Learning Quilting Together

I've already spoken with TJ about this by phone, since her internet will be out for another few days. She's in, so I'm including her in these emails. (Susan, you may include Elf in this if she wishes.) I'll also be posting this on my Third Infinity blog.

I found among some of the books Karen DeAngelo gave me a book called, "You can be a Super Quilter!" by Carla J. Hassel. (ISBN 0-87069-294-1) I've hyperlinked it to the Amazon.com listing, where it's on sale for cheap if you want your own copy. What a great book! It's like a workbook, taking you step by step through the process.

The plan is for me to scan the pages and discuss them with you, page by page and lesson by lesson. Eventually, we'll all be learning together and doing the "homework" together via the internet. Upon occasion, we can learn about alternative methods using more modern conveniences or options, since the book was written thirty years ago.

However, this book was written to highlight and teach the original methods used by the poorest or before the advent of the sewing machine, so hand-stitching methods are included. The biggest expense is at the beginning, gathering up the supplies like a sewing box, needles, pins, scissors, thread, etc. Almost every woman has some of these items, and more "make do" things can be purchased very cheaply.

As an example of "make do" things, you may wish to start saving the plastic from your packages of bacon and the tops of your margarine tubs, coffee cans, and sour cream. These become inexpensive templates used later in the process. Perhaps you get a package in the mail and save the large envelope to hold your templates. Definitely start saving your used dryer sheets for when we learn "needle turned applique." Trust me, you'll want a pile. You probably already buy washable school glue (yeah, Elmer's white) and washable magic markers. Save some for yourself. Do you own a set of "toesies" (toe separators used in pedicures)? If so, save them or grab a set from the dollar store. They hold bobbins securely! Lastly, next time you buy eggs, consider saving the carton. The separate compartments are ideal for holding beads, buttons, and bobbins.

Almost everything else you may need is available at Walmart, if the one nearby has a fabric section. This is worth searching out! Look up the local fabric and quilting stores like Joann's and Hancock's. The local quilt shops may be pricey, but what they have will be the very best and they have one thing that you'll need-- advice. It's worth getting to know these places. At minimum, know where you can find "quilt backing" fabric. This 108" wide fabric is good to have, if you can get it locally. Muslin will do in a pinch, but you'd have the extra step of piecing it together into a big enough sheet. That's not bad, but it's an extra step, and you may end up wanting to dye it to match, which is another step. Find the quilt backing locally, when possible.

Ordering online is perfectly fine, and I do have a few URL's of good places to shop. I just purchased a generic sewing machine foot to learn free motion quilting for less than $15, including shipping! I know Susan will want one at minimum, since we'd already begun to explore thread painting while she was here. If Jenny's machine allows for the generic foot, it might be worth acquiring until we can get Susan her machine, which I know can use the generic foot.

Is everyone in? (Jenny will need to email me if she wants her own copy of the emails.) If anyone else is interested, please let me know by private email. (voiceomt2002@yahoo.com)

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