Friday, July 31, 2009

Beginner Quilting Class: Recap and Class Show and Tell

It feels good to have accomplished a goal I set for myself for 2009. I finished my quilt top, and have started two other projects in the meantime. I did learn a lot in this class in regards to the basic construction of a quilt top and all that is involved in making something wonderful out of fabric. I also learned that a happy quilting teacher is one who is loaded up on sweets and desserts....LOL.

Mostly, I learned that if I stick to my guns, and not let myself be influenced to make rash decisions the outcome is very much the same. I had a lot of insecurities going into this class to say the least. I had not sewn a stitch in nearly 20 years, I had a new to me machine that was about 30 years old and I was not familiar with it at all. I was intimidated from the start by the quilt top itself, and was sure this was way to advanced for a beginner. Top that off with the constant hammering of me needing a high dollar machine to be able to sew quilts...well, it was a tough go.

I kept the memories in the back of my head that during my teenage years, I did sew a lot, and was pretty good at it too. I kept in mind the memory of my grandmother who was a fabulous seamstress and she never "out sewed" her machine. In fact, the thought of spending $3000.000 on a machine I am sure would have never crossed her mind. I was surprised at how much and how often my grandmother came to mind during this process, in fact when I would be discouraged the most, I found her there, in my mind sewing on her machine in her dining room just as I was. It was almost like she was nudging me along. I have never missed her more than in these past seven weeks, but also never have I felt her so close at the same time. For that, I am most thankful and would not have missed this experience for the world.

By now, I am sure you are sick of my quilt...but one last time, here is the finished top....just so you can see just how different all the quilts were that were made during this class by the ladies who struggled along with me. It is amazing to me to see how they are all different.

This is the quilt made by the little lady on the right, the one who did purchase the Bernina 440 and if you have been following along, remember that story of frustration. She had never sewn a stitch in her life. Wow..what an accomplishment.

This one is very pretty too. The lady who made this one has two dachshunds herself, much like mine and we had a great time in class. Of all the ladies, I felt a deeper connection to her....maybe because of the dogs.....

Here is the quilt made by the lady who lived in another state. Bless her heart, she changed her fabrics so many times it was really sad. I love how it turned out, but she did not. I did learn that some people are really hard to matter what. I think her quilt turned out very pretty.

This one is so warm and pretty. The lady who made this one wanted a warm, fall theme. She used pinewood fabrics and dark warm colors. I sorta wish I would have gone this route so I could have put a quilt like this at our cabin, I may have to make one like this one, I really think it turned out great.

Our great teacher, insist we can quilt these quilts. He is going to teach stitch in the ditch technique for the quilting. I am still not going to do it. That is not what I want for my quilt, even though I would love to learn the way to do that, the use of a walking foot, and how to do the binding. I started a baby quilt, photo below, and if he will let me quilt this top instead of my large quilt, than I think I will to that, if he will not let me, well...I'll just have to learn it on my own. We will see next week. I am really not going to stress out over quilting that top, it is too big and I know it is too big for me to tackle.

These are my disappearing nine patch blocks. I used the tutorial Roslyn posted on her blog...Thanks for this great tutorial, I hope I did this correctly. I made large blocks out of the smaller blocks, I am going to use blue for sashing around the blocks, then add a border. I will post a picture when I get the top put together and ready to try quilting it. At least, it is a more do-able size project to start with.

I am so thankful to all who have followed my journey in making my first quilt top. Thank you for all of your valuable input and advice and suggestions. Your thoughts meant a lot and was a wealth of wonderful information. I am hooked now....really. I will post off and on about projects I am working on, if you are inclined to want to read about them.


  1. Good job, you did great. Can't wait to see your next project.

  2. OMG you did a fantastic job on your first quilt. YOu have learned so any different techniques that will really help in quilts to come. Way to go. I love your colour combination.

