Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Similarities of Tiling and Quilting

What? Tiling and quilting have similarities? It does seem a rather odd comparison, doesn't it? However, ever since my family and I began tiling nearly the entire house almost two years ago, I've been repeatedly struck about how the two endeavors require many of the same skills.

There are three basic skills in tiling: measuring, cutting, and fitting it altogether. Sound familiar? It seriously is not rocket surgery. Yes, a tile saw is used instead of scissors, and cement and grout are used instead of thread, but the concepts used in tiling are the very same ones we use in quilting.

As I mentioned above, we began this project nearly two years ago. We needed to replace our worn carpet, and discovered that tile was significantly cheaper than carpet, especially if we installed it ourselves. Once installed, it lasts virtually forever. Big pluses. The downside is that you're always working on the floor and the endeavor is labor intensive. We've taken extended breaks after getting each section done.

We began in the sewing room in September 2008.
We were working on the living room by Spring 2009. When we bought the house the fireplace already had some tile around it. We didn't want to remove it, couldn't match it, (and while the tile color is okay, it would not be our first choice for doing the entire house anyway), and so we had to find some way to boot the tile we were installing up next to the tile around the fireplace and have it look like a plan. Guess what? The answer was tile borders (okay do I need to refer to my quilting analogy again?). How cool is that? The border made having the two color and sizes of tile in the same room not only acceptable, but decorative too.
This week, we finally began tiling in the utility room. I estimate we are about 3/4 done with the house. We'll keep at it slow and steady, and it'll be done whenever it's done.

I kind of feel like I'm cheating talking about tile instead of purely crafty endeavors, so just to make this article more appropriate for Sew & Tell Friday, here is this week's installment of the New York Beauty blocks. This brings the total to 62.

I'll be linking up at Amylouwho's. Swing over and see what everyone else has been up to this week.

Oh and if I could draw your attention to the polls on the side? Please take the time to vote. P, over at The Way I Sew It pointed out that I'd hadn't offered a choice for UFO's that were only a year old on the poll about UFO age. Personally, I think she's just showing off, not having any UFO's older than a year. ;-) I totally admire that. A year old? Hmmm, does that qualify as a UFO? Since I'm sitting here with a UFO that's nearly 15 years old, it just never occurred to me that someone could have a UFO that was only a mere year old. But what to you think? How long must a project be neglected before it is considered a UFO?

Note: I tried to edit the poll to offer a choice for UFO's only a year old, but unfortunately, I can't change it without wiping out all the votes. So my apologies, P!

Late note: Just found Hodgepodge Friday, a place for creative people to share their creative endeavors. I'll be linking up shortly. Check it out.


  1. First, the tile looks wonderful! I would never have noticed the tile border around the fireplace had you not pointed it out. It looks like it was totally designed that way.

    Your NYB blocks continue to shock and awe!

    Regarding the age of a UFO, the fact that I have amassed 6 or 7 in one year concerns me. I don't like having so many around. They start to feel like Quilt Zombies!

  2. ...and I mean "shock" in a good way--the variety of interesting fabrics are always a delightful surprise.

  3. I'm totally in awe...both of your tiling and your NY Beauty blocks! You have taken a traditional block and made it totally modern! They're gorgeous!

  4. I think all ongoing projects should just be called WIP... it sounds better and doesn't seem like you are neglecting..

    The tile work looks amazing! Are you for higher? Just kidding...
    Thanks for sharing :o)

  5. These look great! And you finished them during a tile project?! You are awesome!

  6. Nice tiling :) Hope your knees are OK!
    How do you manage your NYBs so fast? they look great!

  7. Wow you must be getting quite the pro at tiling now. That fireplace looks great with the border around it making it quite a feature. I have never tackled the New York beauty blocks but I like the look of them. Are they difficult??

  8. IMHO, an item becomes a UFO when you have to bribe yourself to work on it. Until then, it's a WIP, no matter how old it is! And I love your tiling, and of course it counts as a Friday finish!!

  9. Wow, I am sure your quilting skills come in really handy with the tiling, especially with the measuring! :)

    Thanks for your kind words on my quilting on "To A Garden Party". :)

    I have also added you to my blogroll. I hope you don't mind...

  10. The tile looks great! And the blocks are just so beautiful!


Your comments brighten my day. :-)