Stitchworks: My first quilt
Way back in the dark ages, I used to be a nut about sewing. When I was a kid, I used to make clothes for my Cabbage Patch Doll (does anyone remember when people went CRAZY to get those things?). I also used to take scraps from my mom's sewing basket and piece them together in pinwheels and make them into little pillows. I wonder where they ended up. Probably somewhere in my mom's attic. That was my first exploration in what I thought was quilting. Turns out I was just piecing. The quilting bit is when you sew three layers together. I used to make and sell dog collars but since I don't have dogs anymore, it's kind of hard to call myself the "Sew Crazy Dog Lady" To be honest, I hadn't made collars in a long time anyway. My heart just wasn't in it so I just made a few here and there for friends and for my own dogs. But I have SO. MUCH. FABRIC. that I wanted to do something with it. So I figured I'd learn how to quilt. I could probably have figured it out on my own, but well... I had fabric from when I was going to teach myself over 15 years ago, untouched. So I guessed I'd better take a class. A friend mentioned she had been to Pookies Fabrics in Troy and how great it was so I was excited to see they were offering a beginning quilting class making this quilt!
So I signed up. I had a pretty good time, but I kind of feel like I got some bad advice on some things. My instructor was good but she seemed to push a lot of short cuts. Silly little things that make me crazy, like not centering the seam on the backing. She says "No one will see it" .. or "in all my years of quilting, no one every complained about it" I guess I kind of feel like if I'm paying for a class, I'd like to know the "right" way to do things.   I did value her advice to not buy a walking foot until you sure you want to quilt on a regular basis. But, she said that she always quilts from the outside in even though the "quilting police" say you are supposed to quilt from the inside out. I think if I had done that, as well as not trimmed my backing until I was done quilting, I would have saved myself a big ol pucker on one seam. And yes, it mostly "quilted out" but I'd really rather do things the right way. What I did get out of this class,however,  was a few tips in cutting and piecing and a real interest in making more. And! Pookie's Fabrics is a pretty awesome store. I'm excited to shop there and to support a small independently owned shop. Since Alfred's Fabrics and Flying Geese closed it's a bit sparse around here. Anyway, here is my quilt. The Autism fabric was kind of a fluke. LB helped me pick it out and we thought it was cool. I was going to donate the finished quilt, but there are too many mistakes in it for me to feel good about it. Even though "no one would complain".

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