I made a quilt recently – a real live pieced-into-squares quilt. I’ve finished (which is the key word here) two quilts before but this one is different – it’s a “normal” quilt, meaning I used a pattern with regular ol’ quilting cotton fabric (no weird fleece monsters made from scratch).
It’s kind of a big deal because I normally don’t quilt because it takes so long to finish but there’s a new quilt store in town close to where I live where I bought all the fabric (kind of ikat themed) and the pattern (this one, sans border. the patterns are printed on post cards).
But the most important thing was that I didn’t actually quilt this quilt myself. The store, Remnants, has two big long-arm quilting machines.
If you’ve never seen one before they’re big, long (this one was probably 10ft) machines that wrap the layers of the quilt (back, batting, top) taught and a sewing machine arm kind of floats over the whole quilt stitching everything together.
The end result is perfectly quilted (you can even pick from several stitching designs) and all you have to do is take it home and bind it yourself. Amazing!
This is really a game changer for me and quilting. Clothes sewing is still my focus and I may never crank out quilts like I do garments but if I feel the desire to make a quilt for myself or others this whole long-arm thing really makes a difference. My last quilt too me months to make. This new quilt with a very simple design took me about 3 days of my own sewing time. That’s nothing!
Which has got me thinking about patience in sewing. I’m completely impatience when it comes to sewing quilts but am I also impatience with clothes? Do I avoid sewing certain garments because they’re too tedious or require slow construction methods like hand sewing? Do I cut out linings from dresses because I think they’re too hot in the summer or because I don’t want to take the time to sew part of a garment that will never be seen? Do some of my projects turn into UFOs because I dread the amount of time it will take to complete something complex?
I do love instant gratification projects (knit tops with no darts, Scout tees, patterns with only a few pieces to cut out) but am I missing out on having a great learning experience by sewing something like a detailed trench coat or jeans with lots of top stitching because I don’t want to take a month to work on a project?
Do you have “project impatience” like I do? Has it kept you from finishing or starting a new pattern or project? Is there something I can do to fight it? I’m trying to be more relaxed in general lately when it comes to sewing, maybe that should include not stressing about sewing that may take more time than I usually want to spend on one garments.
Oh, well. In the mean time I’m just gonna chill on the couch with my cat and my new quilt!
Update: Since some of you asked, the cost of the long-arm quilting was $0.015 (one and a half cents) per square inch. My quilt is 60in by 45in so my quilt was about $45 after tax. That might seem like it would add up quick but I totally think it was worth it. I never could have done the stitch pattern that they made on my own machine and it saved me sooooooo much time. I’m not sure how much other stores charge for this service.