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Hello from the Carolinas

Hello from the Carolinas

Old 07-30-2018, 07:28 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 3
Default Hello from the Carolinas

Completely new to quilting. I recall seeing my mother and grandmother sometimes quilting as a child, but it was more about keeping the cold away then the simple beauty of the quilts themselves.

Personally I love crafting of all sorts, but have never really been bitten by the bug to keep digging other then in my herb garden.

Several years ago, yes years, I purchased a booklet "Learn to quilt" making a sampler quilt of 12 different blocks. Now this was while I was working at a high stress job, and other then the booklet, some fabrics and thread. I didn't really make any other purchases. I mean after all I already had a sewing machine and scissors, and what if I didn't like it, right? Well I managed to machine piece together all of the blocks, and even string those together. Then either I got busy, bored or confused and everything went into box never to be seen again until just last week.

It all started because walking around the local Walmart I saw some fat quarters with elephants on them. My daughter is crazy about elephants, and I started thinking am no longer working and she would really enjoy a nice throw with those cute little elephants in there... hey I could even throw in a few pink elephants. She'd really get a kick out of seeing pink elephants... it's an inside mother/daughter joke between us. Anyway I ended up buying 12 or so matchy, matchy fat quarters which made me go looking for that long lost booklet to get ideas for the elephant throw. Found the booklet and the forgotten quilt top which I thought I should finish. Went to the store and purchased some batting and have begun putting it together.

Here's what I've discovered about myself, my first attempt at quilting and my limited quilting equipment. First I obviously can't cut with scissors as straight as I thought I could; a rotary cutter has to be much better (please chime in here, I obviously could use some guidance). Either I was attempting to sew too fast and simply not giving much care to seam allowances or my poor cutting quality was the root cause because something just isn't square on the finished quilt top. Trying to piece together a full/queen quilt on a dining room table as a beginner is insane. The floor is even worst when you have back problems. Lastly my sewing machine which is just a little singer is simply not made for attempting to machine quit a rather large quilt; there just isn't room for all the fabric and batting.

I have to admit that I'm frustrated and am not finding finishing the quilt nearly as fun as it probably should be, so if you have any words of wisdom I would greatly appreciate them.

Yours truly a frustrated grasshopper.
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Old 07-30-2018, 07:53 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: western NY formerly MN, FL, NC, SC
Posts: 51,108

Welcome from western NY and happy quilting
We all have quilts from our early days that seemed to be failures. Consider quilting to be a journey and you will get there! Look for a guild or quilting group in your area... quilters like to share their information/expertise. If you can't find that, we are very helpful here, too.
Nancy in western NY
before you speak T.H.I.N.K. T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:13 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Canadian in Minnesota
Posts: 3,078

Hey Grasshopper - welcome to the Board from Minnesota! I think you may have bitten off more than you can chew at this point in your quilting career; I think we all do. Your fabrics sound great - it's nice to have a theme. Your Singer will be just fine - I use a 40-year-old Kenmore for all my piecing and free motion quilting (FMQ). I also use my dining room table - lay your top left corner in the top left of your table and work across and down from there. Support the other parts of the quilt with the backs of chairs. Use basting spray - it will keep your layers together much better and with a lot less work. YouTube has some great videos on how to quilt larger quilts on a regular machine like your Singer. I'm so excited for you just starting out - do post pictures of your progress so that we can cheer you along.
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:46 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
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What part of SC? May I suggest looking for a guild near where you live? You'll get lots of friendly advice on how to make a quilt.

Agree 100% that getting on the floor to layout a quilt is out of the question - at least for me.

Rotary cutter I like the '45' blade, suggest that it be one where you can retract the blade enough that you don't accidentally cut yourself. Get yourself a nice cutting mat and ruler to go with it - all available at Walmart, by the way. Watch video's on you tube, visit us here and find a quilt shop that offers classes that is reasonably close to you.

Welcome to our world, by the way!
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:47 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 37,758

​Welcome from Ontario, Canada. Start simple and build your skills. A few pot holders, placemats and table runners will build your confidence.
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:53 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Blue Ridge Mountians
Posts: 7,076

Welcome from Virginia! Those big quilts are a challenge. Might put that big guy aside, and make a baby quilt or a throw size or a table topper or a walk hanging, etc until you are a bit more comfortable.
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:14 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: East Oklahoma - pining for Massachusetts
Posts: 10,477

Welcome from Oklahoma. Glad to have you here. My inspiration for finishing when I really am not in the mood is to remind myself that I am giving it to someone for their birthday or Christmas. If I am keeping it for myself, I depend on the Virtual Quilting Weekend, when we all encourage each other. Our lovely raggiemom tells us about them in the Main section.
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:29 PM
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Sunny Florida
Posts: 3,149

Welcome from FL.

A helpful video for you.


Quilting is a process for sure. It should fun. If not, put the project away for another day. There are many steps and different methods to making one. Be kind to yourself. Watch some tutorials and ask questions here.

I don't like quilting on my machine so send them out to quilters.

Is there a local shop where you can attend classes? It helps to have someone help you with each step.

Best wishes for you and your quilt. Have fun!
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:37 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Western North Carolina
Posts: 1,432

Are you from SC or NC? I am from the beautiful mountains of western NC and enjoy the threads on this site. Welcome.
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:43 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Heaven on earth/to N.E. Ohio
Posts: 5,329

Hi grasshopper welcome to the board from NE Ohio.
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