Oh good. I just took a look at my “2104 Things” thinking that I had on my list to take a photography class this year, but it’s not on there. Because goodness knows that there are enough things on the list that I haven’t done and won’t do this year (I’m looking at you 10K race).
Maybe I should have put it on my list to take a sewing class this year, because I could certainly cross that off my list! By pure happenstance, I stumbled upon a new (to me) sewing machine shop in my hometown and I noticed a lovely quilt hanging on the wall that could be made during one of their sewing classes (see below screen shot for examples…and all photos can be enlarged by clicking on them).
Ever since Scott bought me my current sewing machine (three years ago), he’s been nagging me to sign up for a sewing class to learn how to use my machine. I can sew in a straight line (mostly), so what do I need a class for? But when I saw this quilt, I knew it would be perfect! The quilt is called the Stitcher’s Garden Quilt and the shop is holding a once a month, 14 month long class to teach the techniques. The quilt focuses on applique, which scared the crud out of me, but after three months I’m in love!
As you can see from glancing at my blocks below and the ones in the image search, I’ve taken some creative liberties with my blocks. I could have used the fabric the shop provided me (which would be the more nursery pastel colors in the top left), but I wanted something a bit more modern and fresh. I chose to use a gray background with very very bright prints from Kaffe Fassett along with some others from Westminster Fabrics. Kaffe Fassett prints are notoriously colorful and while my stitching doesn’t always compete with the brightness, I’m loving the way these blocks are turning out.
Stitcher’s Garden Quilt Block One
I used a quilting guide on my machine for those straight lines. This also was my very first ever attempt at applique. I had no idea it would be so much fun! I love testing out all of the stitches on my machine and playing around with the different looks. I also do a fair amount of unpicking–there’s nothing more frustrating than spending my stolen time unpicking bad stitches but it happens!
Stitcher’s Garden Quilt Block Two
These blocks should have borders on them–that’s why the edges look so unfinished. We’ve been instructed not to do any piecing until the very end, which works for me as I have no idea how I’m going to pull all of these colors together! I pick the fabric for each block as I go along. Nothing is planned in advance.
Stitcher’s Garden Quilt Block Three
The downside? Doing the background stitching on the blocks takes quite a bit of time (there is a thin piece of batting behind all of the squares). All of the background quilting should be done before class, and I can rarely finish an entire background in one sitting. I tend to pick it up and put it down in pieces–5 minutes here, 10 minutes there. I try to do all of my applique in class and when my classmates look at me funny I remind them that I have two small children at home and this is my productive time!
It is fun to get away once a month and I look forward to picking out the fabric from my stash for the next block. As luck would have it, we are working on two blocks December 30th. Hopefully I can remember to report back in a few months to share some additional blocks.
And those hexies? Still chugging away! I’ve started sewing flowers together while we watch Gilmore Girls in the evenings and I hope to make some headway on an upcoming roadtrip this winter.
One stitch at a time! Thanks for indulging me in sharing… Linking up with Lee of Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday