Friday, June 26, 2009

Easy Peasy?

I had this great idea that Kiana could make a baby quilt for a family friend's baby and we would whiz through a Wicked Easy Quilt in a couple of days. Better yet, Kiana would become entranced with the process of making quilts and I would start her on her lifelong journey of piecing and quilting. Not quite.

"Quilting? Maybe..."

Well, I needed to put together a baby quilt anyway and so I bought fabrics and pieced up a quilt. Easy Peasy. Marcy was so impressed by the speed that the quilt top went together and she got a few whiffs of fabric fragrance at Jo Ann's and was caught. Marcy bought up enough fabric for two quilts and I took her through the steps of roller cutting.

"Whew... I'll get it one of these days."

Marcy kept trying to figure out which line in which direction you line up your ruler with your cutting board. Ahh... I remember that was a bit of a challenge in my first few days of roller cutter. I'd forgotten.

Next to piecing. I kept handing pieces to Marcy and she flag sewed until we had 6 blocks made.

"Good, good. Now you can put them together in a pleasing way."

"Tani, this is hard. I don't know what is a pleasing way. You decide."

Finally the quilt got to flimsy stage. Yeah!!! Marcy was so pleased with the colors she'd picked out. Looking good! We took the flimsy back to Jo Ann's to look for backing and a couple shoppers commented on the beautiful quilt.

"Yes, well, my sister-in-law basically made it but I picked out the fabrics!"

"Are you doing to do Stitch-in-the-Ditch? Send it out for long-arm?"

Marcy looked blank an the quilter's lingo being thrown at her.

Back at home I directed Marcy on how to "sandwich" a quilt and down on the floor we go.

"Tanya, this is hard work! I'm sweating already!"

Finally a sandwiched quilt and I started in hand-quilting.

"Wow! That's a lot of work. How do you do that?"

Next the binding.

"And you call this an easy quilt, Tani? It seems difficult to me."

I recall one time when my friend suggested we go hiking on a "really easy trail." Easy! Easy for whom?! Maybe for someone who hikes weekly but not for me who doesn't even own a bonafide backpack. Maybe my description of an easy quilt was a bit misleading for a beginner...

By the time we got around to Marcy's second quilt she had roped Kiana into the process saying

"Auntie Tani wanted you to learn so come and learn."

I have a feeling Marcy is NOT going to take up quilting as a hobby.

With Kiana too, she didn't understand about 1/4 inch seams and tweaking fabric to match up seams and what started out as an easy quilt became a mildly frustrating quilt because of all the re-sewing we did. I didn't want to be too exacting and kill any enthusiasm that my students might still have but... Finally we determined that the receiver would probably be thrilled with the "hand-made" tucks and gaps anyway and strove for "finished" not "perfection".

We're still working on the "easy" quilts. One down, one to go.

I don't know if Marcy and Kiana are ever going to try quilting again!!


Mary said...

Well the results are cute....

I remember teaching my Mom to quilt before I'd even finished my first quilt. I'd never sewn before but I'd done a lot of reading. She insisted on a pattern with half square triangles and was frustrated too. I was sure she'd never make another one but I was wrong -- she started quilting like crazy and hasn't stopped yet.

Leslie said...

My son grew up watching me make quilts for most of his 28 years, he thought it would be easy to 'whip together a wallhanging for his fiance'. Two weekends and several hours worth of sewing, ripping and machine quilting later, he was somewhat pleased with the results. I told him, "Just because you've seen it done over and over doesn't mean you know how until you do it yourself." It was a fun together-project. Details here:

Beth said...

I"m so sorry I got amusment out of thinking of your 'students'! You know, one of them MIGHT just be wandering in a quilt shop/fab store...and see a quilt they just HAVE to HAVE...and the seeds have been planted! They will be patting themselves on the back when they are both finished! Way to hang in there!

Allie said...

As long as I've been quilting, I still make the mistake of thinking I'm going to work on an "easy" quilt. The basting, quilting, and binding always make me wonder what the heck was I thinking??? But then when it's done, and comes out of the wash all crinkly and soft, I forget all about it. You never know - they might be hooked already!

Shasta said...

They definitely will be quilting again. I think part of what makes quilting fun is the challenge - and the feeling of mastery when you finally have a beautiful quilt at the end. If it was too easy it would be boring.

I would have to agree with Marcy, if you hand quilt it, it is no longer an easy peasy pattern!

Rae Ann said...

Tanya, you never have planted a seed in both Marcy and Kiana. Although it may not sprout roots right now, it may in the future. I can't beleive you hand quilted that so go girl.