Sunday, April 30, 2017

Quilting Journey Begins

I decided to start quilting again 2 years ago (March 7, 2017). I felt I was spending too much time online and need an avenue to be creative. I decided to quilt again because of my circumstances. I was away from my family and couldn't travel as much anymore. My living quarters was tiny because I was in a shared flat. I didn't really have much time. Knitting was out of the question since I don't know how to knit. I wasn't too interested in doing crochet projects. My tiny beading kit was just parked in my closet and I have not been using fashion accessories anymore. So that left me with quilting.

I was not sure that I would really commit to it so I told myself I should not spend much on starting a quilt project. I decided to start small. A tiny colorful pouch. Cut the fabric into tiny squares, put them together, added wadding and the backing and promptly realized that I did not actually know how to finish a quilt project. It was my Mom who always took care of the final binding. Promptly used Google and YouTube to help figure out how to finish my project and finished the pouch over the weekend.

I was thrilled. My stitches though were not even and the project would not have passed my Mom's minimum quality level so I was challenged. Started work on a tablet case since I just got a new tablet. Still not happy with my stitches so I tried again and made a Chromebook (laptop) sleeve. It was a bit better.

After a few attempts I showed Mom my handiwork. She was really happy that I started to quilt again and said that I did well, but I should practice more.

Mom inspecting my handiwork.

There's a lot of resources nowadays to learn new things. The only training I had for quilting was through my Mom. I used to have a couple of books, but they all went under water during Typhoon Ondoy in 2009, so I did the next best thing -- browse through books in the nearest bookstore. I also started reading articles on quilting using Google and watched a couple of videos on YouTube. Ahhh, vast free resources! I learned a lot from reading and watching videos. Many say that it's easier to use a sewing machine, but I'm still more comfortable sewing by hand. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Stitching, Where it All Started

Each hand made item has a story. It starts with an idea, sometimes a dream, research and a sketch of the idea. Then a quest to find the right material, the perfect fabric, the matching thread, the right wadding thickness. The journey starts with the idea and ends as the last knot is tied.

It was my Mom who cultivated my love for sewing. I was about nine years old when she taught me how to make a pincushion. She encouraged me to make a lot so I could sell it in the annual fiesta bazaar. They were sold out because of my neighbor-aunties.

Mom managed to keep one of my pincushion projects and 
gave this to me when I took up quilting again.

We always had scraps of fabric available because one of my aunts exported garments to Japan. Eventually I moved to making clothing for my Barbie dolls. I never did well with sewing clothes (except to repair them) and so my Mom eventually taught me how to crochet. I made coasters, table runners, tiny bags, wallets etc. I moved on though just about I was going to start making blankets (apparently we had a lot of those in stock already from the work done by previous generations).

I loved embroidery and aced all my projects. I remember my Mama Lola who was good with the sewing machine helped sew my final project which was an embroidered pillow case. My Mama Lola was the one who taught me how to use a manual sewing machine (like the 66k one here). It was hard because you had to make sure your eyes, hands and feet were well coordinated. My Mom then taught me how to use an electric sewing machine, but I never took a liking to sewing with a machine.

Mom eventually found a good use for all the garment scraps from my aunt. Quilting. I was in high school when she taught me how to quilt. We started with simple small projects like wallets and pencil cases and moved on to making my own lunch bag and school bag. It was fun, but I always struggled with finishing my projects so my Mom would take care of the final binding.

My Mom's main idea was to keep me busy (a.k.a. keep me out of trouble) when I was a kid. I never thought I'd go back to my sewing, but I was looking for something to do two years ago and re-discovered my love for sewing. So I thought I'd start this blog to document my adventures with tiny sharp thing called a needle.

What about you? Do you have a passion for sewing? How did it start?