Thursday, March 6, 2014

aka Adventures in Fabric!

I love fabric. I love going into fabric stores; I love thinking of the possibilities of things to make, the colors, the textures!! Only brave souls can go with me in a fabric store (that means you, Roseann! ha) because I have to touch the fabric; yes, I cannot walk past certain fabrics without reaching out and feeling it between my fingers.

I’ve always wanted to sew. I’ve piddled around off and on my whole life with sewing. I’ve made things that are wearable; I’ve had the mistakes that (guiltily) got tossed. I’ve made Halloween costumes, baby clothes, crafts, curtains, but  I’ve never really sewn as much as I wanted.

Sewing does not come easy to me (although I’m getting better). I am self-taught. Actually, I think everything I do (with the exception of stained glass) I have taken on without a class. My ex-mother-in-law in Texas is an excellent seamstress; over the time I was around her, she gave me some good advice about sewing. She’s one of those people who could sew with her eyes closed and still have whatever she’s working on come out perfect. Me? I wouldn’t dare sew with my eyes closed, but I get by.

I have also always done needlework: embroidery, crewel, counted cross stitch, but I have always, always wanted to quilt. Oh, I dabbled in it a bit- a little kit here or there, but nothing more than that. It was just a scary proposition, and I would talk myself out of it. It’s too expensive, you don’t sew that well, how would you ever figure it out, you don’t have the time, etc. Well, guess what! I have the time now, I have enough money, and now I have the fortitude and confidence to get started, so I did. I started out with machine quilting, meaning I'm doing the quilting with my sewing machine. Eventually, I will get into some hand quilting, which is something I'm very interested in. 

My first project was a little mug rug. I love it! If you look closely, you will see all the mistakes I made. I am as proud of those mistakes as I am of the little rug itself. I learned something from every mistake I made and for me, that’s the best way to learn.

Sorry it's sideways! Isn't it cute? I use it every day!

I found this great website! Missouri Star Quilt Company… they are terrific! I've posted about them on Facebook before. Jenny, their ‘star’, makes these fantastic tutorials (see the links below). Jenny has inspired me so! She makes quilting not scary! And it’s not!! It is so much fun! Honestly, since I started playing with fabric, I've slept better and I’m not scavenging in the kitchen looking for snacks all the time (it’s a diet plan!!!). Once I started reading, watching, and learning about quilting, I discovered so many fabulous quilt sites online as well as blogs; it’s a whole, new, wonderful world for me! 

I get emails from MSQC every day. They have wonderful fabric specials all the time and sure enough, I just had to order some. I've wanted to make small quilts – I call them pet quilts- to give to friends and donate to local vet clinics and rescue groups. They actually could also be used as baby quilts, and I do have friends who are becoming grandparents these days, so they would make good gifts. The other day, Jenny from MSQC posted a tutorial on a pillow/rag quilt (you can find it on the youtube link I posted). It was perfect! The seams are exposed; it’s supposed to look imperfect! What better quilt for a beginner!! So I washed and ironed all my little precut squares (called a ‘charm pack’) and started laying them out on the dining room table. My cat, Graycee, thought it was great fun to prance through the squares and offer her suggestions as to the layout and eventually, (while she was napping one afternoon), I got the layout the way I wanted it and headed to the sewing machine.

This quilt is, as they say, easy-peasy. There were a few things I needed to focus on so that some squares were turned the right direction, etc. but as I had hoped, this quilt was great for a beginner. Just sew the squares together, stuff each little square with some polyester fiberfill, then close one row of squares by stitching the next row onto the quilt (watch Jenny’s tutorial for her great instructions).  When you are done sewing the quilt together, you cut the exposed seams so they will fray a bit after you wash them, which is the look you’re going for.

I think my little quilt turned out quite well. Graycee did her job as quilt inspector and approved it, as well. These quilts are so fun, and I’m ready to begin on another one but first, I promised my hubby a mug rug. Happy quilting!!

Here's the quilt as I was trying to decide on a layout.

This is the finished front.

This is the finished back.

Here's Graycee inspecting and approving.

This is a closeup of the frayed edges.


  1. Keep up the good work. We have lots of Birthdays and Anniversaries and Christmases in our future!! ;))