I’m still sorting through boxes and trying to get organized from our move to our new home. Moving is complicated to begin with but we added a whole new level of difficulty by having things at two locations. We moved things from our apartment to our new house two weekends ago.
This is what my new sewing room looked like after that weekend. I put away some of the things but then we did the second stage of moving and brought all of the things from storage. We had all the critical things in the apartment so they were moved the first weekend. We’d sorted as we packed things into the storage unit but we didn’t know what our new house would be so we have lots of things that we thought we might want to keep. But look at my sewing room now, I think I kept too much.
Hidden in all those boxes are specialty rulers, specialty fabrics (not the typical quilting cottons), embroidery collections and lots and lots of patterns and ideas that I’ve drawn out but never actually started sewing.
It will still be awhile before I get organized enough to start sewing again because all the available space in my home looks like this except the master bedroom. I see many evenings of sorting and putting away in my future.
But as I was looking at the storage tub with my specialty fabric, I thought I’d write about sewing with fabrics other than quilting cotton.
When I started quilting, I was using scraps from my garment sewing and scraps given to me by my aunt. I made five quilts using polyester double knits. One of them is still among my favorites but that’s a story for another day. When the double knits were gone, I started using woven fabrics – a mix of cottons and polyester and poly-cotton blends. Those quilts were successful as were the double knit quilts. My goal was warm bedding for my sons and that’s what I got.
Turn the clock forward a number of years. My beds all had quilts so I started making quilts for decorations and I still used assorted fabrics. Here is a quilt from back then. I call it Simply Charming. The date on the label is August 2003.
The majority of the fabrics in this quilt are “normal” quilting fabrics but the white is eyelet. I think it is a poly-cotton blend. The only challenge I remember is that sometimes when I went over the embroidered part of the eyelet, the bulk of the extra thread made my stitching go crooked. I should have experimented with needle sizes and types, but I didn’t.
The applique is all fused raw-edge applique. I quilted in the ditch on the appliqued blocks and quilted diagonal lines in the alternate blocks.
The upper left corner of the appliqued block had an area without quilting that was larger than I liked so I free-motion quilted a small heart in that area.
It’s a pretty little quilt and I’m pleased with what I did with it considering my skill level at the time.
My best advice if you are considering a non-traditional fabric is to make a sample block. Consider bulk, washability and how much the fabric will ravel. I have a silk dupioni wall quilt that I love. I’ve used satin and I’ve used denim in quilts. I’ve used embroidered fabric. It’s fun to experiment, so just go for it.
Now, a reminder about two web seminars this week. On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time, Lori Kennedy will present Meander No More: Learn to Free Motion Quilt with Confidence. I’m really excited about this one. Lori does wonderful free-motion quilting. I’m sure I’ll pick up some good tips and techniques from her. Then on Friday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time, Alex Anderson will be giving a lesson titled Scrap Quilting with Alex Anderson. It’s another web seminar that promises to be excellent. I’ve learned so much from Alex over the years. The cost of each seminar is $19.99 and if you can’t be there for the live event, the registration fee will give you access to the archived version of the program.
And remember to visit Quilters Newsletter on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and our website for the latest news, quilting fun and ideas. There are new Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com, and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com to check out.