Do you ever struggle to find the motivation to start a new quilt?
I have a wonderful project on my To-Do list (my granddaughter’s Sweet 16 quilt), fabulous fabric (Moodscapes batiks by Robert Kaufman) and a fun pattern to go with it (Secret Garden by Craft Passion) but I find myself allowing every distraction or excuse to keep me from starting it.
The quilt is large but doable – this will be my second. I think the biggest issue are the number of applique pieces. And the fact that I don’t want to waste any time while making it since her 16th birthday was 3 months ago! The Starting Line
The Starting Gate
So, how to get started?
First, create a plan that will save time and make the whole process as easy as possible.
And that plan should also include some form of automation. Plain and simple, that’s how things get done!
I learned a huge lesson some time ago: If you are like me, a one-woman show, automation and being able to do two or more tasks simultaneously is the key to getting things done as quickly as possible.
I’ve designed my sewing room around this concept. Each task has it’s own separate space and I do my best to keep it that way. Sure, there are times when cutting and ironing overlap but it’s only temporary.
Tools of the Trade
And, now that I’m sewing a variation of the same quilt, this project hands me a perfect opportunity to see exactly the benefits of using a Cricut Maker for quilting.
Below are the letters I’ll use in the quilt. I used card stock because I wasn’t sure how well the Cricut would cut such intricate shapes. The result – they are perfect. Now, I am confident my Cricut will cut these same letters from fabric with the same degree of accuracy as it did with the card stock. That alone will save me LOTS of time!
Next, I uploaded the various other elements: flower, leaf, butterfly, etc., into the Cricut Design Space and cut each from card stock.
I love these! My card stock templates are so nice and sturdy. The shapes won’t bend and alter the size or shape of the pattern being cut. And unlike ordinary paper, will hold up after multiple uses.
While my Cricut worked on the pattern pieces, I was able to fuse my fabric strips onto the interfacing. I used Pellon Shape Flex 101 – my go-to interfacing for almost everything I sew.
Placing fabric strips side by side cross the width of the Shape Flex is quick and easy. I cover each section with a silicon mat to protect my iron and keeping it from sticking to the interfacing adhesive.
Tracing and cutting the pieces is quick. There is no need to be perfect or exact. Every piece that is appliqued will be stitched with either a blanket or tight zigzag stitch. These types of stitches are great to camouflage any imperfections.
So, what if a perfect plan, efficient equipment and a well organized space isn’t enough to get those quilting stitches going?
The following is a strategy that never fails: Grab fabulous fabric and locate a couple of favorite patterns.
When choosing a pattern or project, make it a small one – a project that can be started AND finished in, say a day or two.
My Strategy –
Minki Kim bags and “Birds of a Feather Fabric by Gail Pan.
The moment I received this fabric order from the Fat Quarter Shop I knew that this fabric bundle wouldn’t be sitting on my sewing table unused for long!
Rummaging though my storage bins and shelves I ran across the small and medium-sized Flying Geese Pouches from Minki Kim’s Flying Geese Pouch Trio pattern I made a few months ago.
These pouches shown above were my very first attempt sewing this pattern. They turned out pretty well but since that time, I’ve wanted to make these again.
Being at a standstill, unable and motivated to begin my next quilt, I saw the pairing of these pouch patterns (and the newly purchased Half moon case pattern) with this delicious new fabric as more than just a potential sewing project.
Sewing these pouches and travel case would be the recipe to create the motivation I needed to start the quilt.
Beginning and ending smaller projects gave me the energy and confidence to begin that bigger project, and the confidence to finish it just as easily.
The next time you feel overwhelmed by a project – when your wonderful fabric and inspiring pattern looks more like Pike’s Peak than the beginning of a beautiful quilt, try climbing a smaller hill, or two, first.
The Finish Line
I’m not yet able to see the finish line or even the light at the end of my long and winding fabric tunnel, however, the return of my motivation to start lets me know the finish line is on the horizon.
The first few steps have been taken and this next quilt feels more like a reality than a dream.
Stay tuned – I can’t wait to post the finished quilt!