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Archive for the day “May 7, 2012”

Begin at the Beginning

My wife and I have been quilting now for the past 15 years, but only seriously for the past two.  Because of that we both understand and consider ourselves to be new to quilting.  We read a lot from books, blogs, and watch videos of how to accomplish what we would like to do.

While I don’t think of myself as methodical, I do view my wife’s method of trying new techniques as a bit of a gunslinger setting patterns and colors at odds and really letting her artistic talent out on a romp at times. We’ve talked at length about how we can be successful at this new love of ours called quilting and wanted to start at the beginning.

We’ve accomplished the ¼” seam, learned how important it was to follow directions until we knew where they were trying to go.  We learned and experimented with quilt composition; determining what materials we wanted to use and how colors would go together best within the design.  I did quite a bit of research in regards to binding. Not only have I found a technique simple to use,  the finished work comes out with clean corners every time. We learned some of the basic quilt blocks, flying geese, bear paw, and others.  All while this was going on, our quilts began to look better and better.  We didn’t learn what we know in a vacuum however, but from examining the many works from other quilters. We’ve extracted pattern ideas, color schemes, blogged techniques but most comes through our own trials and error.

I do get frustrated at times when I’ve had to rip a seam for the third time, but can laugh at my mistakes also and soldier on even when I know that a square may still be a little off-kilter.  My wife has said that this is one of the most valuable things that she has learned from me, that it’s okay to move past a mistake and not spend hours trying to attain perfection in a learning environment.  My wife suggested that I take a moment and also talk about pinwheels…  This for us was one of the most technically difficult/fun/frustrating things that we did.

Our 23-year-old daughter has been asking about making a quilt and has come down from Kansas to spend the next three weeks with us.  She is familiar with a sewing machine but I think her expectations are a little more than her skill level.  She looks at quilting as just sewing a lot of straight lines.  As she described the quilt she wanted to make my eyes grew bigger and bigger.  80” x 110” paper pieced with non-traditional binding.

I wanted to be sure that I didn’t put her off quilting and ran across this website for tips to get your daughter involved in quilting:

After talking it through she is going to try something a little less intense for her first quilt though she is sticking to her guns on the size of the quilt.  I think back on all of the different techniques I’ve learned and all that I have yet to learn and I can’t help but wish that she would let me work with her and begin at the beginning…

Any advice?

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