Saturday, August 27, 2011

How Long Does it Take to Make a Quilt?

How's that for a loaded question?

I know I've been asked it. I'm sure I've even asked it, as in, "wow, how long did it take you to make that?" My usual response is, "too long" or "you don't want to know." Why the need to quantify? I think partly to add value (I put over 100 hours into this quilt!) or, as a quilter,  to either consider or rule out ever making it (only a couple of weeks? I could do that!) Sometimes it's just to confirm that there are others out there just as nuts dedicated as we are!

The other day, as I was pondering this heady question, I decided to give myself a little challenge. I'd make a quilt, start to finish, and time it. I had no expectations, no deadlines. I just wanted to see, for me, how long it would take.

This is how it went. I already had a bunch of fabric out from my mod mosaic quilt, so decided to go with that. And I recently saw this pattern that I wanted to try. Big pieces, simple piecing. Let the fabric do the talking.

1 PM - 2 PM  Fabric cut and laid out:

2 PM - 4:30 PM Top Pieced, Back Pieced, Binding Made, Spray Basted:

This middle part probably didn't need to take that long. I sewed and then unsewed the long strips 4 times! Even though I had no expectations, I think because I was aware of the time, I tried to rush, and we know what happens when we try to rush. So, I think I could easily have shaved off a half our here! (Not that it's a competition or anything!)

5 PM - 6:30 PM Quilting and Binding:

I went with the pattern's suggestion, and did straight line quilting. Again, I tried to save time, and went without my walking foot. Big mistake. Ever pick out quilting? Not fun. Again, a good 20 minutes could have been saved here. Free motion probably would have worked equally as well.

At this point, I had a little dinner, watched a little TV, and hand sewed the binding to the back. I didn't count that into the official time. Had this been an actual competition, I would have. *grin*

The result:

A cute little baby quilt, ready in my stash, for the next cute little baby girl who comes into the world.

So, how long does it take to make a quilt? 5 hours. That's my answer and I'm sticking to it!


Barb said...

Oh what a wonderful quilt and wow...that was fast!!

Sherry said...

That was very fast and a reallly great quilt was the result. I think it would have taken me quite a bit longer.

Jennifer M. said...

Hmmmm 5 hours you say huh? :D

This quilt is adorable. Love the hot pink and green colors. Very girlie!

Enjoy your weekend!

Jessica said...

Wow, that's impressive! Great post - I get that question so often. It's a gorgeous little quilt!

Venus de Hilo said...

Wow, that was very fast!... I tracked my time on a recent project: almost 40 hours start to finish. But that was for a 64"x80" quilt with lots of dense free-motion quilting in many different patterns. I do think that even a baby quilt would take me much longer than 5 hours, especially if I included dithering over fabric choices!

Deborah in Atlanta said...

I'll be glad when I can say it only took that long for ME to make one. I'm still learning, and it takes me FOREVER! Maybe one day....

Love the colors!

Benta AtSLIKstitches said...

And what a great quilt it is too!

Kristen said...

Holy cow! I've been quilting for twenty years and I don't think I've ever made ANYTHING in five hours! For me, five MONTHS is a pretty good turnaround time, but five YEARS is average if it's appliqued and/or hand quilted! I've had quilts that have taken me longer than ten years to complete because I get burned out or sidetracked with a more time-sensitive project and they get put on the shelf for a while. I have two of them that I started in the 1990's waiting to be completed still.

I have a quilt that I show people when they ask how long it takes. It's a snowball quilt, and the handquilting pattern in the center of each snowball took an hour to stitch.

suemac said...

So cute and easy.

sew_inspired said...

Beautiful quilt, love the colors…thanks for sharing it with the BMQG. I am still super impressed by how quickly you are able to quilt! … but after watching you quilt at our last sewing marathon … I know you are a very speedy quilter and very talented I must add :)

Nakamaru said...

have two of them that I started in the 1990's waiting to be completed still
Great blog post! Thank you for sharing this.
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