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.

This baby lap steel needs a case.

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.

Fabrics for improv strips

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.

Fabrics cut into strips

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.

Strips sewn together before being cut up

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.

Improv strips - in progress

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.

Improv strips - in progress

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.

Improv strips - in progress

 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!




Sarah said...

How nice to hear your story and how you have loved sewing practically your whole life. Your improv colour strips will be such a fun guitar bag and you are right to wait for the better materials to amke it just right. I'm sure hubby will forgive you when he has the coolest guitar bag around. Also, that is one beautiful little instrument.

Sarah @ FairyFace Designs said...

Lovely to read your answers to the questions, I'm still wincing thinking of the iron though! The bag is a great challenge, hope it turns out as you envisage.

Rosemary B❤️ said...

Rosemary B here:
and Leanne, this is why I love you so.
To have a skill and to enjoy it is a blessing.
I also make loads of mistakes and some over and over,.... what is it? the spice of life, lol okay not.
But it does make us tough
love always

Jane said...

I LOVE the piecing you are doing for DH's bag! What a fabulous quilt that would make!
And I saw your quilt in Chattanooga. Said 'Hi' to you, even if you didn't hear me :)

Annabella said...

The bag is going to be incredibly awesome Leanne - I can't wait to see it. I've downloaded that pattern as quick as a flash!

Archie The Wonder Dog said...

I'm also looking forward to seeing the finished bag (the rainbow of piecing is fabulous!) but I'm pleased that you're holding off until you get the right interfacing - there's no point in rushing a project that doesn't need to be rushed (and possibly spoiling it in the process) when a bit of time will help you get a better result.

Anonymous said...

Hi Leanne! I love your photos and story! All this colour burst would make fantastic quilt, but surely also amazing bag! Your photos help me to choose how to start my NEW quilt. One painting was dragging me and now I know I'll go for that idea. x Teje

MariQuilts said...

Great post, Leanne!!! I love all those colours, it looks wonderful!!!

margaret said...

good to read all about your Leanne feel like I know you sop much better now. Such a colourful guitar case in the making look l forward to seeing it finished

What Comes Next? said...

that is a great project - well worth waiting for the good stuff to finish it right.