quilts"...oh please, tell me you've made one of those?!?! Nothing smooths over an offended friend faster than a quilt! And once you make and give one “sorry quilt,” all of your friends will be begging you to call them idiots!

What I'm about to tell you will probably be considered blasphemous to most of you...especially to those "stitch in time saves nine" quilters out there...having said that, IF you are offended by what I'm about to say, leave me a comment telling me why and I just might make you a "sorry quilt!"…but don’t hold your breath!

Here's why I’m an Unorthodox Quilter - my top five NEW time-honored traditions/time savers are listed below...YOU are not required to do these things, you may continue to squander away precious hours and hours if you chose, all I'm saying is, I STILL have too many quilts to make and to me, the end result, the finished quilt, is the most important thing:

1. I do not pre-wash my fabric. Not even reds. Years ago most fabric had to be washed - even good fabric bled! But now, if you buy good fabric, you won't have a problem and even if you do, the color removers you can purchase at any grocery store will fix it. I live with a caveman and a boy who I swear, their only purpose on Earth is to provide me with dirty laundry so the last thing I want to do is spend more time in the laundry room!

2. I do not pin. There I said it. I feel free. Liberated. Pinless is painless - feel free to quote me. When I piece, I do not pin. When I sew on borders or binding, I do not pin. Oh okay, maybe ONE pin, like in the center of the binding, but that's it! I do have a nice supply of straight pins that I seem to drop on the floor about once a year, and that's about the only time they are used. When I think about the other times where I have used more than one pin at a time I’m either squeezing myself into a shirt that my dryer has shrunk (do you have that problem too?) or when I layer a quilt together I will use safety pins - I'm not totally nuts! But even then I use as few pins as possible.

3. I do not iron/press. Oh yeah...I'm iron-free and loving it! Seriously, I watch my quilting friends sew two-inch squares together, then stop and reach for their irons where they then press the living daylights out of the poor fabric! With each little seam they stop and press...press, press, press...and while they're pressing I'm sewing...sewing, sewing, sewing...and by the time they've sewed and pressed a half-dozen 9-patch blocks I have completed a quilt top! No lie! Okay, maybe that's a little exaggeration but here's my thinking:

     a. The back of the quilt does not need to look like the front. Once that quilt is quilted the back will NEVER be seen, so what does it matter if everything is pressed in the right direction?!? I can hear some of you screaming, “If you don’t press and press correctly then you’ll have lumps in your quilt from where the points match!” Who has ever NOT eaten gravy because it had lumps?! It’s the same with a quilt…would you refuse to wrap yourself up in one because of a little lump? I think not. I also think lumps are highly over-rated…and as someone over 50, I say that with pride…show me anyone over the age of 50 without a few lumps and I’ll show you a good plastic surgeon! But I digress…if you’re talking museum-quality quilts then by all means, press and go for lump-free…but I won’t live long enough to ever acquire the skills to put me in that league!

     b. Unless you're making a quilt that you have NO intention of washing, drying, and bringing to life, then what's the point of ironing? All that pressing gets washed and dried right out in the end...leaving you with a beautiful, crinkly-soft quilt...just like you would have if you NEVER pressed in the first place! I will put my non-pressed-crinkly-soft quilts up against ones that have been pressed to smithereens any time, anywhere...you will NOT be able to tell the difference! But my quilts will have been made in HALF the time!


4. I do not make labels for my quilts. In the past I did make labels and hand-stitched them onto the backs of my quilts. I spent a lot of time on these labels...time I could have used to shop for more fabric! And then I saw the light. Now I either sign and date my quilts with a permanent-ink pen, on the back of the quilt near the binding or what I really like to do is quilt my "label" into the quilt itself! It's hidden in plain sight! I quilt in messages that only the recipient of the quilt knows about - it's fun for me and fun for them! And really, if Picasso didn't have to paint a separate little painting to attach to the back of his masterpiece, why should I?


