March 18, 2010

spring fever

Posted in quilting at 2:35 pm by peachknits

I have a confession to make: I hate the winter.

Winters in Kentucky aren’t very harsh, compared to, say, Denver or Buffalo or Toronto. And that’s just fine with me. The few snow storms we get, not to mention the months and months of dreary, chilly, drippy weather we endure from late October to early March is more than enough winterfication for me. After December 25 (and sometimes before) I throw in the towel: bring on the sunshine, the freckles and the bermuda shorts. I’m ready for the warm.

These last few days have been delightful, though. Spring in the Cincinnati area is glorious. I’ve noticed my energy levels have gone up, I’m smiling more, and I’m not as grumpy or tired. (I’m a real bear in the winter.) And while my crafting hobbies don’t lend themselves particularly well to the warmer weather (Have you ever tried to knit wool in 90-degree weather? Not so much fun….), the spirit of spring has been influencing my project choices of late, too.

Particularly, my first foray into quilting.

That’s right, I’ve started learning another craft. A few weeks ago, ladybear and I went to Joann’s in Mason (which is a big, big Joann’s–the Walmart of craft stores, even) and selected fabric for our first quilts. We decided to make the same pattern, the free Amy Butler Lotus Quilt. We spent about 2 hours choosing fabrics (it’s a tough task!) and after a lot of hemming and hawing about it, I decided to buy a Singer Simple sewing machine that was on sale for less than $150. Feeling a little guilty about my big purchase*, I drove home, wondering if a quilt was too large of an endeavor for my first “real” sewing project.

I’ve sewn before. I’ve made a few rag quilts (which I don’t really consider “real” quilts, because there’s really no quilting involved; the seams are all visible on one side, giving the quilt it’s raggedy appearance), two Quidditch cape for a Harry Potter movie premiere, and once, long ago, a tiny tiny pillow made from various heart print fabrics, which I sewed in the sixth grade. That was my first sewing project, and I managed to sew my thumb to the fabric somewhere during the process. I’ve always been a little afraid of the sewing machine for that reason.

But I’m being brave and trying again, this time with an actual quilt project. And because spring is in the air, I chose fabrics with nature patterns, in blues, teals, purples, greens and pinks.

Last week, I cut up all 198 rectangles for the quilt top.

And then I arranged them into rows.

My favorite is the pink bird fabric. 🙂

I’ve been sewing a few strips a night and tacking them up on my wall one at a time, like trophies. So far, they’re all straight, and no thumb-sewing has occurred (although it’s still possible at this point). I plan to wrap myself up in my spring-fabric quilt during the winter months and dream of warmer days.

*My guilt about purchasing a new sewing machine was short-lived because, within the next two days, I acquired not one, but two lovely sewing machines, in perfect working condition, from two separate sources. One source was Z’s mom, who owned five sewing machines and had one she never used, and the other was KB’s mom, who also taught me to knit, and is now enabling me in other aspects of my crafting life. I was able to return the new sewing machine and save some money. I am immensely grateful for the generosity of these talented sewers.