A Crazy Notion

Thursday, May 19, 2011 - Posted by Katie at 2:32 PM
So here's the thing. I'm not crafty. I've never been crafty. I can't even draw stick people. Art class? No. I had no interest in painting or sculpting. Give me a computer lab or a writing assignment any day. However, since I had my first son in early 2009, I've had a nagging desire to create something (you know, other than a baby). My older son's first year passed in a whirlwind and his younger brother followed in early 2011. While I was on maternity leave with my second son, I found Hyena Cart, which led me to commission a crayon-doodle-to-go thingy for my older son, and I got to pick the fabric. Well hey, that's kind of cool. Up until that point, I'd never given fabric a second thought. I looked through the shop's Photobucket album and didn't see anything I loved, so I googled "boy train fabric."

Oh. Em. Gee.

Enter sites like www.fabricworm.com, which had pages upon pages of kids fabrics, from stripes to dots to animals to trains to...everything! And designer fabric...uh, what? Don't you just go to JoAnn's or HobbyLobby if you need fabric? And isn't it all the same and mostly old-lady anyway, with, like, prints of cats and stuff? Robert Kaufman, Joel Dewberry, Heather Ross--people online are talking about these folks as if they're high fashion designers. Maybe there's more to this than I think...

So, for days after that whenever I sat down to nurse my newborn, I'd scroll through all the fabrics I could find, figuring that at some point I'd have looked through all of them and then I could make my decision. After about a week I couldn't take it anymore and settled on Bright Alphabet Dots. The doodles-to-go came in the mail a few weeks later and was perfect. But this had opened up a whole new world to me--this WAHM that I purchased from was sewing things--neat things! Not doilies or ugly curtains. And the fabric choices...oh, the fabric choices! Modern and beautiful and funky and not a cat in sight.

My googling had also led me to some mind-blowing blogs, which I promptly bookmarked (Google Reader and I are now bff's, thanks to the number of blogs I follow). The first one I really dove into was the Bottled Rainbows series at Stitched in Color, which led me to Oh Fransson! and one of my fav's, In Color Order. Which led to the beautiful works at {House} of A La Mode and Lovely Little Handmades and Little Miss Shabby and so, SO many more. All amazing and beautiful and so creative, and all of these thoughts were swirling around in my head as I was perusing Etsy one day and found a doll quilt kit. A crazy notion flew into my head.

Hrmmmm.

Could I actually do this? It's small, and it's just squares that you sew together. The binding looks hard, but whatev. I can find a tutorial for it, right? My grandma's sewing machine is at my mom's house. I could try it, I guess. Sure, I've never sewn a button, let alone on a machine, but you just have to jump in, right? Why am I so nervous about this??

I would love to be able to post that the quilt kit came and I took to sewing like a fish in water. However.....notsomuch. For one thing, I couldn't find an outlet close enough to a table. Argh! So I ended up putting the machine on a small nightstand in my sister's room and sitting on the floor, using one hand to feed the fabric through and one hand to work the pedal. Yes, yes, go ahead and laugh. My mom (who doesn't sew), about laughed herself into an asthma attack when she came in and saw me. I managed to figure out that I needed to put my needle in the fabric first, then sew--but not too fast! I did a few rows of five before my kiddos got restless and I called it quits.

So.

That was about a month ago. Since then, I've expanded to many, many more blogs and tutorials and gorged myself on pictures of beautiful quilts on the Flickr group for Blogger's Quilt Festival, courtesy of Amy's Creative Side. I've also read the series on The Art of Choosing by the lovely Jeni, more than a few times. I've read the many thoughtful posts spawned by Rachel's post, There Are Things I Don't Say, including a very sweet, encouraging post from Debbie at Whipstitch Fabrics, You Can Sew.

If you made it this far, I've said all of the above to say I'm giving it another shot, and I'll be documenting the process with lots of pictures from my crappy point and shoot camera here. If you've thought about learning to sew or if you know how to sew but are apprehensive about jumping into the modern sewing world, please join me! No matter what, know this: you can't be any worse than me!