When I was pregnant, I decided to sew Grace a quilt. It was spring time, and my belly had become too big for me to comfortably sit on the floor and scrapbook. I was devastated.
But then, I re-channeled my creative energy into sewing. I have been sewing for more than seventeen years, so I thought quilting would be a logical jump.
I’ve always thought that baby quilts were gorgeous, and I knew a hand sewn quilt would be perfect for my baby’s crib or bed or wall.
Excited, I decided on a size, purchased some soft baby flannel in adorable prints, drew the quilt on graph paper, and performed some geometry magic. A few days later, I had a quilt top.
And then, I realized that I didn’t know what to do next.
I hadn’t thought ahead to realize that there’s more to making a quilt than sewing the squares together to form a sheet-like piece of fabric. Rats. What next?
I knew I needed a backing, and I’d gotten that ahead of time. I also knew that I needed some batting to make the quilt fluffy and warm, and I’d also purchased some of that.
I laid out the quilt back, batting, and top on the floor of my living room. I pinned it all together, headed upstairs to my sewing machine, and sewed the seams together.
And then I realized that I’d done something very wrong.
The seam I’d completed was all wrong. Several layers of fabric were in the seam, but shouldn’t have been. Others were left out, leaving holes. I ripped it out and tried again. Same result. I ripped it out a second time, folded up the quilt, and stuck it in the closet in the nursery-to-be.
Where it sat for two full years.
I thought about the quilt frequently, feeling guilty that I hadn’t actually finished it. Joe reminded me that I’d purchased a bunch of fabric and never finished the quilt almost as often.
When Grace was a little more than eighteen months old, I pulled the quilt out in an attempt to finish it. I failed again. This time, I left it sitting on the end of my couch. Grace and I used it to cover up when we laid on the couch, even though it was three mostly separate layers.
Chris Dahl, the owner of Quilting Weekly, approached me to review one of her homestudy classes.
Heaven opened up, and I saw a finished quilt right before my eyes. It was gorgeous!
Chris is an experienced sewing and quilting teacher who has successfully made the jump to teach online classes. Her online classes feature written text, complete with photos and instructions for practice activities, combined with videos of Chris showing the skills necessary to complete them.
Since my quilt top was finished, and I wanted to learn how to put it together and make a finished quilt, I chose Machine Quilting 101.
I downloaded the files I needed from Quilting Weekly. The process was quick and easy (though if you didn’t have high speed internet, the downloads will probably take a while). The first file I downloaded contained instructions on how to download the rest and what files were necessary for my course.
I can’t gush enough about Machine Quilting 101. Chris’ instructions make the skills easy to understand, and even a novice would be able to follow them. The video demonstrations make the concepts clear and helped me to put it the skills together. I also liked having a materials list.Â It seems simple, but I printed the list and took it with me to the store.
The best part of working on Machine Quilting 101? I am one step closer to finishing Grace’s quilt, and I have the confidence to start another quilt project.
I’m waiting for Chris to come out with a course on How to Bind a Quilt. When she does, I’ll be her first customer, and then maybe Grace’s quilt will be ready for her bed.
© 2009 – 2010, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.