Hello Dear Reader,
Today, it feels as if I’ve had to relearn something really basic. It feels as if I’ve learnt to sew all over again. I’ve always used a sewing machine. My mum used to make my school uniform and summer skirts, and as a teenager, I loved waistcoats and mum used to sew and knit those for me too. (I look back and see how much love my mum put into making things for us.) I watched her sew and I would make things too as well as being taught at school. I’ve always made my own curtains, chair covers and cushions. I’ve always been able to manage the basics quite happily.
With a little help from the internet and the generosity of people who have sent me fabric and the 50p bargain rail clothes that I have cut up from charity shops, I’ve happily pieced basic quilts together in strips and squares. This year I’ve attempted patterns, or blocks as they’re called in quilting. I’ve got on quite well. The only hurdle I haven’t attempted is free motion quilting. I was on the hunt for a flashy machine and in the end settled for the one I’ve got with some new feet and a quilting extension table.
So here is my very first attempt at making a star block along with my very first attempt at free motion quilting. I learnt how to do this from the Missouri Star Quilt Company online tutorial which I’ve embedded for anyone to have a look at, or maybe even try yourself. It’s like having to learn to sew all over again. As a fellow blogger said, I’ve just got to keep practising. I had some spare batting from previous endeavours and as I’m learning to make stars and made two mistakes before I got it right. I’ve got plenty to practise on.
Here are my quilting gloves that I bought at the quilting festival, they seemed very reasonable at £6 and I’ll look after them and make them last. They make my hands stick to the quilt and the quilt stick to my hands. I’m still finding it difficult to move the fabric where I want and make the stitches and even length. I’ll keep at it and I will get there.
Previously, I made quilts out of need to add an extra layer to our beds. I’m now thinking of family gifts, wedding presents and making gifts such as quilted bags or cushions. I bought some new fabric yesterday but I mainly sew and quilt with recycled fabrics. I’m on holiday for two weeks, so this will be the week I baste and quilt my red, white and blue quilt and hopefully do some machine quilting on it too! Only this time last year, I would never have dreamed that I would make a quilt with a lovely design or even try machine quilting. I was happy with blocks and stitching in the ditch. Now, I allow myself to learn, to make mistakes and to have a go at something new.
Lots of you have said you’d like to try this, well don’t let anything stop you. Start, just as I did with the basics, read books from the library, watch online tutorials and have a go. it doesn’t have to be expensive, especially if you already own a sewing machine, an iron and you have some old fabric to use up creatively. Go on, have a go at something new and allow yourself to make mistakes as we’re all learners in one way or another.