Through some unusual circumstances I got a sewing machine, but I had absolutely no idea how to use it. I had a vague idea that I'd like to learn to quilt someday. Somehow quilting seemed kind of homey. Practical, but maybe fun. And the bright, saturated colors in the fabric store appealed to me.
Quilting, I told myself, was for later, when the kids were older. And I had free time. (Free time? Yah, laugh it up.) But my friend Gini had other ideas, and talked me into taking a beginners quilt class with her. Just one evening a week for five weeks. I could manage that.
And so it began.
I discovered I really liked quilting. I think it has a lot to do with doing something that stays done. Unlike most of what I do which is immediately undone (cleaning), consumed (cooking), or needs to be done again (grocery shopping), quilting stays done. Granted, I give most of them away, but I have a few things I've kept. Like this tumbler quilt, this batik quilt, and this mosaic quilt.
And now, years later, I'm still trying to get it right. And you know what really makes me crazy? Pinwheels. All those little points - eight of them - coming together in one place. You'd be surprised how many quilt blocks have some variation of it. Trying to get all those points to line up just exactly right is like... well, like herding grasshoppers.
So every once in awhile I make myself practice. When I made this quilt, last spring, and made all those star points, I saved all the little triangles and practiced sewing pinwheels. Little, bitty pinwheels.
Guess where most of them ended up? Yah, the garbage. The rest were "orphan blocks" in my sewing basket for months and months. Every time I did a sewing project I'd pull them out and wonder what to do with them. Until Gunnar announced that we needed more pillows in the living room. Aha!
Sew them into strips, with some white blocks between, add a couple of scrap strips to two sides to make a square, make an envelope backing, and WA-WAH... a pillow.
Gunnar's quite happy with it, but he - fortunately - is pretty easy to please. However, if you look a little closer...
... you'll see that there are some hits and some misses in the lining-up-the-points department.
Not too shabby...
... but what on earth happened here, to the triangle on the bottom? It's wavy. Oops.
This yellow one is okay, but I should've ironed some of the seams the other way - you can see the yellow through the white. Oops.
Then there's this sad, turquoise fellow. The bottom right is okay, but two of the points have lost their points, and the other didn't quite make it to the party in the middle.
Closer... I'm batting about .500 here...
And then this one almost works, but I wasn't paying attention to the print on the fabric (bumble bees) when I cut it, and a bumblebee appears to be getting caught in the vortex at the center.
Well, it's fine for my living room, but not quite ready for prime time.