Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Dark Side of Me

My husband put his hand to my forehead. "Are you o.k.?" he asks. "That looks like a, a quilt block." "Yes it is," I replied. "But you don't quilt," he states in a firm, matter-of-fact voice. 

I didn't think I would every want to quilt. My one experience with making a quilt (16+ years ago) was successful only because my MIL actually did 99% of the work. I absolutely appreciate the artistry of quilting. But, I don't really understand the concept of cutting large pieces of fabric into tiny pieces and then sewing it all back together to make another large piece of fabric. Unless it is going to tell a story. And I think that is what I am drawn to. Quilting that tells a story. That's what I love about the Calendar Quilts project I have started and that is what I love about the First Ladies of America Quilt blocks I want to make. 

But I had a huge insight recently. There is a skill involved in quilting and if I wanted my Calendar Quilts and my First Ladies to look fabulous, I needed to learn and practice the skills. Which leads me to Craftsy's Block of the Month class. I love the Craftsy website. I have signed up for several classes and purchased a couple workshops and downloaded multiple patterns. There is always something new and fun popping up. 

The Block of the Month (BOM) class is geared for beginners which totally describes me. And, I think the class was free, or least very low cost. What did I have to lose? So I signed up. Of course, Craftsy offers a fat quarter bundle for purchase to use in the class. But I didn't really like the patterns of the fabric. For the past 2-3 weeks there has been a near-constant conversation in my head that goes like this. "Don't buy the Craftsy bundle because I don't really like it. But what will I use? I guess I could go to a local fabric store and pick out 35 fat quarters that coordinate. But, man that will be way more expensive than the Craftsy bundle. Maybe I should get the Craftsy bundle to save money. No, I don't really like the fabric. Maybe I could find something online that will do but still be reasonable in price." (So I spend several hours online looking at fabric to no avail. The head talk resumes.) "So maybe I should just get the Craftsy bundle. No, I really don't like the fabric. Besides do I really want to spend big bucks for a beginner project? Not really. I am investing money in the Calendar Quilts project. Really, I'd rather just use fabric I have. But I don't have a stash of quilting cotton. Maybe I should just go ahead, suck it up, and get the Craftsy bundle. No, seriously, I really don't like the fabric. Wait a minute. I have cotton scraps from aprons, and other projects. Maybe I could use those scraps." Oh man! That was it! What a revelation! I could proceed using fabric scraps and leftovers from my stash. So here are my first 2 quilt blocks. 

First, let me say, I know I need to square up my blocks. I have to purchase the 12" ruler-thingy to do that. But ta-da--here they are. 

If you look closely you will see that not all my strips line up at the crossings. I worked and worked to get them perfect, but, um, yeah, these are, after all, my first ever quilt blocks. I figure lining up the corners is a skill I need to work on. And, that is why I'm using scraps from stash! I don't know if these blocks will ever be part of an actual quilt. And, if not, that's o.k. But after only 2 blocks, I realize what great learning/teaching  tools these blocks will be. 

I'm pretty excited about learning to quilt. But I don't think I will ever call myself a "Quilter".

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