Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop... my turn :)

Welcome to My Quilt Diet :) ...please note there is a bit of a giggle when I put quilting together with dieting :)

Grab your favorite beverage, sit in your most comfy chair and get ready to enjoy (hopefully) a nice [LONG] post ;D

My name is Marion and I am a 43 year old SAHM to 6 fantastic kids and wife to one sweet husband.

I named the blog when I first started quilting in January of this year.  I started quilting because my husband was about to have another major surgery and I needed a hobby to keep me sane and out of the cupboards while he recuperated for 6 weeks in bed :)  Little did I realize at the time how sucked in obsessed I would become with quilting.

My first quilt.  blogged HERE.
I decided to blog about my quilting almost instantaneously.  I was sending pictures from my phone to my sisters, friends and parents constantly, so blogging seemed to make sense.  I figured with blogging, my family and friends could check out my progress without getting 100 texts from me a day ;D

Quilt #2 ...a KING sized HST quilt :) named The Brown Quilt Blues. blogged HERE 

Now for a bit of my process.  As I finished my first quilt, I was talking to Heidi, a good friend, and asked her who she had quilt her quilts.  She gave me the name of her TOTALLY AMAZING QUILTER, Konda of Moose on the Porch Quilts but then added that she quilted her own quilts now. {Side note- Konda Lukau is a FAMOUS and extremely TALENTED quilt designer, unbeknownst to me at the time.}  But on with the story, I thought, "Wow, I wish I could do that!"  Well, that night I dreamed about quilting all night long.  When I woke up the next day I thought to myself, "God made me brave for a reason; I am going to quilt my own quilts!"

#3 My Valentine Quilt blogged HERE

All I have to say is thank goodness for the internet and hundreds of talented quilters who are willing to share their talent and skill freely. ...accent on the FREE ;D   I took some pointers from my friend Heidi and tons from the internet and dove in head first... straight into the deep end, according to Konda ;D

#25 Dad's Civil War Quilt blogged HERE

My first quilt was a full/double size quilt.  I did some straight line quilting and FMQ too.  I had it all finished by the time I was supposed to deliver it to Konda for quilting ;)  As for the quilt size, I have a motto, "Go BIG or Go HOME!!" ;D

# 19 The Retro Flower Quilt blogged HERE

The rest is pretty much history ;D  I started my first quilt on January 18th, 2012 and as of today I have completed 31 quilts.  I have quilted all but one of them. (Quilt #2 was going to KILL me, so Konda and I agreed that I needed a time out from that quilt and so I had her quilt it for me.)

#30 Granny Square Block Swap blogged HERE

HERE is a link to all of my finished quilts.

#29 Anne's Quilt blogged HERE

I have been sewing off and on since I have been married, but in the last 6 months, I have been enjoying a resurgence in my interest in sewing other things as well :)    THIS is a link to all of my finished sewing projects.

My Mom's Table Runner blogged HERE

I have also learned how to knit in the past few months :)  I have never been able to figure out knitting until my brilliant friend Suzy taught me to knit continental style.  My yarn exploits are HERE

So, do you know enough about me yet?  I gather that I am supposed to do a tutorial at this point in my post. I have been debating on what to share with y'all.  I get asked a LOT how I get so much done each week.  So here is my tutorial on how I get so much done ;D

Tutorial on How I Get SO Much Finished:
aka- pearls of wisdom, desperate tactics and other odd habits ;)

#1 Your baby can not actually be a baby.  My baby is a smart, independent 6 years old :)

#2  Have several teenage daughters who are very helpful. ...not too sassy... and do their chores [mostly] without being asked (please note the "mostly" should be DRAMATICALLY emphasized).

#3  Have three little boys, ages 6-11, who are very self reliant and do their chores [for bribes] and will play outside for hours [to avoid additional chores].

#4  Have a husband who NEVER complains when he runs out of [clean] underwear or when dinner is [VERY] late. ...or that I am binding a quilt every time we watch a movie. ...holding hands and snuggling is WAY overrated!

#5  Remember, laundry is magic and only has to be tended to for 10 minutes every hour or so.  You can get a TON of sewing done in between switching loads :)  (see Rule 8b, it works here to help with keeping on top of it)

#6  All chores (except laundry) must be finished before quilting may begin! ....almost always... Exceptions: in the middle of the night when you cannot sleep, when the quilt is the present for the party at noon, when the person the quilt is for is on their way over, if some one is leaving town and the quilt needs to go with them, or if you are feeling rebellious because the family just messes everything up anyway and you just don't give a [crap] :p  * the gist of this one is that I am WAY more productive [and less guilt ridden] when my house is clean.

