Saturday, August 16, 2014

10 Quilty Little Secrets

We all have our dirty little secrets. Even quilty ones. I think it's time for a little bit of airing :)

Edited to add: Link up your quilty secrets here!

quilty secrets

1. I sew over pins. Religiously. Ok, so I've gotten a little better at this one, but still!

2. I iron. I don't press. Screw pressing.

ironing board

3. None of this quilting from the inside - out business. I quilt almost every project right to left. It's weird, I know, but the middle is the hardest part! If I start on one side and work in, then I'm practiced by the time I get to the middle. Then, I flip the quilt and work from the middle out to the other side, so I'm still saving an easy section for last.

4. I wash my quilts on hot. With bleach. Not every time, but my kids - they puke. And you know what? All my quilts still look great!!

5. I kind of like basting. And I prefer safety pins over spray. Don't throw rocks at me.

6. I'm not crazy about Aurifil. There, I said it. Now you can throw rocks at me. (Except....don't....)

7. Also? Warm and White (or Natural). Not into them.

8. Wonky log cabins? Eh. I don't like them.

9. I love quilted feathers. Even if they look traditional.

free motion quilting 

10. I dislike most Denyse Schmidt Fabrics. And Kaffe Fassett ones. Except for shot cottons.

There. Now you can all really hate me.
What about you? Any quilty confessions?

P.s. - pop over to Molli Sparkles to grab the button!!


  1. Love this! I do like auriful, although warm and white is not so much a fav. :) Great post.

  2. Here's mine:
    1. I buy my batting from Walmart.
    2. I use very little designer fabric. My stash is comprised of Goodwill/new sheets and regular o'cotton.
    3. I dislike scrappy quilts if there is no order to the pattern/layout.
    4. I'm not a fan of AMH fabrics (except her "basics").
    5. I make myself use them because I'm cheap, but I hate using scraps.
    6. I dislike small, fiddly pieces.
    7. I'm right there with you on #10.
    8. I usually don't draw out my quilting designs before I start. I have an idea in my head and I go with it.
    9. I don't always burry my knots. More like hardly ever.
    10. I machine stitch my bindings on both sides. I hate hand sewing (which is why EPP holds 0 interest for me).

  3. So many I agree with you except for Aurifil. I love it but il love other thread too! The other one don't love cotton and Steele. I like some of the blenders and a few pieces but don't get it. Fun post.

  4. Oh thank you! Love this, I hate wonky anything

  5. 1. Sew over the pins EVERY TIME
    2. If I actually bother to pin in the first place
    3. Scrappy gives me a headache
    4. I let my dog sleep on my quilts

  6. Haahah! You rebel. I love it quilt your own way I say!

  7. Traditional shmaditional, do what works! I would have hated Aurifil but it was a lifesaver for me (all other threads broke. Then it turned out I had a twisted thread/needle post, so really, it was that A held up to abuse). I believe quilts should be washable. Period. As for designer fabrics, I've banished some, only to find a few years later that I really liked them. Funny post, thanks!

  8. Great post and I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one that does what works for me regardless of what one is supposed to do.

  9. Hah! Too funny!!
    1. I thread baste my quilts... Too many issues with safety pins and I'm too cheap to buy the spray!
    2. Some designer fabrics make me gag... Seriously, where do they come up with the colour combos and designs??!!
    3. I can't follow a pattern if my life depended on it... Always screwing it up somewhere along the way!
    4. I don't use 'good' fabric on that back of runners, placemats and other small quilted projects!
    5. I hand quilt all my quilts projects... Bought the special quilting foot (which took me an hour to figure out how to install), have that Machinger gloves too, but I just can't figure out how to machine quilt it looks like crap!
    6. I keep lots of scraps but every couple of years I filter through it and toss the wee bits and try to give away the stuff I know in my heart I'll probably never use!
    Whew! That felt great! Oh! One more....
    7. Yesterday my husband told me that my quilting fabric collection is getting out of hand because it is taking over some storage space! (Between us quilters... I was thinking that I needed to get more fabric!!!! Hehehe)

  10. Oh my goodness! With the exception of basting and Aurifil (haven't tried it yet), it's luke you crawled into my brain and are spilling all my quilty secrets!! Here's one more though - I have still never used my walking foot for quilting. Shameful, but I muddle through with my regular foot for straightline stuff.

