Banishing the quilting monster and muses on blogging

First of all, a big thank you to the community of quilty bloggers for responding so readily to my plea for assistance with some machine quilting issues I was experiencing last week. So helpful and encouraging 🙂

I’ve continued working on the Monsters and Aliens quilt (rather than letting the quilting monster in me throw it to the back of a cupboard) and although it is not perfect I can enjoy it once more.

Stitching down the binding on the Monsters and Aliens quilt. Loving the bright primary colours of the binding and backing.
Stitching down the binding on the Monsters and Aliens quilt. Loving the bright primary colours.

Like Nancy of Joy for Grace who put out a plea for help a couple of weeks ago I have been really cheered by the willingness of quilty bloggers to come to another’s aid whether it be to resolve patchwork and quilting queries or or bring fresh thoughts to other subject matter entirely.

Pattern ‘Rocky Mountain Memories’ by Kathy Brown in ‘Take 5 Fat Quarters’

I’m going to try out some of those suggestions when I quilt the next project in the queue, hoping that the quilting monster will be banished! I made this pink quilt top at the same time as Monsters and Aliens so the sandwich filling is the Hobbs Poly-Down again. I intend to reduce the pressure-foot pressure on my machine and stitch diagonal quilting lines. Originally I had plans to try quilting curved Baptist Fans over the quilt but in the circumstances I think this may be a touch over ambitious – it wouldn’t do to have the quilting monster trampling over these pretty fairytale castles!

I bought this sweet Tutu Fairy Castles fabric by Makower from my local Hobbycraft for the unusually generous price of £8 per metre.

On 16th October my blog will reach its first anniversary (and I still haven’t run out of things to write about!)  As part of a review process I’ve been rationalizing the categories list that appears in the side bar of the page. (Incidentally, I wonder how many visitors to a blog page make use of the categories list and what in particular is being looked for?) It’s been an opportunity to look over some of my earliest posts and I’ve noticed a difference in the nature of my writings: There is less reflection going on these days. On reflection (ho!ho!) this has quite a lot to do with the ongoing building project being carried out at home.


Work began on extending the house back in May and we are in the most disruptive, closing stages of the exercise now. The kitchen has been gutted and the contents of cupboards heaped around the sitting room, bedrooms and my parent’s home too! Although my main contributions to the project are innumerable mugs of tea for the thirsty tradesmen and the occasional wielding of a paint brush I do feel really tired-out by the whole process now. Patchwork and quilting projects have been a helpful distraction and provided satisfaction in what has been an unsettling time. All the various tradesmen have been very courteous and respectful of our home but it is a strain having strangers about and not being sure quite who is going to turn up to do what from one day to the next!

I hope to get back to having more contemplative, reflective thinking times once the building project is complete and peace and order have been restored. Maybe I’ll even find myself musing whilst sat in the new dining space in the new kitchen! We are very blessed to have these changes to our home and I’m sure the four months of disruption will only make us more appreciative of what has been accomplished.

Something  new I’m excited to share with you is the start of a new quilt blog link-up.

Grab button for Share Your Quilty Inspiration

Nancy of Joy for Grace has just launched Quilty Inspiration which gives a great opportunity for us to reflect and write about the inspiration behind our projects. Perhaps the link-up could be the inspiration for the subject matter of future blog posts? Hum!  Maybe it is time to reflect…


Linking with Alyce and her guest blogger Joy for Sew Cute Tuesday.

12 thoughts on “Banishing the quilting monster and muses on blogging

  1. Good morning, Allison! Isn’t it great the way the Internet full of quilters just swoops in like the Justice League when you post about a quilting dilemma? I love that! As for Baptist Fan quilting by machine — I know that there are FMQ rock stars out there like Diane Gaudynski and Harriet Hargrave who can probably pull off Baptist Fan or clamshell quilting just by marking some guide lines on the quilt and then free motion quilting it, but I know I will never be one of them. However, I just bought a Westalee ruler foot for my Bernina (they make ruler feet that work with most brands of domestic sewing machines) and a set of ruler templates that includes one with scallop bumps that I think could be used to do Baptist Fan quilting. I signed up for Amy Johnson’s Craftsy class to learn how to do this ruler technique and I’m planning to work my way through the Craftsy lessons on sample quilt sandwiches, and then I have a boring baby quilt top waiting in the wings to be my “guinea pig” of ruler quilting. When I know my quilt is destined for a baby who will chew on the binding and spit up all over it, somehow that frees me to be more adventurous and try new things! Babies love their quilts just as much with wobbly quilting lines. 🙂 Your Monsters and Aliens quilt looks adorable, by the way.

