Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Not as easy as it looks

I've been sewing since I was a child. I've been sewing well since a teenager. As a young wife and mother I made most of my family's clothing -- out of necessity and just for fun. But I haven't sewed now for several years, maybe a decade, maybe longer. I have tried a few small projects -- fabric bowls, an Irish Chain quilt, a Christmas wall hanging.... That's about it.

So this past weekend I put a new audio book on the CD player and started cutting and sewing together an Ohio Star quilt complete with appliqued hearts.

First of all, I couldn't decide on the fabrics. What colors to use and where and why? Purple? Blue? Monochromatic? Two-tone? Scrap? Then I pulled out some patriotic fabrics --red, white and blue stars, flags, variations on that theme. And that solved my color and fabric dilemma, I'd make a patriotic wall hanging. Not that I need one. Not that I'll even hang it for more than a few days each year, yet, I liked the idea of it. I felt it was doable. So I started cutting out squares and quarter-triangles while listening to David McCullough's book John Adams. Great book by the way and soon to be released as an HBO mini-series. The book and quilt seem to be following a similar theme.

But I digress.

I snipped and measured, sewed and ripped and sewed and sewed and ripped. And the poor Ohio Star that developed -- well, lets just say some parts fit better than others. Some of the triangles fit together giving the little block a waistline. Not a good thing.

I discovered that printing out a pattern off of the Internet comes with some problems. Some size problems. It seems that just because it is printed off of a page that has the right sized pattern, doesn't guarantee that the printed pattern will be true to size.

So I got out my trusty copy of Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes
with their carefully prepared patterns and instructions.

I would love to say that the quilt fell together and I am finishing it up. But what I have is an Ohio Star laid out with all of the pieces in the proper places, awaiting a trip to the sewing machine. But first I must work up the nerve to give it another try. It is the first hurdle. Just do it. Don't try to channel Hollis Chatelaine or Kaffe Fassett or Ruth McDowell -- just sew for the joy of sewing.

It has been too long since I did that. But, I'm looking forward to that -- not the quilt, not the wallhanging, not even mastering the basic Ohio Star pattern. But sewing simply for the joy of it. It has been too long.

No comments: