You can probably file this under ‘I would not have expected that’ – I have a hidden talent…for sewing!
Having grown up surrounded by hand-made masterpieces and a love of sewing and quilting that is shared by both my grandmother and mother it’s not really a surprise that I developed an interest in it myself. There’s something so calming and satisfying in taking different pieces of material that you love, dismantling them and then using the pieces to create something entirely new which is not only beautiful but also functional and useable in day to day life.
I mean, look at this craftsmanship! Hand pieced, hand sewn and hands down my favourite things my mom has ever given me.
Though my mom has been quilting since I was a kid it wasn’t until about 6 years ago that I started to explore the world of sewing and quilting. I had always admired the handiwork of quilters (with one in residence I saw quite a few come together and even more at various quilt shows) and could see the beauty of what they created I never thought of it as something I would be interested in doing myself.
But then I found blogs like In Color Order, Bijou Lovely and Flying Blind on a Rocket Cycle which opened my eyes to the global community of ‘modern’ quilters that were just like me and were approaching the skill in a completely new and very colourful way.
I started with small projects like ‘mini quilts’:
Then I experimented with drawstring bags (please forgive the terrible lighting) and patchwork zippered pouches:
Before I eventually moved on to larger scale projects – quilts themselves!
Like any (in)sane person I started with a nice, easy (HA!) pattern – Lizzy House’s 1001 Peeps (pattern available here), Understanding that it might be a bit of a challenge I enlisted my expert to help.
Three days, some severe carpel tunnel and a lot of ups and downs (there are few things worse in this world then belatedly realizing you’ve made a mistake which means you need to literally rip apart what you’ve just spent hours slaving over) later…we had a gorgeous, finished quilt top:
My mom is more on the traditional side when it comes to quilting and so her first reaction to seeing it all together was: ‘It’s certainly…colourful.’ So diplomatic!
I, on the other hand, LOVED it. The colours! The chaos! The fact that we both made it out alive and with all ten fingers! Needless to say, I was hooked on this hobby and I eagerly dove into further projects…
But there’s no doubting which piece is my pride and joy…
This was the first quilt I ever completed and was a labour of love from start to finish. To this day just looking at it fills me with a sense of happiness and pride!
Though my move to London a couple of years meant I lost access to a fully-stocked quilt room and sewing machine I fully intend on getting a machine and resuming my hobby as soon as I can. In the meantime I’m lucky enough to have generous friends willing to lend me their machines which allows me to keep my skills sharp with smaller projects. Still love the pattern but have grown tired of the top half of a dress? Not a problem – I’ll jut make it a skirt!