Wednesday, 12 February 2014
That quilt again...
Once I've started making something, I don't like to stop, but a couple of months ago I had come to a standstill with my patchwork quilt. I had finished the top part, but when it came to continuing, I admit I was feeling stumped. I read books on the subject, but somehow I just couldn't understand what I needed to do. I've explained before how hard I find written instructions. I need things spelt out and illustrated and I felt that the books assumed a lot of prior knowledge (and ownership of an all-singing all-dancing sewing machine), neither of which I have. I didn't turn to YouTube because I knew I'd need to keep on consulting the instructions and obviously you can't do that with a video. Enter my friend Lucy....she makes beautiful quilts and she suggested that I come along to her sewing group in a local village hall and bring my project with me.
I was nervous: I thought everyone else would be very skilled and would notice my big stitches and wonky lines. But, although the ladies were very talented, they couldn't have been nicer, or more encouraging, and Lucy was soon sorting me out. We used some big village hall tables to lay out my quilt.
Lucy showed me how to lay the quilt on top of the wadding, and then pin the squares to it, smoothing it out as I went. I needed quilt pins, like safety pins with a bump in them. I have now bought some and replaced all my conventional pins.
Now I have to do something called sewing 'in the ditch.' That's a running stitch, following the lines of the squares, working side to side and stitching close to the seam but not on it. I started last night. I am doing it by hand on Lucy's recommendation. It is not easy, but I am underway and it's a great thing to do on a winter's evening as it is so cosy now that my quilt has wadding attached to it.
Actually the most useful guide I've seen is in the new Prima Makes magazine. There is a very pretty quilt in there with clear instructions. Meanwhile, I am delighted to be back on with the quilt. I've sorely missed having something to make in the evenings, and now I have plenty to keep me occupied. Once the quilting is done, I'll be attaching the backing, and that will require a second visit to the sewing group. I can't wait!