10 Quilty Little Secrets

My friend Amy at 13 Spools went and served up a piping hot dish of her own quilty little secrets yesterday. She sent me her leftovers, and I ate. it. up. It was obvs laced with sodium pentothal though, because here I am about to serve you up the same! Make sure you check out Amy’s original slice, and if you’re feeling particularly loosened up, grab the button, and share your own dirty little quilty secrets on your blog or in the comments. Check mine out below!

13 Spools
13 Spools

1. I love the entire quilt process, but the sewing part is at the bottom of that love.

2. I don’t like animals. On my quilt. Helping with my quilt. In the fabric of my quilt. Unicorns are not an animal, and are therefore exempt.

3. I haven’t purchased any Cotton + Steel yet, and I probably won’t.

4. I don’t wash any of my fabrics until the quilt is finished and then they all get a bath together! Sometimes, not even then.

5. I want to take on a blog sponsor(s), but I’m afraid of what my readers will think.

6. Batiks are always welcome in my house. I think people who write them off completely are close-minded and have bigger quilty issues.

7. I like the idea of quilt police. I bet they’d be smokin’ hot and have big … um … seam rippers.

8. I’ll proudly use my gender to open quilty doors of opportunity. However, I expect my talent alone to keep the doors flung wide open.

9. I really enjoy trimming HSTs. Over, and over, and over again.

10. Mini quilts. Meh.

55 Responses

  1. Iris says:

    With a wrinting talent like yours I am sure your readers would laugh just as they do with every single other post your post/blog. Expect maybe about having the lurgie, there was nothing but empathy there. You really know how to cheer up my day, thanks

  2. Iris says:

    I meant writing not Wrinting, sorry

  3. Loving your blog. I wandered over from The Windy Side and found sparkles!

  4. pennydog says:

    6- YES. And brown, what's wrong with brown?! I'm not with you on trimming HSTs though, unless you want to trim mine then I'll not judge you for it….

  5. Ali w says:

    Oh my dear Molli. Thank you for making me laugh after having One Of Those Days. I confess to sharing at least half your quilty little secrets. Another of mine – I rarely close the rotary cutter blade between cuttings. One day I guess I'll be posting from a&e…

  6. Vera says:

    Looks like you are feeling all better 😉

  7. Leigh Anne says:

    I meh to miniquilts as well. They don't fit with my decor asthetic and therefore are not useful. I would enjoy hearing why you won't be buying any C+S. I haven't purchased any either but once I feel the fabric in person I will probably buy some of the basics. And maybe the arrows. But not the animals. Definitely not the animals.

  8. I am with you on the animals as well….great post!

  9. Pat says:

    I agree with a lot of your 'secrets' – I don't see the point in mini-quilts or wall-hangings in general whether they are big or mini. I do, however, like animals – mostly for 'kid quilts'. I also enjoy the entire quilt process but especially the quilting. I feel like the quilt really comes alive as I quilt it and it doesn't have to be fancy quilting to feel that way. My secrets – I don't like Dresden Plates and I hate Hexies.

  10. Pat says:

    Oh, and how could I forget paper piecing!!! Love the results – hate the process – don't plan to ever do it again!!!

  11. Auntie Pami says:

    I try and keep an open mind. I think blog sponsors are ok. But if the blog is 2/3 sponsor buttons I'm not impressed. I hate pop up ads. I'll quit reading your blog. I like small quilts. Minis are new to me. But I think they are great for swaps, it pushes me to do better work since it will be looked at closely. I'm a thread snob. I don't care. I love precuts. Again, I don't care. I love novelty prints. But that's because I love I spy quilts. I don't like heavy heavy quilting, the quilt loses loft. Enough?

  12. Maryse says:

    You have my blessing for no.5
    Who would say no to extra money or free fabrics?

    Totally with you on no.10

    The smallest quilt I am willing to make is a lap size (maybe a baby size if needed), there is no use for smaller than that. Waste of time and fabrics.

  13. I don't like animal prints either, but I do like birds. As for sponsor, who could Turin down free fabric. I follow lots of blogs with sponsors, it doesn't bother me unless there are pop ups.

  14. Karin says:

    I'm obsessed with buying animal prints, but then I never end up using them. My next baby quilt will feature them, I just need someone to get pregnant and it's not going to be me this time. I'm enjoying all my freedom now that the last one is almost 2.

    Ironing is definitely my least favorite part of quilting.