5. If I'm going to hang a quilt on a wall, I staple it. You read me right...staple it! A staple is no bigger than a pin - and it goes straight into the wall, it does not bend like it does on paper. Removing the quilt from the wall takes just a gentle pull - no harm done. The quilt will hang flat against the wall, making it less likely to be damaged than those that hang apart from the wall on quilt hangers, especially if in a high-traffic area, like an entry hall. And by stapling my quilts to the wall I do not have to spend time sewing on a sleeve…which I truly believe are meant to only be on shirts, sweaters and coats and worn by women over the age of 50…but that’s just me. Oh, I’m not talking about using a staple-gun, just a regular desk type stapler…trust me, your quilt will look beautiful without any fussy hardware to detract from its beauty!

There you have it, my friends, that is the definition of an unorthodox quilter! I’m not ashamed to admit it and there's not a 12-step program anywhere that can convince me I'm wrong…I’m a quilter who takes short-cuts so I’ll have time to quilt another quilt…how ‘bout you? If YOU have any short-cuts that you think I need to adopt, please let me know...the clock is ticking!


I wish you all a Merry Little Christmas…a Christmas wrapped in a quilt with or without lumps! Come visit me at Pots and Pins, that’s where I hang my thimble and spatula…it keeps me out of trouble... most days!   And to Dear Madame Samm, I remain, as always, your humble servant!

Ho-Ho-Ho!  Nan

82 comments:

  1. You are my idol! You would not be able to tell my quilts from yours. (Show quality has never been my goal.) I am now inspired to go cut some fabric and get the machine running. Thank you from the bottom of my over 50 lumpy heart! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I machine piece but Ihand quilt because I do not know how to machine quilt! it does not take me long either. Slow yes but not 4 years!

    I have a giveaway on my blog right now. please come over and enter!

    ReplyDelete
  3. OMG Nan, at first reading...I was ready to take this down, and my thought was " I can't let my fellow quilting peeps, read this"...Ok, I am all for not washing my material before I quilt...but no ironing, Ok I don't use pins, never have, BUT NO labels..* I LOVE designing labels..And did you say STAPLES - instead of a sleeve...OMG as I said at second reading...these quilting PEEPS will love YOU as I do...YOU are certainly unconventional and if there are others out there like you...I don't want to know..ONE OF YOU is plenty for me....

    Now Seriously, I love your sense of humor. I was all prepared to go to sleep, but I am afraid to...afraid of any further thoughts of no ironing, no labels and staples Oh MY lol
    ( and yes we will have you back) SERIOUSLY....lol

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my - you made me gasp, laugh, shudder, giggle, thump my head, pace the floor, and shake my head (yes and no). Our ancestors didn't press or pre-wash and they had the coarsest of fabrics to use. So why did I shudder? I do wash reds, deep purples and blues and batiks - known bleeders. I don't press small pieces or even pin them - until things get a certain size. I think you can over-kill your fabric with too much pressing, but really like seams pressed flat or to the dark depending on the pattern - it really helps to "butt-up" those seams - especially if you don't pin. I pin borders, but never a binding. I cannot wait to see the responses to this one - you are going to make a lot of people wiggle! I loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think I've found my mentor! LoL I have yet to make my first quilt and the reason is because I'm afraid it will take me four years!! Just kidding, ;) but really...these tips make the prospect just slightly less daunting. Thank you for sharing your unorthodox ways! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I LOVE your rules! I don't pre-wash fabric, I hardly ever pin...although (hanging head in shame) I do iron ... a lot! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Nan, I am Sandi, also from MN, out here in Henderson, south of Belle Plaine. I, too, am a somewhat unorthodox quilter. I've never taken a quilting class so sometimes the way I do things is my own way and there are some quiltfolk out there who think that a quilt has to be made a certain way. I say
    "whatever way you want to quilt, if it makes you happy, then that's the way each quilter should make her quilt." I do pin but I sew over my pins... a real "no-no" according to some. I do pre-wash and I do press because I love to iron. Seriously! I have only remembered to label a few of my quilts but I keep telling people when I share my quilts that "I'm going to label these quilts before my next program". It kinda hasn't happened. I enjoy both handquilting and machine quilting and actually, as long as a project involves fabric, I love it!! I don't take myself too seriously. If I did, it wouldn't be so much fun. I think you must have fun! This was a great post and yes, there may be some who will gasp, especially about those staples, but if it works for you...GO for it!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Laughing here, I usually will read the comments before I add my own, when I read Madame's I thought I know why you are here. You two are both pretty funny ladies. I love this blog so much. It certainly attracts many amazing guests. Which you are one of them. I hope she brings you back too, It has become my most favorite place to visit. Congratulations to both Madame and You for giving us such great entertainment.

