Thursday, April 07, 2011

My Creative space: Warning!! quilters avert your eyes now!

You know what I have learnt?
Just because someone  dares you to do something doesn't mean you have to? How old am I? 15? Apparently, yes!
It all started with this. I have been tempted before by this lovely bloggers quilts, but Kirsty's made me want to do it.
Kirsty even sent me Kates pattern.... But I read it and cutting all those pieces the same size all perfect and neat... Chest tightens, heart begins to beat faster, ( not in a good way) I know I am not capable of this kind of sameness and oneness... I looked at it again over a few days, even got out fabric one night, got overwhelmed, put it away. But because I was dared... it was on my mind....I went looking on the interweb for inspiration, felt worse, even more overwhelmed... But on Sunday morning at 2am I woke up with plans!

Perhaps I might do it differently next time though.

So here are some things I learnt that will make it easier next time. MOST of them are obvious to anyone with any sewing experience, unlike myself who still considers herself very much a beginner.

Perhaps think about how big it will be before you start
Perhaps some planning, a little sketch or something... With measurements!

Perhaps cut out shapes on a hard surface ( not the lounge room rug)
Perhaps use  that modern device called a tape measure, like actually get one out and measure your pieces of fabric.

Perhaps cut the pieces in a straight line on a hard surface by using things like a chalk mark and a ruler

Iron AND ironing board:
Get them out!

Perhaps iron all the squares before you start. Perhaps buy an ironing board bigger than the one you sit on the table that you currently use! ( I only iron small things like toy pieces and cushion covers it is about half the size of a normal sized one.)

Perhaps have some kind of system when you sew the pieces together where you decide to fold the seams over to one side or iron them open before you start sewing them all together.

Perhaps have those special pins with the bend in them.

Perhaps have chocolate biscuits for the pinning it all together process which proved quite painfully tedious and stressful in trying to keep dog from laying on the "quilt." and the 4 year old from walking on it.

Sew: Perhaps pop a new sharp needle in the machine so the one you are using doesn't break so when you are changing it half of it doesn't fall down in between those dog teeth looking bits causing you to lift the entire sewing machine over your head and shake vigorously and when it didn't come out just pretend that it didn't happen and put a new sharp needle in and start sewing again hoping for the best.

Perhaps have chocolate biscuits and dog treats ( for Zac obviously) again for the now I have to unpin it turned it right side out and realized I now have to pin it again!!! ( as am using this method- so as to avoid binding)


Have dilemma about how to "quilt" and need to ask a stupid in the expert who provided not only her phone number but links to examples to help answer my dumb question. Thank you Andi for always being very kind and encouraging.

Decide to use little ties method of quilting as I cannot decide what colour to use for the lines I wanted to sew like the original one Kirsty made- which was the whole point of this quilt to begin with - to make a quilt with all those lines across it....

So basically I started here, got overwhelmed, popped over here  and came back with this. 
It is backed with chenille and well, someone loves it and loves that I made it for her.

So would I make another one? Yep sure would! But this time I am going to cut on table, measure with chalk and ruler and iron and be patient and slow and maybe even be in the house alone for the pinning bit.....and I already have plans for the next one which will be more about quilting than actually about the patch- worky bit....Well that's the plan anyway but really anything could happen.

Andi will be running a quilting workshop called Embrace The Wonk ( LOVE it!) later in the month, details are over here.
Here at chunkychooky we embrace the wonk, we revel in it. We poo poo people who tell us it has to be perfect, it has to be neat, it has to be this it has to be that. I am Embracing the Wonk and am pround of myself that I faced up to the challenge and I finished it and I am not completley embarassed about it, but mostly I am thrilled that it will keep my little one warm on the lounge, which really is the whole point of a quilt right?
 More Creative Spaces at Kirstys place.


  1. I love it Cath I do, LOVE. You and I are much the same in our sewing beginner-ness, our inability to measure twice & cut once & our enthusiasm that might just might not, on occasion, meet our skill level lol, but not this time, I think this is ace. Ace I tell you! xx

  2. Oh yes! I love embracing the wonk. I've been working hard on challenging my perfectionist streak... but have also strenuously avoided quilting because it's always seemed too PRECISE an art for me! ;) So I totally get the fear factor, Cath! Having rambled on about all of this, I do love your quilt and you have inspired me to think 'maybe one day I will' :)) Great space - laughed aloud at the 'cutting on a hard surface', and 'modern device tape measure' bits :) Kx

  3. Most of those perhaps and definite dos for next time should all goout the window (NOT the chockie biscuits, ironing board or good needles though) because you've made a perfect quilt. Have you ever seen Wendy from the textured leaf's tutorial on making a quilt. Just my style. No real rule, definitely no rulers and maybe even no iron. and people love them. So embrace that wonk! It has a whole lot more heart than many another perfect quilters quilt. cherrie

  4. I think your "jumping in" style is part of what makes your creations so gorgeous! (even though it made the process difficult at times!). I can see why she loves it!

