|I loved this quilt so much I wanted one just like it out of blue and white fabrics - or so I thought!|
|These white and blue triangles sat in this basket for more than TWO years...aging to perfection!|
The Quilting Aging Process (QAP) is a sloooooooow process. It knows not the meaning of the words seconds, minutes or hours. It vaguely recognizes the word days, and only if used in the plural sense, and prefers to deal in weeks, months or, to keep true to itself...years.
Some of you have just given me an imaginary high-five! I'm here for you!!! I SO believe in a year-long aging process for a quilt - beginning to end. I have several pieces that are already well into the QAP ... and it's not wise to disrupt any project before it's time (this is a universal principal and applies to many things, like wine and soup..."We will sell no wine before it's time!" or "Is it soup yet?" and I'm sure there are more examples I could cite but I'm doing my best to keep this short...hahahaha). At the risk of having a bit of guilt seep into my conscience that will send me reeling towards a finish line, I am going to show you one of my projects that is aging quite nicely. But first, let me tell you about the QAP:
|I began to sew them with one quilt in mind and ended up in a total different direction!|
Quilting Aging Process - Step by Step
1. Collecting/gathering/harvesting of fabrics. Let's say you want to make a red and white pinwheel quilt, like the one pictured above - it's a beauty, is it not? Well, the picking of fabric for any quilt takes time - usually several trips to the shops, with several pit stops along the way for beverage and food...one cannot pick fabric properly on an empty stomach...feel free to quote me. And if you plan to make full use of the QAP then you should plan on 2 to 3 months to pick fabrics. Months during which you will think about those fabrics, the ones you have on hand, the ones you purchase and the one you still need to get...time to think, lots of time.
2. Petting and admiring of fabric. Once fabric selection is complete, it's time to let the fabrics adjust to their new home...petting, stroking and fondling is advised - ahem, remember we're talking about FABRIC here! Fabric must be kept in a prominent place so it is seen on a daily basis, so you can think about how you're going to use it...think about that pinwheel quilt you decided was the one. This step usually takes anywhere from 3 to 4 months, if done properly. But let's say, after thinking about your red fabrics for 3 or 4 months you decide you want a blue quilt? Well, no harm done...those red fabrics can continue to age as you repeat step one, with blue on the brain! Luckily you have TIME on your side!
3. Cutting of the fabric. Once a final decision has been made (about color) about how this fabric is going to be used, it's time to actually cut the fabric. You decide on the size of block and the size of the squares for the pinwheels...remember..measure 4 times, cut once...that's my rule. You cut your fabric into precise little triangles and then it's time to let them steep just a bit on the cutting table...at least a week...and when the time is right, you're about to proceed to step 4 when out of the blue, like a thunderbolt to your bobbin, you decide against a pinwheel quilt! Sheesh! Good thing you didn't rush into anything!! And this my friends, is the reason the QAP is SO important...you have the freedom to change your mind at any time during this process!
|Wow - I really should have pressed this! But then, you know how I feel about ironing!|
5. Assembling the quilt top. Block by block, row by row, and finally your quilt top is pieced together! You can now sit back and relax...for at least 3 months...during which time you'll search high and low for the perfect backing (buying backing and binding at the same time as you buy the quilt top fabric is SO cliche!) Looking for backing fabric can take up to 3 months all by itself...think how many face-lifts Joan Rivers had before she was patched/pieced into her new self!
|My flimsy with the backing, folded into a "panini" and ready to age just a bit more!|
|The blue and white quit, even though it's been in the works for more than 3 years, is at the bottom of the "to quilt" pile...there are 6 projects in front of it! Yikes! I might have to speed things up a bit!|
8. Quilt in order. As in the order the tops were made...if you quilt a quilt out of order, like say you opted to quilt the blue and white quilt before the pink circle quilt, which has been aging for at least 4 years, well, you would only be tempting the Quilting Gods to reign down some plaque upon you...that's what I've heard and really, why risk it?! So your quilt panini sits in a stack for a few years, who's ever going to know?!?
|There's nothing like a perfectly aged quilt! Unless the quilter herself is perfectly aged as well!!|
Thanks Samm! xoxo, Your Humble Servant, Nan