Monday, March 26, 2007


I really love the idea of making quilts because I really love quilts, but I want it to be easier than it is. I'm satisfied with the piecing I finished a while ago on this one (folded up on the sofa), my second quilt. I started hand basting the 'quilt sandwich' together and then realized that everything had shifted. I left it alone for a few weeks, which seemed to renew my motivation, and returned to it last week. I completed a few lines of quilting and then realized that the backing wasn't pulled taut like the top. I struggle so much to get it all to go under the machine, but it's so big and unwieldy. I'm hoping it's just inexperienced me and my oldish, basic machine that are the problem, and that all my ideas for beach blankets and bed coverings will one day be possible. But does everybody experience the same difficulty in maneuvering all that bulk? I mean, if the process is more stressful than enjoyable, what's the point? I really need some encouragement on this one!
On a more positive note: Something that I'm having a little more success with is meal planning. We're trying a few new recipes this week get out of a rut. I haven't been enjoying eating like I usually do, so I splurged a little on better ingredients and found some new recipes to test, and I feel much more inspired to create yummy menus and meals. Sunday we ate a spinach, mushroom, and gouda fritatta. Yesterday we tried Alton Brown's red snapper pouch, only I used tilapia fillets because I didn't want to deal with the bones and eyeballs. And tonight we enjoyed a sandwich idea from Real Simple: Double deckers with smashed white beans, sprouts, cucumbers, red onion, avocado, and we added tomatoes. Yum. I think all of these will be put into regular rotation!


  1. The sandwich sounds wonderful and I have the same frustrations with quilting on my little machine (and always have). It's just hard to get it the way you want it when it's so big and bulky, and when you've invested so much time and love into piecing something you so want it right in the finishing touches. This is why friends pay to have the quilting done for them, I suppose! I think it does get easier though, so don't give up hope. Each time I'm a little better.

  2. ganbatte on your quilting ambitions. you've been very busy this last week. everything looks lovely, as usual. i'll definitely take you up on blueprint; we had to reschedule the bookstore trip because sebastian's too tired. i also want to find adorn, have you come across it around here yet? nice to see you again today. :)

  3. I found that Alton Brown recipe last year and it's now part of our regular meal list. It's so great. I switch the fish up all the time. I've even done chicken!

  4. hi kayla! the sandwich and other new meals sound so good. it's amazing how a few new things and really good fresh yummy ingredients can add a spark! doing the organic veg share this spring has really helped inspire me in the kitchen.
    regarding the quilting... i feel the pain... i have only tried to machine quilt one piece, and that too a baby quilt so it was not very big. i have a very old machine with no fancy business. the only way i managed was pinning the quilt like mad (i just got these cool new curved pins for quilt basting... for me it is easier than basting with thread) and rolling the quilt to fit in the machine. on the long bits i had the quilt slung over my shoulder. one advantage to pinning in terms of shifting issues is that as you start in the center and work outwards, you can keep checking the back for strange bunching and move the pins as needed (also true for hand quilting...) i really want to get better at machine quilting though i love handwork too... but it's so slooowww...

  5. Hi Kayla
    I totally agree with you on the quilting - I find it really intimidating, and my quilts are pretty small. The only quilting I've actually done was just a few straight lines, and that was still quite difficult, rolling up the bulk of the quilt as I was sewing. Hence I've started piecing my current quilt before I actually quilted the last one. I wonder if most quilters have fancy machines with a lot more space under the arm? I have to admit I am tempted by those quilting services I see advertised - you give them your pieced quilt top and they do the rest. But then I guess you never learn how to do it - perhaps we have to just keep practising.


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