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Friday, June 10, 2011

How to be Awesome at Quilting Part 2

Yesterday was The Big Day.  Bekah and I got together to start our quilts!  I have all my fabric now, but a lot of it was not in the cute little pre-cut charm packs, and none of hers was, so we knew we were going to be doing a lot of cutting. 

By the way, here are all my fabrics.  Aren't they awesome?

And Bekah's were so amazingly cute, too.  She's got The Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric, and it's just so adorable I couldn't help but squealing like a little kid every time I looked at it. 


It's really much more my style than the one I'm doing, but the ladybugs inspired me.

I very quickly learned that the first step, and also many steps after that, were in fact, ironing.  This was disappointing.  I buy clothes based on the fact that I never have to iron them, and literally, just about every morning, we throw our clothes in the dryer for a few minutes just so we don't have to iron them.

This hobby just keeps getting worse and worse.  If I end up having to grate cheese on it, I'm officially never quilting again.

But actually, the ironing wasn't that bad.  Turns out, ironing a few yards of fabric is a whole lot easier than ironing a shirt or pants or something. 

The next step was to plan the design so we would know how many squares to cut.  Like I said before, we're doing disappearing nine-patch quilts, so it's not just one pattern that looks good.  It's what that pattern will look like when it's cut up and rearranged.

One of the problems I've had with this whole quilting thing is that I'm very, how shall we say, type-A with compulsive tendencies?  So I tend to want everything nice and symmetrical and organizing.  But that's not how a quilt works.  Most quilts are messy and busy and that's what gives them charm and character.  So it's really hard for me to be like, "eh, we'll just mix it all up in there!"  I keep having to take deep breaths and remind myself that it's a quilt, not a scrap book page.  Even when I was picking out fabrics, I had to force myself to buy more than one print, because I was going to do all solids with one print, so it wouldn't be too busy. 

Remember, this is a pattern where you sew it together, then cut it up, rearrange it, and sew it back together in different patterns.  Of course it's going to be busy. 

So we kinda figured out what we were going to do and how many squares we would need.  I decided to cut about 24 squares of each fabric, because we're going to do 12 nine-patches.

Then we started laying them out and planning.  Even thought I tried really hard to be crazy and free-spirited, I ended up with five blocks laid out, each one of the fabrics in the middle once, and then a pattern where each fabric was the two verticals, the two horizontals, and each of the two diagonals. 


But once I cut them up and rearrange them, it will still look all crazy and cool.  I'll just have the hidden satisfaction of a very organized pattern underneath it all.

The last thing we did is sew the nine-patches together.  I didn't get very many done because I'm slow.  Mostly I could line the squares up ok, but no matter how hard I tried, at least one corner didn't line up.  This was very frustrating.

Oh, and there was more ironing.  Just sayin'.

All in all, it was a very productive day.  We worked for five hours and got everything cut out, plus several squares sewn together.  Bekah I think pretty much got almost all of hers done.  (I'm pretty sure I saw her taking the stitches out of some of them when I wasn't looking and then sewing them again so I didn't feel bad about being so slow.)

My homework for this week is to finish sewing the nine-patches, and then next week, we are going to start cutting them up and rearranging them. 

I'm sure ironing will also be involved.


  1. How cool. I would have to jump if I were force to do this. Incredible patience.

  2. I would blame the not lining up corners on the fact that different fabrics stretch differently.

  3. "...if cheese grating is involved..."

    made me laugh out loud. Love reading what you write and sad I'm not there quilting with you. We should meet half-way some day; then you can write a post titled "How to be awesome at keeping up with friends" would be a good one :o)

  4. Haha that's a great idea, Katy! :o)