Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Little 'Splaining

A little introduction might be in order. I'm Pam...some of you might know me from Antique or Not. Last year my husband and I moved from my home state of North Carolina all the way across the country to Idaho.

Since we've moved here I've taken up quilting; you wouldn't believe how popular a hobby it is our our area. I've joined a weekly sewing circle (although they can only count on my showing up once every two weeks) and I'm doing my darnedest to learn how to make beautiful quilts.

You might be wondering why all the earlier posts on this blog have no comments, and why (at this writing) the blog has no followers. That's because technically, before now this blog didn't exist.

Creepy, right? Not exactly. For the last four years I've blogged over at Antique or Not, writing about my antiques shop, my family, recipes, the books I love, closing my shop, moving cross-country to Idaho, my online store, and taking up quilting.

Since the other blog was all over the place with things that my new quilting friends wouldn't be interested in—and I didn't want to bore my non-sewing friends with my quilting angst—I decided to start a second blog devoted entirely to quilting and sewing. And here we are!

The posts that are older than today's were copied from the other blog and brought over here to establish a history for my quilting journey. Makes sense now?

So if you're an old friend and a quilter or sewing aficionado, feel free to follow both blogs if you'd like. The only crossover you'll see from this point forward will be project finishes...those I'll share on both blogs because I'll be so thrilled at actually completing something.

And if you notice me making a boneheaded move with a project, puh-leeze let me know. I'm not only new at quilting—I'm new at sewing, too—and what I know could fit in a thimble. Seriously.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to sharing this quilting and sewing journey with you. Let's have some fun!

Hugs,
Pam


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Monday, January 16, 2012

"One Thing, One Week" Challenge

Finally...I accomplished a goal! I joined in with Amy's Creative Side for last week's "One Thing, One Week Challenge" to force myself to set a project goal and actually finish it within one week.

My goal was to finish my quilt top for my first quilting project, Atkinson Design's Yellow Brick Road quilt in the lap size. And here it is!















 




Here's where I stood at this point last week:






















And this is what the quilt is supposed to look like:










I have ordered three different fabrics to choose from for the border, binding, and backing; so I'm at a standstill until those arrive in a week or so. I haven't decided yet which way to go for the border: black, cinnamon, or creamy with little cinnamon flowers.

After my cutting mishap, it was pretty dicey as to whether or not I was going to be able to finish the quilt with what I had on hand, but luckily I was able to come up with an alternative that would work with what I had left.

Before I pieced all the final blocks together, I changed my mind about one of the fabrics I had used, and became good friends with my handy seam ripper as I pulled off every offending piece and found something else in my stash that would work a little better.

Of course, Smokey had to check it over for for me, just to be sure all the stitching was even. His opinion was that it wasn't perfect, but it would do for a first try.

Hubby, on the other hand, took one look at it and offered, "Well, it's certainly... busy...isn't it?" LOL

Note to self: Next time do a better job picking out your fabrics!

Hugs,
Pam
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Had The Best Of Intentions...

This week Amy at Amy's Creative Side challenged us to finish just one thing this week, then share it in a linky party to be eligible for a drawing for a great prize...fabric! Four pretty charm packs, just calling my name.

Since I tend to be a little of a procrastinator, I decided that this was just the kick in the pants I needed to get something...anything...finished. So here is my goal for the week:

This week I will finish my very first quilt top: 
Yellow Brick Road

You notice that I didn't say I'd finish the whole quilt, just the quilt top. Hey, I may be a procrastinator, but I'm also a realist. I already have the fabric cut out; notice the pretty prim colors?

Now I just need to stitch, and cut, and stitch some more, and I should have a quilt top ready for quilting and binding.

Edited to add:

I had this post all ready to go and then went downstairs to work on my quilt. Due to a completely boneheaded move on my part (I misread the pattern directions) I'm back to square one on my quilt since I stitched together my pieces, ironed them all pretty, then cut everything wrong. *sigh*

I'm still determined to finish this quilt top by next week; my first thought was that I would simply buy 12 new fat quarters and start over, setting aside what I already have done to puzzle out later when I have more experience.

We were going on a day trip to Cranbrook, BC anyway to do some banking (and pick up some Cheezies to restock Hubby's stash), so I had him drop me off at Fabricland to look for some fat quarters. And got a great big shock...first of all, they didn't stock fat quarters. Really??? You sell fabric, have a whole quilting section, but you don't sell fat quarters? I was stunned.

Then I took a look at the prices of the fabrics on the bolt and got another big shock...at my local quilt shop here in Idaho, prices tend to start about $10.99 a yard for quality fabrics like Moda and go up from there. Prices at this Canadian big box fabric store started at about $11.00 a meter for gingham and low-quality prints and went up into the $20.00+ range. And they weren't even high quality fabrics! Needless to say, I didn't buy any fabric there.

Sure, they had a "club" membership you could buy for $20 a year
and you would get half-price on selected fabrics, but still! I can't imagine how anyone can afford to quilt in an area where prices are so high. How do you Canadian girls do it? I would seriously love to know...

I had three hours in the car on the way back home, and spent some time noodling what to do with the mis-cut fabric that I already had. By the time we got home, I had a plan. Lucky for me, the lap size quilt that I'm making from the Yellow Brick Road pattern has several quilt blocks left over, which means that I can re-cut some of what I'd done wrong and still be able to finish the quilt...I just won't have any leftover blocks. Eureka!

I'll let you know how it turns out.

Lessons of the Day: 

1. Read the directions three times, measure twice, cut once. Duh.

2. Buy your fabric in the U.S.

Hugs,
Pam

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