I'm so excited to be able to sew again!
I got my machine tuned up this winter...and a few weeks later it ended up needing a new electrical unit! Thankfully Bernina has a pretty great warranty on parts!
The first thing I pulled out was my Moda Building Blocks quilt that I started last summer/fall. I went on an epic scrap overhaul. I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and it inspired me one night to take my scraps from four giant trash bags full into one small basket worth. Insane. I still have the majority of my sewing room to unpack and wayyy too much fabric but it felt like a good start!
I only have two bed sized quilts so I want this quilt to be really great. Like potentially my favorite thing ever status.
Since this quilt is going to be on our bed, I wanted to get some ideas on how I want it to look...and how I don't want it to look. I just took our winter bedding off our bed and put on some lighter stuff, including my Farmer's Wife Quilt.
That quilt alone has provided me with so much inspiration on how I want this quilt to look.
I decided to tack some batting up over my sewing machine so I can live with my blocks. The most frustrating thing about my Farmer's Wife is that didn't get many chances to actually see it completely laid out as I was working on it. As a result the blocks have so many different feelings, colors and it doesn't feel cohesive at all. It kind of drives me nuts, sometimes when I'm folding laundry and looking at it on my bed I think "oh I wish I'd put this block there." or "I shouldn't have used this block at all!"
As a result, with this quilt I'm really firming up what I want in a sampler. I know I want a lot of neutrals, pink, metallic fabric, some mauve, warm and cool taupe and fussy cutting galore. Different textures. Modern + Traditional. No green. No bright aquas. No red.
I'm trying to really push myself with my fabric combos. I find my favorite blocks are the ones in my quilts that don't really "match" but seem to work anyways. They are quirky, unexpected and my favorite to look at. Slimming down my scraps really has helped with these blocks, I'm challenging myself to use up what I have before buying new things. And if I have been buying things, it's been a lot of background fabric. A new quilt store opened in Colusa and I've found some great tone on tone prints there. Metallic stars on white. Gold metallic dashes on cream. Lots of neat stuff.
I learned that if you go a long time without sewing, there is a re-learning curve. My piecing is pretty terrible in some of these blocks, lol. I had a few settings changed on my machine and I'm still getting used to them. I've really debated if I should start over or just accept that it's not perfect. But I really truly cherish any free time I can sew and I don't want to spend my sewing time stressing over perfection. I know that won't make sense to everyone and that's totally ok!
My Farmer's Wife quilt is almost completely foundation pieced which I loved. On the outside, those blocks are fantastic looking. But on the inside... well...I really should have paid much better attention to my seam allowances and not tried to fudge so many tiny bits and pieces! I have three blocks that are literally falling apart. And I'm definitely not helping it by washing and drying our quilts once a week. I have no doubt that in the next two years I'm going to have to make significant repairs on it.
As long as this quilt is structurally sound, I'm ok with it not being perfect. I also plan on getting this quilt long arm quilted to help it stay together. I only did the bare minimum on my Farmer's Wife and I regret that! I also know now that when the batting manufacturer suggests a certain amount of space between your quilting, you should follow it!!!! Doh! I'm hoping if it's heavily quilted any mistakes won't be as noticeable. ;)
One thing I've found SO helpful is a rotating cutting mat! So awesome! I wish I'd gotten one years ago. It's really neat because this quilt has you cutting squares diagonally and all I need to do is turn the mat and cut! Less room for moving the fabric and making a mistake.
I've been listening to a lot of The Wise Man's Fear while working on this and I *love* this book. SO MUCH. I read the first one and I feel like I missed a lot of subtle nuances that I'm really picking up with the audio version. Chop moved his computer into my sewing room so on Sunday's after breakfast he does computer stuff, I sew and we listen to this book. It's pretty fantastic! :):):)
(this post contains affiliate links to amazon- all thoughts are my own)