I have had a love hate relationship with sewing machines since I was a teen. I look at the things people make and think, I could totally make that. As it turns out that is rarely the case. Getting the right tension alway seems to be a problem for me as well as properly threading a machine. Put the two together and you have some problems. Add in three sets of little hands that love to turn dials and play with buttons and the problems multiply.
So last fall, in an attempt to have a handmade Christmas for all the kids we normally buy for, I asked a friend of mine if she would show me how to use my machine. My machine is a garage sale find that I paid $20.00 for and might I add it was worth every penny. She agreed and after a bit of time I was able to manage a very few basics on my own. The handmade Christmas however, did not happen.
So after a few months of avoiding sewing projects I decided to bite the bullet and start an easy project. After looking around at some fantastic blogs I decided to try an easy rag quilt. I have to admit the title of this one sucked me in right away. http://greenappleorchard.blogspot.com/2009/05/easiest-quilt-ever-rag-quilt-tutorial.html . I mean after all if it is truly the “easiest quilt ever” I might actually have a shot at making it, and more importantly finishing it. I have also seen these quilts at a few craft shows but can’t quite bring myself to pay the $70.00 they all seem to be priced at. After a trip to the fabric store I understand why they are all priced that high.
I won’t post a tutorial because Green Apple Orchard did such a beautiful job of theirs that it would be kind of like reinventing the wheel. So definitely check out the link above if this is a project you would like to try. As a beginner I highly recommend this as a starter project.
There were a few things that I was not prepared for when I started. The first was how long it takes to cut out 148 8″x8″ squares. I’m not gonna lie. It takes a long stinking time and even longer when three little girls are “helping”. Also the snipping of the edges took a couple of hours to complete. In the tutorial she suggests that you sit down in front of the television with some good scissors and your quilt. I was glad that there was a Criminal Minds marathon on because this took a VERY long time. I was a bit sloppy doing this step and in a few places actually snipped through my stitches. I honestly thought that it wouldn’t really matter too much (clearly I have a very small knowledge base when it comes to sewing). Here’s what happened when I washed it to get the frayed effect:
After a painfully long process of going back over all the seams I had accidentally snipped, and flattening the frayed bits so I could resew it I had myself quite a sweet little blanket that Glory loves and sleeps with each night. So I guess now that I have an impressive looking project and no real excuse for avoiding my sewing machine. Considering that it is only March now I think I will give the idea of a handmade Christmas this year another try. I have some great ideas for Ispy bags that I know will be a hit with the little ones. I am sure you will see them on here very soon.