This week I managed to finish the strips on my quilt… I also reached a major set back. 😦
Once I finished my 5 rows of strips I though I would just have to put 5 more strips the other direction and then I would be on to the finishing steps to the quilt, such as adding backing and batting and then sandwiching them all together. Sadly, this was not the case because I made a MAJOR mistake.
So, I really did not think through what I was doing before I began sashing. I thought that once I was done all the horizontal rows, I would just add strips vertically to finish it off. I forgot that in order to hide the seams you have to sew the fabric together inside out and then iron it to flatten. Once I had the horizontal strips added, I went to take my next step.
That is when my brain started to express its confusion because I knew how to properly sew my pieces together, but I did not understand why I could not do it now.
I literally stared at my quilt for a half hour before I realized what I had done wrong. What I should’ve done was sewed on my in between white patches onto my squares BEFORE I sewed my squares to my strips and attached them all.
Once I realized my mistake I had a minor meltdown. This meltdown included throwing the “ruined” quilt to the floor and then dramatically laying next to it. I then stormed around the house for a few minutes before vainly attempting to sew on the little squares. I knew this would not work because once one side has been sewed on, there is no way to properly attach the other 3 sides to one another.
I spent the rest of the day pouting about my terrible mistake and picking out ideas for my new quilt (which would definitely not include a sashing pattern). The next day I decided that perhaps I should not be a quitter and try to learn another important quilting skill called seam ripping. I found a YouTube video that described how to properly dismantle my entire project and then I set to work. The nice thing about seam ripping is that you can do it basically anyway. On the bright side I have gotten through a lot of episodes of Scandal while I tear my hard work apart. Once I have the entire thing taken apart I will sew on patches to either side of each square, and then I will attach them back to the strips.
This setback may mean that my trial quilt may be the only quilt I accomplish before the semester is over, but I am now determined to sew another quilt after I finish this one.
So, this week has been more progress on my strips for my quilt! Again, it is a slow progress, but I am feeling excited to be close to finishing this part of my quilt! I have completed 3 and a half strips and only have 1 and a half more to go (total of 5 rows). This week has been solely focused on getting my strips done, so this post will be short and sweet.
I had to rethread my bobbin this week and I was very proud of myself for remembering how to without using my instruction manual! Each time I finish a strip I also have to iron in, which is time consuming but very necessary for keeping everything neat and orderly. Here is my progress so far!
It is a bit tricky because you have to remember which side each square attaches to on each strip and then re-pin each new square.
This week has been spent sashing my strips of fabric onto my squares that I made. This has been a slow-going progress and is very time consuming. I feel as though I do not have a lot to show compared to last week, but only because I must pin the square onto the strip and then sew a straight line across the entire strip and 5 squares. This can be challenging because if you do not stay straight you can miss part of the square or sew a corner down in the wrong place.
I found this video on basting, but the quality was not very good and I could not hear the instructions. I then found this YouTube video which gave me a clear understanding of how to add batting and backing to my quilt, as well as how to baste it by hand!
Well, I am officially able to thread my machine without any guidance- no instruction manuals and no YouTube videos needed. I have my cat to thank for this… He has started to thoroughly enjoy chewing my thread off at every given opportunity, this has turned out to be a seriously inconvenient habit that requires me to rethread my machine at least once a day. The only positive to this is that I am now so good at threading it, that I could do it with my eyes closed.
On a more productive note, I have finally finished all my squares, found a sashing video that I like, and successfully ‘sashed’ my first section. This is the video I used; I liked it because it was strictly on sashing, so it got straight to the point. I also found it easily to follow along with because it she was sashing her own quilt while recording the video, so it was visually helpful not just auditory.
Sashing is when you put a fabric around your original squares to keep them from all touching. I am choosing to sash in my quilt because I don’t think that my random patterned squares would look nice together without a fabric in between. For my next quilt I will make it without sashing, however I did not realize this was an option when I started this quilt haha!
I have all my squares to sash, and then I will be moving on to the next step of my quilt; this will be finding backing fabric, as well as batting. I will explain more when I get to these steps. For now my focus will be on finishing sashing.
