For as along as I can remember I’ve been envious of people who could produce beautiful quilts because I didn’t possess that skill, and didn’t have time to head out to a class to learn it. Those days will soon be over! Tracy over at It’s a T-Sweets Day has decided to run a series of seven lessons on how to quilt, and since I have always wanted to learn (and since she invited me to take a look to see if I was interested), I decided to join in. She is calling the pattern we’re doing Pins and Stripes, and you can check it out here if you want to see what the final result will look like. If you follow along on Instagram, the hashtag to look for is #pinsandstripesqal.
My biggest challenge, aside from making room to actually work on the quilt, will be making time for it in my schedule. The last few weeks has been more hectic than usual, and I’ve been unable to craft or blog as much as I would like. Tracy has assured me that the individual lessons shouldn’t take too long, so I’m hoping I can keep up with the lessons as they’re released.
My first challenge was to dig out my sewing machine, which I’m ashamed to say, has not seen the light of day in a number of years. I love to sew, but I rarely get the opportunity. Mostly I use it for repairs to clothing, or to make curtains, or duvet covers. I have, in the more distant past made doll clothes, or clothing items for myself, but they were pretty simple.
One of the main things that I needed to buy was a cutting mat. I do have a few cutting mats that I use for paper crafting, however the largest one is only 12 inches by 18 inches, and I”ve been wanting to get a larger one for a few years, and just kept putting it off. So I took myself off to Michael’s and used a 50% coupon to get this kit with a larger cutting mat. I figure even if this is the only quilt I ever make, I can use the mat for paper crafting so the money invested in it will not be wasted.
I’m located in Ottawa Ontario, Canada, and since I had no idea how to go about selecting fabrics, and because I thought I might need some help with some of the supplies, I decided to do a search for quilting stores in the area. I quickly found one in Orleans, practically next door to my favourite scrapbooking store, so after running my other errands this morning, I headed to Quilty Pleasures.
It was my first time in the store and I might have been completely overwhelmed by the fabric choices, but for the fact that I did have an idea of the colours I might want to incorporate into my quilt. (Because make no mistake, this first quilt is for me. Unlike a lot of the projects I do, I’m not giving this one away.)
The staff were super friendly and very helpful. One of the lovely ladies advised me to start my search for fabric in what they call the Bargain Basement after which, if I found something I liked, I could use it to help me make my other fabric selections.
So down I went to the basement and came back up with three fabrics that I thought might work for me. (Unfortunately, I was not using my head or I might have taken a few pictures to post of my original choices.) The fabric on the left is the only one of the three original fabrics that I ended up keeping, but it really did help me to narrow down the choices from the multitudes of other fabrics they had in the store.
These were my final fabric selections and I have to tell you, I’m in love with them already! I can hardly wait to get started on my quilt! I think my favourite fabric is the one in the middle with the teal background with pink floral pattern. I love the vibrancy of the pink flowers, and that it contains both of the main colours I’ve chosen.
The final bit I needed was to get my sewing machine in order. Happily I was prepared and had dragged it along with me to the quilt shop so that they could help me find a 1/4 inch presser foot that would work with it. There was a question at first as to whether or not they could find something, since they can not get parts for the my machine, but I’m pleased to say that they came through!
Now I just need to clean off my craft desk to make way for my sewing machine, and I’ll be ready for Monday’s lesson! I’m so excited to get quilting!
If you’re a quilter, do you have any tips for me? If you’re not a quilter, but are like me and have always wanted to learn, check out Tracy’s blog using the link near the beginning of this post!