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The Road to Spring Quilt-Along — Week 1

January 26, 2010

I’ve been wanting to learn how to quilt for years now, but never made much of an effort beyond just thinking about it now and then. A few weeks ago I stumbled across the blog I Have to Say, and read about her upcoming Quilt-Along. So…I took a deep breath and decided to take the plunge. I’m in. I’m going to do it.

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I just got my mother-in-law’s sewing machine back from the repair shop last Friday, and it’s sitting — all clean and oiled and repaired — waiting to be put to work. originally I thought I’d start off with something relatively small and simple. Cloth napkins, or maybe simple curtains for Shane’s room. But then I thought…why break from my life-long tradition of jumping into things that are way over my head?

So, here goes nothing. I’m going to make a quilt. Or at least something resembling one.

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Sunday morning I met up with my mother at a local craft & sewing store, to pick out fabric.  I wanted someone with me, both as another pair of eyes to help decide which fabrics looked right together, and as another pair of hands to keep my son occupied during the time we were there.  We had to have been the worst possible pair to pick out quilting fabrics.  I couldn’t make a decision to save my life…and my mother’s color blind. 

The cart was overflowing with bolts of fabric, my son was channeling Hansel & Gretel by dropping a trail of Cheerios from the cart (maybe he was afraid we’d never leave and he’d have to find his own way home?), and I was getting seriously overwhelmed and flustered with all the choices available. 

And then she entered, stage left.  My Quilting Angel. 

She was the sweetest little lady, and she stepped right in to help this floundering newbie out. 

With her help, I was able to pinpoint which fabric really spoke to me, and from there we were able to select others that complimented it.  She told me that she used to teach quilting classes, and still loves to help out aspiring quilters when she can. 

We chatted — she asked questions about me, about my life, my decorating likes and dislikes — all the while she was scanning the bolts of fabric in front of us, adding, rearranging, and removing prints.

I wanted something vibrant.  Something cheerful and warm.  Something to add a much-needed burst of color to my home. 

She helped me do just that.

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Before saying goodbye, she showed me where to find a self-healing cutting mat and new blades for the rotary cutter I had picked up last summer at a yard sale.  As I was getting in line to check out, she pressed four small rectangles of paper into my hands — 40% and 50% off coupons.  After sputtering my thanks, I asked her if she could use them for her purchases.  “Oh, I’m not buying anything today.  I just came in to return something, and felt like looking around in the quilting section for some reason.” 

It’s such a humbling, inspiring, and uplifting feeling, to be the recipient of someone else’s random act of kindness.

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My fabric has been prewashed, and is now looped over our drying rack, shower rod, and towel rack.  Later today, while Shane naps, I’ll drag out the hated iron and press everything. 

Week one’s homework for the Quilt-Along is complete…next week we’ll be cutting our pieces for our quilts.

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2010 7:50 pm

    You’re going to love quilting!!

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