10 Lessons learned from a few rows of quilting

The first 10 lessons I’ve learned from a few rows of quilting:

1. I’ve learned that I have no idea how to do the ‘rocking quilting stitch’.  Either this is done by magic or the three layers are so thin that the end quilt has no warmth?  That is my conclusion.  My stitches are a little bit longer and consistently non-consistent. 🙂  and that is A-Okay with me!

2. I’ve learned that it is not wise to put one’s coffee cup near a quilt in progress when you own a cat that loves to run and ‘cat-board’ carpets and rugs.  Think snowboarding but with four legs and claws.  She ‘cat-boarded’ on the first day and sent my coffee cup flying!  Thankfully the coffee spilled on the carpet and not the quilt!  It is about the only time I will actually praise someone above for a huge spot on my carpet!!! Hilarious I know.

3. Hey!  Spray basting really works!  Throughout this entire phase the basting has held…really well.

4. Expect blood.  Yeah.  Pin pricks hurt like hell.

5. I’ve learned that thimbles are very uncomfortable.  I think I found one yesterday at Hobby Lobby but still need to break it in for a while before I give my review.

6. Did you know that trying to thread a needle against a very busy backdrop is about nearly impossible?  Yeah.  It is.

7.  In my quilting isolation my mind has wondered to this following thought.  How many quilts would I need to quilt on a long-arm machine in order to make the purchase of a long-arm quilting system pay for itself?

My answer: 30.  I figure it would cost between $200-$400 to have my quilt machine done by an experienced long-arm quilter.  I would have to make and have paid for quilting services on 30 quilts to equal the amount of money I would love to spend on a long-arm quilting system.  If I am only going to piece 1-2 quilts a year that works out to about 25-30 years!  Of course hand quilting has very little cost!  I guess I could say it another way.  How many quilts do I need to hand quilt to save the money I would have spent having them long-arm quilted professionally in order to have enough money to buy my own really cool system?

Yeah.  Okay.  Well, I guess I’ll need to go the low cost route for 25 years.  I’ll check back with you when I retire! Or win a big lottery.

8. Which brings me to my other thought.  How do you quilt a really large quilt on the home sewing machine?  I’m going to need to watch some videos.  If any of you have suggestions please let me know!

9.  I’ve learned to be persistent.  I really miss the 2-hour t-shirt!  Oh boy.  I’m starting to get antsy for sewing some clothes!  I miss the instant gratification (comparitively speaking, what with a quilt taking 2-3 months!).  That’s okay.  I’m really going to stick to my plan of making Jan-Feb-Mar dedicated to quilting here at Sewing For Life!  I can stick it out for another month.  Just think.  I’m almost done with this very large quilt and I can really see finishing a work in progress piece  too.

10.  I should probably post more pictures of myself  besides my cat.  Sorry Mom but the cat just is constantly in everything!  I go to take a picture and she just pops right into the picture each and every time!  I think she feels a little left out.  She did sneak up on me and catch me taking a few zzzz’s though.  Gotta love it.

Still quilting.

Still quilting.

Still quilting.

2 thoughts on “10 Lessons learned from a few rows of quilting”

  1. My MIL suggests a leather thimble for hand quilting, and she hand quilts a lot.

    My business is professionally quilting using my long arm (a Statler Stitcher). It cost on the order of $35K and can quilt up to California King sized. I seemed to be picking up much faster on the quilting than the other students in the class to learn how to use it, and it took me a good 20 quilts before I started really getting good (luckily my MIL had a stack of quilts she didn’t like enough to hand quilt, though I still had to throw a few quilts together before I felt comfortable quilting for a customer). On the other hand I have seen quilts hung at the local fabric stores that aren’t near as good as the quilts that I do that they have told me they paid to have quilted.


    1. Wow! That’s awesome that you have a long arm quilting machine and do this as your business! I do know what you mean, quilting really well takes practice and a lot of talent!


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