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What are your quilting challenges and how do you overcome them?

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    What are your quilting challenges and how do you overcome them?

    I found that my biggest challenge to date is fabric selection. I am "color challenged" and have a difficult time choosing fabrics that coordinate and compliment each other. Terms such as "warm and cool" "lights, darks, and medium" just confound me. Going to my LQS leaves me baffled, as most of their fabrics are sorted by color, not by collection, and if I find a blue I love, then I have to go to other sections of the store for complimenting fabrics. More often than not, when I get home and look at the fabrics under a different light, I'm not happy with my choices.

    So to overcome, I try to stick to pre-cut fabric collections, whether that be jelly rolls, layer cakes or fat quarter bundles. I love that MSQ also shows on their website suggestions for coordinating fabrics. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    When that fails me, I have been known to email my sister a copy of the pattern and pictures of my fabric choices, and she has never failed me in helping me to find the perfect coordinating fabric that I need.

    So what's your challenge?

    #2
    Re: What are your quilting challenges and how do you overcome them?

    I too have your problem. I am in the middle of making a quilt for my DGD. I tried to obtain the closest colors to the pattern as I could.I cut the entire quilt out, then decided I just did not like one of the colors, back to the fabric shop and chose another color which I like better. Now I have 72 61/2 inch rectangles in an orangie color. this is how I get my stash. I am color challenged also. I sent for a color chart from MSQC hoping it would help. It doesn't. It's me. I wish I had a solution.

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      #3
      Re: What are your quilting challenges and how do you overcome them?

      I have such a hard time visualizing a quilt I might want to make with different fabrics from my stash. I wind up making sample blocks because I can't picture it in my head. I am very guilty of over thinking at this point, because the last time I went through this I made 8 different samples before I was satisfied. I had so much fabric to fold up and put away before I could even start! Maybe I should buy kits LOL! But I never bought one as I fear running short of fabric if (no make that when) I make a mistake.

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        #4
        Re: What are your quilting challenges and how do you overcome them?

        I, too, am color challenged. But I think I'm getting better. I usually ask the ladies at my LQS for opinions when I'm buying fabric, though.

        Another challenge for me is, I sew too fast for my own good. I end up picking out seams because I missed the mark. To counteract this I've been setting the speed on my machine to a little less than medium. If I find myself wanting to push that baby up faster I stop, take a breath, and remind myself that I really don't want to get the seam ripper out. Sometimes this works, sometimes not.

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          #5
          Re: What are your quilting challenges and how do you overcome them?

          My biggest challenge is how much fabric costs - it's about a 150 - 200% markup from 20 years ago with no real reason other than profiteering by the manufacturers (and I'm not buying the "production costs have increased" story.) So when I can't afford it and don't have a stash then I just don't sew (no husband so no second income here). When I do have some money I buy what I can, frequent sales and shop at Goodwill for sheets to use as the backing instead (I can consistently find never-been-opened sheet sets still in the plastic sleeve, and even if they are old they work very well.) I also look for other fabrics at Goodwill but that's a bit harder to find. My alternate way of overcoming this is exiting the computer field - with all the outsourcing it's nearly impossible for an American (and especially an older woman) to get consistent work - everything is now contract, short term, and subject to the "get out your job is now in India" at any moment. So I'm in college to go into another field. Sucks to leave my favorite profession because Americans aren't welcome in their own country anymore but I won't bore you with rants here (haha, you probably already stopped reading.) Anyway, with a full time job it should be easier to consistently afford to buy fabric (and other craft stuff.)

          My other challenge is space, but I work with that by carving out temporary spots throughout the apartment. I have my sewing machine "permanently" at one space on the dining table, the cutting is done on the table as well, sandwiching is on the bed, ironing in the laundry closet. It works and I find it only bothers me if I obsess about it (so I stopped doing that). My long term (get a different job) solution involves exiting Seattle for a less expensive place to live and renting a house with an extra room that I could use for sewing.

          I think what really helps a challenge is having short term solutions and long term goals to overcome them, as well as being flexible about adapting those solutions and goals when needed.

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            #6
            Re: What are your quilting challenges and how do you overcome them?

            I tend to sew fast also and have started putting a wonder clip at the spot I need to stop. It helps a lot.
            My biggest challenge is I am a new quilter so just figuring how to put it all together and get going. I am starting to understand color selection but deciding a pattern, then translating that into blocks will be my next thing to get a handle on.

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              #7
              Re: What are your quilting challenges and how do you overcome them?

              Originally posted by Caroline T. View Post
              I am "color challenged" and have a difficult time choosing fabrics that coordinate and compliment each other. Terms such as "warm and cool" "lights, darks, and medium" just confound me.
              This is me too! To overcome it, I've made several quilts with just two or three colors. Right now, I am working on two quilts using jelly rolls and one where I copied as much of Jenny's selection of colors as I could get. Hopefully, in the future, I'll get better? maybe have a giant lightbulb moment? I agree that M* showing coordinating fabrics is super helpful!


              Jeannette

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                #8
                Re: What are your quilting challenges and how do you overcome them?

                My biggest challenge is completing all that I start and not getting excited about every new pattern I want to try. I bog down and procrastinate at the quilting stage and then set it aside to start something new. I thought having my own LA would help, but I am still overwhelmed with wanting to piece more than quilt. I love the binding stage......but just need the push over the hump to get to that point.