  11. 1. I pin A LOT! And I have always sewn over my pins.
    2. I use fusible batting which I iron/fuse on a table I bought at OfficeMax. The surface is getting a little strange but no way am I getting down on my knees on the floor.
    3. My favorite thread is from Connecting Threads.
    4. I'm anal about pressing my seams. It annoys me when patterns don't give seam pressing suggestions. I've been testing the waters with pressing my seams open lately. It's okay within a block, but I hate pressing them open when sewing blocks together. It's much harder to match those seams when sewing one row to another. Pressing to the side works better then.
    5. I'm not that fond of solids. I much prefer prints that read as solids.
    6. My opinion: A lot of the lint that builds up inside the sewing machine comes from the fabric too, not just the thread. When I sew with pre-cuts (jellyrolls, charms & cakes), I have more lint down there than when I sew with pre-washed fabrics. (Yes, I prewash.)
    7. I machine sew my bindings on. I want my quilts to be used & washed & used & washed.
    8. English paper piecing is not my friend. I much prefer foundation paper piecing. Maybe it's because I have man-hands & bad eyesight.
    9. I'm tired of feathers.

  12. 1, 3, 7 and 10 are me exactly :) So no hate coming from me!

  13. Too funny! I always sew over pins. I've never used Aurifil thread - I buy all my thread when it's half off at JoAnns. I hate batik fabrics!

  14. I use basting pins too. :)

    Mine - I can't (well, don't know how to) machine quilt. At all. Every single quilt-y thing I've made has either been tied or hand quilted.

  15. Awesome post! Thanks! I don't like Aurofil. And I rarely square off my quilt before binding it (I know, definitely a lynching offense)!

  16. Oh I LOVE THIS! I also do everything wrong ... so here goes!

    1. I love the 80/20 batting makes the quilting pop more.
    2. I iron with steam
    3. I love hand quilting with floss, DMC usually from Joanns it's chunky
    4. I never pin and when I do they get run over ... every time.
    5. My favorite thread is from Connecting Threads
    6. Never have squared a quilt
    7.Anything wonky is annoying
    8. I am terrified to take a class from a professional, as they will judge ALL that I do wrong.
    9. I am also terrified of curves.
    10. Same as yours! Plus I hate batiks.

  17. I iron more than press and I generally use steam. I only use Superior Threads (snob, I know, but I love the results I get). Despise Hobbs battings, I'll use Warm and White when I must have a white batting, but I love Quilter's Dream battings. I pin my pieces together with the point of the pin going towards the edge of my fabric and try to keep the points of the pins out of the quarter inch seam allowance - I used to fly over pins until I hit one that shattered my needle and threw pieces of it at me (glad I wear glasses cuz that's where they hit!). I don't care for most designer fabrics - love solids, reads-as-solid and tone on tone. Hate any kind of hand sewing so unless it is a show quilt, bindings are sewn by machine. I adore modern quilting because it gives me a place to play with my longarm.

  18. ha ha, funny. I don't get the excitement over Liberty and any quilt with squares bigger than charm is booooring :)

  19. Your list is so funny. I am so jealous that you enjoy basting. :-) I had never thought about this before and have enjoyed reading everyone's comments. Like Farm Quilter I pin with the pins facing the edge of the fabric. I thought I was the only quilter who did this. I started doing this when I got a featherweight and didn't want the sharp ends of the pins to scratch her while sewing. Here's the rest of my list:

    1. I have no interest in pre-cuts unless you count fat quarters as pre-cuts. Plus I'm a pre-washer.
    2. I prefer to choose the fabrics for a quilt not getting bundles already put together. There are only a handful or less that I would consider getting the entire line and it would have to be fat quarters.
    3. I should probably change my rotary cutter blade more often. I have actually taken the old blade out and put a dab of oil on the blade and put it back on. I got this tip from another quilter and it works surprisingly well.
    4. Same goes for sewing machine needles I don't change them as often as I've heard we should.

    There is probably more I could add but off hand this is it.

  20. This the best post of the week! I'm totally with you on KF but I do love those cotton shots! I'm curious - what kind of batting do you use?

  21. Brilliant post! I don't see the point of mini quilts :)

  22. this is great I thought something was wrong with me. I'm not into using this designer or that designer in my quilts. I say use whatever fabrics look good together, who cares what line they are I don't.

  23. Saw this topic a few weeks ago. I don't like hexies and HST...didn't like them 20 years ago either. I don't like all solid colors fabrics in kwilts, I have used glue to secure a pulled seam "after" kwilting was done (ooops) sometimes my points are NOT pointy...perfection has no place in my kwilting! It would take the fun out of all my Kwilty Pleasures!

