Long time listener, first time quilter

Today we have a guest poster. One of the things we hear from many customers is that they are intimidated to start quilting or overwhelmed by the prospect of choosing fabrics, piecing, concept, etc. After taking part in her first class, I wanted to have Joanna share her experience. Truthfully, I was kind of hoping I could sneak her blocks while she was writing – they are so fantastic! And I also have to mention that it wouldn’t be without the lovely Katie Pedersen. Her teaching approach and general style really has changed the outlook of many new-to-quilting folks. Can’t recommend her enough; so even if you can’t grab a class here, try to take one from her at other venues around Seattle (but of course, we do hope to see you here too)! Thanks Joanna for sharing how things went!

Most of us sewing and crafting are happily addicted to making beautiful things. I, like most beginners, find myself in love with sewing and fabric but unsure of how to get passed the plateau of only sewing what I know. Don’t get me wrong, I am still thrilled to make another tote bag or set of napkins, but I keep thinking I should push myself in other ways.

As a Drygoods Design gal I get to spend my days surrounded by fabric working at the shop. It’s been so (sew!) inspiring to see projects customers are working on and to help students enroll in sewing classes. So when the day came that Keli encouraged me to take one of Katie Pedersen’s modern quilting classes, I undoubtedly signed up and asked the essentials: “What time should I be there and how much fabric should I bring?”

The class: Improvisational String Quilt

The fabric of inspiration: Tsuru by Rashida Coleman Hale

The fear: Me, a quilter?

I tend to feel intimidated sewing alongside the talented folks that come through the shop, but I was ready to look passed my sewing insecurities and learn from the best of the best. Katie first led us through the quilting techniques from a conceptual point of view, and then before I knew it we were off starting our own individual projects! For an improvisational quilt the first step is to cut your strips and start sewing with no concrete plan. It took a few drafts of my block to figure out which fabrics looked good next to each other and how to best utilize the color value of each fabrics.

Before I knew it hours passed and blocks were successfully sewn! Once I got on a roll, it was time to throw up my blocks on the design wall to see how things were coming along. It was so fun to see how I could so easily change the feeling of the quilt with just a 90-degree turn of a block.

But we all know a quilt isn’t made in a day. I continue to work on my piecing and eventually I hope to have completed my first quilt.


4 responses to “Long time listener, first time quilter

  1. When I was pregnant with my first, I decided on a whim to make make my first quilt. I am happy to report with the help of a dear friend I am now working on my third. From selecting fabric to making it all work, quilting is really fun and a lot like piecing together life.

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