View Full Version : The Sound of Night Owls

September 25th, 2013, 01:01 AM
How far in advance do you plan your quilts? I have a secret to tell you: I plan some of my quilts years in advance. Yes, I really do.

I don't usually choose a pattern, although sometimes I do. I decided I wanted to do a Churn Dash quilt in red, blue and gold with a cream background. Over the next year and a half I collected fabrics that would go together in this quilt so that it was completely scrappy. I especially loved collecting the golds. They were not as easy to find as the other colors and I really wanted them all different prints but as similar in color and value as I could find. Even though I haven't gotten that quilt out in years, I still remember my favorite gold was a rather orangey print with carrots all over it and that I found it in the scrap bin at Keepsake Quilting. Funny what we remember.

I waited until I had enough fabrics to make thirty blocks. It was such fun looking through my collection of these prints and remembering where and when I found them. Do you do that? Can you remember where you bought particular pieces? I don't always but more times than not I do, because they are my friends and I have good memories of them.

I hope I don't say this too often (I feel like I do) but this is definitely one of my favorite quilts. I don't know why it is still a top and not on my bed. I love how each block is made of completely unique combinations of fabrics. No fabrics are repeated in any of the other blocks. I could not have made this quilt if I did not look ahead, collect the fabrics and be patient.

Other collections I have created include dots and stars, homespuns and of course batiks. Instead of just choosing what I like when I buy fabric (though I do that too) I try to have a vision for what my stash might look like a year or two from now.

Making quilts from pre-cut collections make choosing fabrics easy, but be careful. I think they can also limit your creativity. Someone else thought these prints and colors would go together nicely, not you. They are someone else's vision, not yours. No, I'm not saying ditch the pre-cuts and set out on your own. I just want to encourage you to develop your own style with your own unique ideas and tastes. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at what you can create.

K. McEuen
September 25th, 2013, 01:12 AM
Cyndi! You need to finish that quilt. It deserves to be out and used and seen.

September 25th, 2013, 01:14 AM
That quilt is beautiful, please finish it.

I am not even a year old quilter yet. I had no stash at all until you sent me some fabrics. I then had a very good friend give up quilting and she gave me a lot of fabric as well. I buy for projects. Sometimes I buy the DD and it sits for a few weeks before I realize what it wants to be. I sometimes see a new tutorial or get a magazine and see a pattern and realize it needs to be done in a different fabric or with slight changes to the pattern and then I will buy for that.

I bought the large wedge for no reason at all. I have decided that I am using it on the stash that I have from friends. The homespun I have are going to be a tumbler, I believe. I just like looking at them and can't commit to a pattern for them.

I am really not what I would call a lover of scrappy. I am a lover of coordinated scrappy. Not the same is it? I am doing the Farmer's wife quilt and I bought Warmth precuts to get the look but have everything coordinate.

I plan my quilts when I see something I like but it doesn't mean I will get to it any month soon.

September 25th, 2013, 01:16 AM
Cyndi, your quilt is absolutely beautiful. I can only dream of creating something like that one day.

Since I am currently making my second (for my Quilting 101 class) and third quilt (a rag quilt), I can't say that I have started planning for the future yet. My stash consists of nursery prints because I want to make baby quilts and donate them to the cribs that we set up in the gathering area of the church twice a year, the collected baby items are then donated.

When I decided to start quilting, one of the things that I was really looking to was selecting my fabrics. I love going to the fabric and store and thought it would be so much fun. What I have found is that it is much harder than I anticipated. I obviously don't have a knack for it yet. I think I end up being too matchy matchy. So I have relied on the person at the LQS to help me on all of my projects so far. Hopefully I will get better at it over time. I think I get overwhelmed and then start questioning my choices. Somehow I need to build up my confidence.

Thanks for sharing how you collect your fabrics.

BTW, is a rag quilt considered a "real" quilt?

September 25th, 2013, 01:19 AM

I can't believe you have only been quilting for a year, you seem to know so much!!!

September 25th, 2013, 01:24 AM

I can't believe you have only been quilting for a year, you seem to know so much!!!

