Saturday, October 11, 2008

Getting Closer!

I told my friend Elyse that I had started a quilt, and she suggested that we try quilting together. Elyse went to fashion school for awhile, and spent most of her childhood on a sewing machine, so she had a lot of stuff to show me. Like, what all the buttons on my sewing machine are (backstitch? what's that?). Her ex-grandmother in law had given her a bunch of fabric all cut up, so Elyse and I embarked on a mini quilting bee. We walked down to the library to check out different quilting books, and found one that just suggested laying out a bunch of fabric, cutting it in a square, and then cutting it up randomly. Which we did. The photo below shows one of the crazy cuts and all the fabric in the background.

Elyse (pictured below) did all the sewing, and I think she was drawing mostly on her fashion background, because all the seams were 5/8in instead of 1/4 in. The squares came out pretty wonky, due to the way the piecing worked out. It started out as a 6 inch square, and cut down to about 4 inches. We've still got a lot of work to do, but the ex-grandmother in law has a longarm quilting machine, so maybe we will send it through on that? That would be sort of exciting. I don't really like many of the fabrics we are using, but maybe when we finish a bunch of squares it will look alright. Elyse sent me home with the whole tupperware container full, so we'll see what happens with it.

In terms of my own quilt, I finished the top! I wasn't crazy about the dark red fabric through the whole process, but now that it's on the edges I really like it. Now I just have to figure out how exactly to put the rest of it together. I bought the batting, so I'll try and figure it out. The instructions in the magazine are pretty confusing. 

I drove my self crazy putting this together. I sewed the two longest strips of blocks the wrong way, and had to rip out the seams and re-sew it. I almost just said forget it, but then I realized that none of the outer strips would fit it I did that. Later I sewed one of the outer red strips on the wrong way, and had to rip out that seam too. Why didn't I pay better attention? Doh!

I'm so weird about buying things. I bought the batting at the locally run quilt store, The Quilted Forest (instead of Wal-Mart) because they had 100% cotton stuff, and when the saleswoman asked me if I was going to machine quilt it or hand quilt I totally lied and said I planned on machine quilting. I had told her earlier that it was my first quilt, and I guess I didn't want her to think I was too ambitious to try and hand quilt it. Why do I even care what she thought? She seemed really nice too. I can't seem to stop myself! Sales people make me flustered. I couldn't bring myself to buy romance novels at bookstores for years because I was afraid the clerks would judge my choice. 

I had planned on getting some backing fabric as well, but the fabric in the store seemed pretty expensive, most of it was at least nine dollars a yard or more. The fabrics at Wal-Mart were much cheaper, but the selection was way worse. 

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