Friday, September 2, 2011

Back at It: Starting to Stitch Again

Guess what? After my summer post-wedding hiatus from sewing and general craftiness, I'm happy to report that I'm back at it. I just kept reading books until the urge to pick up the needle struck, and about a week ago, I started working on this guy again. Made with vintage quilt blocks that I found at a local antique mall, it will be the first full size quilt that I make and keep since I started quilting a decade a go.

Did I ever tell you guys about that? I was living in Durham, North Carolina at the time, working for Habitat for Humanity as an AmeriCorps member. I spent my days hammering, building walls, painting, hauling random piles of stuff, working with volunteers, shopping for supplies at Home Depot and Lowes, and even digging holes for trees. It was a fascinating year, but the need for a softer side away from the hammer and nails and trucks was not lost on my friend Hilary and I. She taught me to knit during our lunch hours and we took an intro to quilting class on weekends in a nearby town.

A funny thing happened in that class. When we were given the assignment to choose fabrics and start piecing our design together, my teacher didn't agree with my fabric choices. I am sure that I may have overreacted since I was young (and potentially more stubborn than I am now), but I was completely irritated with her. So I stopped going to the classes. I think I missed the last two as I determined that I'd simply find a good quilting book and figure it out myself.

In some ways, I think that turned out well for me. My style of quilting has always been doing things that make me happy and not paying much attention to design theory or principles. I figure that if I like it enough to spend a year sitting and stitching it, then that means something. My technique has gotten better as I've had more practice, but the decision making and creative control continues to come from gut instinct. Which is rather refreshing and the entire point, if you ask me.

I'm about 1/4 of the way done stitching this guy and I hope to finish it this winter so that we can enjoy it when cuddled up on the couch.

Happy making this long holiday weekend!


  1. It always comes back, doesn't it? I'm glad you're back to it, Amy. And I totally hear you on the quilting class - our creative decisions feel very close to the heart!

  2. "My style of quilting has always been doing things that make me happy and not paying much attention to design theory or principles."

    That's totally the best way to create! Good for you, and hope it turns out great. This is something I'm hoping to teach myself soon as well.