  24. This post made me laugh and I did a lot of nodding as I agree with much of it!

    1. I constantly run over pins. I know I shouldn't, but I have a million of them that I got on sale.
    2. I hate quilting by hand. I have done it before, it was nice, buuuuuut I am guilty of not being that patient!
    3. My least favorite part of any quilt is the cutting, I just want to get started already!
    4. I find machine quilting relaxing and mean to try new patterns/techniques.
    5. It was a long time before I realized that using steam while pressing/ironing was frowned upon. I don't think it's a big deal.
    6. I think quilts should be used. So they get washed a lot and thrown around a lot. I also prewash everything (don't hate me =P)
    7. I machine bind. All steps. It goes back to my being impatient.

    I am sure there are many more, but this post was fun and I enjoyed reading everyone's comments!

    1. pressing/ironing without steam is pointless, it does nothing. I not only press that steam button, I also spray water at it too!

  25. hhahaha you're funny, and I'm totally with you on the aurifil and Denise Schmidt and Kaffe ones :)

  26. LOL.. This was hilarious.. loved every comment made..

  27. Ha ha! I love it! What's that they say - it's ok not to like things!!

  28. I love your list! Here's mine:

    1. I'm incredibly lazy when it comes to cutting for EPP. I don't measure at all, just place my template in the scrap and eyeball it. The backside of my quilt top isn't pretty, but no one will ever see it when I'm finished so who cares!

    2. I always use steam when pressing my seams, and probably do a combo of ironing and pressing.

    3. I've never squared up a block or a finished quilt. They always turn out just fine!

    4. I don't like quilt patterns. Sometimes I use one for inspiration, but I rarely follow them.

    5. I prefer mixing fabrics from different collections... Unless I'm in a hurry and to make a quilt in a hurry.

    6. I almost never change my rotary blade. I think I've been using the current one for several years now...

  29. Haha! This is awesome. I can relate with so many of these! I'm definitely an iron-er too. And I press my seams open almost all the time, which brought some pretty interesting looks the first time I went to my local sewing night. Apparently there is something wrong with someone who doesn't press to the side. :)
    And I kind of like nesting too. But that's because I'm becoming a spray baster (I won't throw rocks if you won't ;) ). I actually iron my spray basted quilt sandwiches, and I kind of love ironing.
    But my REAL dirty little secret? Cotton and Steel. It's nice and all, but not really my style at all...
    Whew. Feels good to get that one of my chest. Now I'm gonna go read all three other comments...

  30. Not-so Secret list (I'm pretty vocal about a few):
    I hate yo-yos
    Same for batiks
    I think Best Press is useless - I might as well use plain water (but I keep a bottle of the Linen scent just for the smell)
    Scrappy looks terrible unless there is some order to the chaos
    I make my own starch (water, powdered starch, vodka) and starch everything to hell and back
    I like many designer collections but don't get the Kaffe love
    I like only the plainest of Tula Pink
    Civil War fabrics bore me to tears
    I admire the patience to cut and sew a bazillion tiny squares but think most turn out a mess and I have better uses for my time
    I glue all my seams before sewing
    I've never pinned anything, ever
    I can't follow patterns except in a very broad sense
    I love hst blocks but only if I make them 8 at a time
    I always upsize blocks - under 10 seems too small
    My most expensive sewing machine cost $30 (I have 6) : )
    My goodness- I'm more opinionated than I realized

    1. And what is with all those itty-bitty hexies?
      Stop using the word sew in place of so
      Sorry - it is hard to stop once the floodgates are opened.

  31. I can sew 4 seams with the quarter inch foot and they will STILL end up being slightly different widths. How do I do that?

  32. 1. I dont pin unless I absolutely have have to
    2. Aurifill is not my favorite either
    3. I pin baste to
    4. I dont like something all wonky it looks messy
    5. I always machine stitch my binding's
    6. I hate hand sewing
    7. I am not a fan of posts in a quilt (those little blocks)
    8. I iron/press ( depends on my mood) and with steam for both
    9. I never prewash anything
    10. I dont drink the cool aid when it comes to only using your scissors on fabric

  33. 1. I have never followed a pattern.
    2. I don't except before basting
    3. I pin only if the mood strikes me
    4. I pin baste (that spray seems wasteful)
    5. I do not worry in the slightest about perfection

  34. I love this post - I was seriously giggling out loud as I read it. I'm glad to hear that not everyone prescribes to list of likes and dislikes!

  35. Thanks to Molli Sparkles, I popped over to read your quilty little secrets... Thanks for the honesty (and the smiles). And I don't see what the big whoop is about Aurifil either. :) You may just start a revolution here!

