Empty Elizabeth

In front of something, yet still behind...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Stitch in Time

Rachel wanted to know "how long does a quilt take to make from start to finish". This is a tricky question, so I thought I'd do a post about it.
The time it takes to make a quilt varies greatly. It depends on many things : size, intricacy of the pattern, special cutting ("fussy" cutting), how fast you can sew, and of course, how much time you have! Some people can finish one in a weekend. That is especially easy if you go on a retreat (yes, they have retreats for quilts, my mom is going on one soon).
That being said, my quilts take a while to do. I have 2 kids and only one of them takes naps. And today, I actually did 3 loads of wash, remade the bed, vacuumed and worked on cleaning up the general mess that is our house. So squeeking in an hour and a half to do a little quilting (with a break to set up train tracks) was quite nice.
Here's how mine went:
My first quilt took me about 5 months to complete. That included hauling my 18 month old to the quilt store, while pregnant. Oh, and the baby was born a month before I finished it. I think that if you have a deadline, you pace yourself more to get it done on time. With this one, my mother-in-law was staying with us after the baby was born, so I did a lot of it then.
I have a second one in the works. It is all sandwiched and pinned. I decided that I was going to quilt it by hand with needle and thread. For a while, I had a good clip going, but I haven't touched in quite a while. I think it's in the dining room. Lately I haven't had much time to just sit. Every time I do sit, there is a kid who immediately clamors on top of me.
The one I'm working on now I had started during the summer (2005) sometime. I did one row, because you had to cut the pieces as you went. That's what gives it the "scrappy" look. (Lucky for me, I bought all my fabric to complete it back in September because they don't carry my fabrics anymore.) So just last week I started working on it again. Today I finished the borders, that means the top is complete. I cut the binding strips and I cut some more strips and sewed pieces of all my fabrics together for a strip detail on the back. My mom has done this sort of thing before (put some blocks or stripping on the back instead of an entire piece of fabric) and I like the little bit of interest it adds. Normally, you would just have to cut the back fabric to fit your quilt, but I have a little bit of piecing to do. It shouldn't take long. So far, this quilt has taken me about 6 months.
So there you have it: a long winded answer that not really an answer at all!
Let's just say: it varies.

2 Comments:

Blogger supa said...

It's a good answer, though.

I've been working on mine for three years. It's finally at hand-quilting stage, sitting right next to my chair, but I can never manage to pick it up and throw a few stitches in. Will be another three years before it's done, I bet.

21:05  
Anonymous rachel said...

Thanks for the explanation! I guess it's like writing a novel: it takes as long as it takes!

08:57  

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