Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What a difference a few years makes!

I do love hand quilting, really I do.  The look of hand quilting is just so warming when you think that someone stitched the quilt with love.  Although there was lots of love put into my first quilt, I do know that I was more then overjoyed when the last stitch was put in! 

With this quilt I went from quilting 1 stitch (yes, I said 1; one; Uno!) to 4 stitches at a time by the end of the quilting.  Oh, I thought I was so good then, but there was no way I was ever going to hand quilt another quilt!  Never! 

I know....famous last words.  And never say never.  About 5 years later I did hand quilt my second quilt. It was made with a combination of polyester & cotton, and of course is just didn't hold up.  And I still didn't know much about what fabrics to use.   No, I don't think I ever took a picture of that one.  Needless, to say it was a few years after that before the quilting bug took hold of me hook, line and sinker.

So persistant was I at wanting to learn how to hand quilt that I read whatever books I could find and watched what women I could find that did quilt (and I didn't know many), but they weren't quilting how I wanted to.  Around that same time (early 90's?) I was a moderator with a great group of  "Crazyquilters"  in a chatroom on the internet.   One of those ladies could quilt like nothing I had ever seen before and that was how I wanted to quilt!  I know, as I was lucky enough to receive a tablerunner from her and it was handquilted.  Late one nite I asked Suzy how she got such small even stitches, and she instructed me step by step by typing in the chatroom (this was before webcams!) and my quilting improved big time.  

And this is how I quilt today.  Do you see the difference?

 My stitches are small, the way I always wanted them to be, but not without a whole lot of practice!  This is a wholecloth table topper with lots and lots of quilting to be done yet which I do pick up every now and then to put a few more lines in.  

Do I hand quilt all my quilts?  No, only the special ones.  The last one I hand quilted was last year and it had at least 200 hours of hand quilting in it and that is a low estimate!  I quit counting after 100 hours and it wasn't quite half finished!  

Besides, I have way to much fun putting the quilt top together.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

How was I to know?

It's a beautiful Sunday morning and I'm just itching to get outside, but laundry and meals for dear hubby are on the agenda. Hope I can grab a bit of fresh air before meal time tonite.
Thought I would share with you my very first quilt. One I made 24 years ago for my son. The block is called "Moon over the Mountain". I was over the moon when it was finally done!!

I used polyester broadcloth ... heh I didn't know the difference back then! I was pretty well teaching myself. I also hand quilted it and I think it took me like 8 months just to do the quilting and really there wasn't all that much in it. I didn't know to use a thimble or all these great gadgets we have today, hence I ended up with some pretty "meaty" looking thumb and fingers.

I had no idea that working with curves would be so dang hard for a beginner. Nobody told me I should be starting with something simple. Not to mention that I had to use templates and cut everything out with scissors! Did I know there were rotarty cutters for this? Actually I'm not sure they were being used yet LOL And if they were they were certainly out of my price range.

This was in the day when I started one project and finished it! If only I was that way now!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

First time that really okay?

Wow! So this is "blogger land"? Never thought I would do something like this, but low and behold here I am. What a great way for family and friends to "watch" what I am doing in the "Down Under Sweat Shop" ... my sewing room. At least for now that is what I will use this blog for.

Sewing/quilting is my hobby. Hmmm, not strong enough.

My passion. No, that's not right either.

BINGO! That's it!! It's my addiction!

An addiction I don't want to be cured of! Being at the sewing machine or just in my sewing room is like being in a whole other world where there is no hate, illness, diseases, fighting or wars to worry/think about. In there I solve all the worlds problems with a stitch here and a pattern cut out there; in my little world (my sewing room) life is perfect! If you don't have something you are that passionate about ... then you have no idea what I am talking about. But with this blog maybe I can show you how strong my addiction (passion) is.

Between working part-time and having playtime with the Grands, I'm not sure how often I will "blog" but I'm shooting for at least once a week. You have no idea what I can turn out in a good week of sewing/quilting. Oh, wait...there are a few out there that do know that LOL

Until next time ... Keep your needles sharp and your thread strong!