17 November, 2013

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?

78 comments:

pragmaticpatchwork said...

Tea please, but I must go and change first and put on some brown clothes, because I'd quite like a biscuit too -- and blending in with your snack, quilt or clothing -- seems like such a good idea! I find I dress in the colours I am quilting (I vaguely started a series on that: http://pragmaticpatchwork.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/starting-the-colour-series/). JJ

spolgarquilts said...

Your quilts are beautiful. I love the behind the scenes pictures!

If it's snowy where you are definitely hot chocolate with marshmallows make it special with a little coffee and crushed peppermints :)

Leanne said...

It's too bad you can't share while writing the book, but it is nice to see the photos now. I always prefer a latte but probably drink a lot more tea than coffee these days.

Kacey said...

Chai tea, please! Or anything but coffe, really. Thanks for sharing your process!

Mary Stanfield said...

Love seeing your fabric pulls as well as the life story. Hot chocolate definitely (it's not cold enough for that here, but if I saw snow ...)

Mary-Kay Colman said...

A little deja vu here! I wanted to make a quilt that looked like a giant crossword and couldn't find any word fabric at the lqs. Then I thought just make it in solid white with a few solid blacks thrown in to look like a puzzle. Then I was going to add some embroidered letters on a few squares and finally quilt the clues on the border. Then I gave my head a shake, this is for a comfort quilt for someone I don't even know and far too much work. I needed to make a quilt quick and easy and that wasn't it. Anyway your quilt looks great, I love the way you've shown your progress and ideas. Thanks for sharing.

Sonia B said...

Love your process and how quilting really is intertwined with our lives. Water for me . . . I'd rather eat my calories ;)

Dominique said...

Great post, Cheryl. Love to hear about the good and bad of the process. The go-to is always coffee. Like this morning at the rink. But this afternoon... It's a tea kind of afternoon. And tonight's Santa's parade, so that calls for hot chocolate! Happy celebrating.

Leslie said...

Coffee, please. Thanks for showing us your process. Love your quilts!

Brenda said...

Usually tea - many different kinds, depends on my mood.. And hot chocolate without marshmallows on these cold days (some mornings!!) fit the bill, and when I am out, or driving home from the city, (it'a about 40 minutes away) a Tim Horton coffee fits the bill!!

And I loved reading about your journey to create the 'new' books in my collection. Books I LOVE by the way.

I have enjoyed 'meeting' you. Am I love that you live so close to me!! (I am near Edmonton!! - that's the 'city'!!)

Have a wounderful magical Sunday and lets just enjoy this snow together!

Linda B said...

Coffee for me, and hot chocolate with marshmallows for my little one.

Hannlib said...

All of the above! Depending on my mood, the company, the time of day and who's making!

marcella said...

Hot chocolate is such a treat! Normally tea but sometimes you just need something a little special.

Diane said...

Tea...green in the morning and at noon. Otherwise a steady cup throughout the day to warm me from the insides in the fall and winter. I love the pics of your fabric pulls.

Carolyn said...

I love a yummy specialty coffee in the afternoon.

Allison said...

coffee, please! the picture of your baby on the quilt in progress is adorable :)

Erin Quinn said...

I'm a tea girl, for sure.
Thank you for sharing these photos. It must be hard having to change your style so much (literally going in reverse) for a book. When you finish the obligatory book quilts do you immediately launch into something scrappy/unplanned, just to get yourself back into balance? :-)
E

Nicole G said...

I love coffee in the mornings, but tea after that. Your afternoon sounds like lots of fun. I miss doing puzzles. It's not too practical when you have a 9.5 month old who likes to put everything in his mouth.

I got your book and have read some of it. I like that it's not a typical quilting book and I'm enjoying reading about your family and life. I'm gleaning ideas for projects too. Thanks for writing it!

the ark said...

Thank you so much for sharing these gorgeous pictures with us--they truly enhance the book experience as I love seeing "behind the scenes" shots. Plus, who doesn't love looking at a beautiful fabric pull?!
Tricia

Angela said...

Normally coffee coffee COFFEE! but I'm breast feeding... So uncaffeinated tea for me... For now lol

elle said...

Cheryl, I am really liking these low volume fabrics. Can you list some on line sources? I checked out Dear Stella.

Cheryl said...

Almost always coffee. Thanks for sharing your process!

ruthsplace said...

Coffee for me.

I always enjoy seeing behind the scenes photos. Thank you for the inspiration.

tracy_a said...

Gosh - I appreciate seeing the effort put into getting all this done while, you know, having a life - congratulations on keeping everything going. Right now, I could go for a hot chocolate with marshmallows...power of suggestion! Not a far cry from my latte to start each workday - gotta get my calcium in, and coffee-flavored milk does it.

Exuberant Color said...

I've never cared for hot drinks. Dr. Pepper over ice for me, but if I had to choose from the 3 it has to be hot chocolate. I've never drank tea or coffee.
Great post!!

Kate said...

Coffee in the morning. Raspberry Royale tea for special occasions. And hot chocolate for snowy days.

Tamara Hampton said...

Thank you for sharing your process. I drink a pot of coffee everyday but I love a cup of hot chocolate on a cold day!

Sheryl said...

A good cup of tea is my favourite beverage, but I drink significantly more coffee than I do tea.

Linda Kay said...

Coffee in the morning, decaf tea later in the day. Not a hot chocolate fan. Love your first book and can't wait to read/ drool over the new one!

maureen said...

My favorite hot drink is hot apple cider. Yes, I've always got to be different!!

Jennyroo said...

Herbal tea, but hot chocolate with marshmallows for the kids, for sure!

I love my copy of Sunday Morning Quilts, it's a great book!

Julie said...

Hot coffee with a splash of cream…..makes me happy just to type that:)

Patti Smith said...

Coffee please. Strong and black

nicole b said...

Hot milo for me. I too have a young baby. I enjoy coffee but I am worried that the caffine will find its way into my breast milk and keep him awake. ndA the less he sleeps the les I can quilt.

Sue H said...

I am amazed at what you have achieved balancing family life with the book - it is a beautiful book.
Definitely coffee for me - iced in summer, huge mugs and very hot in the winter.

Nancy said...

Love the look at what was going on during the writing of the book.

Roseline said...

Definitely skinny lattes at my house in the morning.earl grey in the afternoon.. Are you coming over ... I got ckua on, only place on hearth were one would dream of beeing a young -- disk spinner....
i

You must be very proud of this full of wisdom book.
I am proud to now call it mine, nd am looking forward to giving to away for Crhistms presents.

Looking forward to many projects to do, thanks

mjb said...

This weekend, apple cider.

house on hill road said...

first thing in the morning: coffee. for a treat, i'm all about the hot chocolate with whipped cream.

Elita en Suisse said...

Depends on the time of year as I love a good cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows after a day in the snow but generally love numerous cups of tea. I love the way you tell the story of Life. :-)

zippyquilts said...

Ooh, coffee! And I love the quilt pix!

Suzzy Q said...

Tea - hot cocoa for a treat! Love your use of colour. I need to learn that!

Lisa said...

Oh, coffee definitely! I am enjoying your book and seeing these pictures/process stories add to the book immensely. :) quiltwoman0@gmail.com

Teagan said...

Oh man, COFFEE! With much cream and sugar, is my warm beverage of choice.

Susan said...

For me? Coffee, please. Loved the photos of your fabric pulls. Just delightful eye candy.

Cynthia Meredith said...

First thing in the morning--tea. After lunch--coffee. If it's cold at bedtime--hot chocolate! Thanks for the glimpses at my favorite part of quilting--fabrics!

the girlfriend gap said...

Hot Chocolate.... with a bit of coffee. Thank you for sharing the process of your quilts. Janita

Denise in PA said...