  15. Renee says:

    Oh how I love every size of quilt–from post card quilts to king sized! I love how a mini quilt can add so much to an empty wall, they are fast and a fun way to try something new. And I can go crazy with the quilting and it doesn't take me a month to finish (unlike my last queen size!). I'm surprised you haven't gotten on the sparkly C+S bandwagon, especially the basics. Though on a whole I do think C=S is highly overhyped. And I think if you want to, and there's interest from people to sponsor you, than by all means you should add them to you blog!

  16. maria says:

    Fantastic! I love your honesty. I'm afraid I can't stand blogs which are blog sponsor this, blog sponsor that, blah blah blah, the odd mentioned is OK but not all the time please.
    I agree with you about batiks, I can't see what's wrong with mixing a few in with other fabrics. I am quite partial to a mini quilt now and then.
    You've now got me thinking about what would be on my own list.

  17. Wish I lived closer- I'd do all your washing if you would trim all my HSTs!

  18. Leanne says:

    Thank you for sharing! I'm already planning the mini quilt I am going to send to you. Mini quilt – call it a pillow cover or a table runner or a place mat, mug rug, or a trivet if you don't want it on your wall. Stick it under a drippy plant and it can be useful. I did not understand the value or the beauty of a mini quilt until I made a couple. Oh and I prewash everything, and use the ironing process to really get to know my fabric free of all the horrid chemicals they are laced with, and my quilts generally are not finished until the wash which give the final texture to the design.

  19. Am L says:

    Pillows are mini-quilts, but I suppose they are functional mini-quilts. I'm with you on the animals, although I did use a couple in Miss A's first quilt when she was five, because they were symbolic of an experience she had in preschool. I've used batiks in several quilts. They are not go-to fabrics, but I will use anything that makes the design work. I don't think I knew we modern quilters were "supposed" to avoid them, until one of your blog posts. ; P

    I don't blog, so here is my list:

    1. My favorite part of quilting is the designing/planning and selecting fabrics. The sewing is cathartic, but I hate anything too fussy. The actual quilting is my least favorite part, but I am learning to enjoy it more.

    2. I almost never purchase an entire line of fabric. Until very recently, I didn't even pay attention to the designers, and only knew a few designer names because they kept popping up in my stash. It is not that I don't appreciate the hard work it takes to create a collection, but I purchase fabric based on the quilt design in my head, and not a because of a particular fabric.

    3. If I start making EPPs then my brain is being eaten by an amoeba. I admire the patience and skill those who make them must have, but they are way to fussy for me.

    4. I never pre-wash my fabrics. Not even when I am using reds and whites together. I don't use dye catchers either, because I don't know what chemicals are in them. I do add some distilled vinegar when I wash quilts, to help set the colors. I know this will bite me one day!

    5. I don't use starch either, although I plan on trying it out soon.

    6. I like paper piecing, but don't do enough of it. I learned the technique as part of my first quilting class, and it was the second quilt class I took. I didn't realize it was something that intimidates some quilters, until recently. Try it, you'll like it!

    7. I quilt to avoid housework. JK, kinda.

    8. I prefer simpler quilting. I am in awe of the talent of high-density quilters, and their ability to put a million perfect small circles/feathers/flowers in a tiny space, but I don't want it on my quilts.

    9. I almost never use pins.

    10. Despite my comment about chemicals above, I primarily spray baste. There is only one reason I want to be on all fours : D (That one was for Molli).

    That was fun! Just to be clarify, my comments are entirely about me, and what I like, and not a criticism of anyone's preferences or quilt choices.

    • Julie says:

      I second your item #7

    • Janine says:

      I second you item #2 I never knew you had to know designers, I buy fabric because I like it, it catches my eye and I think wow I like you and I can turn you into a beautiful quilt.
      And I wouldn't say I'm modern and I wouldn't say I'm a traditional quilter I would say I'm just a quilter!! Who likes different styles and trying different things that catches my eye.

  20. What a fun idea! I don't prewash any of my fabrics either. I can hear the groans from the traditional quilters…..

  21. Katy Cameron says:

    Ha, I now know where to send all my HSTs then ;o)

  22. amy says:

    You totally rocked my socks today 🙂 thank you for the shout-out and for joining in the fun!! And between you and me (and all the people who read the comments) I've been wondering for quite awhile why you haven't gotten sponsors!!

  23. Thanks for sharing your quilty little secrets, Molli. Though some of them… not exactly a secret (i.e. batiks!) As for the blog sponsors, I wouldn't think less of you… I might be jealous of the free fabric… but I'd keep reading. I can count on a laugh (or seven) whenever I read one of your posts! But I'm not going to trim my HSTs unless I have to. Just. Not. Happening.

