A few years ago when I was still in college, I took one of those fun little classes at a local fabric store where you basically buy a package class and it comes with fabric and instructions and everything. I had recently inherited my grandmother’s sewing machine and I had grown up with family who always sewed things and did other forms of needlework.
Well….for some reason I never finished that quilt. And once I got married, I carried all the pieces with me to my new house and then when I lost my job four months later, for some reason I didn’t pick it back up again. Until now. I am five and a half months pregnant, working almost full time, with a lot of projects going on and I decide to finish that quilt. I have a few reasons for my choice to pick it up, mainly a new outlook on doing things that I’ve always wanted to do: just start doing it. It is easy to get caught up in the idea of waiting for the ideal time to bake some cheese things for somebody or to learn the organ, or start a knitting project, or finish a blanket that has been waiting for almost five years.
Another important reason is that I have had this idea of when I am grown and have children, I would make things like my grandmother and aunts and mother. Some perceptions and ideas that you have of your future self can get thrown out the window once you get to that stage because a lot of it you can’t control. To me, this is something that I can control and I need to take control of.
Finally, I just really like to make things with my hands. I love needlework and knitting and I really really like sewing. The problem is that I’m waiting. Waiting for what, I have no idea. I guess waiting for me to be ready. I kind of feel like this almost ties into finishing circles but maybe in a less obvious way.
So anyways. I began this quilt like five years ago and just now picked it up. Going into this project, I had already accepted that it wouldn’t be perfect. It can be easy to compare myself to other people but they have different experiences and in my case, most people have more experience when it comes to just sewing a straight line. But we all have to start somewhere and I decided that the only way to get to my perfect line is to start practicing them. There’s a reason we begin musical practices or playing sports at a young age and we are classified as “beginners.” My goal for this quilt is to just get it done and work my best at it.
The quilt consists of squares of fabric sandwiched together to make blocks, then sewn together in a row, then all these rows sewn together. When I picked this quilt back up, all of the squares had been sewn together in their blocks and two rows had been sewn then sewn together. With the help of my dogs, I got the sewing machine set up on my dining table (that we hardly ever eat on) and then the machine figured back out, I’m a beginner remember? After this was done, I set about the task of sewing the rest of the blocks together to form the rows.
After about an hour, I completed all the rows and I took a break for supper and went outside for a walk with the dogs. When I returned to my project, I realized that I wasn’t sure of my next step so I made a quick phone call to my aunt who I knew could help me! I ended up pinning the rows together to guide my lines and set about to sewing all my rows together to complete sewing the quilt together. Or so I thought, because at one point I was stretching and I looked to my right and saw that I had forgotten the last stack of blocks to be sewn into a row! Devastating, right? I decided to finish the remaining rows and then take care of that last row the next morning.
I finally got it all sewn together and then set about to snipping the inseams that would be the part that frays. This was quite possibly the most time-consuming part of the whole project. After two days of snipping (only part days, not two whole days!) I was done and it was in the wash then the dryer to get it frayed.
I am so happy with how it turned out! I can’t decide if I want to leave it at church as a blanket there or keep it here for me to use all the time. I really, really like it. But maybe I also just want some new fabrics around here. So far I have made two quilts, one for me and another is for a dear friend. Hers is really special and very pretty to me.