                I found working on the many blocks of the Farmer's Wife quilt, which I made 2 with all scraps, helped me overcome my color challenges. I use to be very matchy and too coordinated with my colors. I have learned to add that extra pop of unexpected color to add much interest. I think it takes much practice combining colors, practice, and playing with scraps to learn the process. I did research with some library books, too. I never had an art class, so I had much to learn, but it is getting better with time. A color wheel hangs in my studio to help me, too.

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                  #9
                  Re: What are your quilting challenges and how do you overcome them?

                  Let's talk about color selection...No, let's not. I've had so many talks (to myself) about getting the "right" colors to play nice with each other that has nearly driven me crazy. Okay, so that would be a short trip, LOL! Okay, so got the color choices made on to the pattern. Wait a minute THAT generates even more talk. I've tried picking the pattern but then discover that the colors don't look right. It usually is a 3 day event...color, pattern THEN cutting.

                  Okay, I'm tired. Gonna finish the quilt I'm working on now & starting on the next 3 day process tomorrow.

                  Gina

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                    #10
                    Re: What are your quilting challenges and how do you overcome them?

                    My biggest challenge is how to quilt the thing once its pieced. I enjoy the process of picking colors, whether it be from my stash or ordering and shopping for what I don't have. Cutting and stacking the beautiful colors and patterns is an enjoyable process to me. I LOVE piecing quilts. Its my favorite. Left alone, this could go one for days. I've often dreamed of having somebody cut and just feed me stacks of pieces to sew together. I have a longarm with computerized capability. One would think that would make completing quilts a piece of cake. But there's too many options and I can't decide and what if I do it all wrong, hence procrastination and far too many quilts and backs and batting all neatly stacked and ready to be quilted but they're not. That said I usually love what comes off the longarm. I read back through this and yes it sounds really nuts. Anyway - that's my hiccup.

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                      #11
                      Re: What are your quilting challenges and how do you overcome them?

                      Originally posted by Caroline T. View Post
                      I found that my biggest challenge to date is fabric selection. I am "color challenged" and have a difficult time choosing fabrics that coordinate and compliment each other. Terms such as "warm and cool" "lights, darks, and medium" just confound me. Going to my LQS leaves me baffled, as most of their fabrics are sorted by color, not by collection, and if I find a blue I love, then I have to go to other sections of the store for complimenting fabrics. More often than not, when I get home and look at the fabrics under a different light, I'm not happy with my choices.
                      One idea, when you pick out colors that you think you like, ask the ladies at the store if you can walk outside and look at them under natural light. Those florescent lights in the shops have a strange hue to them and it is hard sometimes to see the actual color of the fabrics.
                      K is for Karen 😊​..................
                      Cremation - My last hope for a smokin' hot body.


                      Before you speak,
                      T - is it TRUE?
                      H - is it HELPFUL?
                      I - is it INSPIRING?
                      N - is it NECESSARY?
                      K - is it KIND?

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                        #12
                        Re: What are your quilting challenges and how do you overcome them?

                        As I get older, I am not seeing colors right. One eye has the beginnings of a cataract, and I see with a yellowish cast through it. Some dark colors I can't distinguish without bright light. And I need a lot of light to do anything! And then there's my arthritic fingers. Can't use scissors for more than a few seconds. Can't feel the needle and thread, and fingers don't bend like they should.
                        But I am just so happy I can do what I do, and I don't worry much about being able to afford fabric. My philosophy is that if I feel rich inside, the things I need will come my way.

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                          #13
                          Re: What are your quilting challenges and how do you overcome them?

                          My biggest challenge is limited space. I don't have a lot of floor or table space, so basting anything is a real chore. I've found videos for using a folding table and binder clips to baste large quilts a section at a time, and I've done that with a quilt slightly smaller than a twin, but boy was that fun in close quarters in the Texas heat. Since there's so much set-up, finangling and put-away involved, I'll just have to set aside a whole Saturday afternoon to baste another quilt. Maybe it won't be so difficult after I've done a few more quilts.

                          Oftentimes, I find I've built something up in my mind as more challenging than it really is, whether that is basting or FMQ. I tell myself "Come on, it's just a quilt," and that helps me to allow myself to be less than perfect, so long as I am making progress.

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                            #14
                            Re: What are your quilting challenges and how do you overcome them?

                            My biggest challenge is time . . . or rather the lack thereof. So much going on and when I finally get an hour or two or even the occasional whole glorious day to sew, I find I cannot settle on which project I want to tackle. I am so happy to have a job I (mostly!) enjoy, a wonderful and energetic 12 year old son, an active (and also too busy) husband. But I wish I consistently had time to sew for more than 1/2 hour at a time.

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                              #15
                              Re: What are your quilting challenges and how do you overcome them?

                              I too am challenged with the colour selection. I recently bought 5 purple fabrics which I lurve but now think they are too dark and the only thing I can think of is to use white to lighten it!! I try to start with one pattern then pick colours to coordinate but then come unstuck.
                              My other challenge is that when I try a pattern but want to use alternatives colours, the quilt doesn't look as good as the original!!
                              Oh and I'm still trying to do more than stitch in the ditch!!

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