To Sash my quilt squares, I laid all of my squares onto the floor and spaced them out to the size I liked. I then measured my quilt and decided to make square 3 inches apart. Here is my first piece that I have sashed! I still have to do the in between pie
This week I spent most of my time finishing the last of my squares, as well as organizing the fabric that I retrieved from my grandmas. I took home two buckets and am now drowning in various fabrics and sewing books. I have also started to look at the next step of my quilting project. After I finish the squares, I will need to sew a boarder around them. This stumped me on account of not knowing the proper term for getting fabric between my square patches. I tried using google, but just kept getting instructions on how to sew a boarder around the completed quilt. I watched an instructional video that contained a quilt with a similar look that I wanted to achieve. This is where I learned the word I was looking for.
SASHING!!! The magical word that I needed to unlock so many answers. After learning this word, I was able to spend some time searching videos and getting a sense of the next step for my quilt. I was now able to search for new videos and resources that would help me with this step of the quilt. I did not get much actual sewing done, which I was a little disappointed about, but I did spend about 4 hours sorting through the two buckets that I brought home. This task took me longer than I originally anticipated but I am happy to finally have everything organized, and to be able to visualize ideas for my next quilt!
I watched this video to try to understand sashing, but I don’t think I really like it so I am going to look for a new one for next week when I am ready to begin sashing my squares.
Well it finally happened folks…. My thread ran out. This post does not have any big exciting advancements in my quilting project, however, I did teach myself to thread my machine properly and how to refill a bobbin.
My sewing was going well; I had managed to get at least 4 squares completed. I had planned to do 10 squares as my set goal for the day, but my thread and machine had other plans. I was halfway through my square when suddenly something felt off. I check my square to find that the there was no thread. I searched the machine to make sure that it did not just fall out of the needle, but that thread was still threaded properly.
Time to face my fear of running out of bobbin thread.
I decided the first step should be to get my instruction manual out along side my phone. I got my instruction video out and began to watch it while referring to the instructions for further guidance. After a ton of rewinding a many failed attempts, I finally got the machine threaded properly for the bobbin winding! As I was about to start the winding process, Simon decided to come investigate and ‘assist’ me on my skills. Unfortunately, his solution was to chew on the thread, so I left to go get the spray bottle.
While I was gone my brother was so generous as to video (rather than stop) Simon as he proceeded to chew completely through my very long tedious threading work.
Thanks to the chewing work done by my cat, I had to start over with my winding the bobbin thread correctly. Practice makes perfect right?
After successfully rethreading the bobbin winder AGAIN, I got the satisfaction of seeing my hard work pay off as the bobbin refilled itself with the push of my pedal.
Now, I definitely am not good enough at it to do it again by memory, but I do feel more confident that when the time comes, I will not have to rewind my video resource nearly as much, so it is a win in my books!
This week has been a surprisingly productive one as far as my learning project goes. I was excited and nervous to officially begin sewing, but luckily all has been well so far! This week I was able to practice sewing squares of fabric together using the cheap fabric I picked up from Walmart. It is not for the official quilt that I want to make, but for a smaller one that I am practicing on first. I chose to do a pattern of two matching squares with two random squares.
I am happy so far with how my project is going, but I am running low on thread, so next week may throw some new challenges my way. I also have not learned what to do with my squares once I have the amount that I want. I will need to find some new video resources and online blogs to help me sort out some of my future quilting steps.
To make these squares I started by laying them out in the pattern that I wanted them. I then put the top and bottom square together and inside out. I lined up the edges and pinned them together and then repeated with the second set of squares. From there I sewed both of my sets of squares together.
I then had to match up the squares together and inside out again to sew each set of two squares together to make the set of four.
This took some time and patience as there were a few times where I accidentally sewed squares together in the wrong pattern or sewed them inside out. Once I got a little more confident in myself I was able to relax and thoroughly enjoy myself for a bit. Once I had sewn quite I few sets of squares I decided to iron them flat as I was shown in an example video. This made them nice and flat and they looked much more promising after this step was complete
This past week I was finally able to practice using my sewing machine! I decided to try sewing using an old rag so that I could just throw it away once I was finished.
