The Quilted Life with Carolyn

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Quilting Collaboration - Episode 1 1

Hello hello! How are all of you this week?! Here in Portland, Oregon, we’ve recently had some bouts of extremely beautiful, sunny, spring weather, and it has me feeling inspired! Don’t you just love that about spring?!

This spring energy and inspiration has opened up my eyes (when they're not swollen shut from allergies! Achoo!), and I have noticed a “trending topic” in my surroundings that I am dying to try out - Quliting as a collaborative activity!

You may remember that I’m definitely not a lone wolf when it comes to quilting, but typically, I keep ownership over my own projects and work parallel with whomever else is in the room versus working together on the same project.

By no means is working together on a project a new, innovative concept. But for some reason it has come up in my life a few times recently and has moved it to the forefront of my mind. For that reason, I’m going to feature a few quilting collaborations/stories in this and upcoming posts.

The first collaboration feature is one I witnessed first-hand. On a recent Sunday at Nancy the Quilting Goddess’ house - well, actually, a couple of recent Sundays. It was so massive, it took her a few weekends to quilt on Lenni the Longarm.

I hadn’t seen her piecing it, and because it was so large, I was certain that I should have seen it before, because a project of that scale would have been hard to hide away!

The quilt had, in fact, not been pieced by Nancy. It had been mailed to her all the way from her cousin-in-law in Texas to quilt for her niece here in Oregon.

The niece is an angel on this earth, caring for people in a way that few others could our would. So the cousin-in-law made a gigantic angel quilt. It was maybe 9 feet tall? Am I exaggerating? Possibly, but also possibly not! I never measured.

A picture of the angel in process on Lenni is below. Stunning, right?!

Regardless of the actual size - it was a beautiful design, and Nancy quilted it equally beautifully. Their collaboration was amazing, and they never even sat in the same room to do it!

I think this kind of collaboration is pretty common - one person pieces, and another quilts. But common practice or not, it was really fun to see this particular quilt come together that way. Especially for such a deserving recipient!

Stay tuned for the next tale of collaborative quilting next week! I loved hearing the story, and I hope you will too! If you have a collaboration project you'd like to share with us - enter it into our "WHY I Sew" Contest! Click this LINK, we hope to hear from you soon.

Bloopers! 7

Hey there! Welcome back for another blog post! This week I want to talk about bloopers.

We all make mistakes. And I’m no exception!

I felt compelled to share two of my own bloopers - my most memorable and my most recent - when I was putting together the binding tutorial posts (part 1 and part 2). I made some mistakes on the baby quilts I recently finished that really bothered me, and thought you all deserved a little behind the scenes peek!

Namely, when I was top-stitching the binding, I didn’t pull it tight enough around the edge and ended up sewing too high on the backside of the quilt. The result was misplaced top-stitching on the back.

This bothered me so much that I was tempted to un-sew and redo it. But ultimately I decided that the quilts passed the galloping horse test and let it slide. If it had been on the front side, I might have un-sewed after all.

My most memorable blooper was on a quilt I made for my cousin. On one piece, I messed up and didn’t end up with the appropriate seam allowance. Instead of a quarter inch, it was more like an 8th of an inch… or maybe less!

I decided it was going to be fine and just kept piecing. And everything was fine... until my cousin washed it.

In the washer, the seam came apart!!! I could hardly believe it! (I can still hardly believe it!) But the thread just didn’t have enough to hold onto… and it opened right up.

She brought the quilt back to me, and I remade the piece and sewed a patch onto the top, applique style. That solution brought it back to a passing grade for the galloping horse test, but it was still a major woopsies, and I was totally embarrassed.

Ok, friends - spill the beans! Share your most memorable bloopers in the comments!

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