Jan 28, 2019

My History With Quilting

I made my first ever quilt in the early 80's for my doll baby. I had to have been 10 or 11 years old. Not bad for a kiddo who taught herself to sew. For the top, I used cut up clothing from my family. The back is from a blanket that became tattered over the years. It originally came from my great aunt Edna. Hand tied with yarn. Some of the seams have come loose and the backing has torn areas. It was a well played with quilt, not only by me but my now grown nieces too. 

Years later as a young adult, for Christmas I made my parents a queen-size quilt on my Kenmore 385 -- the first sewing machine I bought new.  

Sorry about the photo quality, this is the only photo I have of the quilt.
I bought the Kenmore 385 because it was the same one my Mom used and that I learned on.  I've had this machine for 30+ years and it's been an awesome workhorse.

Doing the queen-size quilting on the Kenmore was very, very challenging.  It put me off on doing another quilt for decades, LoL.  I still did sewing, but not quilting.

Fast forward to November of 2018, I saw a cute quilt online and t sent me on a quest to buy a sewing machine that I could do quilting with.  More on that in another post.

Needless to say, I started what would be the third quilt in my lifetime.  I've had this quilt kit for quite a while... bought it at a thrift store a few years ago for $2.99.  The kit came in a cute felt froggy basket!

 It came with the pattern and the fabric to make the quilt top.  I added turquoise borders to make it throw size instead of baby size.  For the backing, I chose a green fabric with a light hashtag pattern.  The piecing was done on my Kenmore.

I've been working on the quilting with my new Janome machine.  Stitching in the Ditch around the larger squares and the borders.  Diagonals through the smaller patchwork squares.  And finally, diamond shapes in the larger white and blue squares.

A couple of weeks ago, I started a Beginner Quilting class at the sewing center where I got my new machine.  There are six of us in the class.  I think I'm more of an advanced beginner compared to the other students.  So far, it's been a lot of fun and I've picked up some tips on quilting.

Before class started, we were sent a list of supplies, book, and material that would be needed for the class.  I bought my book used on Amazon.  It was half the price of what it was being sold for at the store.

In week one, the instructor gave us handouts about everything she talked about so we had reference materials. We learned how to rotary cut, strip piecing, and sewing together a nine patch block. We have homework every week!  I want my quilt to be larger than 30x30" (which is what the class is making) so I have to make twice as much each week.  Once put together, the blocks are (supposed to be) 6" square.

In week two, the instructor taught us how to press seams as well as chain piecing.

The two blocks below are what will make up the quilt design.  Can't wait to see how it turns out!

Seventeen nine-patch variation blocks done, 15 more to go...

Funny story:  As we were sewing our blocks together, the instructor said that the shop owner wanted her to push seam rippers (like the one in my photo above).  Instead of ordering six seam rippers for the students, the instructor ordered six BOXES of seam rippers.  LoL, whoops!  I don't know how much the shop is selling them for, but mine came from Hobby Lobby for less than $1.  JoAnn Fabrics has larger ones for around $6 if you don't use a coupon.  I originally got it because the little white nubby end is great for "erasing" froggy threads when cross stitching.  What do you know?  It works great for "erasing" ripped seam threads, too!

Stay tuned for progress on my two quilts.

Until next time....


Katie said...

Thanks for sharing your history with quilting. I'll enjoy cheering you along on your new quilting journeys.

Carol said...

Good for you for taking a quilting class, Meari. That is something I always thought I'd enjoy, but I really don't want to be starting a major new hobby like that at my age as I should be downsizing :) I'll just enjoy watching your progress!

Robin in Virginia said...

Meari, this was a neat post to read and I enjoyed your story of your quilting history. Looking forward to seeing your progress on your quilt! How do you like your Janome machine?

Nan Davis said...

I always enjoy reading your posts Meari. I am sorry to hear your friend has passed. It sounds as though she lived a good and productive life. Great job on your quilts. Like others, I have thought about quilting, but I don't spend enough time on the hobbies I already have - like cross stitching and scrapbooking. My family would kill me if I started another hobby.