Wednesday, 27 February 2008

A New Hobby! (Maybe)

After many years of being a confirmed non-sewer, I have decided, with a little encouragement from my mum, to try my hand at quilting. I’m not sure whether this is an inspired decision which will open up a whole new world to me, or whether this is just going to frustrate me and be a total disaster. My sewing machine and I are now on cautiously good terms, but that could change at any moment – typically it shows its disgust at my beginner’s antics by sewing lopsided seams, or by spewing up lots and lots of thread from the bobbin where it is not wanted. But more and more we’re getting on just fine – straight seams, good tension, even an occasional specialty stitch or two! So I’m thinking the time is right to take the plunge…

Now, I’m not going to do anything sensible like take a class. I’m just going to jump straight in – why not, after all? (Okay, there are many reasons why not, most of which I haven’t really thought about too carefully, but I work full time, and I spend a lot of time commuting, so classes are going to be difficult to fit in to my life.) My plan is to use my mum as my teacher and mentor – she’s only a few thousand miles away, but that’s why they invented telephones, digital cameras and instant messaging, right? Hmmm… :)

Mum, always keen to turn someone to the dark side happy to help, kindly sent me a very simple (so she claims) quilt pattern, which involves 9 blocks that look a bit like this:

And then a bit of sashing and a few borders (I love bandying about these terms, as if I have a good grasp of what they mean!). All very straightforward, right? We shall see :)

I’ve managed to find a colourway that I like, and bought all the fabric (hopefully – the design ‘recipe’ was based on a jelly roll, and I’m using fabric by the yard/metre). I bought them from Fabric Inspirations here in the UK (which has FABULOUS service, I could not recommend it highly enough) and the Fat Quarter Shop in the US. Here are the fabrics:

Thanks to computers and digital cameras, I can have even mocked up what I plan that the blocks will look like:

So now all I need to do is cut up a few bits of fabric and sew them all together. Couldn’t be easier?? I’ll let you know… I’m intending to start on this over the Easter weekend break, so look for an update in a few weeks’ time!

By the way, if you have any favourite shops for quilting fabric particularly in the UK, either near to Reading or on the internet, please do tip me off, I’d like to hear about them!

Happy stitching (and quilting!)


Nicki said...

I hope you get on well! I'd never have thought of putting those colours together but the mock up works really well.

I collected a block of the month kit a while ago and I've started on it, but my machine and I got on so badly I've decided to do it all by hand :) Not as bad as it sounds and I have been having an urge to pull it out and work on it again recently. Maybe I'll do it at Easter - a sort-of SAL?! I love the idea of patchwork and could easy collect the fabrics, but the time defeats me :)

As for UK fabric shops - I've not ordered from them but I know people who use (Northampton) and (Suffolk). The nearest to you I've been to is The Quilt Room in Dorking, Surrey Not really very near.... :)

Kathy A. said...

Good luck with your new venture. I am a beginning quilter as well. I have had some great successes and a couple of failures (note my recent blog about flamingo in garbage)The sewing machine and I have the odd challenge too. I am left handed and sometimes I just want to pick the thing up, turn it around, shake it and say "DO IT MY WAY"

Nana's Quilts said...

But my dear, that looks fabulous. Of course you can do it! You will panic now and then, but if you just take it step by step, you will be delighted at what you accomplished. I tell my Somali ladies that we all need to learn patience and trying again, but it comes out just fine.

Hurrah for you. If you think I something that you might want from me, let me know. I'm proud of ya!

Cheryl said...

oooh how exciting! Maybe you'll inspire me again. I took that class before Christmas and am still to finish my tablerunner! I did enjoy it but just prefered stitching too much.
Im sure you'll be great at it! I have ordered stuff online from Thread Bear for quilting, not sure about fabric though. Check out their website anyway