Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My first attempt at a quilt

Yesterday I got all the supplies I needed to make my first quilt.  I’m following an online tutorial that a friend sent to me.  (Thanks Em!)  I already had thread, but I needed the mat, rotary cutter and edger, pictured below.  That mat was originally $28, but I had a 40% off coupon!IMG_9325
Here’s the fabric I got for the quilt.  12 half yard pieces of fabric.  I’m making it for Abbie.IMG_9309
So using my new tools, I had to cut each of those 12 pieces of fabric into 2.5” strips, seen below.IMG_9322
Now I have to sew 6 of these strips together to create my panels, but this is where it got tricky.
The strips are about 44” long.  As I was sewing my first 2 strips together, my damn sewing machine broke the thread at least 4 times.  I adjusted the tension each time and nothing helped at all.  And I’m using Gutermann (top of the line) thread.  This is the same damn problem I have every single time I use that stupid machine and it frustrates me to no end.  If it can’t sew 2 THIN pieces of cotton together, what good is it?  The answer, not much. 
So I finally got my first 2 strips sewn together and was on to sewing a 3rd strip on to the first 2.  I got less than a foot into it before I just gave up.  The machine doesn’t work.  The ladies at the sewing shop in Enid couldn’t even figure out how to get the tension right and prevent the huge rats nests from forming on the under side of the fabric.
The good news?  Mark’s going to buy me a new machine!!  Pretty darn excited about this.  The bad news?  I know absolutely nothing about machines really so this research is intimidating.  And they’re expensive.  But I want to get something that’ll last me a while and that I can use for quilting, including doing the top part – the quilting stitches all over the top of the quilt.  They have long arm machines that will automatically do it (and cost like $3000), but you can also do it manually on smaller (and cheaper) machines, which is what I would like to do.  I think that costs like $80-$150 to have that done to quilts so I guess 4-5 quilts in, you’ve made up for the cost of the machine.  We’ll see though.  I’m going to go check them out with Mark (and Abbie, who will be a huge help, I’m sure…) this weekend. 
Again, I’m open to any and all suggestions!  

2 comments:

J.A.Scherff said...

How exciting!! One of my projects one we're settled in California is learning to quilt. Would you mind sharing that tutorial??

Em said...

The next machine I buy will be a Bernina (after extensive research). I will be upgrading, and thus likely spending more money than you want to spend, but they make a more affordable machine called a Bernette. You can't usually find them in retail stores, so you'll have to find a sewing or fabric shop that sells Bernina.

I also know some people that have bought refurbished Janome or Brother machines from Overstock.com.

My current machine is a Kennmore. My mom and mother-in-law bought it for me for Christmas several years back. It has served me well, and I think you can get them at Sears. I believe it was in the $150 range.