Sunday, December 4, 2011

My First Quilt Project

Earlier this week Hubby dropped me off at my favorite quilt shop to drool a little while he did some other shopping. I ran into one of the ladies from the sewing circle, and she helped me pick out a pattern for my first quilting experiment experience.

I had originally wanted to try a mini runner because I really like the pattern. But after looking at it again and thinking about how difficult it would be to deal with 1/2" to 1" strips and squares and triangles, I decided to pick something different.

My new friend Vi insisted that I could still do that same pattern, but double or quadruple the measurements to make a normal-sized runner. I was shocked...this is my first project and you want me to...(gulp)...adjust? No way!

So I picked out this pattern instead, Yellow Brick Road by Atkinson Designs. It's nothing fancy, designed for a beginner, and should be a good one for me to cut my teeth on. I'm going to do the lap size in hopes that it could actually be something usable for me rather than a crib-size that I'd only use as a wall hanging.

I really like the blue and yellow color scheme on the package but I'd already been picking up fat quarters for whatever my first project turned out to be, and they aren't blue. In fact, they are cinnamon and black and cream. Nice prim colors. I have nine or ten fat quarters and need a total of 12 for the project; I bought a yard of fabric that coordinates with the fat quarters a week ago because it was on sale; I'll need twice that for the border and binding. And I found some black fleece for the backing on sale (score!).

My sewing machine is on its way; I decided to go with the Brother SE-400. So is the AccuQuilt GO! that I ordered since I knew I'd never have the patience (or grip strength) to cut out hundreds of squares or triangles or hexagons for a single project. I went ahead and ordered some extra dies that I knew I'd want (circles and stars and 2" squares) since they were also on sale.
After going through a gajillion fabric and hobby stores this week, I think I now have the bare basics to get started: self-healing rotary cutting mats (one large and one small) and a rotary cutter (for the shapes and sizes my AccuQuilt GO! won't do), a quilting foot for my sewing machine, extra bobbins, plastic boxes to hold my bobbins and thread, quilting pins, and several OmniGrip rulers.

Then I spent way too much time online and ordered some beautiful cotton quilting thread from Connecting Threads, plus two quilt kits that were on sale and the fabric needed for the backing.

Also on order is a book that was recommended to me for beginning quilters, plus another book on doing your own machine quilting. I hope the books arrive before my machine gets here!

I'm really excited about getting started and hope that everything works the way it should and that I don't get frustrated. If I do, you guys need to remind me how much I wanted to try this, okay? I know when I actually sit down and start to cut my first fabric, I'm going to really be stressing out, worried that I'm going to mess something up.

So, here's a question for you quilters (and other crafty folks): Do you have any advice for a beginning quilter? Something you know now and wish you'd known when you got started? Or is there a tool that you just can't live without that you think every quilter should have? Do tell!


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