Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Paralyzing Decision

A few days ago, while skimming through some of my favorite blogs, I stopped by Judy L.'s place and came face to face with the "Why/when did you start quilting?" question. Ugh! My conscience was pricked once again as I had to face those blasted "book" blocks.

These blocks were some of my first. Yep, templates. The blocks aren't all that great, but they were started years back with the intention of making a book quilt for my oldest DD. Rachel is an avid reader and has been since she was about eight years old. She must be on a first name basis with the employees at the library. Wouldn't it be wonderful to snuggle under your own book quilt to read a favorite novel? Rachel thinks so! She frequently asks me when I plan on finishing her book quilt. I wonder what's the big hurry? I only started it eight or nine years ago!

I have already decided on a setting...similar to the twist and turn blocks that Kim posted a picture of on Sunday...and I would love to get this quilt finished in time for Rachel to take with her when she heads off to college in the fall, BUT I have a dilemma that keeps me from tackling this project. The dilemma is that theses blocks are made with very inexpensive fabric, purchased in the days when I was oblivious to the difference between the fabric that they carry at JoAnn's and higher quality fabric that they sell at the local quilt shop. So my question is...Should I go ahead and complete the quilt with fabric of equal quality OR should I finish it off with quilt shop quality fabric? Either way, I'm sure it will be loved and greatly appreciated. Your opinion is greatly appreciated!


  1. Wow1 I sure did have a flash back when I saw this quilt. I made one like this about 8 years ago. It was hard for me, not being accustomed to set in seams. I gave the out come to my bible study leader, putting the names of the books of the Bible on the bindings of the books. I think of making another for my daughter who is also an avid reader. Her dream as a youngster was to be locked in the library on Friday night and not found until Monday morning when they opened the library for the new week.

  2. Hey, Kairle! That's a neat quilt! I think I would use what I could find that goes well with the colors, no matter what the quality is. I know from using lesser quality fabrics mixed with better quality fabrics, the poorer quality will fade quicker, but then you'll just end up with some different shades, and it's not that huge a problem. Especially with the colors you've used--fading might soften them and bit but wouldn't detract from the design. That's my thought anyway. Now get busy! LOL!

  3. I agree with Kim - use what goes well - finished is finished and it will be loved no matter what! I have heard of people using the wrong side of fabric because it was more of a match than the "right" side of the fabric. Use what works for the quilt.

  4. Have you considered using a qood quality muslin? It usually gets nice and soft with age so will make a great cuddle quilt to use at college. I have a few antique quilts backed with it and it seems to hold up well.

    One caveat... if you didn't think to wash the fabric in advance, you might want to consider washing the top by hand to see what happens before you have it quilted.

    Using "Retayne" will help keep the colors from fading as quickly too. I use it for black jeans all the time and have been happy with the results. Most quilt shops carry it.

    Just consider this quilt one of those meant to be used and loved to pieces, as it surely will be.

  5. I'd finish the quilt just as you intended when you started it. I wouldn't worry about the fading - if the book fabrics fade then they will look like old books. That might be kind of cool. Concentrate on the joy you will give your daughter when you present her with the finished quilt in time for her to take to college. Imagine the smile on her heart. :-)

  6. Hi there,
    Just found your blog and enjoyed reading through it, I look forward to keeping an eye on your latest patchwork project.
    I would probably continue with the same quality, as you say it will be loved no matter, I like the design.
    Happy stitching

  7. I'd say use whatever looks good with the fabrics you've already used. It's one that is meant to be used and loved, not hung on a wall and never touched by anything other than white gloves. (not that there is anything wrong with that -- but hey, somewhere there have to be quilts that people actually USE)

    Yes, there will be fading, and problems with some of the fabrics -- but well, at that point you can re-make it with whatever quality fabric you want! Or better yet -- have your daughter learn how to make one of her own.

  8. Hey you!
    As a non-quilter, Im just fascinated that this was a 'beginner' project. You never cease to amaze me. I wish I lived closer so I could really pick through your projects. Now get to work...tick, tick, tick...

  9. If you already have the fabric to finish it off - I'd use that. If not, I'd shop and use whatever works best for the quilt.

    I frequently mix my quilt shop fabrics with those lesser quality ones bought from my first few years in quilting. Everything gets tossed in my scrap quilts.

    Even now, I'll buy discounted fabric at Joann's or Hancock's if the fabric quality feels good to me and the print or color is one I want.