May 21, 2009

Oh, baby, I can't sew.

(I wanted to title this post, "'Sew' easy my big, fat rear!")

There's a great little sewing studio near our apartment ("shore house north") called M. Avery Design. I've gone to a couple of workshops there and made cute little handbags. The challenge for me is that, aside from the workshops, I've never touched a sewing machine so it's not exactly coming naturally to me. When the needle becomes un-threaded, I need to call in reinforcements. Ditto when the bobbin runs out of thread. Or when anything happens, really.

So why I signed up for a baby quilt workshop -- where you would be expected to COMPLETE A QUILT in two hours -- is beyond me. Even a baby-sized quilt is a challenge. For someone who can't sew.

Last Wednesday night I showed up a little early because I knew I'd need every, single, second. Here's the outside of the studio:


Adorable, right? It used to be a pharmacy and the inside is fabulous. But that is the last photo I was able to take. Because the next two (plus) hours were total bedlam for me.

First, there are many fabrics to choose from. Note to self: Pick fabrics *before* even stepping foot inside for the workshop. We had thirty minutes to pick the fabric, cut out 30-something squares AND lay them out in an attractive arrangement. I'm a little O.C.D. so that all could have easily taken me two hours.

Then pinning, stitching, pinning, stitching, muttering curse words, pinning, stitching. I felt like I was on the Amazing Race and I had stumbled on to the Road Block. And my Road Block was the thick, vintage chenille bedspread fabric that kept breaking the thread and jamming the bobbin. (Note: After my "stellar performance" with the chenille the instructor made an executive decision to remove it from the quilt fabric selection.)

In fairness, I did have an easier time with the non-chenille squares but my handicap made me the first in, last out. I literally closed the place down. Just like the good old days, but in those days it was bars that I would close down...And I really did need a cocktail, come to think of it...But I digress...

Here she is:




I backed it with the floral print:


A bold choice, but I think babies like that sharp contrast. Or something.

When I (finally) got home, my man suggested it would make a great bed for Maggie. Our DOG.

"Are you kidding me?" (Except I think I snuck another word in before kidding.).

He insists that he was indeed kidding, and he did have a smile on his face, but ha-ha-whatever. And while I love the babies, I'm inclined to also think there isn't one precious enough for this labor of love. I may have to sleep with it. (Ed. note: In fact I did nod off with it on my lap the other night.) And, in spite of myself, I really do enjoy these workshops.

I'm signed up for a wrap skirt workshop on May 27. I may try and lose 30 pounds just to have less sewing to do.

M. Avery Designs * 266 Seventh Street * Hoboken, NJ * Telephone: (201) 876-1198

24 comments:

desiree said...

You're too funny! I love the quilt you should be very proud of yourself. I'm not a seamstress either...I've made lots of Halloween costumes but I like that iron on binding stuff! Good luck on the skirt...can't wait to see the results.

Linda Lou said...

Love the quilt and the darker colors-let's see we have a sewing machine in our closet that I bought for my daughter 3 YEARS AGO!!! No one, I repeat no one has attempted to use it, so you make me very proud.

Kwana said...

I love it! But what are they thinking 2 hours with pick out time and letting you pick a chenille that will break the thread? That is soo not fair. Although the chenille is way cute.

Great job!

Purple Flowers said...

It's a great quilt! I tried knitting once w/chenille - big mistake for this girl. I quickly returned to merino wool. Congratulations on finishing in one night!

Joyce said...

Oh Laura you are a hoot! I do love your beautiful throw!! I think you are not giving yourself enough credit.

I think I have shared my sewing experience growing up. When the sewing instructor begged me to ask my mom to put me in something else for the summer other than sewing. Yet today when I ask my mom if she would help me to sew there is dead silence on the other end. LOL...

I can't wait to see your skirt. XOXO

Keetha said...

LOL.

I will freely and openly admit that I HATE sewing. Hate it. I know how to do it - - - but that doesn't help when you still HATE it. :-)

I think your baby quilt is very lovely.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

LOL! Laura, you are truly the daughter of my heart that I never had! Oh, I can identify with this post! ;-D

Why don't you hang that quilt on a wall above a chest to preserve it. After all of that work, you don't want to see anything happen to it. And LOL! about losing weight so there's less to sew.

Laughing all the way to sleep tonight (aftet I go to Starbuck's for a big ole hot chocolate with lots of fat and sugar and choco!)...

XO,

Sheila :-)

Jersey Girl in DC said...

That sounds like so much fun and it turned out great!! :)

Weef! said...

I *love* your quilt!!! That is fantastic! I am so impressed that you were able to do that in two hours!?! Don't be daunted! Keep sewing!! I can't wait to see your wrap skirt!

Last year for my birthday the Mom got me all kinds of quilting supplies because I had decided I wanted to try and quilt... (after 8years with my sewing machine I have only, just this past week, gotten to the point where I don't have to consult with the instruction manual every time I need to re-thread/re-bobbin!) Needless to say, I haven't begun quilting yet. You have inspired me though! I'm going to see if my local quilt shop has any courses I can sign up for! (BTW, I'm totally thrown by the whole cutting/pinning part-- do you have to iron all of your seams? Do you use the little plastic squares so everything is the same size? I keep thinking I'll never be able to get everything to be square! Talk about OCD!)

Liz@Violet Posy said...

You did that in 2 hours??? Oh my I'm totally impressed that would have taken me more like 2 years! Love it! x

sarah abeachcottage said...

oh wow love the quilt, you are too funny!

I wish I could sew, I dabble but to be really honest I don't find it totally relaxing, I would love to do a quilt, oh actually make that I would love to thrift a nice quilt from Vinnies that someone else had made hahaha!

have a happy weekend at the shorehouse


Sarah

Liz said...

This cracked me up. That quilt looks fabulous! I'm so impressed! I'm not the greatest at sewing. :)

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

I htink it is beautiful! NO DOG BED for sure! I love it!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Sewing gets easier with practice and it is soooo worthwhile. Consider it an art form that you can tweak any way you desire. I think that your project came out great and I love the color scheme. The classes sound like fun.
♥, Susan

Trish said...

I love the quilt!! I'm very impressed!!

Fifi Flowers said...

FAB quilt... LOVE the colours! That shop is ADORABLE!!! YOU will be able to say I SEW!!!

Renovation Therapy said...

It's so cute! I think you did an awesome job. Next time come over to my place and we'll get drunk and sew.

You could call it a "lap blanket" and keep it for yourself...

j.cro said...

Nice work. When I get my sewing machine fixed we can have a sewing party! Let me know how the wrap skirt workshop goes, I'd love to know how to make one of those!
Good luck!

Lorrie said...

Laura good for you for being brave enough to take this on. It turned out beautifully, so I hope you count it worth all the stress! I love sewing--my mom taught me how in middle school. (I don't sew nearly as much as I'd like to these days though.) You should havfe fun with the wrap skirt project!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Nice job on that quilt Laura! I like the fabrics and color very much-- so bright and colorful and the chenille would have been a challenge for anyone but it's such a nice textural touch.

I've never used a sewing machine in my life, so you are way ahead of me -- it's nice you are learning a new craft!

lisamichele said...

I know I can't sew, and I could never make a quilt like that even if I could..gorgeous!

That said, thanks for your kind words regarding my loss. I'm really suffering, and still in shock over the way it happenhed out of the blue :(

Bellamere Cottage said...

Good for you! I think you've done a smashing job on your quilt! Bravo.

Blessings,
Spencer

pve design said...

Very sweet, A+!

Rue said...

That word wouldn't have started with an F would it? LOLOLOL

It turned out beautiful :)