The Karma of Quilting

A much needed reminder of good things happening.

The above photo is of my Rowan Birch Shawl in progress. I’m over two-thirds through and well on course for presenting this to a friend on her 30th birthday. Progress!

Things have been less productive in other areas of my life. I’ve taken today off work to plough on with the manuscript I’m writing, but it’s been one of those days when it’s like pulling teeth. A. Total. Waste. Of. Time.

So I thought it timely to remind myself and you of some of the good things that have been happening! I’ve attended two more sewing evening’s courtesy of my lovely neighbour. We made a wash bag from the book, Sew! Cath Kidston:

That’s table cloth fabric, that is!

And this week we made impressive progress on a patchwork cushion:

Isn’t it pretty?

The patchwork session was led by my friend’s mother, an expert quilter and jolly nice woman! She was extremely patient, leading us all through the vagaries of quilting as we chatted and laughed. Highlight of the evening for me? One of our party treated her first go on a sewing machine as though she was taking a bend in the Monaco Grand Prix. I’ve never heard a sewing machine engine ROAR before!

Quilting Mum had loads of lovely tips to share:

  • You can lick the end of your needle, instead of the end of your thread to get the cotton through the eye. ‘Watch your tongue, though!’ she told me, brightly. I still can’t quite picture myself craning my body round to reach the end of my sewing machine needle with the tip of my tongue, but I’m sure there’s logic there somewhere!
  • You can use an old blouse as the buttoned back panel on a cushion. Woah! Only the previous week I had been eyeing an old Liberty blouse that I have hanging in my wardrobe. I bought it for pennies in a charity shop and like the fact that it’s Liberty, but it’s a bit fuddy-duddy and I never wear it. It would make the perfect back panel to my new patchwork cushion! I’m definitely going to try that.
  • Best of all: every quilting project should contain a mistake. That’s how you know it’s unique. So when some of my squares failed to match up quite perfectly, it didn’t bother me. That’s my mistake, I thought. It’s meant to be. The karma of quilting!

Finally, and most importantly, I’ve invested in a new sewing machine. This is the machine I’ve been using for a year, having inherited it free via Freecycle:

From a little old lady to me

A lovely lady of advanced years gave me this Toyota machine, as she’d just bought herself a new one. It’s done the job it was meant to – proven that I can stick with this sewing malarky. But the tension isn’t great, the grip is pretty awful, it’s absolutely full of dust and lint and, well… I know things could be a lot better. I figure I’ve earned myself a new machine.

I had grand plans to query you all on your machines of choice, to take polls, invite opinion, research, probe and analysis. In the end, though, I ran out of patience and succumbed to the magic click of the mouse. A Bernina Activa 230PES is on its way to me. There wasn’t much science involved in choosing this machine, although its quilting abilities did appeal to me as our sewing group has inspired me to possibly attempt more in this arena. I’ve also been drooling over this book on Amazon, The Gentle Art of Quilting by Jane Brocket. (Jane has a lovely and intelligent blog for any of you looking for fresh reading material.)

So, there we have it. A busy week in which little sewing or knitting has taken place and – sob! – even less writing. But I am just going to force myself to be pragmatic about this. I must remember the Karma of Quilting. Mistakes happen – they’re part of life. And some days, that book just isn’t going to get written…

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3 Responses to The Karma of Quilting

  1. Geogrrl says:

    Oh, you won’t look back from the Bernina. They’re great machines. My Mom bought hers in the early 1980s. It’s always sewn like a dream and is still going strong.

  2. stitchywitch says:

    Welcome to the Bernina family! I have an Aurora 430 and I love it – I’m sure you won’t regret the decision! I love how well made all the feet are. If you’re going to quilt anything be sure to get the walking foot – very handy, and I use it for garment sewing all the time too.

    I’ve made one quilt and it was very enjoyable – I love sewing clothes more, but quilting is fun, and a totally different art form. I’m got a kit to make one of those color wheel quilts at some point, whenever I feel like I get caught up with my other sewing!

    Your birch shawl looks great – I have the magazine with that pattern in it, and have always intended to make one someday.

  3. Roobeedoo says:

    Bernina here too – though a much more basic model. It is great,especially when treated to a light oil and brush up!

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