Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fast Forward 20 Years

   Between now and when I got my sewing machine, I have made most of my window treatments, and simple, tied baby quilts. My sewing has been few and far between, sewing once or twice a year. It has picked up in the last few years though. I'm happy to say I am finally advancing too. Last weekend I finished up a cute quilt off a pattern I got off Etsy. The pattern is called Dots 'N Boxes by Frozen Knickers. Go check her out! She has cute patterns and quilts! My sister and sister-in-law both want a quilt with the exact same pattern. Here's the quilt.
   I stitched in the ditch, .....and....drumroll please.....FREE MOTION QUILTED the stippeling!!!! This is exciting to me because it's something I have never done, until now;) I was on a time crunch. I had the stitch in the ditch done, but it needed more. I thought, I need to go faster. I had a baby shower to attend in approximately 13 hours, so I just went for it. Ya, sure there are mistakes. But the baby's Mama loved it. I stayed up until 4.am., but it got done! The photo is not great because I took it on the fly, running out the door to the shower.
   I would have never done it without Leah Day. I found her on youtube last year and I love watching her vids. She is wise beyond her years. If you haven't heard of her, GO CHECK OUT her Free Motion Quilt Project http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/. She gave me the courage to free motion quilt. 
    No offense to anyone who has their quilts quilted by someone else, but that route is not for me. I want to sew my quilt from start to finish. Free motion quilting will allow me to do that!

First blog

My quilting journey has been extremely SLOW. When I was a very young girl, I spent time with my Aunt Nanny a lot. She was my father's half brother's grandmother. No blood relation. (I didn't know any different). I loved her like a grandmother. She was my first sewing influence. I used to sit and watch her sew. Then one day she put a tiny piece of fabric in my hands, showed me how to thread and knot a needle, and had me do a chain stitch. I was about 5 or 6. As a young girl, I had an appreciation for any thing hand made. I tried my hand at making doll clothes and even made a little doll once. They were very primitive looking, but I was quite proud of myself.
   My second influence was my grandma Jennie, aka Jennie. That's right. We all called her Jennie. Not sure how that started. Probably with me since I'm the oldest. She had her own in home drapery business. Then later, a fabric shop. I LOVED going through her fabric swatches, thread, trim, all that good stuff we fellow sewers love. I was always asking her if I can "make something" on her sewing machine. Of course, she was trying to run a business. She didn't have the time to do that and I'm sure she couldn't risk me breaking her sewing machine, a vital instrument to her business. She did, however, make me my beloved circle skirts which I adored. I would just have to be content with my hand sewing for a while. I remember going through her stuff one day and finding a little box of hand cut hexagons. I asked her if I could have them. She asked me what in the world I was going to do with them. I told her I was going to make a quilt. She told me that they were her Mama's. I wanted them even more. She was reluctant but eventually gave in. I still have them. Unfinished. Maybe one day. I was about 10 at this time. Later, Jennie had a flea market. I'd go through rob her of any old sewing notions I'd find. She would gladly surrender them to me.
Fast forward a few years and it's my 21st birthday. Most people are planning an obscene night of legal drinking ( which I was). My grandmother stopped by my apartment that afternoon with a much unexpected gift for a new 21 year old. A singer 500a slant-o-matic! I didn't expect it, but I think it was the best present I ever got! Still have it. Still use it. I will never part with it!
My sewing has been slow little spurts from then until now. Teaching myself, learning from my own mistakes. Its funny. There were times I thought that sewing machine wasn't worth a crap. Really, it was my lack of sewing knowledge, not the machine. If you're new to sewing, don't give up! If you love it, persistence will prevail!!!!