Monday, April 11, 2011

Ready set, SEW!........

When the movie Step-Mom came out with Julia Roberts  and Susan Sarandon my daughter kept saying she wanted a Memory quilt like what the Step-Mom & Mom made for the kids in the movie. Well I’d never quilted but I did sew. When younger during summers I'd stay with my grandparents and I did go with my grandmother to a her friend's house where we cut quilt blocks and floral motifs for applique. That actually let me trace and cut. My grandmother who I called Othermom taught me to make simple tops and doll clothes. As time went on I continued sew clothes for myself and then Pamela when she came along. I had one minor bobble when I was in High School I made myself a swim suit. My date showed up and as we're heading out the door to a swin party  when I felt this pop and my bottoms slide down slightly. Good Grief! the elastic broke in the bottoms. Obviously went back in to re-do the elastic and the suit remained in tack the rest of the day..
I'm sure I had other mistakes but that one has been the topic of many stories that my mom and step dad love to share whenever they can.
Pam continued to bug me about making a memory quilt.  Finally in 2002 I decided to take my first hand piecing and quilting class from Minay Sinosa @ Great Expectatation.  The class was the OHIO STAR wall hanging. 

2002 my wall hanging became a pillow
I was pretty impressed with myself on the piecing. My corners matched up and overall it looked pretty good. Then I had to hand quilt the thing. I shadow quilted most of it but I quilted dragonflies in the corners squares. Can't really see them in the picture. At this point I decided hand quilting was not my thing and a little slow plus my stitches were very irregular. Now I know that with practice all that might have been remedied but I had a mission.

So I decided to move on to machine piecing which turns out to be definitely faster than any hand piecing I could do.
Later in 2002 I started a quilt for Pamela only it wasn’t the darn Memory quilt. You see Pamela played water polo all thru high school and she told me she wanted a quilt to carry on their away trips that represented water polo. I saw this pattern in one of my magazines called Sunshine I think and it gave me an idea for a quilt. It was fairly simple. I cut out 10 inch squares of watery blue fabric which I think was batik then cut out 2 sizes of yellow circles to represent the waterpolo balls. And of course I cut out the sashing between the blocks and anchored with black squares. My problem here was not sure how to appliquΓ© and my embroidery stitching is only so so. But my mom does both and she was always looking for hand work to do as they traveled down the road in their motorhome. So she embroidered the black lines I drew on the yellow circles to look like waterpolo balls and appliquΓ©d each ball on a blue square..... She did the hard part really.
I did a simple 1/4 inch quilting around each block and stitched up close to each ball by hand.  I finally finished it in 2003. She continued to carry this quilt with her while she played water polo for Texas A&M and now the quilt usually lays across her bed or a chair in her apartment.  As my hand stitching comes apart with use and washing I stick it in the sewing machine for a little machine quilting every time she brings it home.  I did manage to do a few things wrong making this quilt but the biggest one is the batting. I didn't know any better and I had some of this real fluffy batting and I used it.  OMG! Trust me that was not easy to hand quilt and I Won't do that again. Quilting is definitely a hands on learning experience. No Matter what I usually do at least one thing the hard way when.

So this is how I started my quilting experience. One class and I was off but not proficient but I continue to learn. Or  at least I hope I will. I sometimes feel like that old saying with a twist... "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink" Well you can lead me to fabric but that doesn't mean I'll turn it into a quilt even though that is my intention. Gotta love that fabric.  Oh and to date I still haven't made Pamela a memory quilt.  Eventually I'll get there.
Until next blog.................... "Count your blessings, stitch them one by one" 

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1 comment:

Linda Chapman said...

I love hearing how you got started with the whole quilting experience. Amazing how the interest lies just under the surface waiting for that magic moment to come out and become a part of who we are! Can't wait to hear more!