My first sip of coffee each day is the absolute best! I switch to tea when I get to work! Love reading about the book and the quilts!

Rosyquilter said...

Snow means hot chocolate... but my daily pot of tea is the beverage I choose when I want some 'me' time.

Pam said...

mostly coffee...i love how quilting fits into our lives NO. MATTER. WHAT.
and the reminder to enjoy every stitch is very important xo

Andrea said...

in my perfect health world - hot chocolate, but in my reality world - tea. :-) The advice I gave you for longarming was not 'good advice' it was SANE advice you maniacal woman!!! LOL a newborn, house construction, husband who is away very often, preschoolers, books to write, quilts to make, classes to teach, guilds to impress... must make homemade food instead of quick and easy takeout/boxed food. Um. no. just a clear mind giving a full mind some advice :-) xo

Anne said...

Tea . . . definitely tea. Thanks for sharing the process with us. I'm in the midst of reading your book right now and really enjoying it. Well done.

Fareen (Food Mamma) said...

Hot chocolate! Love the pictures!

Jenny said...

hot chocolate...your process to start with full blown pattern is wonderful...im always scrambling at the end to figure out measurements etc to write the pattern!

Annie Crow said...

Nice to read about the process! And your photos are always lovely. And inspiring.

All three, I'm afraid, each to its own time and sensation.

JennX said...

must be tea in the afternoon while quilting/sewing/reading blogs like yours :)

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

All hot chocolate, all the time for me.

That son of yours is sure a cutie. I love babies more than anything else-ever.

charlotte said...

hard to choose. In my life, each have a purpose. Coffee in the AM, tea in the afternoon, or when I'm under the weather and hot chocolate with marshmallows to celebrate or to warm up on a cold day.

Amy's Crafty Shenanigans said...

Hot chocolate - no marshmallows - just a heap of whipped cream! GREEN - I love your greens. I am inspired to pull a stack to drool on!!!

Anne said...

Coffee every morning; cocoa with marshmallows (or whipped cream) as a treat!
(majesticjenkinsATgmailDOTcom)

pkmegs said...

Hot chocolate, when it gets cold and there is snow, I go out with the kids and there is nothing better than coming in to hot chocolate to share with them.

Casey York said...

I love this peek into your creative process! Thanks for sharing!

sandra said...

Definitely tea! Luv your quilts! Thanks for the giveaway and all your inspiration Cheryl!

Suzanne said...

absolutely coffee! I love the coordinated snacks and quilts picture. It's very important!

Leanne Parsons said...

Tea, but sometimes hot chocolate! Thanks for sharing a little of the book process. It was really interesting!

Karen Pryce said...

Coffee is my favorite especially on a snowy morning. I read your blog with interest.

Christa Marcotte said...

Great quilts! You're so organized! Definitely hot chocolate with shmellows for sure!!

Debra Kay Neiman said...

Hot Chocolate or Mocha coffee. New quilter from Oklahoma, USA. Glad to meet our Canadian Quilting Neighbors. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

madfabriholic said...

Hot chocolate with butterscotch schnapps…
Thank you for such a great reflective post. I've loved joining you on the journey over the years...

Lisa in Port Hope said...

Coffee. With a tipple of something, perhaps :)

Margaret said...

Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.

PT in SC said...

Coffee with a little cream and sugar. Thanks for sharing your process.

Kat said...

Usually it will be tea, but when we want to get really comfortable, it is hot chocolate with a topping of whipped cream and cookies. :)

Sarah said...

Naw, look at how little and cute he was! Tea is my go to hot drink, hot chocolate with marshmallows for a treat in winter.

JaneB said...

Coffee for me! For a treat I will get a cappuccino.

Susan K from Canada said...

Always coffee - but now I am loving coffee and hot chocolate mixed - it is yummy. Thanks for sharing the process.

Quilter Kathy said...

I like all hot beverages, tea, coffee and hot chocolate in that order!

Valerie said...

Tea please!