    ReplyDelete
  9. added note: shhhhh quietly, I do all of these things too. please don't tell, you know

    ReplyDelete
  10. Totally awesome rules! I'm a self taught quilter and, well, I never pre-wash or use pins or labels either! Never tried staples, and, um, I kinda like pressing, so I'll keep doing that. lol {[huggs}}

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love you. Really. All the way from the bottom of my prematurely lumpy 43 year old body!

    I have never used staples to hang a quilt. I have, however, used thumb tacks that were coordinated to blend into the binding. So there.

    I feel free!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nan, I loved this post from the bottom of my lumpy, bumpy, almost 50 heart.....I only have one question....What are your walls made of? Are they plasterboard?....OK....2 questions....Do you use a staple gun? I had visions of you stapling them with a handstapler until I had a think about it! rofl

    ReplyDelete
  13. i LOVE your post! i have taught beginners to quilt and i often tell them not to stress about the little things because
    1. you will get better with practice
    2. most so called mistakes wont be noticeable when a quilt is finished
    3. there is no such thing as the quilt police... so make your own "rules" up
    4. quilting is a hobby and it is supposed to be FUN!!
    i also never pre-wash, pin as little as possible and only iron when needed!
    the staple idea is very inventive... just a hand stapler, right??

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am not quite there yet but I agree that no one is going to not sleep or cuddle under a quilt just because of lumps. Backs don't need to be like the front. My DH says backs should be just pieces of fabric sewn together w/o a pattern so that it doesn't detract from front. He also likes it when I use "ugly" fabric on the back.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, I LOVE this post! All hail the unorthodox quilters :-)

    I don't prewash, don't use pins, and don't worry too much about ironing...and now I will get even more unorthodox in my ways lol.

    I DO like hand quilting though, mainly cos I can do it while watching the TV though :-)

    Viv x

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great post! I don't pin either but I do press. I don't ever pre-wash unless it is flannel and I am mixing with a second type of fabric. I have never stapled to the wall but I also never make sleeves. I either push pin with clear pins or I use clip on curtain rings and hang from a decorative curtain rod. Another thing I just won't do is safety pin a quilt before quilting! I spray baste EVERYTHING.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love it! Being self taught, I'm glad to see that I'm not entirely off in some of the things that I do! lol

    ReplyDelete
  18. Your too funny, and I love it. The staple trick speaks to me. I have a wall to the basement that is full of quilts, and keeping them secure at the bottoms would be perfect! Now I want to know about the clock at the top of your post. I have to have one of them!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Well, I must admit that stapling is a new one for me and I surely will try it.......I also do not pre wash, hardly pin, and rarely make sleeves....I do however iron a lot! I love the fresh pressed look and the crispness of the fabric after ironing. Besides, when you photograph, usually it makes for a better picture. LOVED your post!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ok, I did get some sleep...and staples were a running theme lol....And there are more of you oh my oh me....too funny, I just hope it does ot wear off..you know your orthodox ways...oh no..

    Oh the clock I had that in my files, I added it- as it seemed sew appropriate lol...I have approached the company who makes them as a sponsor...sew I won't say too much about them until they say YES...( wanted to see if they would be a good sponsor...if anyone would note) lol

    Now Carry on...afraid to see who else comments ...OH NO ...lol

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great post! I agree with you about pre-washing, pinning, and stapling quilts to the wall. I make my labels by using fabric on paper made to go through the printer, and design them on my computer. Most of my labels are "binding labels", made to be sewn in with the binding, so I print up a sheet with ten labels on it at a time. This works really well for me!

