First quilt strip

Most crafts I like take time.  Handmade generally does.  Even cooking dinner from scratch seems to take longer (but maybe not always?).  True, I could probably sew a couple of garments in a day’s worth of uninterrupted time (if I ever had an uninterrupted day…).  I might also knit a hat or cowl in a day, with thick wool and bigger needles (probably…).  But most things I want to make I calculate as taking almost a month, if I can only craft for an hour or so each day.

So often, I get distracted.  By life, by study or by other crafts with a deadline attached.  Or I get stuck, and realise that sorting out the problem, recalculating and redoing are going to take even more time, so I stop.  I’m rather pleased that didn’t happen this week, I actually worked on what I said I would.  This is the first pieced strip for my kitchen table cushions.

It did take me rather a while. Because I’m learning. And because my sewing machine was cheap, not good, and takes time to coax into sewing neatly.  At the moment, I can’t wait to piece the next strip, and the next, and the next … but I can’t promise I won’t be distracted again by next week!!

And welcome everyone from Kirsty’s creative space, I’ll be visiting your blogs today, too.

Quilting: rather nice, actually

I’m finding the cutting part of starting a quilt rather meditative, with a rotary cutter.  I know that doesn’t sound meditative … and yes, I am keeping my fingers well out of the way!

It’s my first time using a rotary cutter, and I’m enjoying the sameness of about 100 tiny triangles, all squared off with a ruler, cut nice and straight down the sides.  (I made more after I took the photo – and even managed to finish before the children came home).

I’m using this pattern for a kitchen table cushion.  And 2 random packs of fat quarters from Lincraft.  I actually don’t love the fabric, particularly.  I think I’ve seen it too many times before.  And the pattern is fine, too, but really I chose it as suitable for a beginner.

I think the combination of focus on learning to use a new tool, and not caring much about the outcome: that’s what I’m finding so calming. Hope it continues.

Fat quarters for quilting: should you pre-wash?

I guess not, based on this experience.  At least not in a washing machine/dryer.

I know for garment sewing, you really, really do need to pre-wash fabric (or calculate shrinkage).  And yes, I’ve heard of hemming fabric before you wash it (and even done it, for a few precious fabrics). But fat quarters? They’re so small, I thought hemming before washing was a bit other the top.

So what do you do in quilting? Not worry?  Maybe I should have cut with pinking sheers?

By the way, no sympathy needed: I don’t mind detangling and they’re all separate and neatly folded now.