Friday, March 15, 2019


My latest finish is a significant finish for me, not because the quilt or quilting itself is significant, but because of the mental process I went through when I'm quilting it, and I named it Unchained for two reasons.

First, of course it's a play on words, since it's an Irish Chain. The pattern is from Jenifer Dick and Angela Walter's book Nine-Patch Revolution. I did modify the size of the blocks so I could use a jelly roll, but the layout is the same.

More importantly, I named this quilt Unchained because by quilting it the way I did, it represents a sense of freedom. When I first started quilting on my longarm, I was just so swept up with how quick and fun it was to finish my tops, and I didn't worry about anything but that it looked good. I didn't worry whether I was being "creative", whether I incorporated at least X different designs, or whether it was "showstopping". But at some point, that started to change, and over the last year especially I was driving myself completely insane trying to come up with something crazy each time. It got to be too much, and there were times I stayed away from the longarm room for weeks on end because I was too daunted.

But with this quilt, I only made myself one promise: I wanted to keep it simple, and recognize that it's perfectly alright not to quilt every quilt like it's my swan song. This is my simplest (in terms of the # of designs) quilt in recent memory, and I feel a great sense of relief at finally breaking out of the chains I had placed on myself.

So, I kept the quilting simple with continuous curves in the Irish chains and an easy, zero marking dot-to-dot design in the negative space that also had a very efficient travel path.

I love the end result, and I especially love the sense of freedom I now feel. My blog is called Savor Every Stitch, not Driving Myself Crazy For No Reason. And hopefully, Unchained will help me to remember that.


Linking up with: My Quilt Infatuation, Busy Hands Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Cooking Up Quilts, Sew Can She, Powered by Quilting, and Meadow Mist Designs.

Friday, March 1, 2019


Last summer I worked on a quilt top from a quilt along run by Christa Watson for a pattern called Dot 'n Dash. It was a simple jelly roll quilt that was quick to put together. After a few intensely quilted quilts, I was in the mood for something simple, so I pulled this top out. I already had a plan and was just getting ready to quilt it when suddenly, I decided to abandon all my previous plans and try something unexpected.

I tried to talk myself out of it, but once I had a "vision", I couldn't unsee it. While I was working on this, I was cursing myself for almost the whole time and wondered what I should ultimately name this quilt. Maybe it's the "what-was-I-thinking" quilt. Or the "why-do-I-have-to-make-everything-so-complicated" quilt. When I finally, finally finished it, I laid it out for the full reveal and suddenly I really liked it and knew exactly what I should call it.

Rafters. It wasn't quite intentional, as I just wanted to try a secondary design and have vertical strips in the quilting going behind the horizontal strips, but once I saw the whole thing, all I could see were rafters and beams!

I kept the quilting very simple in the foreground with just piano keys, and left all the intense quilting for the background.

I think the main challenge of this quilt (and why I hated working on it) is because I never quite figured out an efficient travel path. Sometimes that's just how it is.

The back of the quilt is pretty neat looking and I can see the rafters & beams look even better on the back than on the front.

At the end of the day, I really love the end result and I'm so glad I decided to go with my new vision for this quilt. It produced a very interesting effect and I have no regrets about it. So, despite the painful process, the end result is a win for me!

Linking up with: My Quilt Infatuation, Busy Hands Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Cooking Up Quilts, Sew Can She, and Powered by Quilting
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