    I do have to disagree with you about pressing, though - I teach quilting to new sewers, and I've found that they are much happier with their results (and more likely to keep quilting in the future) if they have pressed as they go. But whatever works best for each quilter is my motto! Once they learn, they can go with whatever gives them the best result!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Well I guess I disagree with almost all you say LOL but we all have our own way of doing things don't we. I do have two quilts that have taken years - my first Dear Jane took almost 5 years to complete and I'm sure the second one will to as it is almost 3 years now. I work on a lot of quilts at the same time though, some are hand pieced some are machine pieced - all are hand quilted and I have made over 100 quilts in my years of quilting.
    Karen
    http://karensquilting.com/blog/

    ReplyDelete
  23. I LOVE YOUR POST!!! Some of those pointers I do myself. Great ideas for "improvement" on time savers...
    Elzaan

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh I laughed and laughed and laughed!! You have such a fun way of writing. Thank you, it was most enjoyable :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you for the liberation! It's wonderful to hear more about how you save time! I'm also enjoying getting to know you more -- your quilts are amazing!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. You are definitely my kind of lady!! Like Suzan, I use push pins to hang my wall quilts but I do add a sleeve to the larger ones, to be ready for a show. My floor space is limited, so I either spray-baste or use the fusible batting - works for me! I make labels with my printer, because I like creating them to match quilt's theme.

    Thanks for sharing your liberating methods; I agree with everyone who wants to see you back!!!

    Linda
    http://eatsleepquilt.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. So I guess my real question is, what's the unorthodox part? Are we *supposed to* prewash, pin, and make labels? If I had to prewash my fabric, I wouldn't be interested in this wonderful craft. I will admit to pinning borders, but nothing else. And I've always had good intentions about making labels, but you know what mother always said about good intentions? I'll have to try staples, though, I thought push pins were the way to go. Thanks for a hilarious post!! Enjoyed your writing.

    ReplyDelete
  28. oh my gosh - you are my Heroine !!!!!!!!!! can I come live with you, PLEASE -

    thank you, thank you, thank you !

    ReplyDelete
  29. As always, you're my hero Nan! Great tips.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I loved it! Your sense of humor is priceless! One question--do you hand sew bindings on? That seems such a waste of time to me!

    ReplyDelete
  31. LOL Nan! I'm so glad I am not alone!! I do no pre-wash, I do pin, but not excessivly, I do not iron all the little pieces, just sometimes the finish top. Love your staple idea!! I am a handquilter, but am learning to machine quilt, and LOVE that I can go so much faster!! Thank you for a great pot.

    ReplyDelete
  32. As I was reading, I found myself nodding yes – up & down…….. then I got to the staples, and I almost spewed my screen!!! My first rule in quilting is just to “have fun”!!! You sure started my week off to a great start!! This was a great post, and we can all certainly expect to finish up a lot of quilts in 2011 with your short cuts!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Oh, I love your post. I don't pre-wash fabric, use pins (unless it is absolutely necessary)but I do iron and am now rethinking this because it does take up alot of my precious quilting time. I have never heard about the stapling to the wall but am going to be trying this soon. Great ideas and now I am heading over to check out your blog. Thanks for the "unorthodox" post.

    ReplyDelete
  34. You go girl!!! Just a few months ago I made my first sizeable quilt. I broke so many quilting rules I kept looking over my shoulder to see if the quilt police were there yet to arrest me! The biggest rule I broke was quilting the dang thing from the outside to the center! It looks wonderful and is now on it's way as a Christmas gift. A quilt is a quilt whether it's machine quilted or hand quilted! Thanks for reinforcing that there really aren't any hard and fast rules.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Sounds a lot like me! I never pre-wash, I HATE ironing, I NEVER use pins, and I, too, write my name and date and who I made the quilt for on the back with a fabric pen. I always think of myself as being a smart quilter --- which sounds better than calling myself a lazy quilter!

