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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Quilting at the French Knot

A group of us (Sean, Treyton, Katy, Henry, Edward, and Caleb...Brianna will join us to make the quilt as well) met at The French Knot for a quilting workshop.  Miss Lyric was so generous to invite us in and help us learn the basics of quilting.  Now, for those of you who know we made a quilt last year, you might be wondering why we need to learn the basics of quilting since we have already made a quilt.  Let me tell you...we had no clue of what we were doing last year.  I can only say that somehow we managed to get a few squares sewn together last year and make a nice quilt to give to the women's shelter.  I am sure you have heard the phrase, "On a wing and a prayer."  Well, our motto last year should have been: "On a stitch and a prayer!"  And, maybe it will be this year also, but we learned so much this morning.  I am so excited to have had this opportunity for the 4Hers and I know the moms were happy too!

The first step Miss Lyric taught us will show you how basic we had to go.  She began her lesson by telling us to always iron out all the creases from the material to be used in the quilt pieces.  That seems simple enough but it really did make a difference when cutting those pieces!

Then we took a little time to discuss our quilt design and the pieces we would need for the quilt.  We read through the quilt pattern directions and decided how many blocks we would need to make the quilt.

Before making our first cut, Miss Lyric spoke about the importance of bias and determining which direction to cut the material.  She also talked about cutting off the salvage.  Then she told us about the tools of the trade.  It is hard to believe how much easier it is to cut straight lines with a rotary blade!  Our first cuts were to square the material to avoid awkward, slanted lines.  This affects the way the pieces are sewn together and the accuracy of all the dimensions of the blocks.

After much (important) ado, the 4Hers were finally able to cut their first pieces for the quilt.  If you recall, our pattern for this quilt is the Bug Jar.  We began by cutting out the jars with our theme material.  Then we cut out the lids and side pieces.  We decided to have nine quilt blocks.  It would seem this would only take a few minutes and we could move on to sewing pieces together.  We really are such naive quilters...LOL!  We began our lesson at 10am and we were still cutting at noon.  We found out the hardest part of quilting is cutting out those pieces!

We did plug along and take turns with the job of cutting.  We even had time to have Miss Lyric teach us how to machine sew together our first block.  We decided the best way to complete the quilt would be to give each 4Her the pieces to complete their own block.  We would then come together to sew the sashing around the blocks to fit them together and complete our quilt top.  Hopefully we can do this in the next week.

I will continue to share our quilting adventure with you.  We need to complete the quilt by June 11 to take it to State Round Up, so we have a lot of work ahead of us.

I wanted to thank Myra for kindly watching over Brendan while we were sewing.  They enjoyed passing the time this morning with coloring books and comic books.  We would have had a wild morning if Brendan had decided he needed to help.  I am also thankful for Brenda and Lynda for watching all the assured I will be calling on you if I forget what to do to make these pieces of material into blocks!  And, thanks to Josh who helped by taking pictures of everyone throughout the morning.  It was great to see a former 4Her come to a workshop.  Finally, a very big thank you to Miss Lyric for her patience with us.  We cannot wait to show you our finished product, but do not be surprised if we call you to ask for help along the way!

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