10 things I learned from Quilting

1. The iron is your best friend. It makes seams neat, the foldy parts tidy, and gets out wrinkles.

2. Pinning everything before sewing through four layers of fabric saves the time of ripping it all out.

3. I can’t sew in a straight line.

4 Sewing in the ditch? Way more difficult than it looked.

5. Fabric, it has a grain. It stretches differently depending on the grain. This can lead to frilly edges.

6. Picking out coordinating fabric? Totally awesome. Especially when the husband comes along and helps.

7. I can do geometry, as long as I can use graph paper, my fingers, Excel, and someone else to make sure I can count past 3.

8. Lap quilts? Take five hours from start to finish. That’s a really gratifying finished object.

9. I cannot quilt and spin/design/knit/daydream at the same time.

10. Alison Weir’s The Lady Elizabeth is a fantastic audio book; one that is interesting enough I won’t fall asleep, not too interesting so I have to listen to it and not do anything else, and the narrator has an amazing vocal and accental range.

This is my second quilt, ever. The first one I made was from an on-sale Amish quilt block book from Barnes and Noble. I liked it well enough, and gave it to my mother and she hangs it on her wall.

This is for my dear friend Jess for her birthday. A simple nine patch, with plain black squares in between. It’s about 3’x3′, so perfect for laps, or for taking on a picnic and sitting on. I over bought the contrasting fabric on this- honestly, I can do algebra, knit and woodwork with no problem, but simple geometry to figure out an area? Not so much.

I had planned quilting on dragons from the book Celtic Quilting, but my machine isn’t equipped well enough for me to do the curves, and I do not hand quilt/sew unless I absolutely cannot avoid it.

I’m all right with how it turned out: mostly cobbled from ideas from books, and hours upon hours of watching the early morning quilting shows on the home improvement channels and the local public station.

This one I made in one day. It’s a little smaller, but I love it even more for the colors and for the scraps in it. I got the bee in my bonnet to quilt because my fabric stash is larger than both my yarn and spinning fiber stash. The idea of making quilts the way they were originally made, out of leftover fabric, is a very appealing idea. Except, I dont’ have that many scraps, and the stuff I do have would look horrid together.

Back to the fabric store for some plain cream and the striped orange. This one, if I can bear to part with it, is going to go to my father-in-law for Christmas. He has a hip problem, and this is just enough to sit on his lap and keep it warm.

The scrap to the left is from a skirt I made when I was a teen. Just a wrap to wear over bathing suits. It was later reappropriated into the a-line skirt pattern that I use for all of my skirts. The pattern is particularly flattering and simple. The Hawaiian print is also from a skirt I made, and the stripes I bought at JoAnne’s.

This weekend proves to be very busy: Maggie Jackson is making a visit to my LYS, Nature’s Yarns this weekend. I briefly met her on Wednesday- she seemed lovely, and her accent lovelier.

Friday night is her trunk show; I’m modeling in it. That should be an experience.

Then it’s off to the mountains, and hopefully the fiber festival in Berryville.

I have a surprise on which I’m working, hopefully to be revealed after the weekend. It involves some editing, and button mashing in the dark to work, hopefully.

[Sorry about the cruddy pictures. I didn’t want to go too long without sharing, I was so excited with how these turned out, but sun is not coming into the house until a late hour, and I’m usually not home.]

1 comment
  1. Laura said:

    Liz, those quilts look great!

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