A rag quilt is a quilt and I have been sewing a long time. I don't know so much everything I have learned I have learned through this forum and my mistakes.

Cathy F
September 25th, 2013, 01:33 AM
Beautiful quilt! I'm afraid I'm kind of the fly by the seat of your pants person when it comes to my quilts. I rarely plan anything out ahead of time. I usually just see a pattern or fabric I like and jump in with both feet so to speak, that's probably why I have so many UFO's laying around! One day I'll start a quilt and the next day something else catches my eye and I start something else.

September 25th, 2013, 01:45 AM
Cyndi, you need to finish that quilt...it is awesome....I love it! I sometimes wait for the fabric to speak to me or a pattern and sometimes I will try out a pattern out of my scrap bin and fall absolutely in love with it and want to make several quilts all out of the same pattern but with totally different fabrics so I get a totally different look each time....did that make sense?

September 25th, 2013, 02:16 AM
56534 O M G!!!!

Cyndi, That is one amazing quilt!!! So, what is keeping you from completing it?
The right fabric for the back?

I don't usually plan a quilt out like that. I recently went through my fabrics and found that I have almost 20 projects that I have plans for. Just 2 or 3 are UFO's the rest I just have the fabrics or fabrics for the tops.
I don't usually have a pattern or a plan, just kind of wing it....
Someday I will plan and do one according to directions.....maybe....we'll see....

September 25th, 2013, 03:00 AM
Organized scrappy! I can get behind that!

I've often thought of taking bits of the fabric and stitching them to paper so I could write the story of the quilt's fabrics. I don't know if it would ever matter to anyone but me, but it might be fun!

I'm finishing the last few pages of a book I started while waiting for Em's bus. Dang it! I hate when that happens. I should probably be sewing!

Sew Perfect
September 25th, 2013, 03:32 AM
Cyndi, you've got to finish that quilt! So far, it's beautiful! I'm like you. I like pre-cuts, but they can limit us when it comes to our imagination.

This is a quilt I made when I first learned to quilt. I'm just now doing the binding because I was unhappy with it. People pointed out a lot of things wrong with it, including color choices.

Granny Judy
September 25th, 2013, 04:26 AM
Wow, love that quilt.. Please make time to finish it.. (like I have4 or 5 that need finishing, too!)

I have project boxes set up that are in various stages of work. When I see a precut, I can envision a quilt fully done and I buy, buy, buy!! When it arrives, I put it and a note in a "project box". Then there is my stash. When I see I am getting low on a color, I buy, buy, buy!!

Unfortunately I have more buy, buy, buys than sew, sew, sews.

September 25th, 2013, 04:32 AM
Cyndi, your quilt is beautiful and deserves to be finished....get on it girl!
I try to plan my quilts. I find one that I like and it seems I always change something to make it my own. I'm not a big fan of precuts for two reasons..1) I find them to be very expensive, and 2) there are usually more fabrics that I don't care for than fabrics that I love. I do have some charm packs that I bought at a very low price, but find myself only using the fabrics that I love.
In my head I see myself making beautiful quilts someday, and hope that with more time and practice, that will happen.
Misa, I don't know who pointed to mistakes in your quilt, but I would ignore them. Your quilt is beautiful. Do any of these people quilt? I'm glad you're finishing it despite what others have said. Don't be unhappy with it, you and the quilt deserve more.

September 25th, 2013, 04:59 AM
Cyndi and Misa - both of your quilts are beautiful!

Do I plan quilts? Yes, by the thousands! I have been collecting fabrics for certain quilts in my mind for years. I too love the scrappy look and my favorite place in the quilt stores is the scrap bins. I even have my oldest daughter hooked on seeing how much she can stuff in a bag - and she's not even a quilter! I also remember where/when I got a lot of my fabrics, but the memory isn't as sharp as it used to be. For years I collected Christmas Ornaments and I can tell you when and where I got each one of the hundreds that I have.

I have mixed feelings on pre-cuts. They appeal to the "I want a little bit of every print/got to have it all" side of me, but I also agree they can stifle your creativity. On the other hand, I LOVE to mix and match fabrics and come up with my own combinations.

