Nov
14
2008

  My First Quilt Square

I attended my first Quilt Club meeting this afternoon. I have been eagerly awaiting this event, having picked out fabric for my first quilt back before I went on vacation. Because we had to leave Richmond early this morning in order to make sure we were able to get our leaky tire fixed today, I was even able to go to the daytime class instead of the nighttime class. It's less crowded, and I don't have to drive in the dark so I prefer to attend the daytime classes whenever possible.

First I learned how to fold the fabric for cutting, how to determine which direction to cut the pieces, and how to use a rotary cutter. I anticipate that I'll have to use paper and pencil to figure out the best way to lay out the rectangles in the future, at least until I get the hang of it. If the fabric was flat, I'd be able to do the math in my head, but it confuses me a little when it's all folded up. I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually.

The rotary cutter was delightfully easy to use for cutting straight lines. If I want to make more quilts, I'll need to get one to use at home, and a cutting mat. I already have the fat quilting ruler since I find it useful when I'm making draperies and other home furnishings and trim.

Once my pieces were cut, I learned how to sew up "flying geese" pieces in a chain. I learned (the hard way) that using a quilting foot instead of a garment foot makes a pretty big difference when it comes to sewing 1/4" seams in lightweight fabric. I sewed rectangles to the flying geese, then sewed several of those blocks together to make the whole pinwheel block. It was supposed to be a "Louisiana" block, but I wound up doing something wrong so my block would only work as a mirror image of what it was supposed to look like. Fortunately, the instructor confirmed my suspicion that it didn't really matter; my pinwheels would be spinning in a different direction from the rest of the class, but the quilt will still look fine.

I finished four blocks. I missed the first class in October, but since there is no December class the teacher said I could just come in any Friday in December and make up the first lesson. Then I'll make four blocks called "Card Trick". I think the blocks we'll make in January are called "Missouri Star". Those seem rather complicated. But I did go ahead and select which colors I'll use for which part of the blocks, so I can cut my pieces at home in advance if I get around to getting my own rotary cutter and mat. I think that might be all the blocks we need to make except for the large applique block in the center of the quilt. There is some sort of Hawaiian design in the sample quilt, but I think I'd prefer to use something else. It's just applique, so I figure I can make any shapes I want to.

The class isn't scheduled to finish until May, but I'd prefer to finish in early April if possible. I'm glad the instructor is so nice, she said she thought we'd be able to work that out.

I might try quilting a small pillow or something at home, so that I can practice on a small piece before going on to the quilt itself.

I've got to figure out how to install the code that will make it easy for me to upload photos right into my blog posts. The process is a bit cumbersome right now, so I don't bother unless I've got a whole album of photos to upload, then I put it in the "gallery" tab anyway. It would be nice if I could easily put photos of my projects right here in my posts.