30 August 2009

Walk before I can run

For my first quilt, I found a pattern in a book that I thought would be perfect for my mom. I was fresh out of quilting classes and feeling very confident - I could quilt the world! - so I decided on a pattern because it looked like something she'd love. I tracked down the fabrics I wanted. I graphed it all out on Scott's computer using one of his fancy programs to make sure I liked the layout of the fabric. I spent an entire day cutting fabric. And I started to sew. But it wasn't working. I couldn't make the blocks come out to be the size that they were supposed to be. I ripped out. I restitched. Twice. Still wasn't working. I've learned that when I reach that level of frustration, I need to put it down and walk away and revisit it again with a clearer head. That was six weeks ago. Since then we've had parents and brothers and concerts in other cities and all manners of distractions. All sorts of lovely things to help me procrastinate. Of course, in the meantime, I've completely lost my confidence. The sweet boy talked me back down off of the ledge and convinced me that I should put that aside and start something easy. Pick a project that wasn't putting together strange shapes into huge blocks.

I got this sweet fabric for my birthday - thanks Mom! - and started thinking. I found a very simple quilt that I liked the look of online and thought it would be good. It seemed simple enough that I didn't need to have the pattern. It's just simple squares after all. . . I plotted it out, decided how many squares I'd need and started cutting. Yesterday, I was having cutter's remorse. Did I chose the right thing? I did pick a pattern where lots of little blocks all have to meet up at the corners and we already determined that precision may be an issue. Am I crazy to start my first quilt without a pattern? Most likely yes. Last night I decided to take the plunge and just start sewing. I stitched together the first 25 of 225 blocks and I'm pleased with the result! I'm 1/9 of the way through my first quilt top. WOOHOO!!

And then there's this - my slog-along, knit while I watch TV blanket. Yesterday was exactly a month since I started. It's going to be a 72" square blanket and I'm 15" into that now on my fifth skein of yarn. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I feel like it looks a little granny-ish at the moment. I decided to make a sampler sort of blanket, switching the stitch with every new skein, but I'm rethinking the wisdom of that decision, not that I'm going to rip it all out again. Anyway, I've got lots of time to think about it. I reckon at this rate that I'll be done around the beginning of 2010. (I think I just said that for effect since 2010 seems like it should be so far away. . .)

Happy Sunday!

P.S. By the way, the fabric that I chose for the original frustrating quilt is all by Denyse Schmidt for Free Spirit. I wanted to use prints from her Flea Market Fancy collection because they are FAB! but was only able to track down one because they are all out of print. In my sidebar, I have posted a link to a site that is petitioning Free Spirit to bring this collection back. Maybe they'll hear our pleas and reprint before I get around to Mom's quilt again . . .

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