Monday, May 16, 2011

Weekend Recap - Quilting? Yae or Nae?

 So, I have wanted to quilt for a few years now...ever since I saw that movie How to Make an American Quilt with Winona Ryder (good movie by the way) and definitely after I met Matt's G-Ma.  She literally has a closet crammed full of her homemade quilts. When we got married, she let me go through them all and pick the one I liked the most.  Shortly after we brought Yoko home (our super needy attention thirsty border collie mix) that blanket was no more.  I had never had a puppy before, so I made the mistake of puting her in our room one night while we went out.  When we got home, we walked into our bedroom and saw that Yoko had chewed a good size whole clear through the blanket, along with 2 other quilts.  Wanting to keep this puppy of mayem, I didn't allow Matt to see the full extend of the damage, so I threw the quilts in the closet until he calmed down.  Lucky for us, his G-Ma is a seasoned quilter and patched them all up.  Why it took us 3 years to take them over, I don't know...we're only over there every week. 

...this is Yoko by the way.

...and this is my repaired quilt.

I tend to go through these crafty phases.  In college, I went through a crocheting phase.  Wow, that sounds kind of lame reading what I just typed. Who's taking up crocheting in college?  What era are we in?  It's not like I was crocheting shirts or anything folks - mostly scarves and blankets...either way, it was short lived and I became bored with it quickly.  I have always been into scrapbooking, but rarely have the time for it anymore.  I have TONS of photos and no time...I just assume when Christian gets older, the easier it'll get to make time for my crafty addictions.  Right?  Someone confirm please!  Do I hear laughter???

So, now I'm interested in the world of quilting.  Now I know quilting is time consuming, but I like the idea that it can't be finished in a day...I can come and go as I please.  While we visited G-Ma over the weekend, she loaded me down with quilting books and magazines, she showed me samples she had sewn, and told me if I need any help just let her know.  The one thing I love about Matt's G-ma's quilts is that they are random.  She normally uses scrap fabric she picked up at a yard sale...basically all the fabric she has she got a good deal for it.  When I asked her if quilting can get expensive, her answer was, "You better believe it!"  It made me laugh - she's actually super fun to hang out with - always laughing.  Anyways, what I was saying was that since her fabric is usually bought in bulk the fabric prints don't always seem to go, but the final product always looks good...must be that grandma mojo.  For example, she has one quilt where it is a mix of  floral and San Francisco 49ers print.

The thing is, I am literally starting from scratch.  My sewing skills are basic and I have never worked a sewing machine.  So this is where you come in.  Any advice and/or tips would really be appreciated.  Any websites with the best deals or tricks of the trade...anything would probably be beneficial.  I don't want to spend tons on a sewing machine, so any advice on that as well.  


Valerie said...

You won't be surprised by my advice: Yay Yay Yay!!! And grandma mojo is the best. I gotta meet that grandma sometime. We'd be best quilting buddies. :)

Perfectly Content Busy Momma said...

oh girl, I can not get over how alike we are! My GMA passed away last summer and jumped into kitting, something I have never done, so that I could finish the baby blanket she started for Lela... Well I did a few dish cloths but havent finished anything else. You make me want to try again! She was a quilter to, I will see if GPA still has some supplies. I have always been interested in the idea of quilting, let me know how it goes and I might just try it to. I love you!

A Big Group of Folks said...

Do you own a sewing machine? I would suggest buying a used sewing machine, in order to decipher whether or not you like sewing. A good place to get a used one is a pawn shop. I know it sounds ghetto, but they usually have decent, working sewing machine for under fifty bucks. Plus, you can barter and maybe get one fore less. I would not suggest actually spending the money in a sewing machine until you are certain you enjoy it and will keep doing it.
A tip for cheap fabric would be to buy used sheets. I know, it also sounds ghetto, but sheets can be cut to whatever size, etc you want them to be. A lot of thrift stores have amazingly cute fabric on sheets. I have a floral print that I got from a thrift store. I think it was a dollar!? Amazing deals! :)
As to whether or not you like sewing, start with a small project before trying to make a quilt. Maybe make a small rectangular coin purse. You could create a button flap so you're not working with sewing in a zipper. Try something like that out and see if you enjoy the process of sewing. Quilting is almost entirely measuring and cutting straight lines. It sounds simple, but it can actually be quite complicated (cutting straight lines on stretching, constantly moving fabric = one often frustrated Mary Jones. LOL). For accurate cutting get a rotary cutter (they look like pizza cutters but are for fabric). They are immensely helpful!
Okay, I think I'm fresh out of ideas for now! :) Call me and I can try to help via phone if you need it. :)

AmyLee said...

you should totally quilt. i am always so jealous of amazing big quilts & how cool would it be to make one exactly how YOU want it??

ps: parker crawls around with stuff dragging from his mouth (his blanket, toys, etc.) all the time too... it's hilarious.

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