I have a coworker, let’s call him “Tom”. Tom and I like to tease each other. It can get pretty rude;) And lately, he’s been busting my balls about my baby blanket quilting projects. While wearing a bright pink shirt. Maybe you see where this is going… Anyway, I have this interesting fabric that I think was called “bubble minky” – super soft, but textured, and the texture looks just like truncated domes. Tom HATES truncated domes (long story). So I made him a purse.
I literally busted this out in about 25min. My first ever “purse”. I’ve never been prouder.
It may come as a shock to many, but people have babies. My little sister just had a baby. My friends have babies. Babies freaking everywhere! My mom made my sister a beautiful baby quilt this spring. Now, I know from personal experience that my mom’s quilts are fucking fantastic, and are so nice you don’t want to risk damaging them. That’s when I had the god. damn. brilliant. idea to make a delightful baby blanket that was virtually shit and puke proof. A little internet research later and I had settled on a fleece/quilt/applique baby blanket. My sewing experience up to this point was a (great) motorcycle seat and a “quilt” (with no batting) fit only for my dog. But let it never be said that I know my limitations.
This also led to my first time going to a fabric store for actual fabric… I bought WAY to much fabric (now everything I sew will be made from 5 different colors of fleece).
I created a design in my mind, took a few measurements and got to work. Let me tell you, fleece is kind of a bitch. The stretchiness gave me some problems during cutting as nothing wanted to stay square. I’d be humming along cutting strips of fabric only to stop and notice I now had a pretty trapezoid shape rather than a square. Queue the swearing. I trimmed edges and got things fairly square and decided to see how it impacted the design as I went. This (first) blanket was more of a prototype anyway. The stretching continued to give me problems, but I persevered.
Everything seemed to be going alright until I got to the free motion part of the quilt. I had skipped stitches, no stitches, broken bobbin thread, broken top thread, everything. Fuck! The wife and the dog hate it when I yell. I finally got fed up and partially disasembled the machine. I mean, hell, if I can take apart my bike, put it back together, and scream down the road at 90mph I can take apart a sewing machine. jk. I didn’t really take it apart. But I did open it up and lube everything – it made no difference. Off to my sewing shop I went with partially finished quilt in hand. The delightful people at Sew Hut promptly told me I was using the wrong needle and set me straight.
The difference the different needle made was astounding. No more problems, no more swearing and BOOM – the blanket was finished.
I washed it, wrapped it, and delivered it to my friends down the street. One baby done…
So I have this machine, but the first “how to use it” class isn’t for about 2 weeks… fuck it. Let’s light this candle.
I have to give Janome credit – the manual for my machine is very good. I read it cover to cover and busted the machine out. The wife and I had done some fabric flowers for our wedding reception center pieces a few years ago so we had a bunch of miscellaneous fabric left over…
I got to cutting and sewing and having a grand old time teaching myself to use my machine. I had problems with inappropriate fabric, and I wasn’t about to go buy any new fabric yet, but I kept at it. I ended up with a not-too-bad “quilt”. I hadn’t used any batting for thickness, but I had done some nodes and straight line quilting and the thing was a very successful experiment. I did have to bribe the dog into using it…
as Betsy Ross would say, "fuck this, I'm going home! I've got a burrito to eat and a quilt to finish"