Another little quirk that I have - I love to buy fabric for my stash. Whether is it fat quarters, scraps or yardage. I love having it to use. I really do. So, why is it so hard for me to cut into a fabric that I bought for my stash? I have no problem cutting into a fabric that I chose for a particular project, but what I have collected - it's like I'm afraid to use a little bit that I might need later. Weird, I know.

September 25th, 2013, 05:11 AM
Cyndi.. finish that!

Misa.. I think it's perfect!

I haven't been doing this that long either, sewing yes, but the precuts kind of steer you in certain directions. I find myself googling precut quilts more than sewing. What I should be doing is getting my etsy store back together. I have a whole rack of girls dresses I need to take pictures of. I miss my applique too. I just found out a bunch of people were following me in my other email account, which I haven't looked at for awhile. I think that was a wake up call, or a slap to say your getting side tracked.

September 25th, 2013, 05:39 AM
Yes, Cindi finish that quilt and use it.

This Night Owl spends lots of sleepless nights planning quilts in advance. I make lots of scrappy string quilts and grab any bright fabric I can find. Sometimes I do plan a quilt ahead in my mind and over time gather fabrics for it. Once I was stockpiling all the creams and light colored pastels for a log cabin quilt, mostly scraps or small pieces I picked up here and there. Never did make the log cabin but the fabrics were used in another quilt. Right now I have tons of 6 1/2 squares of kids and sports fabrics waiting for me to begin an I Spy Quilt for my great grandsons, the actual block has changed several times as well as the sashing and borders.

When I first began quilting I saw a great quilt in a magazine that was a scrappy blue and beige one and I wondered how anyone could find so many different blue fabrics. Finally realized you could do that by collecting fabrics over a period of time like Cyndi did for her churn dash quilt.

Sew Perfect
September 25th, 2013, 05:50 AM
This night owl is making trash bags again tonight...well this morning. I should be in bed, but I got to sewing and I do need to finish these trash bags. Just 4 more to go, then I have to make some coasters and a channel changer caddy.

September 25th, 2013, 07:45 AM
Misa: That quilt is just beautiful. How dare anyone say anything negative about it. I love it and anyone who knows anything about quilting should bow to the beauty of this first quilt.

September 25th, 2013, 08:16 AM
An early morning bird is chirping in....Cyndi and Misa, your quilts are both great! Cyndi, you need to quilt that beautiful quilt and enjoy it even more. Misa, some have be a critic/expert when it comes to someone else's work. Don't let them get to you. Your quilt is wonderful!

I've been gathering fabric for a black and yellow quilt for almost two years. I've gotten precuts with a specific pattern in mind, but I usually buy the fabric that catches my eye. I love scrappy and everything works...even ugly. As Bonnie Hunter says, "if it's still ugly, you didn't cut it small enough."

September 25th, 2013, 09:09 AM
Misa, I agree with everyone else on your quilt, it's gorgeous!!!!
Do you think I could do that with a jelly roll?!

September 25th, 2013, 09:27 AM
Had to come back there this morning to check what I said during the night as I kept nodding off while typing that post. OK, it kind of makes sense. Lately when I wake up during the night for a trip to the bathroom I want to go right back to sleep again. I should be happy about that but now that the Night Owls are meeting I want to stay up to see what's going on with everyone.

September 25th, 2013, 11:05 AM
Cyndi, your quilt is so pretty & rich looking.......yes you need to finish it! And Misa.......our quilt is very pretty also. A lot of work went into each of these quilts. I guess I would have to say that I plan my quilts ahead of time. Most of the time I get the first hint of a idea in my head & then it takes a little while before I figure out how I want to put the quilt together. I have an idea for a wall hanging that I want to do........got the idea over a year ago. Now that I have nice set of decorative threads I'm ready to start working on it. In fact I have several ideas that have been circling in my head for awhile that I may turn into gifts. And yes......I remember where most of my fabrics come from.........to me it makes the story of putting the quilt together even more interesting.

September 25th, 2013, 01:37 PM
I came back to see what others said and can't find my post from last night. Hm. Anyway, I love the quilts that are posted; you all have more talent and expertise than I do, for sure! Love them!
Sometimes I see fabric and have a pattern in mind for it; but most of the time I just fly by the seat of my pants. I have bought fabric and then changed my mind, so it sits. Other times I buy it and make the quilt top right away. No rhyme nor reason to the things that I do.