  36. I love your list. Thanks for the laugh. I think I need to make my own list.

  37. I never wash my fabrics, then I have to iron them
    I like C + S basics but not the animals
    I never knew you had to remember designers names
    I like Aurifil it sews really well in my machine
    I actually like mini quilts but then I've only made two!
    I am not a straight sewer close but not perfectly straight!
    I wash my quilts in cold water
    I baste my quilts on the kitchen table, my knees and back totally do not like me crawling around on the floor
    I buy fabric because I like it not who has designed it

  38. I agree with you on all except #10. I have found myself drawn to Denyse Schmidt fabrics more and more lately. And I HATE when someone uses "sew" instead of "so" in a sentence! :P

    Thanks for sharing!
    Sandy A

    1. hear hear for "sew", drives me nuts. I hate "photo's" too. No. Bloody. Apostrophe.

  39. Thank you so much for sharing, I too dislike most Denyse Schmidt fabrics - I felt like I was alone in this, you've given me the courage to speak up about it. ;-)

  40. good work! I'm with you on 1 and 2, definitely on 6 (it snaps every five seconds and costs millions of pounds) and sort of 10... I also don't see the fuss about AMH or TP if I'm honest...

  41. Best blogpost for ages, so much so I've played along too!

  42. You really hit a nerve... and the right one......with this post. Thinking we should all be more honest (and understanding), more often.

  43. Great post! I iron everything, have never pressed in my life! Have never tried Auriful and I love my polyester thread so I'm in no hurry to change. I kind of like basting too, and won't even buy the spray - who wants all that spray floating around in the air and landing on things other than the quilt it was intended for?

  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

  45. I believe as the quilt designer you can do anything or use anything you want to. As long as you like what you create.... others opinions don't really matter.

    1. But sewing over pins.... I almost always hit them and lose a needle so no more pins for me.
    2. After crawling around on my knee pads to pin baste my first quilts, I now glue baste just about everything. Elmer's washable glue comes in gallon jugs and along with foam brushes, basting got a lot easier.
    3. No hand stitching anything for me. If it cannot be sewn on one of my sewing machines, then it will not be made by me.
    4. On Aurifil thread.... I just tried it and it works fine but so does my Mettler and Connecting Threads threads. Haven't tried Superior yet but it is on the list.
    5. Designer fabrics well.... if you like them then buy them but there are many fabulous fabrics available that are not "designer". Not sure what all the hype is about for some of the recent fabric releases. But that is just me.

    To each their designing own.

  46. Oh my goodness this is great. I do like Aurifil, but not so hot on warm & natural. I'll have to think of my list and write a post, how fun!

  47. I love your list. I prefer Presencia thread over Aurifil any day of the week.

  48. This post is fantastic....I'm having so much fun reading your list and everyone's comments. Lately I've been feeling like I'm not a "real" quilter because I don't buy in to a lot of the rules. I feel so liberated right now! :)

  49. I love Kaffe, Australian Aboriginal prints. And love Thimbleberries, Civil war and Cotton and Steele as much as people loved the Emperors new clothes. I iron the shit out of everything except bias seams. Use So Fine 60 and 30 weight for top thread for machine quilting.
    Happiest with loud music and free motion quilting.
    I am only precious with my quilts and then it is for my own satisfaction.
    I have a design wall of cotton bamboo wadding attached to the biggest wall in my sewing room by a gazillion thumb tacks. I spray baste on it.
    I sew over pins
    I expect that my utility quilts are spit up on, have grass, dirt and poo marks then they are washable.
    Thanks for the post
    South Australia

    1. Really smart idea of spray basting on your design wall! I don't spray baste but if I did I'd give this a try!

  50. Fab post! I'm going to play along too!

  51. I slow down a bit when I sew over the pins. I really, really dislike batiks.
    You have inspired me to join in. It has been fun to read all the posts you have inspired.

  52. I also iron!! With LOTS of steam!!! I keep a gallon jug of water by my ironing board and can EASILY go through the whole thing if I'm in the zone!!!
    THANKS for #10!!! I was like... what am I missing?? I thought I just didn't get the whole Kaffe thing!! I now know there ARE others!!

  53. Love this freeing. I also wonder about the hype of some new things. My secret is I sometimes (most times) bring the back of the quilt around to the front as a binding and machine sew it down with a kind of a zigzag stitch. he stitch looks pretty and it is such a time saver! (Pause for horrified looks.)

