although i love to browse fabric stores and websites (both are like foreplay to me) and often fantasize about all the possibilities at my fingertips with cloth, thread and a sewing machine (sexy, right?), i’ve come to the conclusion and have accepted the fact that i will never sew very well, least of all make a living off of it. ever. my personality conflicts with sewing.
not that i don’t enjoy sewing; quite the contrary. i used to sew lots of things...i even sewed my own prom dress. i'm just not very good at the craft. i decided several months ago to sew, rather than knit, my next baby a blanket (i knit my first-born a blanket when i was about 6 months pregnant…it was my 3rd knitting project ever and it really honed my knits and purls). i loved the idea of a patchwork quilt so decided to pick up some fat quarters here and there and kept my eyes open at thrift stores for fabric that i liked. i eventually collected enough fabric bits to make my first ever patchwork quilt.
anyway, as soon as i started the project, i immediately noticed my resistance to things i’d been taught in home-ec classes in junior high (though i AM proud to say that i pre-washed the fabric to control for shrinking…well, almost all the fabric…i found a bit at the last minute and didn’t wash it…i’m going to pay for it i’m sure).
1) i did not plan out how the colours would coordinate. a lady at one of the local quilt shops emphasized to me the importance of picking out proper colours and patterns…she even offered an entire class on “choosing the correct colours and patterns.” i looked at her like she had 4 heads, swore profusely under my breath, and proceeded to get the hell out of there quickly. there’s nothing i hate more than over-planning something that i want to just enjoy and relax with. i hate rules and i especially hate when people try to force them upon me.
2) i did not measure or cut with precision. in fact, to cut the squares, i found a little board book of my son’s (not a perfect square, and with rounded corners) and used it as a guide. many of my squares were different sizes. but i didn’t really care; i made this project in between knitting projects/preparing meals/cleaning/sleeping while my son napped. i didn’t have time (or the inclination) to measure correctly. what a luxury that would be! oh, and i DID NOT iron my fabric. i know, i'm a sinful bitch.
3) during the sewing phase, i didn’t appropriately deal with rough edges. i had always been taught to do zig-zag stitch or something of the like for a finished look, but i JUST COULDN’T BRING MYSELF to do it. lazy? rushed? rebellious? stupid?
4) i did not establish a pattern what-so-ever… although all quilting websites i looked up (i’d never done a patchwork project prior to this so i looked for guidance) in addition to the aforementioned quilting store owner emphasized the importance of establishing a pattern , the thought of doing so made my ass twitch and my hands tremble. consequently, no pattern was established and in one place, two identical squares matched up…oops…oh well, the baby wont notice. not right away anyway because they’re practically blind for the first several weeks.
5) i sewed quickly and sloppily. and didn’t try very hard to keep a perfect ¼ inch seam…is that what it is? when you follow the width of your foot? i also forced those imperfect squares together in whatever way i could. i didn’t sweat it too much…i just couldn’t bring myself to care!
6) i haphazardly measured the boarder material (which was a jersey sheet from value village which i bought for 3 dollars…such a good deal and so much cheaper than new fabric!! and it’s so stretchy and soft!), made some mistakes , and re-cut. i didn’t even cut on a smooth surface…i cut on the carpet, which was a nightmare. i barely used a measuring tape. what a shit-show, right?
7) after slopping in the batting, sewing some VV jersey sheet on the back (i had no idea how to eloquently sew on the back piece so i just sort of rammed it through the machine), i shamefully sewed on the biased tape while watching “thomas the train and the island of sodor” with my son, who for better or for worse, helped me feed the whole thing through the machine (he has a knack for and natural affinity to home-economics).
phew. and it’s finished. honestly, i don’t mind the end result. i find it kind of charming. i would never show it off to anyone who quilts. just my family will appreciate this work of art who are none the wiser to my messy, sloppy ways. i’m sure my baby will love it and one day suck the shit out of the corners so that they fray and stink of stale toddler breath. and it will get washed over and over again until it begins to fade (hopefully those unwashed squres wont cause the entire thing to pucker and warp...fuck…mental note, do not dry in the dryer) and it will serve it’s purpose: to keep my child warm, comforted and surrounded by colour.