Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Beginner Quilting, Class 1

Last night was my first quilting class at The Quilt Shoppe. I wasn't nervous at all about it until I got there and realized I'm starting at square one with this whole sewing thing. My only prior sewing experience was in Home Ec. as a kid (though it had been rebranded to the more politically correct "Design and Tech"). I had asked before signing up how much sewing skill I would need and was told none. Works for me!

We have 2 instructors, Donna and Diana and I really like them both. The class is small, 8 people, which is great. I'm also not the only person in their 20s so that's nice, too. I love the fabric the other younger girl picked out, but I'm excited to see everybody's quilts when all is said and done.

Diana started off by talking about the tools needed to quilt. First and foremost, fabric. We talked about how you always cut across the width of the fabric, never the length. The fabric stays folded like it is on the bolt and you always cut with the fold next to your body. Next, you never use scissors to cut so we need to buy a rotary cutter. We also need to buy a ruler and a cutting mat. So much for my plans to cut back on spending, these classes are getting expensive. I've spent a few hundred dollars so far this month which is a lot in my world. Jo Ann is pretty much my new favourite store.

One thing they talked about which I found surprising was that fabric manufacturers do not sell their high-end fabric in chain stores (think Jo Ann and Fabricland). Apparently if you see the same bolt of fabric in Jo Ann and in an independent quilt store, the fabric in the quilt store will be of higher quality. They did say it's okay to use lesser quality fabric, it's just something to consider when buying fabric.

Thankfully we were not bombarded with too much too soon as all this new information was freaking out my brain. I want to write an entry later on about how learning skills as an adult is different than as a kid. I don't remember being this freaked out by new information as a kid! We took to some tables to cut scraps of fabric for practice. I was struggling a little bit as my ruler kept slipping and the store's rotary cutter I was using had gotten somewhat dull.

By the time we finished class, I'd cut some of my fabric and sewn some of it together with quarter-inch seams. I struggled a little bit with sewing the seam as my fabric kept feeding in on an angle. We have to finish cutting and sewing our fabric strips together this week and I am positively nervous about it. I'm so scared to make a mistake.

Diana kept saying to our class, "This is not supposed to be stressful! Quilting is supposed to be fun!" but as I looked around at my classmates, I could see some other stressed out faces. Hopefully things become easier as the class goes on. I have taken for granted how naturally the cake decorating comes to me. As I was cutting my scraps of fabric, I wished I was decorating a cake instead. At least I'm good at that!

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