Quilting within the Limits

About five years ago, I bought a fancy-shmancy sewing machine. It has all the bells and whistles, and lots of fun features to use. Before that time, though, I made perfectly good quilts with a 15 year old Kenmore. My first machine was a hand-me-down, reworked and rewired for me by my awesome Dad. I’m reminded of using that machine now, as I have some pretty significant limits to my quilt making. My stash is mostly packed, so this is what I have with which to work!

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The big machine needed to be put away so that my “Quilt Studio” now looks like an office or a formal living room again. In my spare moments, I’ve been sewing by hand a little, but when I need the calming hum of a machine, I’ve found a small project on which to work. I pull out my older machine and set it up on the dining room table. Because I need to be able to clean up fast if we have a showing, I don’t set up all my stations-ironing, cutting board, and machine-at the same time. I also try to work during the hours when it’s not convenient to show a house, early morning or after 9 pm. I spent one early morning cutting these lovelies.

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I spent another afternoon drawing a line across the back of each white square, with only that part out at the time. Once all that was done, I could break up my sewing time accordingly. I sewed a little in the evenings and mornings, and pulled out the machine when afternoons were slow during the week.

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So, between work and house showings and school and cleaning, a quilt came together! I want to encourage you. If you don’t think you have time, space, ability, etc to make a quilt, just take it one little step at a time. I promise, it’ll come together if you work on it little by little! I got to the point where my blocks were all complete, and I was stuck. How would I find the time to sew them all together, laid out on my floor or bed, without interruption?

My very clever friend Aby made a great suggestion! Her suggestion was that I lay out my squares in order and pin them to a background, maybe a sheet or something that could be picked up! Genius! So, without further comment, here is my “catch as catch can” quilt, a “between the real life stuff” creation that I promise you have time to make!

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