Monday, March 20, 2017

25th Anniversary

How long have you been quilting?  I date my official start to the early spring of 1992 and that means it has been 25 years!

I dabbled in quilting prior to 1992.  I was in high school during the USA Bicentennial celebration, when traditional American crafts experienced a resurgence.  I was an occasional garment maker so I used some leftover cotton (probably cotton poly blend) fabric to make a tote bag.  I cut the squares and sewed them with a 5/8" seam because I did not know any better.  That tote bag held up for a long time though.

Then in the early 1980's, I took an evening quilting class offered by the continuing ed department of my local public school district.  We used cardboard templates, cut the fabric with scissors, and sewed by hand.  I enjoyed it but those were my hard-charging early career years of little leisure time.  I made a pillow in the class, followed by a small wall hanging.  Then I started on a set of place mats.  A year later, I had one place mat finished and a second one started.  Food was never coming in the vicinity of those place mats after all that work!  I put quilting aside.

An early project, my first Christmas quilt

But the local quilt shop still had my address and I'd occasionally take a look at the newsletter they sent me.  In early '92, I noticed they were offering a "Log Cabin Quilt In A Day" class.  I was extremely skeptical about making a quilt in a day but dropped into the store to find out more.  The staff introduced me to rotary cutting and machine sewing.  I  had the machine, bought the other equipment, and took the class.  I did not quite finish the quilt in a day but took it home and kept working on it.  Just as I was finishing up the top, my sister announced her pregnancy, and that first quilt went to my nephew, Nicholas.

My sewing room, where it all happens.

Miss Main Street came along two years later and she needed some quilts.  By then, I  was hooked. And when we moved into our present house in 1997, I could have  a dedicated space.  No more picking up the supplies to make room for dinner on the dining room table; I had a room where I could leave everything ready for when I had a few minutes to sew.  I've had a least one project in process ever since.

The collection grows.

Now, my collection of quilts is outgrowing my storage space.  How did you get hooked?

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Quilting By Hand Is Slow Going

I didn't intend for such a long time to pass between blog posts.  My current project is hand quilting this butterfly appliqued top (Little Butterflies by Laundry Basket Quilts) and it is taking forever so I haven't really had anything to write about.

It did not help that after a couple of weeks of working on my initial quilting design, a grid created by vertical and horizontal lines, I decided I didn't like it and used a seam ripper to take it all out.  Then I started again with diagonal lines.  There will be a second set going in the other direction so they cross.  I like this look much better.

The blue painters tape is how I mark where to quilt.  It is very easy to follow and no markings to get rubbed out or removed later.  I'm using tape that is 3/4" wide.  I estimate I've finished about 20% of the quilting, but I hope that means this won't take all year to finish.  I just got two quilts back from my longarm quilter and they need binding.  Then, there's all the other projects I have in mind...

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