  24. I love this! I will admit I bought some C&S Basics, but the rest don't do anything for me.

  25. Julie says:

    I don't normally prewash fabrics either, and batiks definitely get used in my work. Your quilt police could visit me too about that comment.

  26. Anja says:

    Thanks for the laugh…once again.

  27. #2 110% Agree!
    #3 Me neither! Tho I would love some Cotton & Steel selvages 😉
    #5 Go for it!!! 😀

  28. wipgirl says:

    Lots of things I could comment on, but I'll add a bit to the sponsor thing: I think you should do what works best for you. I follow a fair few blogs that are sponsored and it wouldn't stop me following here either. (That being said, I never read posts about people's sponsors, I just close that shit right down.)

  29. Sarah Goer says:

    Great list! Thanks for the laughs. 🙂

  30. Farm Quilter says:

    Good grief, get some sponsors…but please don't let them have pop-ups!! I read lots of blogs that have sponsors…I would hate to see your whole page peppered with them and I honestly rarely even register the buttons are there. The fun side of having sponsors, for your readers, is that they frequently sponsor giveaway and we all love to add to our stash that way!!! I already listed my "naughty" list with Amy! Your naughty list is shocking and really makes me wish I lived closer to you…hate trimming those HSTs – I'd trade you quilting for trimming!!! Sorry about the comment removal…I obviously hit something and my comment posted before I was finished blathering on!!!

  31. Another post that made me laugh! I'm totally with you on mini-quilts, I can't see why you'd want to waste your time. If I want to try something new, then I'd make a block and eventually turn the blocks into a quilt. I like animals for children's quilts but I hate to see pictures of real animals on quilts ( I'm highly allergic to animal hair). I think the sponsors is a tricky issue. I follow a few well known quilters and some of them now only have posts promoting sponsors or a book or on a blog hop. I don't read any of these, they are terminally boring. And I don't wash my fabrics either, the quilt gets a good bath when it's finished!

  32. Wendy says:

    2. Me too. People will whinge about smokers being allowed to touch their quilts (fag in hand or not), but a dog rolling around all over it is OK, apparently
    3. I don't like it. There, I've said it. What's so great about it?
    5. Go on, go for it. I can't see you dropping your integrity so it's fine.

  33. Wendy says:

    Did I misunderstand the animal one? I thought you were talking about real animals sitting on a quilt…

  34. kim says:

    Hahaha, you always make me laugh!!!
    I would still love you if you took on some sponsors. I trust you to be choosy 🙂

  35. Duluth Girl says:

    Take on some sponsors……..I am sure we'll all understand. I agree with Farm Quilter, please no pop ups!

  36. Rachael says:

    this is great! totally with you on number 3! thanks for the giggle 🙂 oh and i agree with you about the hst's there is something quite fun about them!

  37. Sew Jacky O says:

    Love your posts Molli and I'm with you on a number of your points especially minis, animals and pre washing. I'm not happy with paper piecing!!

  38. suz says:

    very interesting list! I don't prewash either, although if I don't know the manufacturer of a fabric, I might check blue and red fabrics (got in trouble in the past). I hand piece, so minis are my friend – I feel like I've accomplished something in a short time – my large quilts can take months/years to complete. I have no problem with sponsors as long as there are no pop-ups and as long as they are not the only thing the blogger talks about. Ultimately, though, that needs to be about what makes YOU happy. I was bound and determined not to buy C+S fabric – felt they were being shoved in my face – but then I discovered Alison Glass and was totally taken by her fabrics – completely outside my normal color comfort zone…C+S basics are in the same range, so I got some fat 8ths to go with the Glass fabric…that may, however, be all I'll get as I don't care for huge flowers and am not a fan of animals either.

  39. Ellie-Mae says:

    Want mine?
    1. I don't care if my points don't match.
    2. I use 6 1/2 inches a lot because it's how wide my ruler is.
    3. I don't like kawaii. All the cute pandas in the world aren't going to change that.
    4. Mug rugs are not for me, I would say they're for idiots, but I won't go that far.
    5. I never pre-wash, it all goes in the machine and dryer.
    6. As much as I admire quilts using solids making my own solids quilt bored me to death.
    7. Lap quilts? Why bother?
    8. I hate lists and can't think of any thing else.

  40. Charlotte says:

    That's it – I'm sending you all my HSTs!

