A reader asked, "How do you finish a quilt in a week?" which got me thinking.
There a number of factors in getting a fast finish for me.
1. Motivation and focus.
I need to really believe that the finish is important - situations like a friend going to hospital after a major accident, or with a significant illness. This allows me to drop some of my fussiness. I ask myself which is more important that the points of the pattern are perfectly match or that it is finished and going with then to chemotherapy or whatever. It also means that my family are willing to support me when I drop back on all but the minumum housework in order to complete the project.
2. Choosing a quick simple pattern.
I have now collected a few simple patterns that work well for me in the situation where i need something quick.
b. Panel with boarders (see previous posts)
c. Simple medallion - square diamond square
d. Convergence quilts (originating from Ricky tims) http://www.rickytims.com/index.php?option=com_phocagallery&view=cooliris3dwall&Itemid=53
3. Pre cutting boarders from scraps
I cut srips in 3" 4.5" 6" and 7.5" lengths.
4. Chain piecing and "leaders and enders"
By sewing in a "never ending" chain, until the bobbin runs out, one saves an enourmous amount of time trimming all those loose ends afterwards. The idea of leaders and enders is developed by Bonnie hunter
http://www.quiltville.com/ and basixcally means that you always have a real block in the machine. For the piece I leave in the machine i use either something that i will need later in the same project or for the next one.
5. Having a few tops on hand for emergency situations.
6. Quilting with an "all over" pattern