I never really thought of quilting as a seasonal activity. I quilt all year long and would quilt 24/7/365 if I could get away with it and not have to deal with such interruptions as cooking, cleaning, gardening, laundry, eating and sleeping!!! During the school year I bring quilting into my classroom as often as possible. Since I teach school, I do a lot of quilting in the summer and perhaps assumed everyone else did too!! Yesterday, while teaching a quilting class, a quilter told me she only quilts in the winter! She says it is too hot to quilt during the summer. This made me curious so I began asking others about their "quilting habits". My brief investigation reveled that several people save their quilting for the cold weather months, all others quilt whenever they can find a few minutes or hours to work on a project. If you don't care to work on quilt projects during the warm weather because you can't bear to think about being under a warm cozy pile of materials---you may want to think about working on some cooler projects.
- Baby quilts are always a good choice. They are smaller, quicker, cooler and its nice to have a couple on hand for gifts or donations.
- Table runners, place mats or table covers are great take-a-long projects (maybe you'll make one for each season).
- Wallhangings are terrific opportunities to try new techniques. Give it a whirl, find a wall and display your art.
- Shower curtains--yes, quilted shower curtains!! Piece a beautiful shower curtain, use a thin batting or flannel, add buttonholes for hanging, and don't forget to use a liner!!
- Throw quilts. Make a throw quilt to keep in the car. Your family will appreciate it on the long ride home from your vacation spot or a day of summer fun.
- Photo quilts are different from the usual scrapbook memories and easy to do if you have a computer and a printer. Take pictures of your vacation, family reunion, trip to the amusement park, wedding, church or work picnic etc. Print your favorite pictures on cotton fabric ( I like to use Printed Treasures: Fabric Sheets for Inkjet Printers ). Add sashings and borders. Enjoy!
- Curtains. Try making bedroom curtains or a valance to match the quilt on your bed.
- Quilted jackets ( wearable art ). Sew your favorite block or applique pattern and make it ( or have it made ) into a jacket. You'll be glad you did when the fall weather comes!!
- Kids love to make quilts. Cut some blocks ( I like 10 1/2" squares ), let kids draw and color using Crayola Fabric Crayons ( follow package directions ), make hand and footprints, spatter paint, or tie-dye the blocks. Add sashing and borders (depending on the age of the children -- they could help with the sewing too!!) Use yarn or embroidery floss to tie at each corner or quilt to finish.
- My favorite...crank the air-conditioning down, make a pot of coffee and work on whatever your heart desires! I believe any time spent quilting is a good time:)
I think you don't have to give-up quilting for the summer. Maybe one of these ideas will inspire you to quilt on!!! I know there are many other project ideas and wish you would share your favorites with the rest of us. Happy quilting, Laurel