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How to Have More Fun Quilting

by Nikki Willhite

Quilters are notorious for having unfinished blocks and partially completed quilts laying around their sewing spaces. Why? The answer is simple: "Burnout."

All projects are fun and exciting when you start them, but after awhile you tire of them, or start suffering from "color fatigue."

It is much more fun to keep trying new things, and to make different blocks with different fabrics and colors than to keep making the same block over and over. 

That is why I am so keen on simple measurements. When you make your blocks in common sizes, you can place them aside, and it is much easier to later pick them up again and turn them into large or small projects.

Two of the most used grids are 9-patches and 4-patches.  In the same way that we carefully organize our fabric scraps, we can organize our pieced blocks so that we can use them later. All we have to do is organize them with a common grid and color scheme.

There are many color schemes to choose from. Some examples are bright colors,  primary colors, jewel tones, pastels, black and white, and Autumn colors.  Then you have your holiday projects and quilts, quilts for children, and charity quilts.  There are so many possibilities.

All we need to do is to choose a grid , the size of the patches in the grid, and color scheme,  and then keep all those blocks together. For instance, we may decide that we will work toward an Autumn Quilt. We also choose to make it a 9-grid quilt, with all the grids in the block finishing at 3 inches.  This will make every block 9 1/2 inches, raw or 9 inches finished.

The size of our eventual quilt, or project, will depend upon how many blocks we use.

As we play around and make different blocks, every time we want to use our Autumn fabrics, we make a 9-grid block, using the same measurement for the grids.  Eventually, when we are ready, we can choose a few of these blocks for a small project, or a bunch of them for a larger project.

You can mix grids with borders and sashing, but it takes more time, and does not flow as easily as blocks with similar grids.

If buying fabric, and piecing it is what makes quilting fun for you, make it more fun by organizing your work.

It is not fun when nothing ever comes together, so you do need to limit yourself on the number of projects you are planning on completing, but other than that, it is a great way to make a great hobby even more fun.

About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money!



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