Sunday, August 12, 2007

Surprising myself

I don't often surprise myself. I'm pretty realistic about my abilities and my likes and dislikes. I really thought I would hate finishing my very first adult-sized sweater. But, I gotta say... it ain't so bad. I had fun sewing up the shoulders and neck. I still have a long way to go, but it was very meditative. And most of all, very satisfying. After knitting all those stitches, and having these rolled up pieces that amounted to nothing, I was more than unsatisfied. So I decided to start sewing it up.

Not such a bad job, if I do say so myself! I think my foray into quilting and sewing warmed up my fingers and calmed my mind to this meticulous task. I used Nancie Wiseman's book to help me. Her instructions and illustrations really do help.

I've also done a little exploration on the quilting side. I tried free-motion (I kept saying freeform at first - always a knitter at heart) quilting for the first time. First of all, what a workout. My arms got really tired, really quickly. So I've only finished about half of the quilt. And I think I'll end up using more than a spool of thread. But, it's fun! Surprised again. And, I tried spray basting this quilt instead of hand basting with safety pins or basting stitches. It's so fast and easy, I felt like I was cheating. I feel like it's one of those hidden secrets - no one ever really talks about. Or maybe I'm missing something. Or maybe it's one of those things "real" quilters don't do. *Shrug*

And yes, I started from an outside corner. A big no-no. But I was nervous about the spray basting at first, not thinking it was going to be secure enough and didn't want to fiddle with rolling it up under the machine's arm, and scrunching it all up just to start in the middle. Surprised again - spray basting stayed very intact!

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