Monday, September 1, 2014

Purely a Labor of Love-Splitting Hares

Labor Day Greetings, Doxie Girls!

What do people say to you when they hear you quilt and sew? Do they share with you their own passion--I hope so, or do they say, "Oh, I could never do that! It's just too hard." Well, Yes and No. Yes, it is kind of hard in the beginning, but we all start somewhere, and we get better with practice. No, it's not impossible, but it does take effort. I would venture to say that to some of us, and especially as beginners, it could be defined as "labor". 

There's a lot to learn at first, but some of it is a one time deal like how to thread your machine, or use a rotary cutter safely. Some takes more practice, like picking out fabrics that will work together or keeping your 1/4" seams at a 1/4". Some skills are tedious in the beginning, like intricate piecing, and they just take patience and practice. Is this what people are referring to--the hard stuff?

I want non-quilters to realize that some of the quilts with the most visual impact can be made with just 90 degree angles. No skinny points or circular piecing needed. Can't cut? Then buy yourself a charm pack in a print and a matching solid, and start sewing strips. Can't quilt by hand or machine? Then tie it. You see, it's only as hard as you want to make it, and the reward of seeing the fabric come to life in your hands is pure JOY! 

I'm working hard at polishing my machine quilting skills, and will admit I might even call it labor. I sit at the sewing machine and work at getting better. Not perfect. Not show-worthy. Better. But it IS work. I reason with myself that it is a skill, and as I get better I can do so many fabulous projects. So I keep on practicing. If we indeed refer to quilting as labor, it is purely a Labor of Love for many of us.  Please share the love. And for those of you who keep thinking you'll try it...

You just have to start somewhere with something. Do it.

This baby quilt, my Plus One, was put together with batting and backing yesterday afternoon. I was cutting it close with the batting, and ideally it should have been a little larger.

I bought a couple yards of a Moda solid in a standard width for backing, but I didn't know my dimensions yet. It wasn't quite wide enough to cover so I had to do some quick piecing with scraps.

I just used whatever I had already cut. Cutting the backing down the middle was logical because then you can be more precise about where your strip winds up versus piecing it to one end.

I'm headed down to my sewing machine on this Labor Day, and wish you all the best on your day off. 

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

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