    ReplyDelete
  36. OMG....you had me glued to my computer screen. Didn't want to miss a word and I've concluded ...I just don't think I can change ....but I love your attitude.....pie is not part of my vocabulary but pinning and pressing are. The stapling just about blew me away... Alas....we do agree on #1...I do not prewash and I have written directly on the back of a few of my quilts. Loved your post....wish I could be more liberated.... I'll start....less pins ....it's the pressing that would be the hardest. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  37. This is wonderful!!! I agree with your philosophy totally!

    ReplyDelete
  38. How many people can be in love with you at once? Add me to the list! I hate pinning, iron way too much but vow to quit, and use push pins on my quilts all the time. Recently someone in my quilt group told me my quilt wouldn't be a quilt unless it had 3 layers. The top is wool, the backing is flannel...how heavy do I really want this thing to be - two tons? I figure it's got flowers appliqued all over it and some of those are 3 layers deep. Add the rest and it's 5 layers deep, so there! If my seams are slightly crooked I figure so is the road from my house to my sister's but it's a wonderful drive. :) blessings, marlene

    ReplyDelete
  39. I have a friend who says "Whatever floats your boat!"
    I pre wash - I like to get the chemicals out.

    To pin or not to pin.... depends on the mood or situation.

    Iron - Ironically usually depends on the time. Small pieces usually get fingered pressed.

    Hand quilt - enjoy for the most part.
    For me quilting is about the journey not the destination. (I watch sci fi as I quilt)

    IMHO to many people are in a rush. I am trying to keep my adrenal rush down as well as my spending. lol

    Enjoyed your post.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Love, love, love your post!! I used to prewash all my fabric, now I don't, used to heavily pin, now I don't, used to iron like crazy, not so much now, used to put sleeves on quilts, nope...not any more, my labels are getting shorter and I haven't done the stapling YET....I'm becoming liberated...woohoo!! Thanks so much for the laughter so early in the morning!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I L-O-V-E Y-O-U!!!! You make me feel so...so..like I'm ok!

    ReplyDelete
  42. My tip to speed up the process of making quilts is to just piece the tops, and then move on to the next one :D for me FINISHING them is highly overrated I guess!I have a STACK of WIPS-they were pinned and pieced and pressed... and now wait patiently for me to finish them. (Thanks for sharing your wisdom with the world!!)

    ReplyDelete
  43. I passed out when you said you staple your quilts to the wall. However when I came to I was yelling down with irons and pass the stapler!

    I felt like Braveheart. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hey Girls! You've made my day!!! I was hoping for one or two "others" out there...you know, to make me feel normal...but to discover there's a whopping platoon of you is heart-warming...I'm feeling so good right now I'm going to skip my morning weigh-in...who needs bad news when your day starts like this?!? xoxoxo, Nan

    ReplyDelete
  45. Great post! I am another unorthodox quilter, and am loving the idea of stapling your quilts to the wall. I've been using those 3M Command sticky things to hang mine. They have some made for holding papers that are clear, and work OK. But staples are faster, and a whole lot cheaper - I am on board with that!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I just loved reading your unorthodox quilting tips! I hand sewed one quilt - pieced it in a day and spent a year quilting it, never again! I have always signed the back of my quilts - labels too much work. Staples in the walls - I like that! Thanks so much for sharing and making me laugh!

    ReplyDelete
  47. What a wonderful post. I did gasp a few times, especially the stapling. However, everything you mentioned makes total sense. Who has time to prewash, or pin, or iron. I don't. I want to get on to the next quilt as soon as possible. In my mind, I'm always four or five quilts ahead of myself. Thanks for reinforcing the idea that there are no hard and fast rules in quilting. By the way, love the clock at the top of your post.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I am totally on board with you for a lot of things; however, I don't use a stapler. I put safety pins on the back in a few places and hang those from small picture nails. Even easier to put up and take down.

    I'll admit I probably press too much tho....but I don't use pins on bindings, either when I sew them on or when I hand stitch the back. I do like to do that more than struggle with it at the machine.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I work with the philosophy that the end is made up of the sums. As a result I have different rules depending on the end result. I don't remember using a stapler but the pins, etc all have happened. If there is one step that makes life easier for me in the sewing process it is pressing. Pressing may be with the thumbnail on seams until the block is ready to join others. Then I do use the heat process. Enjoyed this post. Sense of humor prevails. All that matters!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Loved your post. I wish I could be more like you. I am still trying to let myself bend and break the rules. I live in fear of the quilt police, but I think that is only me. My New Years quilting resolution is to be more like you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  51. I have got to try that staple hanging method! Also love the label idea. Why not just write on the fabric on the back? Makes sense to me. I'm on my way to becoming unorthodox.

