Monday, September 15, 2014

National Sewing & Quilting Month

September is National Sewing and Quilting Month and I'm joining Fat Quarter Shop in their celebration. They are challenging each of us to try something new.  I'm a quilter who this year tackled my fear of zippers.  Next on my list of fears is to attempt garment sewing.  I haven't done anything more than buy a few patterns and yardage with the plan in mind.  I even borrowed a serger.  But every time I pull it out with the intent to learn how to use it and get geared up to try my luck at garment sewing, I chicken out.

I have distinct memories of my mother sewing when I was a kid. But she always sewed clothes. And never a quilt.  But being a child of the 70s and 80s and the patchwork loving that speaks to the era along with a mother that sewed, I think I was predestined to be a quilter.

The first time I knew I was a quilter was when someone asked me a quilting question and I confidently answered it without skipping a beat.  I remember getting into my car after that conversation and saying to myself, "Well, I guess you ARE a quilter now aren't you!"

Are you new to quilting? My advice is to really understand the importance of precise cutting and piecing.  The best thing I ever did to really learn those skills was to piece an entire quilt top by hand. I drew the 1/4" seam line lightly with pencil and then slowly stitched all the blocks together and then added sashing and borders.  This slow hand stitching process showed me that if the size or angle of a piece was off even just a little it affected how the block went together.  Same was true for accuracy in the 1/4" seam allowance.  

Quilting is my creative outlet.  It's where I find my center in a busy day.  The making allows me to feel like I've accomplished something even on the most hectic of days.  It's not a stretch to say that I love quilting because it keeps me sane.
Fat Quarter Shop has put together this free pattern to celebrate the month.  I love the rainbow gradient!

Thanks for inviting me to join in the fun Fat Quarter Shop.

Happy Sewing!


dolores said...

Sew that garment don't need the serger to sew clothing so just do it!!:) Use some inexpensive fabric first if you are worried about messing up the good stuff!!:) xo

Kelly O. said...

I too live in garment sewing fear but I've decided I'm okay with that and that I don't have to sew a dress... I'll buy mine :)

Beth said...

I bought a pattern and fabric for a child's dress just to make a garment. It is still just a pattern and fabric. Maybe I will pull that project out and take a deep breath and figure it out.

AnnieO said...

I've sewn many dozens of garments in my day and never had a serger. Seam finishing is an extra step without one, but not impossible! I've been 97% quilter and 3% home goods/garments for about 14 years now. Quilting definitely keeps me sane too!

WeedyMama said...

Do you have a community college in your community? Check and see if they offer sewing classes as well as quilting classes. My serger sat in a box for 2 yrs, and when I had finally tripped over it enough, I went looking for a class. Some Bernina dealers offer classes or have Bernina-trained instructors that teach.
There is a lot of information on that instruction sheet and learn to read the pictures as well as the descriptions. As long as your first project isn't a wedding dress or a Vogue pattern with a gazillion pieces, you will do fine. If you have a sewing friend, they will help with questions. I came to quilting from a garment making background, and it is like breathing--natural.

Jackie said...

Ok, Dana. I am going to have to come visit you and help you with your fear of garments and sergers. :) I've found that with sewing clothes there is a lot of forgiveness if things don't turn out quite right...once it's finished most people won't even notice. If you want an easy garment project to get started, start with a simple skirt. Make one for yourself, or your girls.

I look forward to making a quilt one day...I'll probably need your help. I am not the greatest at precise cutting or seam allowances, but I love practicing.

Sewing gives me the creative outlet I need at the end of a busy day, or crazy week. I get to do something I enjoy, it makes me feel better, and my kids get clothes. Win, win.