The (not so) Definitive Guide to Quilting

So here is the absolute best way to quilt a quilt.  Not really, not even close, but this is how it often goes down for me.

First, you must gather your materials.  The quilt top is all sewn together, and you've begrudgingly pressed all your seams.  I do this on a tiny pressing pad on my dining room table.  I know, I should just grab the ironing board, but it squeaks and it's late and kids are asleep, so pressing pad it is.

Next, you must search through all your piles to find the one can of 505 Spray you own.  Lift it just high enough to realize it's empty (or at least close), and scour the house to find all the safety pins that have been doing other jobs since you discovered 505.

Pin.  Pin.  Stretch.  Pin.

Now that you have a sandwich all put together, you must contemplate how to quilt it.  I like to start off flipping through First Steps by Christina Cameli, which will usually help me decide between quilting an all over pattern or trying to quilt the individual shapes.  If that doesn't work, I pull out the Internet.

Once you have half an idea, it's time to hit a creative block.  This is the best time to just roll that quilt sandwich up in a ball, toss it next to the sewing machine, and pray that the elves finally take the hint that you'd like them to get to work.

In the meantime, look up cute animal pics on Facebook and watch TV.  Tonight, it's Gilligan's Island.  Bonus points if you can cuddle under something you've already quilted.  It helps get the good quilting vibes going.

After enough time has been killed, you'll just want to jump in.  Find a spot, put that foot down, and let it rip.  No matter how many quilts I quilt on this machine, I always forget how fast full throttle is, so those first couple stitches will always look horrible.  I try to hide those on a busy print and pretend they never happened.

Plus, I hate ripping out stitches, so once I start, there's really no turning back.  It has to be really awful for me to stop, and it's almost never really awful.

And right after your first pass, you'll have your first problem.  Tonight, I had some thread snapping (I blame the bobbin gremlins).  The best thing to do is say at least three mild curse words, get some chocolate, and chug along.  Once you have that first hiccup, the rest is pretty much smooth sailing.

I'm hoping to finish the quilting tomorrow and take some really nice pictures in the sun.  (I just have to watch out for those bobbin gremlins.)  Happy quilting!

Linking up with My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday!