Friday, April 24, 2020

New - I did a quilting video

I locked down rather early, because of some of the reading I'd been doing about this virus that wasn't quite in the general news yet.  We've had a really easy time with lock-down at our house.  John is working part-time from home.  Our kids are fine, our house is comfy, and we try to be sensible and avoid too much news.

Best of all, we both have great hobbies, and we love to work on them. 

After a while, the machine knitting seminars where I was booked to teach cancelled.  I was faithfully working on my next MK project, knitting and filming a rather cool new pattern collection.  I put a whole bunch of my monthly videos up ahead of time.  I did some de-cluttering, but not too much, wouldn't want to go overboard.  I watched other people's how-to videos on some of my favorite subjects (cooking, crafting, sewing, quilting, traveling, and decorating). 

As I cleaned out, I ran across at least a half dozen unfinished quilt projects from over ten years ago!  Let's face it, I just put everything else away when I got so involved with teaching MK back in 2009.  I looked at them, knowing how many quilts I DID finish, and thought about why each one of these sad little orphans ended up on a drawer or basket.

Maybe a project was super fussy and I was just tired of it.  Maybe I was convinced it would be difficult to put together.  Maybe I didn't know what I could make out of a few blocks that I did just to try something new.  By and large, though, I realized it was perfectionism - if I wasn't sure it was going to turn out great, I'd set it aside.   

I looked at them with fresh eyes and decided these projects weren't so bad.  I had been too critical...perfectionism is just another kind of fear, anyway.  I decided to finish each one and find it a home.

I had done practically no hobbies other than machine knitting for over ten years.  Why not take a little vacation from MK and finish these quilt UFOs?  

When you haven't done something in a while, you feel pretty clumsy, but after the first few days, my  skills were improving.  I got up in the wee hours one morning, sorted my old quilting scraps and cuts by color and pressed them.  I love scrappy quilts and the challenge of trying to make something from what I have without going to the stores.  I had a pretty good fabric stash, even spare rotary cutter blades, sewing needles, and lots of neutral thread.

I just wanted to get 'em done on my good old Bernina, and I came up with a fairly simple machine quilting routine.  I put binding on some of them, and on some of the charity ones, I simply made a bag with front, back, and batting, sewed around it, flipped it right side out, top-stitched around the edges and tied the quilt with perle cotton, tugged those knots tight and trimmed them neatly.  As I did those, I thought about my grandma.  As a small girl, I "helped" her tie a Sunbonnet Sue quilt - she was crazy about Sunbonnet Sue and I know she made a whole lot of them.  She used to applique a little boy in overalls, too, but I forget his name.  Do you remember? 

My grandma, who raised seven children in the depression, didn't waste anything.  She used an old blanket for the padding in that quilt.    

On several of my UFOs, I used a very simple, shortcut edge treatment.  I know people have done this forever, but I didn't find anyone teaching it on YouTube.  I bring the backing fabric around to the front to form a self-binding, and I've got a very nifty way to make beautiful mitered corners - fast.  Nope, it's not professional.  It's not something you'd use for a quilt show or competition.  It's practical, though, not too bad for a such a rusty seamstress.

I decided to do a YouTube of this shortcut method:

Now, knittin' buddies, I know many of you are quilters.  Got any UFOs to finish?

My quilting binge was a fun diversion for a strange time, but I've got lots of knitting projects and plans to go back to.

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