Friday, July 8, 2011

Quilting Class

Soon after I finished The First Quilt I attended the first of 6 sessions of a beginners quilt class at Bear’s Paw Fabrics. I joined a group of about 8 women and I definitely stood out. I was the youngest one there and clearly the only one remotely interested in fashion. (One of them was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of her cat on it. Seriously.) They were all very nice but most of them were not crafty at all. A few knew how to sew, but most of them had stories like, “I inherited this sewing machine from my grandmother’s friend’s cousin and I signed up for this class to learn how to use it.” The first class focused on rotary cutting, something I was already pretty comfortable with from my online research and from the fact that I have common sense. Squaring up the fabric was an impossible concept for some of these ladies. After that first class I realized that the most I could hope for from this class was to learn some helpful tips and get some more practice. We ended up getting to work at our own pace, and the sessions became more workshopy and less “watch me and then try it”. One part that I really enjoyed was the chance to practice free-motion quilting (quilting designs other than straight lines). A few weeks after the class ended Quilt #2 was quilted and bound!!

I sharpened my free-motion skills by stitching a different design in each block. I must admit-they were not exactly done using “free motion”. I actually traced a design I liked and pinned the tracing paper to the quilt top. Then I used the free-motion foot to “trace” over the design with my needle. Lastly I tore the tracing paper away leaving a neat design on my quilt. My stitches are neither even nor straight, but as it was my first try and I don't have a top of the line machine, I'm ok with the result.


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