Thursday, August 20, 2020
Have you ever thought of what is means to be self taught? I have. Is it self taught when you get help from all the sewers and quilters that you know?
I started sewing around the age of 12 and got my first sewing machine at 13. My mother taught me what she knew about sewing and my father showed me how to run my first sewing machine. Friends and family, like my Aunt Carol and college roommates, gave me pointers from time to time. I became a seamstress who dabbled in quilting. No formal education such as Home Ec or classes, no 4-H either. Then, the quilting bug really took hold of me when I purchased my first quilting book, Quilt in a Day's Irish Chain.
On occasion, we have had quilters come into the shop and proclaim that they are self taught. They don't need our help because they say that they know how to quilt. When you ask them about their quilt, you find out that they saw a picture and copied it. Sometime, it is just an idea that they have. They are very proud of the fact that they have never use a pattern--never read a book--never took a class. I guess they learned by osmosis. When we get the chance to see their quilt, it doesn't lay flat and is not square. The seams don't match and the seam allowance varies from an 1/8" to 1/2".
The thing that I like about quilting is that we enjoy sharing. It maybe a new pattern or technique or the show & tell of a finished quilt. Of course, we enjoy discussing the quilts that were at the last quilt show. Maybe, we are talking about colors, fabrics and the latest design. One is always trying out a new trick or using an old one with a new twist. From all this we are learning and expanding our quilting knowledge.
In some ways, we are all self taught. It all depends on how you receive your information and share it with others.
Thursday, August 13, 2020
This week I have been working on a Crown Royal quilt. For those that don't know what a Crown Royal quilt is, don't be embarrassed.
About 20 years ago, I had a lady call and ask if I would make a Crown Royal quilt. She said that she had the bags. I said "yes" not knowing what it was. It is a quilt, right--it cannot be that hard. The next day, she came in with a box of purple bags. Her and her husband owned a bar and had saved the purple bags for several years. She wanted a queen size quilt, a checkerboard layout with gold satin. That was my first Crown Royal quilt.
Crown Royal is a Canadian whisky. It comes in a purple bag with Crown Royal embroidered on it. Over time, the whisky doesn't come in just the purple bags any more. The quilt that I am working on has 14 different colors of bags and 4 different fabrics. They celebrate different things such as NASCAR, football, or have a states silhouette. They can be purple camo, burlap, polyester, cotton, faux suede or velvet. The size of the bags range from cutting a 3 1/2" sq. to a 5" sq. of the design.
Since that first Crown Royal quilt, many have been sewn on my machine. The first thing that I do is clean my machine because the bags create a lot of lint. Next is to wash the bags to remove any odors from the bar or be stored. Then, cut them apart. I remove the seams because sometime the stitching melts when it is ironed. Now, I have three pieces--the front with Crown Royal on it, the back and the side pieces. Once that is done, I create a layout for whatever number of bags the customer has give me to work with. If they have given me enough of the same bags, I can used one of the patterns that I have written as a layout. The nice thing about it is that each Crown Royal quilt takes on a look of it's own. When the quilt is done, it is time to clean the sewing machine again.
Check out the purple bags pattern on our website at JunctionFabric.com