One of my goals is set for myself this year for 2009 was to learn to quilt. Well, before I knew it, it was almost June and guess what....I had not done a thing towards accomplishing this goal.
One afternoon, I stopped in a local quilt shop to have a look around. Now, I have to be honest here, I was a little taken back when I walked in...it was nothing like what I expected.
Why? you ask. Well, for one thing, and I kid you not, there was not a single women working in the place....nope....all men! Men cutting fabrics, men servicing sewing machines, men waiting on customers and telling the women what fabrics to choose, men selling sewing machines...and yep...you guessed it....a MAN teaching a beginners quilting class...well, the same said man teaches ALL the darn classes at this shop.
Now...I am all for equal opportunities...but I guess I expected little grey haired ladies running shop here, not little grey haired men...or younger men for that matter. Nor did I ever in a million years expect men to be quilters and very talented one's at that.
For some reason, I felt very intimidated. Still do for that matter. Leo, who is the instructor, spoke with me, insured me I can do quilting, "nothing to it", he says. He also showed me the quilt for the beginners class. I know I looked at him like he was crazy as a loon. In fact, I really hope I did not say that out loud, because I thought for sure that he was.....crazy as a loon that is.
Here is the quilt...Now, I felt it rude to ask them to move all their junk so I could take a photo for my blog to show you, so you will just have to ignore the junk in front of the quilt. But this was not what I was expecting....I was thinking more like a simple nine patch for starters.
This quilt is adapted from the Start Quilting with Alex Anderson, second edition quilting book. The shop added it's own touches to be unique to the quilt shop. If you don't think it took some courage to proceed with this class after looking at this quilt...well, you are sadly mistaken. I was, and still am holding my breath that it will at least turn out to resemble something like the example quilt.....minus the junk !!!!
In fact, I remember asking him if he was SURE that this quilt was for BEGINNERS. He replied, "Well, in this shop, this is the beginners quilt. Once the class is complete, you will be able to make almost any quilt you desire." I thought to myself, "yea, I just bet I will."
Nonetheless, I signed up for a quilt class at this unusual, in my way of thinking, local quilt shop. Classes are six weeks long, three hours a day once a week.....lots of homework!!
The hardest part of the whole process...and let me say, I have only been to two classes....was the choosing of the fabrics. I knew I wanted 1930's reproduction fabrics, but that was it. I just love the 30's reproduction fabrics...all of them!! I really relied on our instructor, Leo to help make the choices. I had one idea in my head of what I wanted walking into this, but ended up with something totally different than what I originally thought. I am still trying to figure out how that happened.
I really like these two fabrics. I like the little puppies on the green and the cute little Bo Peeps on the orange. So cute, so sweet. I am the only one in our class of six that chose these types of fabrics. Everyone else chose fabrics of more modern theme...like the example quilt. Leo keeps telling me (off to the side) that everyone will really fall in love with my quilt when it is done.....he said he really appreciated my stepping out of the box and going with a different feel and direction than the example....he just does not know that I beat to my own drum most times anyway...this was nothing new!!
This quilt consist of the following quilt blocks we will learn to make and incorporate into this quilt.
** Rail Fence
** Nine Patches
** Snow Balls
** Flying Geese
** Friendship Star
Here is a picture of my first blocks, the Rail Fence....I am only showing four of the 24 blocks. I know I have a long way to go before I am a professional here, may never be in fact...but at least I am working towards a goal. I am sure in the end, even if the quilt is not a showpiece...I will love it.
This week, I have to cut out all the fabric for the Nine Patches and Snow Balls. I have lots to do. I need to finish pressing my Rail Fence blocks and cut the squares. I had no idea how difficult it was to press quilt blocks....I feel like I am a little slow in the brain doing this step, I want to do it backwards.....Help me Lord!
I will most likely try and post each Friday with the progression I am making with this quilt. I may bore most of you to death, but I want to have it saved as a memory to go with the quilt....you know....family history....just in case I ever have grandchildren and they may want to read what their slow in the brain, frustrated, working towards a goal grandmother did when she made her first quilt.......yea...I'm a dork!
I hope I finish in the six weeks of the class. Leo, the instructor says if we finish on time...and do all the work instructed to do, he will throw in the finishing class for free. In that class we learn how to finish and the actual quilting the quilt.....I feel sure somewhere in there, he will pitch a new machine....I already see that coming....and I already know I will want one.....maybe.....if I find this not too stressful.
SPRINGTIME ON THE MANTEL
2 hours ago