Archive for August, 2010

One Thing, One Week Challenge!

Park City Girl, over at Amy’s Creative Side, has issued a challenge, & this time around, I decided to accept!  The challenge is to choose one goal that you can accomplish within a week – & reach it!

For my goal, I decided that I will get photographs taken (& downloaded to my PC) of all the finished projects I’m wanting to write about here.  That way, I can include pictures with my stories about what I made!

If I reach that goal, I’m also going to try to organize my sewing area.  I just traded in my card table, for a set of shelves & an industrial sewing machine table (with machine, but I can’t use it yet).  Currently all my stuff is just shoved back onto the shelves.  Previously it was stacked horribly on, under & around the card table.  So even just shoving it into shelves is an improvement.  But it really isn’t “good enough.”

If you have a project that needs a little extra motivation, you should consider accepting Amy’s challenge!  Did I mention she gives random drawn prizes to people who meet their goal? 🙂

Amy's Creative Side

My first completed quilt

I had wanted to make a quilt for a long time, but hadn’t yet tried because I didn’t have any idea how to do the binding.  My mom & I were going on a weekend craft retreat, which immediately became an annual trip for us.  Many of my craft projects have come from those annual weekends. 🙂 One of the classes offered that year was a simple beginners quilt, so I signed up!

The supply list included twelve bandanas, a co-ordinating twin size top sheet, twin size batting & thread.  In class we sewed the bandanas together in a simple 3 x 4 grid.  I’d had a difficult time choosing colors at the store, so I’d bought a lot of extra bandanas.  I guess I thought I’d figure it out during class.  I had just as hard a time deciding in class as I did in the store. 🙂  I ended up using mainly navy blue, with a few dark green scattered in.

Once the top was made, we laid out our batting, added the sheet on top, then the bandanas on top of that, keeping bandanas & sheet right sides together.  We pinned the layers together, then trmmed the sheet & batting.  Next thing we did was to sew the layers together on three full sides & most of the fourth.  It sseems like I left about an eight inch gap.  We used the open gap to reach in & pull the quilt out, turning it right side out in the process.

After turning it, we top stitched around all four sides, closing the gap & making the edges nice & matched.  Well, mine really aren’t that even, but luckily for me, I’m not a perfectionist.  I also cut myself some extra slack since it was my first quilt.

I didn’t have time to finish in class, but the instructor said we could either quilt it later or tack & tie it with yarn.  Since I don’t much like the “tack & tie” yarn look, I brought it hope and added straight line stitching along all my seams…. & that was it!  My first quilt was finished!!

You probably noticed that at no point did I mention adding binding to the quilt.  It had occurred to me until then, that you could layer it inside-out, then stitch it & turn it for a binding free quilt.  The one step which had kept me from trying quilts on my own, turned out to be optional! 🙂

I made a few more turned quilts before I ventured on to self-binding.  I definitely thikn they look better with the binding.  But as a first quilt for someone like me, who was too afraid to get started for fear it would be too difficult to finish, the no binding, turn & stitch approach was perfect!

I gifted that first quilt to my husband.  He still uses it in his recliner.  Since my son wanted it, but didn’t get it, I promised him he could help me pick out the fabrics for *his* quilt.  That will probably be the topic of my next post.

I’d love to hear about your first quilt.  Or any other first time project you’ve done!

My First Post

I decided to start this blog in order to share some of my crafting stories with the crafting & blogging community.  I have been creating quilts for about five years or so.  My first quilt went to my husband and my second to my son.  Numbers three, four and five were created as a set for myself, my mother and my grandmother.  Of course, I never finished the one for myself. 🙂  I started another quilt for myself, but was sidetracked by pregnancy.  In 2009-2010, I made six baby blankets for various friends and family, including my own new baby boy.  My current quilt project is a Christmas present for a family member, so I won’t discuss it just yet.

I enjoy other crafts as well.  I take basket making classes about once a year, and have made approximately six baskets over the past few years.  I enjoy knitting and crocheting blankets and scarves.  I have not yet branched out into clothing.  When I do, socks will probably be first on my list of attempted projects.  I have made some purses as well, and intend to sew a few more this year as Christmas gifts.  I occasionally will take more traditional art classes, such as drawing or painting.  I also do simple glass etching projects.

I intend to write more detailed postings on many of my earlier projects (with photos) over the next few months.  I am especially excited about the quilt I am making now.  I’ve been making sure to take pictures at various stages of the creation.  Once it’s been given I’ll be able to write about it.  I don’t have as much time as I would like to be able to spend at my sewing table.  Most of my crafting projects are either done as part of a class, or as gifts for friends and family.  I have found that various forms of creation are good therapy and relaxation time for me.  Quilting has been great for me because it is such a process.  I am able to focus on each stage of the process until the final product is achieved.  Each stage gives my mind and hands something different and productive to do, which often takes my mind away from the daily stress of a 40 hour work week.