I love color and love fabric. I like to make things that are both pretty and useful. That is why I quilt. There are some parts of traditional quilting that I do not enjoy. I don't like fussy piecing and I don't like machine quilting, at least not on my machine. I decided I did not want any new equipment. I want to adapt my process to work with what I have.
The zigzag stitch is the answer for me. I can piece and machine quilt at the same time using a zigzag stitch. A closely woven fabric is probably required... batiks are a good choice.
I hate making all my design decisions before I start and the zigzag "topstitch" method allows me to make design changes as I go along. Here I am adding small squares to something I already pieced and zigzag quilted. And I add the square the same way. I just zigzag over the raw edge.
I can also easily repair anything that gets damaged through use or because there are cats in my household. My quilts are to USE!
I do some hand quilting, too, because I enjoy it. But I machine quilt first and then use the hand quilting decoratively. Here I am using pearl cotton to hand quilt Z's (in memory of Ozy).
Zigzag stitches are strong but they are also easy to remove (just slip your trusty seam ripper under those stitches). I like being able to easily correct errors, make repairs and even do design additions.
Pendleton Woolen Mills has an interesting history of their Indian trading blankets. I got curious about trading blankets when I was working on a quilt recently. I was using a 2.5 inch strip set and had a plan for what I was going to do. I happened to pin a few of the strips on in a way that reminded me of trading blankets so I went with it. Serendipity is the friend of creativity. You just have to be paying attention!
We just had our house painted. Three sides anyway. It was a great treat to have someone else do it and we like how it looks. These photos are for John, who didn't have to paint the house. It was painted by Posten Painting. The colors are Benjamin Moore Sandlot Gray (body), Lancaster Whitewash (trim) and Deep River (foundation).
We didn't have the garage painted and John IS working on that.