  5. If I dared to have a go, i'd do it the same way I think! It is absolutely gorgeous Cath!

    I'm one for making things 'by sight' sometimes i'm afraid. It usually turns out, fingers crossed!
    Loving the navy spots in there too!X

  6. Loving your wonk!!!!! It's a gorgeous quilt and you should be very proud!!!
    Andi xx

    PS The best investment you can make in terms of cutting fabric is a self-healing mat, a quilters ruler and a rotary cutter. They will change your life!! (In a good way)

  7. Cath I LOVE it and I love your can do jump in style.
    And you had me at embrace the wonk xo

  8. love the wonk, turned out great! maybe even better than a perfectly made quilt. Doesn't look store bought, but then, well, it wasn't was it? Main thing is someone likes it and will stay warm, totally agree!

  9. Ooooh! I LOVE it! Now I aspire to make one as beautiful x

  10. I am not sure that I have the patience to do all those things. But your end result is pretty cool. I must say, as I sew more, though, I have learnt that it is worth setting up the ironing board. But I still cut out on the lounge room carpet floor :P Old haibts, yada, yada...

  11. What are you saying? It looks fantastic and Busy is obviously well pleased with it!!! I would LOVE to make a quilt, but my sewing machine still fills me with so much fear. I think you did fantastic!

  12. chocolate biscuits are a must!!!

    I think it looks fab, but then i've never tried making one myself ... and wouldn't have the foggiest where to start either! So thanks for the post :) I'll keep it all in mind if ever i'm tempted!

  13. hha ha this is so funny! xxxx

  14. embracing the wonk - love it. lots more wonk than perfection here too

  15. You've learned so much...and even if the first one was a bit wonkey..doesn't works just the same..your son looks very peaceful under it! Here's to the next one..whenever.

  16. Wonkiness is good, especially when you can pretend that it was meant to be wonky.
    I could never convince my "if it's not perfectly symmetrical it's no good" husband to embrace the wonk though!

  17. I'm with Andy the mat, ruler and cutter are my best friend. Well done to you cath, this may open up a whole new world!! Take a bow Mrs!!!!!!

  18. Hooray!!! Chuck the rules out the window if the results are as gorgeous as this!! I love it and Busy certainly does too. Ace work Chooky. X

  19. Oh Congratulations Cath! Doesn't really matter how you got there, you got there. And she loves it! Huge round of applause!

  20. It's gorgeous! Who cares how you got there?! Got there you did. Quilts are a way to cover those you love with love and I'm sure Busy is feeling very loved right now.
    But go the rotary cutter and cutting mat if you are going to do any more quilting - you'll never regret it.

  21. It is up to the rooftops marvellous. Perhaps-es are for next time. Right now it just works. So snuggle on down!

    (that Andi is such a good egg).

  22. Yup...a quilt is exactly for snuggling under on the sofa.

    It's not just about the love & effort in the making but the love from it being used that makes it special.

  23. great one indeed.. and no math in art please, for me too :-)

  24. Gorgeous, Cath, and would have to say that you can't argue with the results...


  25. hahaha!
    I did most of the same things with my first quilt, which mind you took almost a year to finish, with squares in funny corners for months before I finally stitched them all together. no matter the process, it looks awesome!!
    Pepper x

  26. You've got a beautiful blog. I came from Etsy Success discussion and really liked your blog. Thought I should mention it and say hello.

    Come to mine and let me know what you think ;)

  27. Bugger all that (except the chocolate biscuits, they're mandatory) - I love it. Well done! Your choice of fabrics and colours is wonderful.

    I have enough trouble making cot sheets and bunny rugs. The very idea of patchwork makes it hard to breathe.

  28. Hello,
    I just discoveed you on
    I liked the patchwork team profile pic and wanted to see more.
    You're a very creative lady ;-))
    Cheerful greetings from Switzerland,


what a nice person you are- taking the time to comment in this busy hectic world...Thank you!!