Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Learning To Quilt

In a belated Crafty Tuesday (Carrie hasn't even posted herself I noticed!!) I thought I'd show you what I've been working on. With the sunset of The Musical and the mammoth job of packing up 'the sweatshop' I have been suffering from sewing withdrawal. I always had it in the back of my mind that I might be able to do something with the scraps of material left over from the orphan costumes; they were chosen as a 'palette' and they were essentially quilting materials so the obvious choice was to try quilting with them!

Now I have dabbled in many crafts over the years: sewing, knitting, embroidery, cross stitch, raffia work (thanks to my Grade 5 teacher), pottery, decoupage, origami and even tie-dye but I've never attempted quilting. I know nothing about it! A quick consultation of my 'Traditional Country Crafts' book was in order. There was mention of wadding and running stitch and even cutting a template for 'blocks' but the whole section was a little thin and there was nothing about patchwork and the various kinds of patchwork options you could toy with. So, where to next?

Of course my beautiful friend the Quilting Queen from Jindabyne is no longer with us so I couldn't go there for advice (ouch, grief kind of catches up with you doesn't it?)...but wait! I have an awesome friend right here in Adelaide who is the Doyenne of Quilting! She bestowed upon us a wonderful quilt for our wedding/housewarming and, when I was picking The BA up from swimming years ago, could always be seen with a needle in hand waiting for one of her brood to emerge from the pool. The obvious choice. I made arrangements for coffee and quilting advice.

On Monday we met for coffee and I brought the bag containing all my off cuts. I also brought a pathetic sketch of the kind of thing I had in mind and she was most gracious in refraining from laughing out loud at my naivety. "Right," she said,"You're going to need some tools and a visit to my place for some lessons." Errrrrr......tools? What do you need apart from scissors and thread?

Oh foolish Arizaphale.

By the end of the afternoon I had purchased a rotary cutter and quiting ruler.

I 'passed' on the cutting mat as I thought Himself had one at home and I had arranged for a demo session the following morning. There is a lot more to quilting than I thought. *sheepish grin* Like, did you know that the easiest way to sew two triangles together is to put two squares face to face, rule a diagonal line from corner to corner, sew 1/4 inch either side of that line and then cut down the line? Voila! Press open and you have two squares formed by triangles! (I may do a photo tute on this later...it is so clever and my 'Traditional Country Crafts' book did not mention it at all!!!)

We ended up spending a lovely couple of hours yesterday, me mastering the rotary cutter and her sewing little blocks together for me. I'm on my own now.......wish me luck!


HipMomma said...

I did know that about the sewing of the two squares together- cuz I took a quilting class many moons ago. I had so much fun. I only made two quilts and retired the rotary cutter. The sewing of the pieces toghether is fun for me but not the sewing of the backing. Can't wait to see it all together!

Arizaphale said...

Yes, The Quilting Doyenne has warned me that the whole sewing of the backing thing is another ballgame with many more tricks and skills....who wants to lay money on the fact that I won't finish this in these holidays?

A Free Man said...

If you're looking to unload any of your experiments, I'm a big fan of quilts. Not so much quilting, but definitely the finished product.

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Very pretty colors! Good luck on the quilting!!

Stacy said...

What a great way to use up your scraps! I love having friends that know what they are doing as teachers. Makes the learning so much more enjoyable. :) Those fabrics lend themselves well to a quilt and love how it is going so far. Can't wait to see the finished product! I've never really attempted quilting. Maybe someday!