#7 You must get dressed in real clothes [and shower] before you can quilt.  I am not sure how this helps with getting quilts finished really fast, but I think it may have a lot to do with why #4 is true.

#8  ALWAYS fix dinner.  This may sound really 1950's but much of why I can spend so much time sewing is because my family doesn't care what I do so long as they are fed, the house is [mostly] clean and the clothes are cleaned. ....more 1950's, I know...  ***now please don't think that I am really good at #8!  My family will protest that "dinner" is a [very] loose definition of what is made for them to eat in the evening.  I have a HORRIBLE saying that my family HATES (but it's true), "No matter what I fix, you are just going to poop it out later!  No matter what it is, it all comes out EXACTLY THE SAME WAY!!!"  Gross, I know, but true.  Sorry :(  ...the saying does not help their attitudes when we are having cereal or sandwiches for dinner :(

#8a  Have an 11 year old who REALLY wants to learn how to cook :)  He's doing a GREAT job and it makes him really happy.  Down side, my 18 year old is REALLY tired of spaghetti!

#8b  USE TIMERS!!!  Quilting minutes are not the same as REAL minutes.  Quilting minutes are kinda like football minutes.  Stuff cooks [and burns] in REAL time, so save yourself heartache [and cynical remarks from your family] and use a timer.  You can cook [safely] while you quilt, just get out that timer.

#9  Sew what you like and what appeals to you!!!  Seriously, if I don't like the colorway and fabrics it takes me FOREVER and tons of will power to get the quilt finished.  Have a small crush on your projects, it helps a lot :)

#10 LOVE the whole process.  Embrace the cutting out.  Cherish the pressing.  LOVE the piecing.  Get over it and become one with the hand binding :D ...yes, I am a HAND binding freak!  I just LOVE it ALL :)

#11 Learn to fmq yourself.  Expense is one of the biggest hurdles for prolific quilting.  Aside from the expense of having your quilts quilted professionally, I also like my quilts to be ALL MINE!  I feel like the one I sent out for quilting should have an asterisk by it. ( I am NOT dissing professional quilting, I am just saying that by doing my own, I can afford to do MORE quilts :)...and I REALLY like that I have done ALL of the work)

#12   Finish what you start!  There may be a rare time when you just need to cut bait and move on, but for the most part, JUST DO IT!  And once again, JUST DO IT!!  Did I mention, JUST DO IT???  :D

#13 The thrill/high of a totally 100% finished quilt is AWESOME!!!  It ranks up there with almost anything.  I LOVE finishing quilts as much as I like chocolate... seriously.  Just imagine if I could eat chocolate AND hand bind at the same time... heaven on earth!!!

#14  Make a list of priorities and work from it.  Evaluate your list frequently and don't be afraid to change things around if needs be.  Lists are a great way to keep you organized and they keep me from becoming over whelmed.  ***now for those of you who have seen my Monday list and HOW LONG it is, you may ask yourself..., "Seriously, that list is enough to make any sane person NUTS!"   All I have to say in response is, I NEVER claimed to be sane ;D

#15  Have a designated sewing area/space and keep it clean [almost all of the time].  Blogged HERE.  My sewing area is not fancy or big, but it works for me.  I can walk away, or run if my 8 year old stabs himself in the thumb with an Epi-Pen and it gets stuck in the bone and we have to drive to the Dr's office Mario Andretti style to have it removed with pliers. True story :(

#16 Buy and iron that shuts off automatically when left unattended just in case you have to run off because your 8 year old stabbed himself in the thumb with an Epi-Pen and it got stuck in the bone and you have to drive to the Dr's office Dale Ernhardt style to have it removed with pliers.  OUCH!!!!

THE LAST AND MOST IMPORTANT THING-  Be totally obsessed with quilting and you will find a way to get the time to do it.  I really love quilting and can't believe it took me so long to fall head long in love with it :)

Thank for READING this incredibly long post!!!

PS- Not everything that works for me will work for you [and your family], but I believe that women (as most reading are) are especially blessed with insight to know what is best for ourselves and those we care for.  Quilt when you can and be grateful for what you can do :)  ...and NEVER, never, NEVER compare yourself to anyone else, we tend to compare our own worst traits to the best traits of others, and that just isn't fair!

Don'f forget to visit the rest of the blogs for this week :)

Aug 21
        Marta from From Marta with Love
Aug 23
       Ginny from Fish Creek Studio
       May from Confessions of a Fabraholic


  1. Wow Marion I love all your colourful quilts and especially your Retro Flower Quilt - fabulous!

    I am also impressed that you get so much sewing done with 6 kids - you are much more organised than me!