    • Thanks for your thoughts on the Baptist Fan quilting. I was tempted by that Craftsy class too but when I had a look on line for the rulers here in the UK I had trouble finding them. And I do have more than one unfinished Craftsy class stored on my computer…

  2. Good morning, Allison. Yes, major (and even minor!) construction projects are tiring, even when you’re not the one doing much physical labor. There are demands on you that you’re not even considering, I expect. Lack of privacy is a big one. Disorganization (where is that??) is another. Every thing you do is a bit harder than usual. A great means to cope (and I’ll guess you do this) is to deliberately name the positives, the things you’re grateful for. Even in the same breath as the negative. I can’t wait until the kitchen has running water again — BUT the bathroom still does!! 🙂

    Congrats on the upcoming anniversary. Yes, still plenty to blog about, isn’t there?

    • Thanks for being understanding and sharing your positivity! After the workmen had gone last night the three of us had a bit of a sort out and clean up around the edges of the chaos and all felt better for it!

  3. 4 months of disruption IN your home, your place of refuge, is bound to be unsettling. Every time you write about the experience, though, you are looking at it from a place of gratitude and thanks, which I find an amazingly resilient attitude. I think that when the project wraps up there will be a blanket of cozy peace that wraps you in your home. 🙂 I am also very impressed with the quilting projects you have been able to maintain / continue during this time. I hope that reducing the walking foot pressure will help you; I would suggest testing out a crosshatch design with different pressures on a small item that can be thrown away or used as a mug rug when you are done just to check it out.

    • Thanks for your understanding and encouragement. I think it has helped a lot that all the building has been going on through the summer – we’ve been keeping our little garden tidy and colourful to make up for what’s been happening in the house! I’m taking your advice and making a practice sandwich using the poly batting to test out presser-foot pressure etc.

    • Thanks! Might be out for dinner tonight as we have the full brigade in today – plumbers, plasterers, electricians and builders! Keeping quiet in my little corner of creativity – thank goodness there’s still space for my sewing machine ☺

  4. Allison, you are so kind to put in a plug for my blog and for the Quilty Inspiration link-up. I appreciate that.

    The photo of your kitchen brought back memories of a time when we were in a situation like yours. I remember plaster dust, displacement, a kitchen without its usual facilities for washing dishes, storing and preparing food…. Thinking about it sends tremors through my body. And strange to say, I’m thinking that we need to do it again at the home where we live now. But maybe not, since I’ve had the visual reminder from your photograph and words.

    Thanks again for mentioning my blog and the link-up. I hope you’ll be able to participate one of these weeks.

    Oh, and your castle quilt is adorable! I hope your quilting on it goes smoothly.

    • It’s a pleasure, hope the mention helps get people writing about inspirations! The kitchen was completely re-plastered yesterday. On the minus side there are no working lights but that does mean we wash up pretty quick after dinner before daylight fades! Most of the time I manage to ‘roll’ with the disruption but every now and then it gets a bit too much – usually that means I’ve just got too tired! I’ll be sure to post the after photos to get you thinking more positively about changing your kitchen!

  5. good to read that you are staying positive. Those baptist fan patterns are beautiful but waaay out of my league ! Interesting that you mentioned the price of that cute fabric… there’s about 2$ CDN to a british pound so 16.00 a meter is about average here – not on the high side either. There is a chain store called Fabricland where you can buy a yearly membership and there are very good discounts on fabric and notions with the membership. You really have to watch the quality of the fabric though as it varies wildly. At the few ‘real’ quilt shops $16.00 would be on the low side for quilt fabric.

    • Yes! I’ve learnt the hard way that cheap fabric very often turns out to be low quality. Quilt shop fabrics here are generally £10- £12 per metre but can be up to £16 metre (I couldn’t bring myself to spend that much).


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