Friday, November 5, 2010

Look at what I made

I admire people who can sew really well. My mom is one of those people. Actually, she's really good at all her hobbies, and she has quite a few (that is probably where I got my hobby collecting habit from). She toll paints beautifully, she's a great cook, and decorator. She scrapbooks, beads, cross stitches and she sews. Oh boy does she sew. As kids, she sewed clothing as well as dolls one year for Christmas. She also has made probably just about everything else you can sew. She not only sews, though, she quilts. And quilting is a whole other realm of sewing, in my opinion. Anyone can hem a curtain or sew a pillowcase. Not just anyone can quilt, however. There is a tediousness to it that makes it hard for those of us without a lot of attention to detail or patience to really do it well. I always wanted to be like my mom, and so one year I made a wall quilt. It was small, maybe 4'x4' and it had cats on it. I started it when I was in junior high I think. I didn't finish it until many years later when I found it in a box and thought, "I better finish this." Then I remembered why I hadn't finished it before. I didn't like quilting. It was too precise and too repetitive. Sewing a dress from a pattern is a little precise, too, but its not like you're making 30 identical pieces, so its a bit different. I finished that cat quilt but it wasn't very good and I'm pretty sure it wasn't a fun experience for either my mom or me.

Now that I have my sewing machine, I like going to the fabric store. I wander through the aisles looking at all the cool sewing and craft supplies for hours, hoping to find some inspiration amongst all the beads and ribbons and paper and tulle. Well, last month I went to get fabric to make Lindsay's Halloween costume. I sewed her a cape and a dress, but she only liked the cape, so the dress is downstairs in my fabric bin. I'm sure I can find a use for purple sparkly star fabric at some point or another. I'm not the best sewer, and I was grateful that at least the cape turned out! Anyways, while I was there, I saw the cutest fabric all bundled together as a kit to make a blanket for a baby. And since one of my dearest friends is having a baby this month, I had to get it. The feel of the fabric was perfect, some flannel, some silk and some fuzzy type fleece.
Oh wait, did I mention that it was a kit for a baby quilt?

Yes, a quilt. I was so swayed by the beauty of the fabric that I think I was operating under the rationalization that it was a small quilt, it would be easy. Once I opened the package and read the directions I realized I wasn't prepared. I don't own any of the cool quilter supplies like a roller cuter, or a cutting board in order to get the squares all the right uniform size. I immediately decided against measuring each piece with a tape measure and cutting with my scissors, so I had to wait til I had time to get to my mom's. A couple weeks later I had time and she happily got her cutting mat out for me to use. It only took a half-hour or so, and when I was done I had 30 little squares.

I was pleased that I had gotten that far without crying. I took them right home and started sewing them together. And, I was right, it was easy. Well, easier than I remember the cat quilt being. These were just squares I was sewing together, no weird angles or shapes. Can't get much easier than that, right?

Because I am not a great sewer and because I am not a quilter, I didn't pay attention to a few things. I don't think my squares were all perfectly uniform. And as I sewed it together, my seam allowances weren't all the same. So, when it came time to put it together, I realized some of the lines weren't meeting up straight. I sighed and just kept sewing. I was determined to finish this quilt for my friend. Then when I went to iron it, I realized I had the seams going every which way, which isnt' a big deal, but it made the quilt kinda bumpy. Then when I pinned the front to the backing I had almost 3" on one end of extra backing that shouldn't have been extra! I just trimmed it sewed the thing together. I figured my friend won't know how big it was suppose to have been (unless she reads this blog, but I don't think she does).  And then once I had it together, I loved how the colors and textures all go together, even if the seams aren't straight. I decided that I needed to use one of the cool stitches on my computerized sewing machine to quilt the two pieces together. And, even though I kind of just did whatever with that part, no real pattern, it was fun. I love that my sewing machine has all those different stitches! 

And so last night, I finished the quilt. It's not perfect, by any means, but it was crafted with love and I'm pretty sure it will stay together, so that's all that matters, right?

I hope that little baby gets some enjoyment out of it. :-)

And I can say that I quilted, and that I finished it without crying or whining! I probably won't attempt it again, for a while, at least.

(See, look, I do do more than just blog about food! hee hee)

1 comment:

  1. I'm so proud of you! Sewing is a skill that eludes my creative abilities. I just keep saving patterns and designs and someday I'm determined to sit down and learn how to sew. Great job with the quilt. I'm sure that new little baby will love the texture of it all!


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