    I am also with you on the loving the process thing - I know some people hate the binding but for me it's the best bit (along with chopping fabric - v therapeutic)

    Thank you for sharing your tips - glad I stopped by!

  2. ........................ *speechless* ....................... Thirty-one quilts this year alone?! Wow!! And I love your "rules" - sounds a bit like my rules too!

  3. 31 quilts, wow! Your list of rules is good. Unfortunately I fail already at nr 1... Love that retro flower quilt too. May need to put that on my future quilt list.

  4. Great 'tutorial'. Love all your advice :)

  5. I am so glad I read your post...so funny and so real!! Yes never compare yourselves to others! It seems to me(I have been around a lot of mommies with at least 4 kiddos) that they have it together more than us mommies with 1 or 2! Maybe cuz ya'll have to right!! Other wise total chaos!

    What are your tips for FMQ? I always like to hear how quilters quilt their quilts to possibly learn something that I don't necessarily already know/do myself!

    What brand of machine do you own?

    1. Hi Sara! I have a sturdy, regular Pfaff :) Its my qbff. My biggest tip is to breath deeply and remember that our shoulders do not belong in our ears... so keep those shoulders relaxed and AWAY from the ears ;) ...but seriously, basting the quilt well makes all the difference in the world. I pin (using curved safety pins) my back to the carpet TAUT, being careful not to stretch the fabric. I also follow Elizabeth Hartmans instructions in her book, Practical Guide to Patchwork. Another rule I have abt fmq is to WALK away when u start to get tense. A large cup of your favorite beverage is Good too ;)
      Thanks so much for stopping by :)

  6. Nice to meet you. You seems to have it all together. Your completion rate is amazing. I am more than a bit slower than that. I think I need a nap now ;)

  7. WOW! You have made a lot this year. I love the tips, mostly #9. I learned that if I don't love something that I am not going to put the time into it. I have donated those projects and now do what I like.

  8. Lovely post, Marion. I enjoy your sense of humor. :)

  9. I just had to re-read your post because I wasn't sure I read it correctly the first time. You mean to tell me you started quilting in JANUARY of THIS YEAR?! If you just finished your retro flowers quilt in that time I'd have been impressed. Wow!!! You rock my socks off.

  10. Hi Marion, nice to meet you. I'm super impressed with all the work you have done this year. Great advice.

  11. You are THE BOMB Marion! Nice post! And I love your tutorial!!! Way unique and way awesome! You are very inspiring! :)

  12. You are a whirlwind! Great to find you through the bloghop!

  13. Hi Marion, it's so nice to meet you on the blog hop. I am AMAZED at your ability to complete so many quilts in such a short time frame (especially since you JUST started quilting!) What an inspiration. Your quilts are all beautiful too, thanks so much for sharing.

  14. Hi Marion, Lovely to meet you on the blog hop! You've made some lovely quilts and I enjoyed reading all your tips :)

  15. I love your retro flowers quilt! Nice to get to know you too. :)

  16. Great post - #1 will hold me back for the next 5 or so years - though I will have 2 in the #2 category to help out then. Reading this reminded me of that article that was floating around blogland recently with the directions for a sewing machine in the 50 or 60s about finishing housework and putting on lipstick before sewing. Your quilts are all beautiful - can't believe you just started in January.

    1. I know! I was laughing hard at the singer sewing machine thing too. It is SO much like my rules :) I skip the lip stick frequently ;) ...but does chap-stick or lip gloss count?

  17. Wow, this was a really fun post to read through! You seem like you can do it all! I don't even have kids and I find myself searching for the time to work on my quilts. :P Awesome post, and it's great to get to know you better. :)

  18. I loved this post! So fun to get to know you better. I do have a question-when I read this on my iPad, the font was a script that was really hard to read, but the comments section was a regular font. I guess I'm crazy! Can't wait to see what your next projects are. You really inspire me. I had intended to quilt all day today, but I ended up out of the house all day with church work. Keep 'em coming!

    1. I've wondered about the font. On my tablet it is a very standard font but on my computer its the one I have selected on blogger. I wonder if the font I chose get substituted if the devise does not support that specific font? ...odd....
      Yes, church work does keep us busy :) I've managed to turn our stake rs retreat into an opportunity for me to quilt for two whole days ;) ...I'm afraid, though, that I'll end up spending most of my time visiting and entertaining the sisters :) It's a good thing that I love these women a titch more than I love quilting ;) ...and that is saying a lot!

