Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Sewing Room and First Quilt

A lady sent me an email requesting that I show my sewing room and describe how I organize it.  Well, any time someone says "organize" to me, my hair stands up on my arms and I get tingles!  I know, it's "sick", but it is true.  Don't ever ask me to organize something for you unless you REALLY mean it! 

If you happen to have any interest at all in my sewing room -- and I'm sure none of my friends but Phylly does -- and my children would rather have a root canal -- here is a video of it:

I explain in the video how I decided to become a quilter in 2006 because I had decided I was NEVER going to get a garment to fit me, and I had made a LOT of them. 

For you beginner sewers, I'm going to tell you what finally turned the corner for me on fit.  It was purchasing the book Fit for Real People by Palmer/Pletsch.  What it really opened my eyes to is that the commercial patterns DON'T FIT ANYBODY!  That was so freeing to me.  And the book shows real people with all different body issues -- only in reference to a sewing pattern -- and how to fix each of them.  I was 59 when I bought that book.

Most of the things I made until then ended up in the trash can.  I won't wear it if it doesn't fit or feel good on.  Hence, my closet full of knit tees.  One time -- in one of my organizing sprees -- I cleared about 200 patterns out of my "bought at 99 cents" stash, and I took them outside and had a bonfire with them.  I really did. 

So, in the video I explain that I got into quilting when I decided I was the world's worst seamstress.  I had a friend at that time -- not Phylly -- who lived a few doors down from me.  She was a major quilter.  We started hanging around together, and she told me about a Yahoo Group called Quilting Together.  I decided since my friend quilted, and I had taken a few quilting classes many years earlier, that I would try it again.  QT was starting a swap.  You were to cut a bunch of sets of 6" FALL THEMED fabric squares.  You packaged them up in baggies and sent them off to the swap leader.  Every month for a set time, I would receive a baggie of 6" squares from somebody else on the planet.  I ended up with a zillion 6" squares because I bought every piece of Fall Themed fabric I could find and cut it up too.

I am the type to finish whatever I start, so I sewed all those squares together and ended up with a large quilt top.  I thought it was pretty ugly, but I had to finish it anyway.  It wasn't my idea, after all, and I had to follow the rules of the swap.  You had to pick a plain color to go in the quilt as every-other-square.  One of the squares had some purple in it, and I love purple, so I decided to put what most would not think of as a "Fall" color in my quilt:  purple. 

Having this large quilt top, and deciding that I am going to LOVE quilting because it ALWAYS FITS, I want to turn my "top" into an actual quilt.  I went to a quilt store and asked what to do.  They recommended a shop that had two ladies in it that had a longarm machine and they finished quilts as a business.  Yay!  I headed right on over there.  Sure 'nuf.  I left my quilt -- picked a batting for them to purchase -- left a backing that I sewed out of purple, of course, chose the color thread I wanted and told the girl I wanted oak leaves all over the quilt LOOSELY arranged.  She just happened to have a pattern she could adapt.  In two weeks, I went to pick it up.

I was so totally impressed at how the quilt turned out with all the repeating oak leaves on it.  No family heirloom -- that's for sure -- but still...  I was so pleased with the end result, I decided that I was going to have to buy one of those machines.  I wanted to do my own quilting from then on, and I wasn't going to do it on a tiny little sewing machine (compared to a longarm).

So, here it is.  I know your first reaction is probably, "YUK!", but remember, this was a swap.  My later quilts are much nicer, but I love this one because it was first.  Also, it is on a grandkid's bed -- when they stay with me -- and it is better for that than the all white comforter I had on there before.

Gotta go.  Phylly is on her way down here.  A two-hour drive from her house.  I'll get pictures of her while she is here and from ETA.  Not sure when I'll get back to blogging, but I will return. 

Hugs, Joy

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Hugs, Joy