Confessions of a Quilt-aholic: Is Bigger Better?


Question of the day, or as the Spaniards say ‘pregunta del día’ (can you tell I’ve been looking to Dali and Picasso for quilting inspiration): as far as project size goes, is bigger better?

Personally I prefer doing larger, big ticket items, like quilts ranging from throw size to king size. I do alright with smaller projects like coasters and mug rugs, but I always want to do loads of them. For example, I recently did coasters and pot holders for a few craft shows, and instead of only doing 2 or 4, I did about 20 coasters at a time.  I guess I’m just not one of these people that fall prey to the beast known as ‘moderation’. (I think I might be the only person who refers to moderation as a bad thing.)

I don’t know about anyone else, but when I plant myself in front of a sewing machine, I do not plan on getting up from said sewing machine for at least a couple of hours! You all know the phrase, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ In my case, an hour of sewing keeps the reds and blues away. Yes, Reds as in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Blues as in Blue Monday. Best song ever!

Sorry folks, let’s get back on topic. As I said before all of my pop culture references started to show up, I like to sew for a quite a bit at a time. I just don’t consider myself someone who is up for a quickie. (I dumped the pop culture references, and went straight to innuendos… oy vey!) I like a project that takes a while. Maybe I do it to keep my ADD in check, but then again, maybe the pharmaceuticals do that.  Although, I like larger projects because I feel a great sense of accomplishment. Sometime I wish I could do small projects, but whenever I try I end up doing them in mass. I’m not quite sure why, but I find it nearly impossible to do small projects. I can’t be the only person who feels that way… can I?

I constantly stalk fellow quilters and crafters on facebook, and I get jealous of all the small things that people can whip up in an hour, where as I sit down, and I spend 4 hours making 10 coasters. Let me walk everyone through my thought process…

  1. I want to make some cute mug rugs.
  2. Two of them would be a fun quick project.
  3. Instead of 2, let’s do 4 so that way I have a nice set of them.
  4. 6 would be better in case I have a larger group over.
  5. I should make 2 sets so I can use a different set depending on my mood.
  6. 12 mug rugs should be easy! Let me cut the batting for it.
  7. I should use the whole scrap of batting, so I’ll do 18 of them, this way I won’t have anymore scrap batting lying around.
  8. Wow… 18 is a lot. You know I could make a throw quilt with all that effort.
  9. Throw quilt it is!

You know, it’s not easy being me. However on a more serious note, does anyone else have this problem? Or am I the only one?

So what do you guys think? Do you prefer small projects or large projects?


  1. Lea says:

    I just found your blog yesterday and will be following your blog. I don’t think there is a wrong way it’s just what each individual quilter feels best doing. I feel best if I work on a quilt every day even if it is for a short time – better if it gets to be for hours on end. 🙂 My quilts have been wall hangings, throw quilts and queen size quilts. These days I like my quilts to be in the range of 70ish” x 80″ish but am also making an eye spy quilt for my nephew that is smaller (46″ x 53″.) I tend to get to a point in every quilt I make where it isn’t feeling right and that is why I always have more than one quilt going at a time. The change of pace helps and clears my mind and I go back to it feeling a lot better about it. I enjoy making mug rugs every so often (this is the upside to wall hangings too.) They are great fun, a chance for me to practice machine quilting and try new things on a small scale and have a finish fast.

  2. Oh, trust me, you are not the only one who thinks “moderation” is a dirty word. My best friend does NOTHING in moderation. Give me a bag of chocolate bars and I can make it last 2-6 months (although I’m a serious chocoholic, I prefer to savor the sensation of chocolate). Give her a bag, it’s gone in one sitting.

    My aversion to small projects isn’t that they are small; it’s that I have to bind more small things, and I dislike binding! Bigger projects also often mean bigger pieces, which are easier to deal with (small pieces show wonkiness so much more). Plus, yes, there is something more satisfying about doing something big. Which may explain why I have a big floor loom in my house, rather than taking up something like knitting. 🙂

    Whatever works for you, never feel bad that you don’t do things the way someone else does.

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