Quilting

It’s been a while since I last posted, but remember my sewing machine adventure from November? In the time between then and now, I have become absolutely obsessed with sewing. I have thought, dreamed, and plotted on how to get started. Because I was initially brought into the sewing life working on a piece of a quilt, quilting seemed like a good place to begin my journey.

So here is how it happened: a professor in my department, seeing my enthusiasm about the original quilt square, told me that she would teach me how to quilt. She invited me to a quilting club meeting. The club often makes quilts for various causes and they were currently making quilts for a local midwife. The professor offered to teach me to quilt using the fabric she got for the midwife project – and I, of course, said yes. So we met at her house and she showed me how the quilting magic happens. After six long hours of measuring and cutting fabric, ironing, and learning to use the sewing machine, this happened:

Quilt1Isn’t it beautiful? Not too bad for a first try, right? This took A LOT of help. So much measuring. So much ironing. SO much learning to use the sewing machine without breaking it! Ok, so here’s a quick breakdown of the process:

  1. Cutting the fabric into the desired size squares. I think that our squares are 3 1/2 inches.
  2. Sewing the fabric together.
  3. Ironing a lot. Like a lot a lot. I don’t remember how much. Just know that it is a lot.

Ok, so that was day one of the process. Day two was attaching the back and hand quilting. Here is how that went:

  1. Cutting a piece of fabric that is the same size as the front.
  2. Cutting some batting that is the same size.
  3. Sewing together the fabrics with the batting in the middle.
  4. Hand sewing (this is what makes the lines and designs that you see in a quilt).

The hardest part of day two was hand quilting. I pricked my fingers too many times to count. I realized that I need to grow out of my soft baby hands to be a quilter.

The night of day two was SUPER interesting. Did you know that there are lectures done about quilting? We went to a lecture by Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi. Dr. Mazloomi gave an amazing talk about African American quilts. It was absolutely fabulous. She showed examples of quilts from her exhibition and book And Still We Rise. If I tell you that those quilts were some of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in my 28 years of life on this planet, would you believe me? You should. They were amazing.

So after all of this quilting amazingness, I realized that I am now about the quilting life. I decided that I wanted to make my own solo and completely unsupervised quilt:

Quilt2

Isn’t it beautiful?! I think that I did a really great job for my first quilt. It’s 32×36 inches. It took me about 2-3 days to finish it. Not going to lie to you, it was a lot harder doing it on my own – especially the measuring. Here’s how it happened from start to finish:

  1. I went to Jo-Ann fabrics and bought fabric. I also bought a ruler, a rotary cutter, a cutting mat, quilting thread, some batting, and a seam ripper.
  2. I went to Walmart and bought my very own sewing machine. I got a Singer Simple. It said simple on the box so I figured that they had me in mind when they made it.
  3. I washed the fabrics.
  4. I went home and started measuring and cutting. This part took about a day because I learned that I’m not really good with measuring or cutting in straight lines.
  5. I sewed the pieces together. That part was simple (thanks to my simple sewing machine!).
  6. At some points I ironed a whole hell of a lot. I don’t remember when – just know that it happened, that it happened a lot, and that I hated every moment of it. If you haven’t realized by now – ironing is one of my least favorite activities.
  7. Once I got the whole front piece together, I cut out and sewed and ironed the back piece.
  8. I cut out the batting to the same size as the front and the back and then went to town sewing the three layers together.
  9. Lastly, I hand sewed. To do this I used a washable marker, a dish, and a bowl. I outlined the dish and the bowl in patterns around the blanket and used them as outlines for the hand sewing. I hand sewed my little heart out. I poked myself a multitude of times – but I didn’t give up. I stand as a testament of how you can survive multiple needle pricks and not give up on sewing.
  10. Once that whole situation was finished, I washed the quilt.
  11. Lastly, I admired my work, took mad pictures of it, and posted them to Instagram and Facebook. I wanted everyone to know what I have accomplished.

Now, I sit here writing this blog post, thinking about how much my niece is going to love this quilt. I can’t wait to make another one. I absolutely can’t wait.

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