Hiya there, friends! Happy Hump Day!
Do you know the ever-so-darling Miss Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter? If not, you simply must! Amy is just the loveliest of gals- so talented, and unbelievably kind-hearted, and I am SO excited to be spreading the word about her brand new book- Fabulously Fast Quilts, on this super fun blog tour! All this week, a fabulous group of bloggers are featuring their favorite fast quilting and sewing tips, so let me give you a peek inside Amy’s new book, and then share my own fast quilting tip below.
First of all, I just love the concept for this book- FAST quilts! Goodness knows we all need this! So many quilts to make, children to raise, a house to manage, yet so little time. I like quilts that crank out quick! Part of it is my attention span- it’s, well, short. When I get excited about a quilt, I pretty much need to get it stitched up immediately, so I can move on to the next exciting project. Quilting ADHD- yes, I’m a believer.
The other thing I love about this book is how Amy’s classic style naturally comes through. I just love her spin on historically rooted designs- so crisp and clean, suited to nearly any fabric aesthetic- truly classic.
And now for a fabulously fast quilting tip!
One of the things I’ve learned over the years, and wish I’d known from the very start of my quilting journey, is that many seemingly tedious quilting steps can be done en masse- yes, as in, lots at once. The more you can turn your piecing process into an assembly line-type scenario, the faster it will go.
Starting with cutting… In this photo, I have 4 layers of fabric deep at each strip, so I’m getting 32 squares with each cut! To keep things speedy, I use the marked lines on my rotary mat to help me quickly make sure that my strips are all lined up straight, then SLICE. I find that as long as my blade is relatively sharp, I’m able to maintain a high level of accuracy with up to 4 layers. Though once I cross into 5 or 6, things start to get hairy. Could depend on your fabric & blade, but I’d recommend starting with 4, and experiment to see if you can get any thicker than that without sacrificing accuracy.
And then there’s piecing of course… I never miss an opportunity to chain piece, even if it means I have to stitch things out of order.
And even marking… Why do these one at a time? I use the vertical lines on my mat to place my squares in a straight line, so I can mark several in once fell swoop.
You can even press in assembly-line fashion. If my units are relatively small, I fill my board with as many as I can, then work my way from one end to the other, pressing them open. Every minute saved is another minute of quilting I can get done (or sleeping, or showering…you know, the luxuries).
Well, thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoyed my quick quilting tips! Promise me you’ll check out Amy’s new book, which is available on Amazon, as well as most quilt shops. And don’t forget to pop by all the wonderful stops on the blog tour. It’s just packed with helpful tidbits.