    ReplyDelete
  52. You are so my kind of gal!! Love the red work quilt!! I say if it works for you, then you do it!!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Unorthdox Quilters Unite!!!! I took a beginners lesson at first and am glad I learned the "proper" technique, but am equally glad that I now do as I please!! If everything had to be textbook then I would not be quilting. I have never heard a delighted recipient of a quilt complain about lumps or crooked piecing! Love your blog, you are a riot!

    ReplyDelete
  54. I was reading down through and laughing. Because there is an underlying sence here that you are happy. And that's just how it should be! I say do what makes you happy in quilting. Life is to short to always live by the rules and these will not have you arrested or thrown in jail.
    On my front, my quilts are made to used and loved. If that happens it's all good. I hand quilt because I want to, not because I have too.
    Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Thank you Nan, you totally made my day!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Good heavens Nan!!!! I'm sitting here at my computer, reading your post, laughing my butt off, giggling to myself and saying "I can't do that....can I???" I think my husband has decided I've finally gone over the edge with quilting. Thank you so much for your insight!!!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Yeppers, there are no quilt police! If it works for you, go for it!

    ReplyDelete
  58. WOOOHOOO! I've never. ever. washed, pinned or pressed! I don't hang my quilts - we use them to death and I don't label. I am a whack-stack-and-go quilter. I am in absolute awe of some of the intricate time-consuming work that goes into some quilts, but the rebel in me just keeps me whackin' and goin'!

    ReplyDelete
  59. HEY NAN:

    I'M A UNORTHODOX QUILTER TOO.
    NEVER WASH MY FABRICS, NEVER!!!
    OCCASIONAL PINNING.
    ONLY IRON, WHEN THE TOP IS DONE.
    AND I DON'T LIKE THOSE PEOPLE WHO THINKS, THAT BECAUSE THEY PUBLISH ONE PATTERN OR BOOK, ARE THE LAW AND ORDER OF QUILTING, SO THEY CAN JUDGE ANY WORK IN A VERY RUDE WAY.

    KUDOS FOR YOU GIRL, LIFE IS TO PRECIOUS AND SHORT, FOR TAKING EXTRA TIME IN CORNY THINGS.

    ReplyDelete
  60. LOVED LOVED LOVED EVERYONE OF YOUR POINTS...I call myself a wonky quilter adn I definately make wonky quilts which I am quite comfortable with adn I still like to admire all the precision quilts out there.
    Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Hi Nan, Agree with all your points. I pin sometimes but all my pins are bent from running them over. And getting up to iron is a real drag, but it does count as exercise. I hate to unthread my machine to make a bobbin, so I rethread the bobbin with the thread still in the machine. Give it a whirl. Thanks for posting!

    ReplyDelete
  62. I meant to add in my last comment that (gasp) seams do not have to be a perfect quarter inch, as long as they are somewhat consistent.

    ReplyDelete
  63. That was so funny! I'm sorta an unorthodox quilter - I don't prewash except for reds as I've been burned twice by not washing them.

    But otherwise, what time saving tips!
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Nan--you are my kind of quilter! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  65. So it took me about ten years (ok, just over) to complete my first real quilt. Then once started I am on a roll and quilting is my second love - I am a stitcher (mostly cross stitch) by first love so doing five - yes, five this year is a real accomplishment! Loved reading your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  66. I am now swearing off prewashing, I only use a few pins on borders, I have never put on a label, but I do press. I'm still pondering the staple to the wall concept. Loved the post.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I too am an unorthodox quilter! I sew with the petal to the metal too. When I sew slowly, everything is so crooked. When I sew like a mad woman everything comes out straight and perfect just like it is suppose to be.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Oh Nan! Talk about a riot! I guess with time we all become a little more unorthodox! And I love it! I have nver pre-washed, rarely pin, press less and less, and often forget the label and write on the quilt. Sleeves only get put on show quilts, and will definitely be trying the stapler :) I'm all for speed piecing and often take Bonnie Hunters Leaders and Enders to the extreme by sewing two projects at once!

    Can't wait for you to come back for another post! See you soon!

    ReplyDelete
  69. You totally rock!!!
    I'm glad I"m not alone in not pinning, not pre-washing, and not ironing. I do this for the love of fabrics and the warmth and joy quilts gives us. ...And you're right, the sun will come up, and the world will continue to turn no matter how we make our quilts!

    ReplyDelete
  70. Nan, you are one funny lady!! I am a self taught quilter. I've never taken classes! But, I do follow my own rules for quilting. Not because anyone has told me, but because I found it easier through trial an error. I don't usually wash my fabrics unless they are reds! I've had some bad experiences lately with top quality quilter's cotton running in this color! I don't use pins for basic piecing, but I do for more intricate blocks. I usually iron. I don't go crazy with it though. I've often used push pins to hang my quilts and don't always label!! I don't always follow rules on how to do stuff. But I don't worry about it! I do love hand piecing and quilting because it's restful and calming for me. I do need that! I love your post! You are wonderfully funny! Can't wait for your next one!! Hugs Ariane

    ReplyDelete
  71. Stapleing the quilt to the wall----now that is a new one. Thank you for the other information and relieving my guilt, now I don't have to go to confession. BettyLou

    ReplyDelete
  72. You are SO brave! I have done many of these things. I don't pin. I don't label. And get this...I even staple my quilts to the wall!! YES I DO!! I just have always been afraid to admit it. I think I need to pop over to your blog. I like you.

    ReplyDelete
  73. You are my Hero!!! I think we must be long lost twins exchanged at birth!! I am unorthodox in just about everything I do!! That's one reason I don't join a quilt guild because I'm afraid the quilt police will find out all my "secrets". Ha!! You have set me free...Free Indeed. Nan Rocks! People like us give other people heart attacks. LOL
    Gmama Jane

    Come join me at Grandmamasstories.com I have some stories that you can appreciate!

    ReplyDelete
  74. You make me laugh until tears come. You're so funny my friend. I love your take on quilting. Love. Easy does it. The stapling got me though. I'm still laughing. I'm not a pinner or a washer but I am a presser. However, my iron sits right next to me. I'm not about to stop and get up and walk to an ironing board! I'm easy too. We would get along so well as best buds. In another life maybe. You're amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I loved your post. I don't prewash, but I do like making labels and I do press some. Thanks for the laughter.

    ReplyDelete
  76. You are a hoot! I love reading your blog, since you just say things and don't beat around any bushes. You are also a tremendous chef, which I hope your family appreciates...

    ReplyDelete
  77. I don't prewash or use pins, have labeled less than 10% of my quilts, but I do some pressing. I have tough fingernails so I do fingernail pressing a lot. I have never heard of stapling a quilt to the wall though. In my 1950's ranch with real plaster walls, I doubt that would work (might try it though). I love your sense of humor!!

    ReplyDelete
  78. ya' had me right up until the no ironing thing.... :)
    but the staple thing? that i gotta'try!

    ReplyDelete
  79. From someone that still does not walk on cracks, under ladders, never ate meat on Fridays, of course, I would try to follow as many rules as I could find and always hunting for more to make my STRESS level so high, my expectations never "good enough" and always grading myself as "not a real quilter. In fact, only last year, in a quilt shop I mentioned I had trouble keeping my "PRESSED - not IRONED" pieced "butted" the way they are suppose to. I was told, "THEN YOU ARE NOT A REAL QUILTER!" One of the reasons I never finish projects, is that I JUDGE my quilting as WRONG! I struggle with each process and FUN, I don't think so. I need to READ these five rules and post them over my little sewing machine.

    ReplyDelete

You think they are just words...they are sew much more than that...your wee messages tell me, you are kind, smart and important...