In the beginning…

A little over a year ago I started sewing. Let me re-prhase-I THOUGHT I was going to start sewing. The idea was to completely consume my mind. I hated my job and it was slowly sucking the happiness out of everything in my life. Enter Joanna’s crazy idea-learn to sew. If you are sewing-you can’t think about anything else (or at least that was the idea) or you will sew your finger to the fabric and that would be very, very bad indeed.

So I did what any self-respecting 20 something does, bought a used machine on e-bay and a few books (Weekend Sewing, Seams to Me) on Amazon. I made a few

The Second Round

More Fat Quarter Napkins

napkins, a few skirts (none of which I could ever even think about wearing out of the house) and called myself a sewer. OOOH but I wasn’t. I got to the point where nothing I tried worked because the stupid machine kept jamming or pulling or stringing or whatever you’d like to call it. I cussed at it more than I used it and I started looking for a reasonable alternative.

Let me tell you a thing or two about “reasonable.” One, sewing machines are NOT something that fall into that particular category and two, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. These things can cost thousands of dollars and do anything but brush your teeth. The thing is, I’m not good enough to need half of the things those machines do, but also not experienced enough to use one of the cheaper “workhorse” models.

I found my Grandmother’s antique Singer Featherweight (stroke one of good luck for me) and decided to get that fixed before venturing into the thousands that a real sewing machine will cost me. I’ll have to post more about my Featherweight later-I love it. It’s stunning. It’s wonderful. It’s impossible to get serviced and you have to have a mechanical engineer (lucky for me, I married one) around the house to keep it running. Anyway, it’s what I’m sewing on now.

I continued to buy fabric, attempt (and botch) projects and read more books. Then I got cocky. A friend of mine is pregnant. I say “Oh! I’ll make you a quilt!” Keep in mind here-I’ve done nothing more than make napkins well (though, they are very practical and very pretty) and I have never, ever quilted in my life. She says “great!” and I jump in. I went to my local quilt shop and bought something called a “Charm Pack” which is really a foreign torture device sold to unsuspecting novice sewers like myself. I think, easy peasy.

Not so bad...

i. was. wrong.

Quilting is hard. Quilting is time consuming. Quilting is complicated. Sure, you can sew the 16 blocks together to make the cute sock monkey quilt top. But that is it. Everything else requires a knowledge set that I didn’t (and still don’t to some degree) have.

Two MONTHS later...

Two MONTHS later...

Here are a list of things I learned that I DIDN’T know how to do along the way.

  1. How to make a “Quilt Sandwich.”
  2. Why you need to tape fabric to the floor.
  3. Why safety pins aren’t the best “baster.”
  4. Possessing walking foot does not equal being able to USE walking foot.
  5. Binding=torture
  6. After all this-I’m trying another one!

Very Proud of My First Quilt!!

I made it! It is adorable and I’m beyond proud of myself. No one in my family sews. I inherited a mint condition Singer Featherweight–evidently it lived to look pretty on a shelf. We are not salt of the earth women-I have no “sewing” in my blood and I MADE A QUILT BY READING BOOKS! Good thing I’m a nerd and that doesn’t bother me much.

I’m also crazy. I feel so good about this one, I decided I could do another one. A vastly more complicated and intricate one, mind you. There is no way I’m going through all the work at the end if I’m just sewing together pre-cut squares.  Due to my recent foray into fabric arts, I’ve been reading [read: devouring] blogs about quilting. I’m not sure how I got there the first time, but I LOVE Ashley at Film in the Fridge and after this I finally got the guts to try something. She makes it seem so easy and it’s gorgeous and it would really make my “hobby” legit if someone other than my husband thought I did a nice job. I think I can make this. I’ve already raided Wish Upon a Quilt (love those ladies) and started my project! I’ll leave “it” with a section of my new baby-the string quilt.

First Four Blocks!


About Joanna

I married the "one who got away" and try to remember how lucky I am each and every day.
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2 Responses to In the beginning…

  1. Donna says:

    I started my blog on wordpress over the summer and it has been a great way to learn from others, discover new places to purchase fabric and keep in touch with family members by showing them my current projects.
    I too, have a featherweight and I love it because I can take it with me when I travel. I am never far from a machine. You will find that your sewing grows with you and it is a beautiful thing!

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