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Gramz Quilts Posted: Sat, Jan 22 2011 1:28 PM

My first quilt was begun after I asked my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother to teach me to quilt when I was 18. None of them showed me anything, but they all told me I was doing it wrong. Nonetheless, I managed to piece and tie a simple and very warm quilt.

Having recently made a move halfway across the country, and being a stay at home mom for the first time in many years, I returned to my love for quilting. I have completed 8 quilts in the past 5 months. I have borrowed stacks of books from the library and I dvr every quilting and sewing show on tv in an attempt to learn some respectable skills. Although imperfect, my piecing skills and binding skills are adequate and improving.

One challenge is the expense. I started quilting last fall so I could make gifts for family and friends on a budget. I was shocked at the price of fabric at a specialty quilting shop, so I purchase only sale and clearance fabrics at discount stores and chain fabric stores. I also recycle fabrics purchased at resale shops. Everything has to be purchased since I had to sacrifice my stash in the last move (I had to keep the china cabinet!).

My greatest challenge is doing the quilting. I am pretty good at stitching in the ditch, but I have been too scared to try any free motion quilting because all projects thus far have been gifts that I don't want to spoil with shoddy work. I have a new Brother machine that works great (gift from DH), but it is rather small for quilting the center of larger quilts with the exception of doing straight lines.

I look forward to picking your brains and getting new ideas. Any and all suggestions are appreciated.

Gramz Quilts

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Liz K replied on Sat, Jan 22 2011 1:37 PM

Welcome.  I hope you enjoy the site!

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JudyT replied on Sat, Jan 22 2011 3:08 PM

I will tell you the best book for learning the basics step by step and makin gthings come out right is Quilters Academy Books by Harriet Hargrove.  It teaches you one lesson at a time and builds skills.  Too many books/classes teach you to make their quilt, not how to quilt.  Anyway have fun!

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Leslie replied on Sat, Jan 22 2011 3:09 PM

Hi Darla, welcome to the club, I'm sure you will get all your questions answered here.

[Ava, Missouri

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Marie replied on Sat, Jan 22 2011 3:57 PM

Welcome Darla, maybe you and I should get together because I too am scared to try the free motion quilting.  We both have a problem being that we're afraid of a little old sewing machine!  What's that all about?  Maybe if we challenge one another we will at least try.  Say for half an hour every day we practice and at the end of the week post what we have.  What do you say?

Millbury, MA

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Nana replied on Sat, Jan 22 2011 4:21 PM

Darla

Welcome to the site.  Hope you enjoy.

Vinton, Virginia

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Marie, sounds good. You will have to hold me to it!

Gramz Quilts

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Judy, Thanks so much. I will see if the library carries it.

Gramz Quilts

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Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone. 

 

Leslie, I have been to Ava, MO (I lived in Springfield) and it is beautiful country there.

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Eileen replied on Sat, Jan 22 2011 4:47 PM

The Quilter's Academy books are wonderful - very complete.  On the portable, simpler side are Alex Anderson's books, like Rotary Cutting With Alex Anderson and Start Quilting With Alex Anderson.  Very simple with lots of photos.  I started with her books & saw the Quilter's Academy books much later - I like them both. 

There are also videos on QNNtv and YouTube. Practice will be your best tool - the more you do, the better you'll get.

Good luck & enjoy :-)

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Marie replied on Sat, Jan 22 2011 5:34 PM

Good deal!  We start tomorrow.  Leslie will join us and anyone else who's afraid to try free motion is welcome to join in.  Cut 10" squares of muslin and batting or any fabric you have on hand.  Make a sandwich and go for it.  We should practice at least half hour a day and then post our progress once a week.  Should we start out with the famous cursive e's and l's?  Any suggestions are welcome.  Help us out you free motioners!

Millbury, MA

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Kris replied on Sat, Jan 22 2011 5:51 PM

Welcome Darla.

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Welcome Darla.  I think that I have been oohhhing and aahhhing over your lovely appliqued quilts in the Show and Tell Gallery.  I hope you enjoy the site.  You need to be carefull about picking brains out here.  Some of us are in danger of losing ours  -- others have already gone over the edge.  :o) 

Marge (AKA Dimples)

Griffin, GA

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Terri replied on Sat, Jan 22 2011 7:25 PM

Hello,

I would love to get in on this challenge. I have done my share of free motion quilting but there is always room for improvement!  I would love to get the nerve to attempt a feather pattern or adding some kind of design to the quilting as I am starting to get bored with it. I have been making quilts for friends and family for 12 years now and I have even sold quite a few however expanding my skill set is a challenge I just can't pass up!

Terri

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Marie replied on Sat, Jan 22 2011 8:27 PM

Terri chichester:
I would love to get in on this challenge

Terri, welcome.  This challenge is directed at those of us who are afraid to even try anything besides SITD.  Sounds like you've been doing free motion, would you like to lead us in this challenge by telling us what we should get started with so we could get comfortable and not be afraid of our little ole machines?

Millbury, MA

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