After a five-hour quilting marathon today, I seem to have enough blocks to piece together a small couch throw. While I’d planned to make something a bit larger, I’d like to be done with this particular first project and move onto something different. There’s still quite a bit of work to go, obviously, what with the putting of the blocks together, the assembling of the sandwich, the pinning, the marking and the actual quilting process itself.
But I feel pretty accomplished today – things went more smoothly, the machine and I didn’t fight as often and I even (for the first time in my entire life) used up a complete spool of thread!
However, I have a confession to make, and it makes me feel just ever so slightly… dirty.
I chain-pieced all of today’s blocks.
When I first heard the term “chain-piecing” or “strip-quilting,” the author used it with a tone similar to one she might use if she’d swallowed a bug. She implied it was cheating. And you know what? It kind of is. It’s easier and faster, and, as any true hobbyist knows, “easier and faster” are the bane of the purist’s existence. I’ve fallen victim to this mentality myself: “GPS? Pah! We used to use paper maps to plan our rally bonus locations.”
Chain-piecing has utterly changed my perspective on how tedious these projects can be. It’s revolutionary. I have a little photo tutorial I’ll post later to share the knowledge with anyone who may stumble upon this site accidentally looking for wisdom. For now, though, I’ll just post the photo of the pieces hacked together on the kitchen floor. Mike likes the barnraising pattern, so I’ll probably assemble them into that. It will be small – maybe four feet by four feet – but nice to throw on a couch or something.
Plus… I want to get on to my next project, a 9-patch something or another in greens.
The blocks are all pretty much different sizes, so I’m going to need to look into how to trim them up to spec – some of them are alarmingly small. I may need to toss a few and make up some better blocks, we’ll see.
There are so many different overall patterns one can make with this basic log cabin block… I’ll probably play around with them some more to see if I find something better. You can see a few different patterns in my Flickr Quilting Album.