Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tip Tuesday! Right or Wrong?

"Tip Tuesday!" - Right or Wrong?

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give due credit whenever possible.

These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 

This post may sound like a rant, but it really isn't. 

I try really hard at not being part of the "Quilt Police" and I also try really hard to not get upset when I am visited by a member or two of that squad. 

I think we've all been there. We have a well-meaning "friend" tell us that we did something wrong; and that even though it looks ok, we didn't do it the right way. Whether it be the way we press a block, sew a seam, or bind a quilt, many quilters think that there is only one way to do it and all other methods are wrong. They also feel like it's their job to tell us what we did wrong.

Well, I hate to break the news, but there are very few, if any, rules in quilting. It doesn't matter to me if you back stitch every seam and I don't care what color thread you use. If you are happy with it and it works for you, go for it! (I often have students ask what color thread they should use and my stock answer is that it doesn't really matter. I feel that if you can't see the thread through the fabric, it's ok. And, I feel that if you see the threads after pressing, it isn't the thread that's the problem, it's the pressing. (See my Tip Tuesday! post HERE about thread color choices.)

So, what happened to provoke this post? 

Well, I simply made a decision that worked for me on two recent projects that I showed a friend. Let me explain...

I know there is a right and wrong side of fabric. Really, I do. But, I've been known to use the "wrong" side simply because it works for me. The other day, I needed a piece of yellow fabric and the only thing that I had in my stash was too bright. But, the backside was a bit more subdued and it worked perfectly. I used it and was quite happy. (I'd love to show you a picture here, but because the fabric is yellow and I'm not a great photographer, it is all washed out and looks awful.) 

When my friend saw the quilt, she gasped (Yes, she actually gasped!) and asked if I realized that I had used the wrong side of the yellow fabric. (She had seen the fabric on my sewing table when I was auditioning my choices.) I told her yes and explained why. She just shook her head and said that I would be sorry because it will not wear the same as the other fabrics and that one day I would look at this quilt and say something like, "Oh that yellow fabric is backwards." 

Of course that won't happen because I already donated the quilt and won't ever see it again. :-)  Problem solved!

So what happened next?

I made this wall hanging and I love it! Do you remember THIS QUILT? This is an enlarged single-blocked, on-point version of that quilt.

Amish Looking Quilt - Reversible too! I love the colors!

My friend liked it too and that made me feel good. I then said that I had a surprise to show her.

Amish Looking Quilt - Reversible too! I love the colors!

I decided that I like the back just as much as the front and that sleeve showing on the back didn't bother me. I've decided that this wall hanging is reversible and I plan to show both sides over the next few weeks before it's replaced with a holiday wall hanging.

The look of horror in her face is almost comical to me now but it wasn't then. She freaked out that I planned to allow the sleeve to be shown. Really!?! How is the sleeve showing any different than have tabs she has showing across the top of all of her wall hangings? 

Besides, I make reversible quilts all the time. I figure that if I have to piece the backing (a job I don't like doing), I might as well try to enjoy the process and make it look fun and interesting? 

Do you remember my Zen Garden quilt?

Jelly Roll Quilt - Bright colors against a black background is stunning! Reversible too!

I love the look of these blocks, but I also love the simple look of the back.

Jelly Roll Quilt - Bright colors against a black background is stunning! Reversible too!

It's a reversible quilt and I like both sides. I actually sold this quilt and the person who bought it said she liked it because it was like having two separate quilts for the price of one.

Ok, so I'll get off my high horse now and make one last comment about this.

Do what you like and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
 Use whatever side of the fabric suits your fancy (I often can't tell the right and wrong side of batiks anyway!)
and make beautiful quilts that will be used and loved for years.


Vroomans' Quilts said...

Well then, I would make her hair turn white. I flip fabrics quite often in my scrapping and like to do just like you, make both sides of the quilt fun.

Cindy Maki said...

I have to say "I love your rant that isn't". I do the same thing. I used to get so aggravated that I can't tell which side is which on most fabrics (funny batiks are easier for me- lol). I also use whichever looks best and thread is what I have. But then I will not be showing my quilts either--so who cares. The giftee is happy and so am I.

barbara woods said...

Love your way at looking at quilting, I can't stand quilt police either

Cindy Maki said...

I made a quilt for my daughter before she was born. I was quite new to quilting then and the internet wasn't nearly what it is today, so I was on my own. Several of the pieces are the "wrong side". The quilt is 35 years old and has been used for her 2 boys also and it is still going strong. The boys have used it for their stuffed toy friends for 12 years. This much loved quilt has been washed so many times but it still hasn't got one worn out spot. It is a tied quilt too because i didn't know anything about free motion quilting back then. Call me surprised. LOL.