Here is what I learned from this memory quilt experience:
1. If you have a plan...forget about it. Now, this really just applies to me because I am so realitively new at quilting. The original plan was to do a lap quilt for Darlene, but it ended up being around 60" x 50". I was going to make smaller pictures, but I felt that it would not look as nice as having twelve 8 x 10s!!!! What a "Linda Jean" generated fiasco! I thought I was doing such a great job until I finished the top and realized how freakin' long the binding would have to be.
2. So much ironing...so much time!!! I knew that I had to iron all the seams so that they would lay properly and give a really nice clean and finished look to my corners and the top. What I did not count on was the amount of exercise that was going to be involved with the "up and down" motions. My bum was literally sore after making this quilt (and it is a bit firmer than when I started!). And even better news...I managed NOT to cook a couple of fingers. I will say it again...there is a butt ton of ironing involved in quilting.
3. The measuring and cutting was brutal. I had a plan so when I did some of the initial cuts; they were based on the lap quilt size. So when the size changed, my initial cuts were all rendered useless...ugh! I had to recut everything with the new plan in play and I saved the old cuts for another project...don't panic because it was less than a 1/2 yard that was "wasted". Rulers are your friend...good rulers are your best friend!
4. Hand binding is for the birds! So, there I was doing the initial sew down of the binding with my Mega Quilter and then the tasking of the "hand sewing" hit me right in the eye. I did a whip stitch AFTER I re-learned how to do one via YouTube. About 1/2 way around, my thumb was killing me to the point that I had to ice it a couple of times. I really should find a way to hand sew without causing my hands so much pain. It could have been that I was holding the quilt too tight for too long a period of time. Oh, by the way, those binding clips are super schweet!
5. DO NOT USE FABRIC PHOTO ON THE ROLLS! I learned this the hard way. I had purchased some precut 8.5" x 11" sheets a while back and I used them for this project. The precut sheets printed beautifully, but the sheets that I had to roll out and cut had some serious issues. They would not print right, they curled under, and jammed up my printer. Mind you that this was AFTER I cut them and weighted them down over two days!
Normally, these sheets would run you around $2.50 per sheet retail and most folks charge $4.00 per sheet when putting them on memory quilts. I royally screwed up 6 of them...do the math from both points of view...ouch!
6. YouTube is your friend for everything and I mean everything!
7 and final point...I need to quilt more often!