I'd been sewing off and on for most of my life - though never with a formal class. By this time, I had made 3 completed quilt tops (which are a MESS, I might add). And I had no idea where to go next.... when I saw this class advertised at a shop.
I can't say a "local" shop though it is in fact the closest quilt shop :-) It is 45 minutes away.... but I decided to enroll.
And discovered very quickly how expensive quilts are! [the tops I had made in the prior year were made primarily of scraps from my stash... plus a fat quarter here and there]
Anyway, in Spring 2008... I signed up for the class and was immediately catapulted into choosing colors. Yikes! My first lesson.
I find it so hard to choose colors!
I found an inspiration fabric in traditional colonial-type colors (navy, burgundy, god) that I thought would match my home.
I received great advice from the quilt shop (choose the color of the room you will use the quilt in) - but not my way of working! I would not do that again. The colors just didn't captivate me and I got bored! [quite frankly, if I liked my quilt enough - I would repaint the room rather than choose colors to match the current decor - but that is me)
There are a couple of fabrics in the quilt that I am not in love with. I was assured that I would feel differently later. And, while the quilt looks nice - I still see the fabrics that didn't grab me - so I learned that this is not MY way :-)
I enjoyed the class in that we learned the history of different blocks, we went all the way back to basics.... made our own patterns from sandpaper & cardboard... machine stitched but hand quilted as blocks were made... quilted as I went along.
I kept up with classes almost to the end. But when the regular meetings ended - so did my work.....
I just didn't get back to the shop. I worked for a bit and finished all the piecing and quilting up to assembling the last few rows. And that was that for a few years! Like FIVE!
It is appropriate that this one be my very first finished bed quilt... since the class was so long ago.... but watch out in the years to come- I started a LOT of quilts in that early time period!
This quilt has a second story.. because when I decided to wash it... IT BLED! [And, before you ask - YES, I did pre-wash my fabric] That navy bled right into the muslin.
I tried stain remover and color catchers to no avail.
And then I found some color remover. I am so glad I decided to go very easy and tentative with it. I bought several boxes per internet instructions.... but decided to use just half a box and cold (instead of recommended HOT) water.
And I checked after 15 minutes instead of an hour
And I am so glad I did!
Color remover is no lie.... the navy did indeed come out of the muslin.... and the greens have faded out to gold... and the whole quilt faded :-(
BUT a) It looks antique
AND b) I learned
so... it's not my favorite quilt... BUT that is for several reasons not just the fading.
I learned a lot in this process, not the least of which is that I must love all the fabrics and not let others sway me. The fabrics might look great and be fine.... but MY quilt is MY art... I have to love it if I am going to spend that much of my life on it :-)