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Month: May 2021

Do You Struggle to Finish Quilt Projects? Read this.

The struggle to finish quilt projects is real.

I can’t tell you how often I go through my quilt studio to “purge” or find a fabric I misplaced and dig through the unfinished projects graveyard. These projects give my heart a little ping of sadness when I come across them.

It always used to start the same way, I’d have good intentions and would be excited to put together the materials for the project. I’d read the pattern and cut out the quilt. Then…. time would pass and it would sit as I bounced from project to project. Getting a small portion of each project done, but feeling a bit overwhelmed.

This is multiplied during the Holiday season each year. I always think “I need to make quilted presents for my family, maybe something as small as a pot holder to a mini quilt.” Yet, 1 month later I find myself at the checkout line at some department store such as Hobby Lobby or HomeGoods, purchasing a gift because of the stress and time crunch.

Does this sound like you too? If you struggle to finish quilt projects drop a comment below. I’d love some camaraderie in the stress of being creative during the holiday season!

Anyhoo, this sparked me to look into how I can better tackle the exciting projects that I have in my quilt room.

Here are the options I found that significantly improved my ability to get projects done quickly!

1. Implement a quilt planner.

If you’re like me, I found that there has been a rash of “quilt/project planners” on the market. At first I was a bit skeptical of the idea, preferring to use my current/ personal life planner to have all my thoughts in one place. Then I realized the value in separating different areas of your life! These cute little planners are a fun way to separate your quilting from your work/personal schedule.

Check out these options below that are super cute! I do earn a small commission from an purchase made through links.

These quilt planners can be an awesome way to organize your quilting life! Additionally several of these contain handy quilt measurement charts and special pages made to track your progress in quilting. This is especially important when you are looking to organize your projects by the size/difficulty/time it will *realistically* take you to complete it!

2. Complete Your Smallest Unfinished Project First – then move on

One of the biggest mistakes I made when it came to unfinished projects was trying to tackle the largest projects first. Ultimately this makes it more difficult because you feel slightly less motivated and accomplished. Because (if you are like me) there are a plethora of small projects staring at you from the corner. Even though tackling a big step for a larger quilt is definitely an accomplishment, it just FEELS GOOD to get a project fully done, bound, and in use.

This is why I recommend tackling your smallest projects first to get you motivated to tackle the biggest unfinished ones. This will leave less clutter floating around your sewing area and more clarity to tackle the big projects with ease!

3. Don’t Cut Into that Nice, New Quilt Kit You Bought Until ALL Your Loose Ends are Wrapped Up.

We have ALL been there. A cute little fat quarter bundle is all wrapped up with a brand new pattern just BEGGING to be cut out. Yet as you reach for the rotary cutter eager to start a new project, a stack of unfinished projects are still waiting on you!

Don’t do it y’all!! Finish your unfinished business and you will feel so much better starting that new project.

The satisfaction of starting a new quilt kit is overwhelming but it is so much sweeter, when you have all your loose ends tied up and done.

You and your stash will thank you, if you follow this rule!

4. If You Don’t Like It, Don’t Finish It.

Plain and simple. If you struggle to finish your quilt projects and bought a quilt pattern + fabric 4 years ago and it is no longer your style/jam/tooting your horn then LET IT GO! Now let’s not be wasteful, if you can scrap out the fabric and filter it through the stash or sell it online on Facebook Marketplace, do that.

Don’t waste your time working on a project that doesn’t bring you joy. If you don’t enjoy the process, than the end result won’t be as exciting as it could be. And let’s face it, it’ll be really, really hard to finish a project well if your heart is not in it!

5. Get it done.

Alright, you made it to the bottom of this blog post and it’s time for your to turn the sewing machine on and get going! Be sure and post your current project on my FB Group here!

Let’s motivate each other and get all our stuff done!

xoxo Quincy with The Contemporary Quilter


motivation to stop struggle to finish quilt projects

An Unlikely Hero: Painters Tape

4 Simple Machine Quilting Designs

As an unlikely hero, painters tape is used in a variety of craft projects, wall painting, and any other “sticky tape” needs! 🙂

As a longtime send the finished quilt top to the longarmer and forget it kinda gal, learning to quilt on my domestic machine has been quite a process. While I absolutely love the distinct look of longarming on a quilt top, spending $150-$200 per quilt was not feasible when I am completing an average of 3-5 quilts per month. Yes, that means it would cost me between $450-$1000 per month to have these serviced.

I do earn a small commission on links on this page, however they are all products in my sewing studio I use often.

Learning how to machine quilt has been *quite* the process. Artistic expression does not come naturally to me. I often find it difficult to master quick curves, feathers, and loops. Often ending up with unruly stitches or lopsided designs.

However!!

As I am determined to prevail and master machine quilting, I have determined the beauty in straight line quilting designs using *drum roll* painters tape! You’d be amazed at how well this sticky straight edge can help you get your points on point! Besides being able to stick and re-stick it, this straight edge makes it easier as a machine quilting learner to excel! Sometimes, I use this trick just to practice my lines on scrap fabric.

Hint hint: painters tape can also be used to practice your 1/4″ seams.

I have compiled four fun straight-line machine quilting designs that I hope help you along on your journey! Be sure and connect with me through Instagram or Facebook to let me know which one worked best for you or which is your favorite!

All images below are swipe-able! Check out the before and after!


Design #1: Straight Sally

Step 1: Elongate that stitch, I brought my stitch length out to 4.5 on my Bernina, using my 97D Quilting/Piecing Foot.

Step 2: Layout your painters tape between blocks or along the section of quilt you want to run a straight line.

Step 3: Sew just on the outside edge of the painters tape (it’s okay if you accidentally sew on the blue a little bit, this can be picked away at the end, it will come off super easy).

Step 4: Repeat, repeat, repeat to your hearts desire!

Design #2: “X” Marks the Spot

Step 1: Keep stitch length at a standard 2.5, longer stitch lengths are generally not as desirable with this one unless you are hand quilting.

Step 2: Set painters tape corner to corner on one block and sew down the edge of the painters tape.

Step 3: Remove tape and reposition to the opposite corner to corner of the block. Sew down tape again.

Step 4: Remove tape and enjoy! I usually repeat this across all the blocks on my given quilt for maximum “tackage” (yes, I just made that up) and a uniform look!

Design #3: Stripey Stripey Where are thou?

Are you over my design names yet? Oh don’t wait, I’ve got more.

Step 1: Tear off several pieces of painters tape in varying sizes, keeping in mind the total size of the block you are quilting.

Step 2: Place the painters tape pieces on the block from smallest to largest as shown below.

Step 3: Pick a size of the painters tape for desired stripes, (I chose the right side). Sew down each piece of tape on that side

Step 4: Remove the tape and look at these super straight lines!

Note: You could rotate this design on each quilt block for an even more fun grand design!

Design #4: It’s a Bird, no it’s a Plane!

Haha, I didn’t even know what to name this one but each section reminds me of the little “v” birds we all made in art class in elementary.

Step 1: Tear off two same size pieces of tape. Arrange them in a v shape across the edges stopping in the center.

Step 2: Repeat step one on the opposite side of the block.

Step 3: Remove tape and check out your cool little “flying geese-like” design.


If straight lines are not your style check out the selection of Creative Grids Machine Quilting Rulers I carry!

As an unlikely hero: painters tape is my new favorite machine quilting tool!