I sat down, plugged in my pedal, and shoved my rag near the presser foot. After pressing on the pedal several times and following my cords, I realized that I had plugged in the machine and the pedal cord did not need to be plugged in because it was attached to the machine. Thus began the task of finding out where the power switch on my machine was. Once I found that, I again tried to press the pedal down. This time my needle began moving- I was about to get excited when suddenly the thread flew out of the needle hole from the up/down motion. *sigh* Now I had to find out how to rethread my machine. Lucky for me the thread had only come out of 3 spots, which I was able to figure out on my own and put back together before struggling to get it through the needles hole.
Back to trying to put thread into fabric. I pulled the thread’s tail really far so that I could avoid another escape. I put my fabric back against the presser foot and slowly stepped on my pedal… nothing happened. Then I remembered that there is a way to lift the presser foot up—oh golly, another journey! Searching for the lever that lifts the presser foot up was slightly easier than searching for the power switch, and I found it a little quicker. I lifted up my presser foot, shoved my fabric underneath the foot near the needle, and clamped it back down onto the fabric. Pressing the pedal yet again, I finally succeeded in sewing the thread into the fabric, and bonus, I did not even sew over my finger!
After successfully sewing a few lines I cut some squares of fabric out and began sewing them together. Only problem was that I knew there was a certain way to do this, and I did not have any idea how to do so. I googled a video and discovered that you put them on top of each other, sew the edge, and then when you open them back up they will be attached. I also learned that after this step you should press the fabric with an iron. I did not do this step though, simply because it was a rag and I would be throwing it away anyway.
Now I am officially excited to start sewing but I am also dreading how much I still do not know. I currently have white top thread and red bottom thread. I have no idea how to change either of these things and I have no idea how to measure and cut squares of fabric. I also do not know how to refill the underneath threads, but I do remember my grandma doing so one time. SO I have a ton more to learn before I actually start my quilt. I did go to Walmart and pick up some $2.00 fabric to keep practicing on though, so hopefully I can keep learning new things about my machine while also learning how to sew straighter lines!
Here is where I went to learn my square sewing skills 😎
So my learning project has had a fairly slow start – my dad could not find my sewing machine in the garage–fail! He finally found it for me yesterday though, Hurray! I did not get the chance to look at it yesterday due to my night class right after work so I had to wait until today to have a good look at it. I started by taking off the cover (big mistake). I was greeted with spider webs and major confusion and panic.
Like WOW are there ever a lot of buttons and switches on this thing. My first thought was to put the lid right back on and run to my computer to change my learning project. As you can see, however, I managed to get a grip. I began to really look at the sewing machine and appreciate where it came from. After spending a few minutes looking at the controls and finding a good spot to put the machine, I decided to snap a couple of pictures and snag the instruction manual. I have spent some time tonight learning what things are and where things go (vague, I know). More specifically I have learned where the thread goes and what the needle position means.
I will be retrieving my fabric this weekend and then the real tests will begin. I have also been reading my quilting book and will continue to do so until I get my fabric from the farm. I will hopefully get to spend some time this week practicing sewing random rags together so that I can get a feel for the sewing machine and how it works!
For my learning project I am going to be attempting to learn how to quilt. I have chosen this project because my grandma always used to make quilts before she passed away. When I was younger I would spend two weeks each summer taking swimming lessons and working on a quilting project with her. She passed away unexpectedly in 2006 and I was too young to really know how to quilt on my own. Now that I am older I can truly appreciate the talent that she had, and I have been wanting to learn how to sew for many years now. When I read about this project in the syllabus I thought that it would be a great time to learn.
I have a sewing machine that my grandma had bought for me when she was teaching me how to sew, and all her old fabrics and other sewing supplies are still at my grandparent’s farm. I am planning to make a patch quilt so that I can use up some of the fabric that is already available to me. I also have a quilting book that I got for my birthday a couple of years ago that I will use as a reference guide. I have found a website that has instructional videos as well.
Go to the farm and retrieve materials and thread
Decide on quilt size and pick out materials for quilt
Learn how to use my sewing machine through videos and practice
Once I understand the basics of sewing, I will begin my quilt