Process on the Quilts in A Month of Sundays

It's another snowy morning. That means it is perfect to talk about quilts. Today to celebrate A Month of Sundays I want to share a bit about some of the quilts with you. As a blogger it is so hard not to share my work in progress when making the quilts for the book. So hard. I'm used to sharing everything from the initial inspiration to the fabric pull to the frustrations to the finished top to the end. Sharing that is part of my blogging style and I believe in the honesty of that. I did take photos along the way while making book quilts, so at least I can do it after the fact.

When I'm making quilts for publication my process is actually a bit different. If I were to go my normal way of sewing - starting without a definite plan, adapting and making changes along the way, and ending with something for the sake of it - I would have a lot of work to do reverse engineering to write a pattern. That is a recipe for disaster - for me and someone trying to make the quilt from that pattern.

Oh boy, was finding text prints at the time of doing this tough! 
Thankful for some screen prints dug up on Etsy.

Quilts destined for publication always start, for me, with the pattern. Not just a sketch, but the actual pattern. I like to draft the whole thing first. This lets me think about the best way to divvy up fabric requirements and calculate yardage as well the most efficient way to make the quilt. I consider myself the first pattern tester. As I work there is always going to be a sketchbook filled with numbers or a pad of graph paper next to me. That allows me to write down any notes or corrections as I go. A half an inch makes a difference.

From first fabric pull to second, after patter drafting, things changed a bit.

A good friend gave me advice when I was starting on the journey of this book. She told me to send out the quilts to be long armed. I'll admit, this was hard for me, but it was the best thing I could do. I was having another baby, after all. The deadlines may push forward because of the need to get the quilts to long armers, but the time saved for me was valuable. It meant a lot less stress and a lot more time with my family during the work. Not to mention the savings on my already taxed joints. So, thank-you to Angela Walters and Janet Madyski for getting me through the work.

I use a lot of binding tape in the book.

Coordinating my snacks and my quilts.

When I was looking through my photo library to pull these images I was struck by just how much the making of these quilts, these books, is intertwined in my life. On the same day I was cutting fabric there was a crew framing in the basement and I had a book launch for Sunday Morning Quilts! Same day. Other days will be pictures of my babies doing their thing - like finishing preschool - while I finish a quilt. And all while I had a newborn. So the quilts, and the book, are a true reflection of our life at a moment of time. And more than once I had to take my own advice that I was writing to slow down and sew, not just get caught up in the frenzy of making.

It is always a huge rush to get the quilts made, though. You think you have all this time but you end up doing everything at the end. Your fingers are sore from binding, your shoulders hurt, everyone in the house is cranky at the fabric everywhere... Then you send the quilts away and don't see them for months, or even a year! It kind of feels anticlimactic. Such an energy high from the moment of first sketches to the last stitch and you don't get a chance to even snuggle with the quilt. But now the quilts are home, living in rotation. Reminding me of the time spent in creation, the moments that happened then, and the concept to just chill out.

Not helping me when I needed to quilt.

So, on this Sunday filled with sunshine and a blanket of fresh snow I will do just that. Right after a birthday party and coffee date with my Hubby. But then, then I can pour some tea, wrap myself in a quilt, and attend to an afternoon of puzzles and paper crafts with my girls.

Remember, there will be giveaways at the end of this celebration. One comment on each post in the month enters you for the prizes.

Tell me, coffee or tea, or hot chocolate with marshmallows?