    1. I've done this and even bought a tool to help me but that turned out o be to much work so I wing it.

  54. You have started a trend. See blogs for Christa Quilts, Jet Girl and Hudson Valley Quilts.

  55. Love this! I posted my list over on my blog.

  56. I'm SO GLAD to know that there are more people out there like myself!
    I've NEVER used Aurifil and only know about it from reading blogs.
    I throw away anything less than 2.5" wide and I have a whole lot of ziploc bags full of 5" and 2.5" strips that I may never use because I prefer to purchase new fabric for a new project!
    I'm a fabric snob and won't shop for quilt fabric at JoAnn's.
    I don't change my needle until I break it and have to.
    I appreciate some of the vintage fabrics and patterns but I really don't care for Thimbleberries and all of the old-fashioned calicos.
    I prefer to purchase from the same fabric manufacturer and line for a project rather than hunting for things that go together.
    I'm also a snob when it comes to the back & binding of the quilt-I want them to match.
    I almost cannot bear to give away a quilt that I've made. I started making one for my adult son's girlfriend who I expected he'd marry but didn't get it finished in the year & a half they dated before they broke up. "Her" quilt is now in my living room and I'm so glad I kept it!
    My children don't care for quilts...they like the soft, fuzzy, fluffy kind of blankets.

  57. Amy this cracked me up. Love your honesty.

  58. Here's mine
    1) Chevrons.....just don't appeal to me..they remind me of Charlie Brown's T shirt
    2) Hexies.....again just doesn't appeal to me
    3) Blog giveaways make me tired. I'd much more appreciate a good blog post about the fabric, thread, tool, etc...... and how the bloggist uses the item....I don't mind the cross promotion and 100% understand why it is done
    4) I do think Aurifil thread is good thread but I also think Connecting Threads has good thread....and you can't beat the price......and I think Superior Threads has good thread
    5) when it comes right down to it aren't ALL quilts scrap quilts? I like what Gwen Marston writes in her Liberated book.....'scrap quilts look best when they are made from actual scraps'!
    6) Press to one an audience member once shouted to Joni Mitchell when everyone was clamoring for a song...'play what you want'
    7) I have a small family, I am to the point where I am making quilts for people I don't really know that well....oh you are having a baby?!?!.....let me make you a quilt....oh you are getting married?!?...let me make you a quilt
    8) Some prints I will never use.....Tula Pink is amazing but I'll never make a quilt out of fabric that has racoon faces on it no matter what color it is!
    9) Same thing for fabric with deer or elk on it. I live in Norther Minnesota... I have to listen to my husband talk about deer season leading up to hunting weekend, after hunting weekend and through out the year. I have a deer head hanging in my foyer. That's enough deer for me.
    10) I like 1930's repo fabrics.... and to me they look pretty modern

  59. I am a bloody patchwork & quilting beginner... but suppose I make a lot things more intuitive than methodically...don't prewash... first begin sewing, then thinking of binding, quilt's back... Even use cheap fabric (e.g. cotton from saled tablecloth) ... did not think about iron/press or not ... just do it... and: I didn't believe that I realle go to be perfect... just have fun and doing it!

  60. Wow, I thought I was a quilting rebel - in silence of course.

    1. I quilt over my pins.
    2. I hate Kaffe Fassett fabric - I don't get the appeal at all. In fact, I don't 'get' a lot of the designers.
    3. Don't use Aurifil.
    4. I make my quilts to be used, washed and puked on (if, of course, the occasion requires it).
    5. I use steam and lots of it. If you don't, it doesn't seem to work.
    6. I don't pre-wash. I know, don't want to hear it.
    7. I like Connecting Threads thread. It holds up nice and it's pretty cheap.
    8. I don't baste my quilts. I take it to the longarm lady and she does it for me. My knees won't crawl anymore.

    Boy, felt kind of good to get that out there.


  61. Chance to get a few things off my chest,here goes,please dont take it personally,
    1 .Modern fabrics,no,not ever,or quilts
    2 I sew over pins.
    3 I press whichever way falls easiest,who cares what the back of the block looks like.
    4 Scrap quilts are my thing dont care if you call it fabric vomit!
    5 I sew with whichever thread is first when I open the drawer,and I have never prewashed a piece of fabric ever.
    6 I have an intense dislike of solid fabrics.
    7 Best Press,not for me,I believed the hype and bought some,Dylon Spray Starch for me everytime.
    8 They are my quilts,thanks for your opinion but I dont care,if you dont like it go and make your own.
    9 Backing fabric does not have to "go with" the front,who looks at the back really.
    10. We are all individuals,we can do what we like as long as it works for us,I personally do it for fun and relaxation,and I hope I dont sound like I should join the dreaded quilt police,believe me there are a lot of them out there.

  62. Honesty is so refreshing!! Good for you. I hope it catches on all over quilting blogland.