Sunday, 11 May 2014

Never too old to learn

I have been Quilting since 1997 and made so many quilts that I cannot even remember them all.
However, I was never a sewer until I started making Patchwork quilts. 

I hated the year of sewing we had to do at Grammar School: the teacher didn't have the patience to explain to a girl like me who didn't have a clue about sewing machines!

After I qualified as a Primary School teacher I attended an evening class for Dressmaking but again it didn't really thrill me. 

When I was in my mid 20s my mother-in-law gifted me her old machine when she replaced it with a Bernina and when our daughter started ballet and tap dancing I was forced to use the dreaded machine to make costumes for the various Dance Shows Caroline was in.  Oh dear, the ups and downs of those costumes!  I once had to make a proper net tutu on a fitted satin strappy bodice.  Lots of downs with that one but I got there in the end.  I'll let you into a secret.................... that tutu is still hanging in the Guest room wardrobe as I just cannot part with it ( too many hours of sewing went into that dress).

Fast forward to 1997 when I got bitten by the Patchwork and Quilting Bug.  I HAD to conquer my fear of sewing machines and I managed straight stitches OK..... nothing else, nothing fancy and certainly NO machine quilting!  I tried it once and nearly ruined a lovely baby quilt so it was back to hand quilting for ever as far as I was concerned.  I love hand quilting and like the effect it gives the quilts.

However last Sunday I decided to make an I Spy Playmat for a baby born a couple of days before.  Baby Caspian is part of our extended family and I know playmats are useful for babies to lie on and kick and have their "tummy time".  In addition it can double up as a Moses basket and crib quilt and even keep him warm and cosy in the car or when he is being cuddled.

In an afternoon I chose the patches and sewed them together into a top.  Next day on went the bright yellow spotty border and the following day I sandwiched it ready for quilting.  Then I heard a family member was going to visit the new baby on Saturday so, if I could finish the quilt in time he could deliver it by hand.  Much safer than trusting it to the postal system.  In order to meet this deadline I would have to machine quilt!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I bought a walking foot almost three years ago but had never been able to work out how to put it onto the machine - that sticky up pokey rod flummoxed me.  So I asked my good friend Ruth to show me how to out it on when our Patchwork Group met at my house on Thursday. She put it on (I hope I can remember how next time!) and after lunch I set to, sewing up and down either side of all the seam lines.  And I DID IT!  It's really good, I didn't stress about it and the finished grid is perfectly acceptable.  I am so thrilled with myself, you can't imagine!

So by Friday evening I had a completely finished, bound and labelled (my own hand embroidered label) quilt which was delivered to baby Caspian yesterday.

Which just goes to show YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO LEARN!

And here it is!

Can you see my first-ever machine quilting on the back?

This quilt came together so easily.  I enjoyed rummaging through my stash to find 49 different fabrics to use.  Many of them were novelty prints but I also incorporated some African fabrics I bought a few years ago and never found a suitable project where I could use them.  However I like the animal skin prints mixed up with the more traditional boy fabrics.
Another friend had bought the remains of a bolt of fabric half price in a sale and offered friends the chance to buy a metre from her.  The pale yellow and pale cream checked fabric had been in my stash for perhaps a year.  Do you know it was the exact size for my Playmat? 
The trimmings have been trimmed to a 2.5" strip and three 1.75" strips for Alison to use in her Soy Amado Project.
I am busy making some more blocks for Alison and also adding some strips for her to use as sashings and bindings. Alison joins up the strips to make her scrappy bindings and uses a variety of strips for  joining the QAYG blocks to make her delightful colourful quilts for the Children's Home in Mexico. She has now completed 19 quilts ....... check them out in her Soy Amado Group on Flickr.
So, from a very happy bunny, I wish you a lovely Sunday!

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