  41. Oh I've got a few

    1) I am not a perfectionist, and unless it's a horrible thread nest or something, I don't unpick seams. like ever. Points not matching? I wasn't looking when I was sewing and my seam allowance is a tad off? It's staying. Sorry.
    2) I made my first mini and I actually really liked it, although i don't know what the hell to do with it.
    3) I like pretty much zero Amy Butler fabrics.
    4) I hate novelty fabrics. All of them. I've kept a few in my stash because I thought I might change, but it's been years and I just boxed them up yesterday to donate.
    5) I iron the hell out of my quilt at every step of the process. With steam. And sometimes starch. That fabric is NOT going to sass me.
    6) I don't keep scraps. If I can cut a 2.5" square out of a fabric I do, but anything smaller than that gets trashed or used as a filler for something like pincushions or something.
    7) I used to think I needed a huge stash, because I hung out with old ladies who had fabric stashes that took up entire parts of their house. It wasn't until I came across folks like you who kept the fabric amounts down that I realized being a quilter didn't mean I needed to drown my family in fabric. I'm currently purging everything but the fabrics I LOVE and it feels good.
    8) I love dense, traditional-ish quilting. I'm learning to accept that sometimes a few straight lines or echoing is perfect for some quilts.
    9) Animals on quilts is gross. I would be mortified if I gave a quilt and it was covered in cat hair. Cat hair is not glitter for lonely people. It's cat hair and it's gross.
    10) I cannot stand rag quilts. And minky. Can. Not. Stand. Them.

    And go for sponsors, honey. If that's what you want then go for it. I'll echo others and say please no pop ups, but other stuff is fine.

  42. Pat V. says:

    Totally agree with #10. If you want sponsors, go for it! I know it will in no way impede your creative point of view.

  43. I haven't written off batiks completely, but I really, really do not like them. They feel crunchy and are often a shade of poo brown. Saying that, friends make nice things with them, and they are hard to beat for those inspired to make art quilts.
    When you figure out what people do with their mini quilts, I would also love to know.

  44. Loved your list of Quilty Little Secrets! I've jumped in on the fun at Lemon Tree Snippets!

  45. Jess Burns says:

    Now I don't feel so guilty about not doing mini quilts. The smallest ones I've ever made have been baby quilts. I have a few mini quilt patterns, but I plan to enlarge them into "real" quilts.

    I like the look of batiks, buy them on and off, and then cannot figure out what to do with them for the life of me.

    I also just realized that you're not meant to mix batiks with anything else.

    I love my cats, but they are not welcome on my projects. I sometimes put them in kitty time-out / jail when they won't leave me alone. Now, a cat sitting near me while I work or pushing the box of pins around but leaving the fabric alone – I will take that as cute.

    I don't get why Cotton + Steel is so popular. I don't intend to buy any.

    I pay very little attention to who the designer is.

    I don't start by cutting off my selvage. If I'm cutting strips, the whole thing gets cut into strips and then I just cut them off as needed as I go. If I'm using templates or fussy cutting, I just cut what I want and leave the selvages alone.

    I don't know how to machine quilt, and I don't think I care. It would be nice to get something done that fast, but I really prefer hand sewing anything to using my machine and hand quilting is soothing. I do machine piece because I don't have enough time to get a baby quilt done in just a few months by hand piecing all of it!

    I iron. With steam. I try and try to just press but it doesn't work. Sorry.

    I will unpick a seam over and over until I get the points matched to within a thread. Sometimes the fabric is unhappy by the end.

    Sometimes I sent unfinished projects to the thrift store.

  46. annieb says:

    Love your list. Watch out for those seam rippers. I posted mine today, and number 12 is about how I sat on a seam ripper once, and ended up with 4 stitches in my right theigh. It wasn't pretty. Just happy I didn't shed any blood on the quilt. So when your coffee or tea mugs reads, "Stay Calm and Keep Your Seam Ripper Close," like mine, just think twice about how close you really want to keep it.

  47. MJKasz says:

    I love little quilts or wall quilts as they are a great way to practice a new technique and still have something to donate to fund raisers or guild activities.

  48. Blog sponsor, you've got what it takes, what are you waiting for it's a win win situation.

  49. queenopearls says:

    SO glad I found you from the link up for these lists. I will remember #7 as long as I live. I laugh every time I think of it. Most of my coworkers and friends (outside of blog land) would not get any of these… from anyone. But… oooo I think the Quilt Police are here. Yay! :)))))
    ~ Christina in Cleveland

  50. Marly says:

    Thanks for such an entertaining post. It's made my afternoon!

  51. Very cute post – I came to your blog on the recommendation of Lemon Tree Snippets and think I might stick around for fun!

  52. I was surprised by number five. Of course you should have sponsors if you want them. Just, as others have said, it's not pleasant when a blog seems to become more about its sponsors than its creative content. Also, please, no pop-ups. I can't handle them, and it appears others can't either.

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