Monday, May 14, 2007

One thing leads to another

I've been working on my granny square afghan, one square at a time, and as I started "researching" other granny squares and afghans online, I stumbled across quilting and patchwork. I began taking in all the quilting blocks and thinking of future afghans I could make with the feel of an old-fashioned Americana quilt.

Months ago, The Migglesworth was kind enough to buy me a no-frills Singer sewing machine from Target. I wanted to play around with fabric, and make home decor items as opposed to, let's say, clothing. I even signed up for an "Introduction to Machine Sewing" a two-part course at The City Quilter. The City Quilter boasted brand new sewing machines they just brought into their classroom, and for a mere $45 I thought this class would be a great investment. I learned the basics of the machine and left the class with a decorative pillow case.

So recently, I bought the latest issue of Blueprint which included a lovely article about the owner of Purl Soho and Purl Patchwork. The article was about her love of handmade things, and a certain dreaminess started to come over me as I looked over the photos of her apartment with her many hand-created or hand-refurbished items. What resonated was a lovely and simple quilt. Instructions for this quilt were on the Blueprint/Martha Stewart site, so I began to think whether or not I could do this... did I have the room even to make something sizeable like a quilt, and do I have the patience.

I returned back to my sewing machine a little guilty that I hadn't played around with it much since taking the class. I dusted it off and started cutting up some scraps and practiced sewing some straight lines desperately trying to remember all the tips my instructor had given me. I thought to myself, "Self... why not?" So, I high-tailed it over to The City Quilter dead set on recreating the Blueprint quilt and bought:

7 different kinds of fabric, totaling 12 yards
Twin-size batting (after the incredibly knowledgable staff simply shook their heads when I mentioned the words "king-size bed" and "first time quilting" together.)
Mettler spool of machine sewing thread in all cotton
Basting Pins
Binding Clips
Bias Tape Maker
Magnetic Pin "Cushion"
Dear Jane book

I already had some basics from my class and previous lives, like:
OmniGrid 24" x 6" Ruler
45mm Rotary Cutter
12" x 18" Olfa Cutting Mat
Gingher Fabric Scissors
Glass head pins
Seam Ripper
Hand Sewing Needles
Sketch & Wash Pencil
Iron/Ironing Board

(A LOT more supplies needed to start as opposed to knitting and crocheting. I had a whole little sweatshop set up in my teeny studio.)

Ran over to Barnes & Noble and bought:

Better Homes & Gardens Complete Guide to Quilting

Fabric I started with:

With the more-difficult-than-it-looks rotary cutting behind me, and after doing the patchwork - halfway through the quilting, I became exhausted with my Singer. It wasn't built for the quilting part of this project. It was fine for the patchwork even though it sounded more like a machine gun than a sewing machine. The feed dogs weren't supporting the heft of a quilt, and the darn lightbulb was hot and making me sweat. My mind started to drift back to the machines I used during my class at The City Quilter. The new machines they boasted were Bernina 440 QE's. I did my research on sewing machines, and after the sticker shock of the 440 model subsided, I decided to invest in a lower model Bernina. I purchased the 230 Patchwork Edition model. Not cheap, but it was like pricing out a Rolls Royce and "settling" on the Porsche. But after my Yugo of a Singer (fantastic machines, just not their cheapest model), I was in heaven. This baby can sew. I mean... SHE CAN SEW. She whistles as she works.

And here you have it. My very first quilt... not even Twin Size, more like lap size, but I thought a decent start:

So when The Migglesworth offered to buy me some yarn for Mother's Day, I looked at him sheepishly and suggested Purl Patchwork instead of Purl:


Reckless Glue said...

wow, so ambitious --I'm impressed! And such committment to completing the daunting task as well which is even more impressive ;)

It looks great!

Anonymous said...

awesome mishi looks very dainty :)

Ivan said...

You know, every time I talk to you or read your posts I am reminded of ETSY ( I totally think you could host your own store front with them online.

You are so good at this type of stuff. I'm continually impressed!