Monday, August 10, 2009

I'd rather be... QUILTING!!!

I have a friend of over twenty years who has been quilting for even longer than that! Over the years she has tried to entice me to take up quilting to no avail. It looked too tedious and time consuming. I was content with crocheting, counted cross stitch and sewing (by the way they are also quite tedious and time consuming...perspective is the key factor here)

A year and a half ago my friend retired and moved to Florida. As she began giving away things and packing and it became real that she was leaving I decided to take up quilting. Now it wasn't that clear of a decision at the time but looking back I guess it was a way to keep us close, to give us something to aways talk about (and to really keep her from going!)

the first attempt was a mess. I chose a pattern with curves, didn't know about marking each piece (now I remember why I never wanted to do it) and threw all the cloth and pieces in a bag!

My friend who even after twenty years really wanted me to quilt carved out time for lessons when I came down to visit (yes I brought all the fabric and needles and everything). We took our time to chose a pattern and she showed me how to make a template that included the sewing line so I wouldn't have to mark each piece after was cut. (that's the tedious part) Before I left her house I had two completed blocks!
I have found that I absolutely LOVE hand piecing. It gives me something to do (and something to show for my time) while I wait (I hate waiting). Between talking to my friend and clicking around on the Internet I have learned a lot about the quilting process. (for example the red lines in between are called "sashing"; piecing is what prairie women did as a "break" from canning; and no self respecting woman of that time would be caught without a top to quilt during the long winters!)

As life would have it I put the quilt down for a while. I had put the pieces and then the rows together and it had gotten too big to carry and pull out wherever I went. By the time I got home most nights pulling it out didn't seem wise and so it sat...month after month. I made a vow this pass spring ...the quilt top would be completed by the end of the summer... Ta DAH! it is TA DONE!!

My first quilt top is below. I am so pleased! Let me know what you think...

My first quilt top!! August 2009 YAY!!!
Another thing I've learned..this is just the "top". I have to put the "layers" together (top-batting-backing) and then the actual quilting is a whole 'nother process. I'll keep you posted on my progress...but for now we'll rejoice in this stage of it. YAY!! YIPPPEEE!