  3. The quilts are all so lovely - I like yours, and the autumn colored one the best. nice job!

  4. Your quilt top looks great the blocks in the last picture look great together. Good job on "keepin on, keepin on!"

  5. Suzanne, all the quilts look great. But, I think yours has the most harmonious color combination. Very nice and retro looking. I recommend Harriet Hargrave's book Mastering Machine Quilting. My mentor loaned it to me when I first started and I have the older version. It's terrific! Get your grandmother's machine out. Since she's already on your mind, sew where she sewed. I think she'd rather it were being used, even if just sometimes and for easy stuff. Lane

  6. Suzanne, I am so proud of you for knowing what you wanted and not losing sight of that. I think your quilt and the colors was the best. Good job!

  7. Suzanne, I missed your quilt learning process but I do understand the process, as I did the same thing several years ago. My lessons were the same amount of weeks, only we sewed every quilt square by hand. My finished quilt top never went past putting it all together. It is as big or bigger than yours. You made a wise decision to learn to quilt something smaller. I never quilted my top. It was overwhelming. I want to have it machine quilted. OMG, I have to say I love your quilt. You did a wonderful job on it. Your smaller one is very nice too. A good one to start quilting. I am proud of you girl. I have several quilt projects to start and I need to get busy and just do it.

    Happy quilting.


  8. I'm so glad it ended up being a great experience for you. And see, you didn't need that expensive machine! I love all of the quilts from this class - each one is different just like their makers. After you learn to machine quilt your smaller quilt and maybe send out your larger quilt to be done, please consider taking a class on hand quilting a small project. To me, the joy of hand quilting can not be surpassed.

  9. Congratulations! You did a good job. I'm extremely proud of you for sticking to your guns and not buying that expensive machine. I'm a little ticked at the teacher for pushing it.

  10. Great job! Thanks for sharing the final products with us. It was fun to see how each person's quilt turned out just a little different. Your color combo was a great choice. ~ Robyn

  11. I think you did a fantastic job on your first quilt!!!! Way to go!!!! I also think that your quilt is the prettiest one in the group. It might be because of the blues and pinks just go together so good. I had forgotten about the term stitch in the ditch but I do know what it is! lol


  12. Suzanne
    I've seen lots of beginner quilts but none with such a pleasing pattern when finished. Usually they are routine sampler wallhangings you would never use again. You were so lucky to have a useable (and beautiful)top when finished. You did a spectacular job. You'll get the hang of machine quilting. It is all in the practice.


  13. a fabulous first quilt, Suzanne you should feel extremely proud!!..i def think you should get it machine quilted by an expert, you won't regret it!!..i really love your choice of fabrics the best, i mean it!!..the one in fall colours comes a close second lol!!..i love the fact that you stood by your decision with the design of the quilt, your choice of fabrics and def your sewing machine!!..i've enjoyed your weekly quilting instalments and i can't wait to see your new quilt in progress :)

  14. Job well done! I love your quilt the best and its not because I'm biased or anything! :) Your colors are just wonderful!

    It always amazes me how a class can make the same design and each one looks so completely different-not just a little different but completely different.

    I'm sure you won't but I'll miss your tales of Leo and all the shenanigans! Hope you do do the machine quilting class...I love the baby quilt! (I started machine quilting with a baby quilt-its perfect-not too big but not just a practice piece either.)

  15. I love the way your quilt top looks with the borders and all, the fabrics are lovely. My personal favourite is the last one because of the colours. You should have a right to choose any quilt for the stitch in the ditch class.

  16. I am glad this saga is over and you kept your sanity.I know it was not easy for you, but you did a super job. I never would have lasted like you. All the tops turned out very good since all of you were beginners. I like yours and the fall color one. In reality, you all did a fine job. I am proud of you.

  17. Hi Suzanne,
    Good for you to complete the lovely quilt!!! They are all very nice.
    Also enjoyed seeing your vintage figurines:)
    I keep checking my mailbox for the giveaway gifts.. :)
    Happy Weekend.
    Deb :)

  18. Honestly I like your fabric choices the best, though the fall colors one is a close 2nd and the one from the out of stater is interesting too. I like the looks of the baby quilt. Please continue to share your quilting projects with us.

  19. I think that your quilt is the prettiest one of the bunch, you did a beautiful job.


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