September 25th, 2013, 02:10 PM
Thanks, Cyndi. I always admire your work, and it's nice to read/hear your inspirational encouragement!

I'd surely love to hear some of the same from our other experienced quilters! How do you go about planning projects?

Mine started off "need-based": I need a baby gift or a wedding shower gift to give. Now I've kind of progressed to "fabric-based": as in, "Ooh, I love that fabric! That would make a great _______ !" I'm also getting into "pattern-based" planning: "So cool! I want to make one of those!" So now I have more projects than I can complete in the near future, but at least I'll never (at this rate) run out of stuff to do! :icon_happy:

September 25th, 2013, 02:17 PM
p.s. Misa, whoever criticized that quilt is... wrong! (I was going to say something mean about them, but I don't even know them, and they might be someone you care about, so I will refrain from being snarky.) It's gorgeous, and for your first time, it's amazing. I hope you will proudly display it in your home, or give it to someone who will appreciate the beauty of it, or sell it for a great deal of money.

September 25th, 2013, 09:14 PM
Cyndi and Misa, stunning quilts and now finish them and yes Misa - ignore the folks that told you anything about that gorgeous quilt!!! really :icon_tape: nuf said

Yes, I have at least 3 quilts in the planning! 1 will take at lleast a year or two to get all the required stuff, the other two I may "get" done in 2014!

While I only began to learn quilting in November, the list of quilts I want to do is already more than my lifetime. Ohh just thought of another on my list... ok 4 quilts in the planning. Have begun gathering fabric for 3 out of 4 - not bad for a semi-newbie

Don't kick me out of the Night Owls!! I'm trying to switch my schedule to "semi-normal" whoever the heck those folks are. But, Monday or Tuesday we drive like the wind down to Missouri and hubby likes to get UP in the morning, he's always got a song he's singing in the MORNING hours!!! argh what's a dedicated Night Owl to do? Well got to be at the Quilt shop by 10:00 AM so slowly switching hours. Once home I immediately go back to my bodies time - Nights where are the cool people hang :-)

Love all the night owl avatars!

Miss Sheri
September 26th, 2013, 12:41 AM
Good Evening Ladies, I consider myself an occassional night-owl. And I really enjoy checking in to see what the rest of you are up to.
Cyndi and Misa . . . Wowwie girls, those quilts are WONDERFUL!!!! I will be a long time yet before I will be able to turn out gorgious results like those. As for how I plan my quilts, I too usually fall in love with a pre-cut or a pattern and go from there. I also have at least a dozen or more projects planned with the fabric and the pattern waiting patiently for me to turn my attention in their direction. I really need to quit buying the precuts for awhile, and focus on the wonderful things I have planned, but what can I say, there is ALWAYS some new wonderful line that I fall head-over-heals in love with and then I'm hooked and so is my budget. I really need to not peek so often. lol. Have a delightful evening friends. ~Sheri

September 26th, 2013, 05:50 AM
Cyndi... You really DO have to finish that lovely quilt!

The Chi's have been up and down since three, it three-thirty.... No sleep for me!

I'm not much of a planner, though I usually go to sleep, thinking of how I wnt to use certain fabrics. I think I decide on a pattern, then collect the fabrics for it.... I get ideas from all the usual sources....tutorials, magazines, etched,,

I have been known to switch gears after starting a quilt.... And it is hard for me to stick to one project, becsuse I keep thinking of others I want to do,,,, hence UFO's and pikes of blocks.....

I think I have made only one quilt where every block was exactly the same....and maybe not even that quilt...can't remember. Anyway, I like variety...making the exact same block,,,,same color, same color placement, eye., would be hard for me to do.

I do fairly simple now... I've done complex blocks (and hand pieced more than a few), but I dnn't seem to want to do them anymore. They take way too much time. Thid is why I was so thrilled to find Jrnny, and the M*. Now I can do simple, but LOOK complex... That's a good deal in any quilter's book.