Tuesday, September 16, 2014
FQS National Sewing and Quilting Month Blog Tour
It's my turn in the Fat Quarter Shop's National Sewing and Quilting Month blog tour. Bloggers were asked to challenge themselves to make something they had not made before and to answer some questions. You can see my progress on the challenge as I write the answers to the questions.
1. How did you start sewing/quilting?
I started sewing when I was about 5 years old. I loved it right from the start, but not surprisingly had a lot to learn. I still can close my eyes and remember the images from the day I ran the iron over my forearm! And the scar is finally gone but was visible until relatively recently. I continued to sew from that point, a nasty burn was not going to stop me.
I put off quilting for years and years because I knew I would love it. Quilting is not very portable, so it was really only when my kids were older that I felt I was ready to be as tied to my sewing machine as I am when I quilt.
2. When was the first time you knew you were a quilter /sewer?
I guess I have always been a sewer, I knew that when that burn did not stop me from more sewing. I made my first quilt during a rainy March school break about 5 years ago now, and I knew from the minute I picked out that first fabric that I was a quilter. I love the colours and the patterns and especially the quilting.
3. Do you have any sewing/quilting horror stories?
I think I have made every mistake except - knock on wood - having a serious mishap with a rotary cutter or sewing through my finger. You have already had the iron story. I have made every possible mistake with cutting and construction of quilts that can possibly be made, I am sure. It is disheartening to have made several of those mistakes more than once, some over and over. But, the truth is that I mostly don't mind the mistakes as I learn something from them too.
4. What advice would you give someone just starting out?
I think that the key to sewing and quilting is to have fun first and always. It is usually cheaper to buy clothing, toys and blankets than make them. I make them myself for the fun of it, for the challenge, for the opportunity to be creative and I highly recommend that approach. Also, take a class, read a book, read a blog, watch a bunch of videos, or do all of the above. There is no reason to feel you must reinvent all the clever things that others have sorted out in terms of techniques for sewing and quilting.
So about this challenge to make something new. It was suggested that clothing makers try a quilt, quilters try clothing or a bag. Well, first I spent a long time trying to figure out what to try, as I have really made a lot of different kinds of things over the years.
Finally, I decided that I would design and make the bag my husband asked for his new baby lap steel guitar. I have made bags, but not designed such a complicated bag before.
Well, my guy has no favourite colour, he wants all the colours. And since I like them all too, it was hard to blame him. So then I decided to make a bunch of improv strips out of strips to make the bag. I learned it can take a while to do that.
I also realized that better interfacing that what I had on hand would be ideal for this bag. It needs to provide reasonable protection to that beautiful guitar in the picture above, not just look nice. So I'm not done. I have a plan, and I can keep working on the fabric. I have some better interfacing on order, but it is not here yet.
So, I also learned that sometimes patience is the key to working on a new challenge. The patience to just say: hold the phone, stop the press - wait. Wait for the time to do it right, for the materials to arrive. I will share more of this process with you soon, but for today, I have the start of my project and some lessons learned - a new challenge might well take longer than you plan, and that's ok too.
If you, like me, dearly want to make a pixelated heart quilt, the Fat Quarter Shop has a free Color My Heart pattern available as part of the blog hop - click here to get it. You can also copy that cute button and use it as you like - because sewing does rock! And go here to get the full list of participating bloggers so you can read their posts too.
I have a lot of sewing to do this week, stay tuned!