Sunday, April 29, 2012

Quilting. The Complete Course.

So this story starts a few weeks ago. We went to Mohegan Sun in Connecticut to gamble. We each won some money playing Black Jack and then moved to the craps table. Unfortunately, Matt lost all his money, but I won almost $200! CRAZY! I started slow but cozied up to the people next to me who gave me a few tips. I have a secret - I know how to play craps. I don't know the terminology, but I know how to win. I have found (through research) that standing there and saying I don't know how to play makes the people around me give me lost of hints and tips that I don't know. And so I won a ton!!!!

Then go back a few more days before that. I finished my quilting class, Adventures in Quilting. And that week we were in Connecticut, I finished sewing on the binding. It is officially done. And Joyce (my teacher) suggested that if we wanted to take another class we should take the Complete Course. It is a sampler quilt. It has 13 blocks and 4 large border pieces. Each of the blocks is different and practices a different skill. I wanted to sign up for this course. I wanted it a lot. But it was a lot more expensive than Adventures in Quilting was. So much more money.

So put the whole thing together. I won money. The course cost money... It is like it was meant to be! So I took my winnings and registered for that course and here we are two weeks into the course and I have pictures to share with you.

Week 1. We talked about supplies and the how-to's of cutting. We talked about the grain and bias of the fabric. I knew some of this information from the books I have and the previous course. But there was a lot of info that was new to me. The biggest tip for me was so stupid. Annette (my new teacher) said something so smart and filled with common sense: measure after each cut and after each seam.

Week 2. We started sewing. Each of our machines got a once over by Annette to make sure we were ready to go. Then we practiced. For homework we cut 1.5 x 6 inch strips (from some hideous fabric that was provided to us - gross) and practiced sewing them with 1/4 inch seams. And here is where we measured to make sure we were accurate. I WAS! I high-fived my fabric. Is that weird?  I didn't think so either.

Then we worked on a sample 9 patch. Now I made twenty 9 patches for the last quilt. I can make those in my sleep. But this time I applied the new tip: MEASURE! For this quilt all our squares should be 9.5 inches square. So I measured again and I was sooooo accurate!

Homework this week? Two squares.
So let's start my quilt. Want to see my fabrics? Annette told us to pick a focus fabric and then 5-6 fat quarters. I expect to buy more fabric later. It just seems inevitable. But these are the fabrics I have so far.
The jacks are my focus fabric. I love them. I have been stalking them in the store for the last 5 weeks. Every time I went to the store I went over and talked to them. I pet them. I was that weird lady. But I loved them. I just didn't have a reason to purchase them. Until this class. I even tried avoiding them for a while before realizing that we were meant to be together. I even bought 3 other fabrics (the reds and polka dots) from the same line because we were meant for each other. I had the two smaller grays, the green leaves, and blue flowers. I bought the large gray daisies again. They were in the Adventures quilt too.

So two squares done!
First I made my 9 patch. And I measured it! Awesome and accurate! So much better than the other quilts!

Then my 2 by 2. This was new to me. YAY! I started by making 2 strip sets. I cut my fabric to the desired width and length. And sewed them together. Measure again. Here I had to take one apart and put it back together. I had not sewn it consistently. Once I had it right, I cut the strips into 5 inch squares. Then I put them together. I tried them two ways - the cream spiral or the green spiral. The green was soooo overwhelming visually. So I went with the cream spiral. This was so easy to make. I took four 5 inch squares and rotated them. Taadah! I did it! And I measured it. And it worked! Thank goodness I measured after every step. If I hadn't redone the strip sets, my finished square would not have worked out at all. It would not have been square.

Now, I am honest. I don't like to sugar coat it. I am not loving this course yet. I say yet because it is still early in the course, and so far we have done things that I know how to do. I am excited about some of the upcoming weeks. But so far. Not so much. Maybe soon. Hopefully soon.

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