  19. Hi Marion. I was going to ask how you made so many finished quilts in so little time . . . until I read further. Love your post. Very very inspiring. Keep going. : )

  20. 8b is a very, very good idea! It's lovely to meet you, thanks for sharing your tips. They obviously work really well for you!

  21. Hi Marion! Love your quilts! You are amazing to have made 31 since January! So many of your tips hold true, the timer, love what you are making, getting dressed first, yes, chapstick counts! not sure about the chocolate and hand binding, or should I say just the hand binding;) Thanks for the smiles and tips!

  22. i don't even know what to say! but your tips are great! The P.S. is the best.

  23. Wow, Marion, You made me laugh so hard with your tips! It's so nice of you to share your "secrets" with others. It was so nice seeing your quilts again, like nostalgia :)) Can't believe you're at 31 already... I'm always in awe when you post your finishes :) Oh, and Ms. Timer is my best friend! After Mr. Seam Ripper of course! :) Keep up the good work and enjoy your free time, it's just getting better! XOXO

  24. Hahaha I love your tutorial. :) Especially the part about using timers.. I really need to do that!

    I am also super impressed that you've completed 30+ quilts this year already.. you're a quilting machine! Clearly I need to pick up my game :)

  25. Ha ha! Love your list of tips, this might be my fave post of the blog hop so far :) Great to get to know you!

  26. That was a nice list of tips - though I think I won't be able apply more than 2 or 3 to myself, but it's made me think what rules I could make for me and ideas to get some more structure in.
    It was nice meeting you Marion!

  27. Loved reading your post! Great tips on making time too! You have some beautiful finished projects - your family must love getting gifts from you ;)

  28. Ha! What a great list you've got on this post! I'm coming from a similar place, and I only have three little ones. Any quilting time is better than none, and it's amazing how much you can fit into a day when you work at it! :)

  29. You are amazing!

    I too live by lists and the use of a timer - 35 minutes sees a washing load finished (longer if it's a white load) and checking the dryer every 10 minutes prevents overdrying making any ironing quicker/easier. The timer also reminds me to get up from the sewing machine which helps to stop my hips and back tightening up.

    For many years my husband and kids have lived in fear of the call to action "Right, let's have a mad 15 minutes", which they all know means the timer's on and everyone has to clean/tidy for 15 mins non-stop, doing as much, as fast, as they possibly can. It's amazing - the house can be totally transformed.

    Great post :)

  30. Love your list, blog and sense of humor! I think I need a timer for going thru everyone's blogs! I spend too much time reading, dreaming and planning my next quilt based on what I saw someone make... that my quilts sit unfinished! In my guild there is a retired lady who brings 2 new quilts completed each month! I thought she was fast... but who knew I'd find the true Speedy Gonzalez of quilting!
    Sign me up as a follower... I need the motivation and energy jolt I got from reading your blog! :)

  31. I need to start using a timer and get my work done before I start blogging. It's so easy to get sucked into something you love and forget about everything else! Thanks for the great post, and thanks for sharing at OneCreativeMommy.com. Have a great weekend!

  32. I am catching up on the last few weeks of the blog hop, and love, love, LOVE your post. I feel like I need to print out your list of tips and post them throughout the house.

  33. I am also catching up on the blog hop - and really got a kick out of your list of tips. You are a quilter after my own heart. I too like the process... and having a dinner plan makes all the difference!

  34. I featured your idea on One Creative Weekend at OneCreativeMommy.com this week. Please stop by and grab a featured button if you’d like. I can’t wait to see what you link up this week!

  35. Awesome post. I especially liked this comment "No matter what I fix, you are just going to poop it out later! No matter what it is, it all comes out EXACTLY THE SAME WAY!!!" in the "Tutorial". Oh and I loved all ur rules but the one mentioned above was spot on. Thanks for sharing very nice thoughts. ;)

  36. Gorgeous quilts.. and I love your quilting tutorial on getting stuff done.. I need to print something like that off and hang it on my fridge. Crrently though I have a very attached 1 year old..so I will have to work around that. Thankfully though he does like to sit and jsut watch me sew for a bit.

  37. Marion, I remember when the kids were tiny and not all here yet. I knew you were pretty awesome then but holy cow, woman!!! YOU ARE FREAKIN' AMAZING as a grown up!!! :-)

  38. I want my quilts to be ALL MINE too!!!

  39. I'm interested in making a temple bag. Do you have a pattern you are willing to share? Thanks!


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