Freshman Year

[friend] Going to a couple breweries tonight to pick up a few things and maybe taste a few. Interested in coming?

[AQ] Can’t, leaving for quilting class right now.

[friend] That’s an excuse I will probably never hear again in my life.

I’m sorry to disappoint you but this blog is not dead. [yet]

For the past 5 weeks I’ve been taking a beginning quilting class through Sew Hut, taught by two lovely, but incorrigible, ladies: Charlotte and Patsy.  I’d say Patsy is the feisty one, but they’re both pretty damn feisty.

feisty ladies
feisty ladies

First off, let me mention that the class is based on the book “Quilter’s Academy, vol 1” by Harriet & Carrie Hargrave.  A fact I failed to realize until the night before the last class session even though I had bought the book on my teacher’s recommendations – Note To Self: Pay Better Attention.  Second, while the book has some great information in it, I can’t express how fantastic Patsy and Charlotte were as instructors.  The book alone might have gotten me pretty far, but C&P were invaluable with their extensive personal quilting experience, practical explanations, demonstrations, and help – especially when I fucked things up.

One of the most interesting things I learned during this class was about straightening fabric and tearing to get on grain orientation – important for maintaining precision with your piecing blocks.  It was actually kind of fun tearing the fabric and showing it who is boss…

who's your daddy?
who’s your daddy?

Until I got into my batique fabric.  I was definitely not the boss then.

Why do you hate me?!
Why do you hate me?!

Side Note: Before this class I didn’t know what batique was.  I had run out of time to buy my fabrics for the course, so I hurriedly selected some fabrics at Sew Hut solely based on color.  Little did I know that although they are pretty, batiques are like the Siamese cat of quilting fabric – attractive, but evil.

I had a hell of a time straightening the batiques.  Honestly, those were the only times I freaked out and wanted to stab something with my rotary cutter.  Thank goodness for C&P – I’d bring in my batiques to class and they helped me sort that shit out.

Aside from the fabric squaring, everything else was pretty straightforward. I was introduced to chain stitching, proper ironing and pressing, etc. It is a fairly simple quilt, but I’ve been surprised at how long some of the steps take.

testing widths of 1/4" foot and pressing (sample block NOT good)
testing widths of 1/4″ foot and pressing (sample block NOT good)
For Patsy - she emphasized precision;)
For Patsy – she emphasized precision;)
sewing my strips
sewing my strips
Patsy showing proper technique - sass was optional
Patsy showing proper technique – sass was optional
it's clobbering time!
it’s clobbering time!
63 blocks ready to go
63 blocks ready to go
chain-stitching blocks
chain-stitching blocks
starting block assembly at home
starting block assembly at home
continuing to connect blocks under close supervision from C&P
continuing to connect blocks under close supervision from C&P

Last night was the final class session and the goal was squaring of the pieced block panel, and sewing the border on.  I’m not usually one for tooting my own horn (keep your euphemisms to yourself), but when we checked my top for squareness it was DAMN NEAR PERFECT.

I am god damn amazing. Charlotte is speechless by my perfection.
I am god damn amazing. Charlotte is speechless by my perfection.

I blame my innate stupendousness (and my wonderful teachers).

At this point, the quilt top is complete.

vury pretteh
vury pretteh

I need to piece the backing together, pin the 3 layers together, quilt the thing, and bind the edges.  No problem right?;)  My goal is 98% finished by June 27th (next Friday) – I’m planning on taking it to a Sew Hut social gathering to see my feisty teachers and show them my progress…  They said they have a few tricks left up their sleeves and I’m a sucker for magic.

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