Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My first quilt

So, I'm currently unemployed. The economy is tanking, but hey, no big deal right? I'll get a job someday! 

But I need something to do in the mean time, right? I'm tired of watching TV all day, and the internet is getting old. Why the heck did I pick trying to quilt? I don't really know much about sewing, but what can you do? I tried knitting, but I don't really like the way the finished product feels, and I don't really want anything you can make by knitting or crocheting. The feel of yarn is sort of repulsive to me.

Blankets on the other hand, well that's a different story. I picked up a quilting magazine at the store, and picked a quilt that looked cool, and went to town.

Here's the other thing about me. I hate being new at things. I hate learning things. Well, that's not exactly true. I hate it when other people know I don't know how to do things. I didn't want to go to a quilt store to get all my new supplies (which is dumb because I'm sure they would be delighted to help) because I didn't want anyone to know that I don't know what I'm doing. I bought my fabric at Wal-Mart because I felt like no one would bother me there, or ask any questions about why I was buying what I was buying. Even then, my heart was pounding. What is someone found out that I was trying to make a quilt that was way to advanced for me? It's like I was afraid that the quilt police would burst in at any minute and tell me I was doing it wrong and that I shouldn't buy what I was buying!

I just bought supplies I thought I might need by skimming quilting how to sights, and came home with fabric, a rotary cutter, a fabric cutting mat, some thread, and some needles. Luckily, my mom was a sewer so there was a sewing machine in the basement.

Now, the quilt I decided to make was probably a bad call. For a few reasons. 
  1. It's a full size quilt.
  2. The magazine says it's for advance quilters.
After a lot of cutting, and swearing at the sewing machine though, I sewed together all the top squares, pictured below.

To get to this point was/is a huge learning process! It took about a week. This magazine isn't exactly geared towards beginners! I cut all the white fabric with the fabric completely spread out, before I realized that it would be a lot easier to cut the pieces with the fabric doubled over so I cut twice as fast, and the whole thing fit on the cutting matt. I also learned that I didn't have to sew something on the machine, cut it off, and start all over. I could just put in pieced square after square so they formed a little chain. 

Some square turned out alright, like the one with the red square center (a Martha Washington Block) Everything mostly lines up where it is supposed to, and all the points are pretty crisp and the triangles all have pointy ends.

The other blocks, with the pinwheels (Sawtooth blocks) well, some of them didn't turn out quite so well.

Yikes! The pinwheel points don't match, and neither does much else! Oh well. It's my first quilt. I'm looking at this as a learning experience. I've been reading this great blog by a woman named Tonya at http://lazygalquilting.blogspot.com and she talks a lot about just quilting, and not caring how perfectly everything matches, which eases my mind a bit. No quilt police are going to but into my house and tell me how much my pinwheels suck, and I'll have a nice warm blanket to watch TV with.

I'm going to my friend Elyse's house tomorrow, and she says she'll give me a few pointers. She also said she has bags full of quilting flannel already cut into strips and we can have a little quilting bee, which sounds fun.

On a side note, it was beautiful today! I'm savoring the sun while we have it, because god knows, here in Oregon it's likely it won't be seen from November to April. Here's the view from the deck.

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