It was only a couple years ago, when a lady from church offered to teach a quilting class, that I learned the right techniques. Like using a rotary cutter (I had been using scissors - shocking I know!!).
I hadn't actually done many quilts up until this point. We made quilts to send to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and she showed us how to machine quilt them on our sewing machines - it was quite a revelation. I had no idea I could do that on my little Brother machine.
That started the quilting again (or the right way anyway). By then I had also learned how to bind a quilt the right way too. Before I had just wrapped the backing around to the front and sewn it like that (very bulky and not very nice-looking).
Since then it's just been practice - slowly feeling more comfortable free-motion quilting. I really like it (for the most part - the bigger quilts are harder to manuever).
I don't have any special equipment (although I do love my new machine a lot). I have my sewing machine and my darning foot. It's really that simple.
This is a a basic explanation of how I quilt - all you much more experienced sewers (like the Common Threads group) - try not to laugh at me:
I make up my quilt front and then lay the back out right side down (after I've ironed it really good)...I tape down the edges after I smooth it out. Then I lay the batting on top and then the quilt top on top of that (right side up). The I get out my safety pins and pin, pin, pin. This part feels like a work-out (especially if the quilt is big).
(thought I'd show a picture of my little sewing desk)
I roll it up and take it over to the machine.
And then I just go for it. I usually have a plan of how to quilt it - mostly I just do meandering loops although sometimes I do little flowers.
I haven't gotten the stippling down yet but it's my goal....eventually.
I don't think I'm much of a traditional quilter - I don't wash my fabrics before I start (I'm sure you are all gasping in horror). I don't start quilting from the middle and work my way out. I start on one edge and quilt however I feel like. That's probably why my quilts are always a little wonky but really I don't care.
I'm never really concerned about what thread I use...even though the quilt teacher (see above) is always horrified at me and says she recommends using cotton for the piecing and cotton or polyester for everything else. I'm usually halfway through piecing a top before I remember to check what thread I'm using.
But I love sewing and that's the best part of it all - creating things. This blog is full of great ideas and techniques!
Hopefully this helps and doesn't leave some of you gasping in horror....
I had started on a nine-patch idea last week
(all the pieces are cut and a few even sewn up) for a baby shower present.
But the baby shower is this Friday and it was just going to take much too long to sew it up. And I had to work on the bridal shower quilt (the shower is on Sat.) so I made up this little one instead (using some of the same fabrics).
I sewed it up last night and then quilted it today.
Kinda log cabin-ish. I cheated and machine-stitched the binding on.
And of course I don't have dark purple thread so I just used pink..you know, because it blends so well (Ha ha!). But I didn't make any big errors so it looks ok.
(I made a couple of burp cloths too)
I just knew I couldn't hand sew both bindings on this week and I really want the wedding one to come out nice - (Not that I don't want the baby quilt to be nice - but you know what I mean, I hope).
So the bridal shower quilt...I pinned and quilted it today (think it took about 3 hours in total).
I had picked out a solid green fabric to do the binding in - even had it all ready (cut and sewn up)...but I decided it was too plain and she is pretty girly.
So I decided to give her a girly pink binding on the quilt instead.
I hope she likes it....and forgives me for STILL not having the table runners done!
I know you are all going to think there is no way I could be done with the massive book already but I am...I am totally a speed reader. I may have to download it on audio too because I really liked listening to them - more than I thought I would.
I stayed up reading until 1 am last night this morning and today we mostly just hung out around the house so I didn't feel bad reading on Bela's birthday. She and Hubby are out on a "date" right now - I think she was pretty excited about it.
My family is coming over tomorrow night for burgers and birthday pie (she wants pumpkin!) so we are celebrating her birthday tomorrow too.
She wore her new dress for her date. She is also getting a new bike tomorrow from my parents and us.
I'm having "audio-book withdrawal" I think :-)
My next series is going to be these but in book form - I just finished requesting them from the library but looks like others have the same idea as me :-(
** I made the bag yesterday as a present for Bela but when I was done decided it was too big for her and am keeping it for myself - I made her a new (smaller) one out of Mendocino.
I've been slowly working on getting my unfinished project basket empty. I have a few more quilts in it. One is from our last quilt class two years ago and another is a finished top that just needs a back and quilting.
I worked on borders last night at our quilt class (it changed to Mondays for a couple weeks). A border for my class quilt - now I just need to sew up a back and then take it over to her house and quilt it on the long arm.
The other border is for the green "bride" quilt. I just used the light green fabric - I'm a little nervous about quilting this one. It's bigger than most quilts I've made.
I'm also slowly trudging along with the table runners.
And of course, I had to start a new quilt for a soon-to-arrive baby. And as I was cutting strips, I remembered another friend that is due in Sept. also. So another one was added to the list.
In school news, we have started..slowly. I think we won't go full swing until Sept. but for now we are getting the basics done. And Kindergarten (gulp!)....
I had a few comments where people had left more than one (like they forgot to put their book or left another one to wish me Happy Birthday) so I kept the first one that everyone had left (if this makes sense).
This was really fun and I loved "meeting" new people :-)
Thanks for playing along - I'm sorry you all couldn't win!