My discounted student Amazon Prime account is slowly slipping away from me (like I’m going to pay $79 to renew it!) so for the past few months I’ve been a little Amazon crazy.  I try to buy whatever I can from Amazon because it’s usually cheaper, I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth of the half price Prime membership I DID pay for, and I like getting packages.  So when I’m out of body wash or whatever other thing I could obviously buy in person I check Amazon first just because.  And I like to look things up on Amazon just to see how cheap they can get with Prime, for example, sewing machines (and vacuums and crayons and copy paper and cereal).

I bought the $40 Michley Lil’ Sew N Sew despite every glaring warning that it would be a nightmare.  But I’d never sewn before and it was cheap, I like making do with cheap things.  I even thought it would make me a better sewist because if I could tame this piece of crap I’d be golden when I got my first actual machine.  We had problems though.  Backstitching?  When the “machine” is feeling generous.  Bobbin winder? I learned quickly how not having a bobbin winder was going to end our weeklong relationship.  I looked at separate stand alone bobbin winders and most were in the $30 range.  I looked at the stock of sewing machines again and decided to just return the toy machine and buy a real one instead of buying a separate winder which would come with a new grown up machine, oh and I’d have a grown up machine.

New grown up machine and I are best friends now.  I even splurged and bought the one that was $80 instead of $70 (that’s a big step for me).  So now I can thread a sewing machine (although the hook/lever thing doesn’t fully extend outside the machine so I have to pull the thread out of the crevice with a bobby pin every time, but I think it’s character building).  I can even make some things.  Like for instance I can sew two pieces of fabric together with most of the stitches that come with my machine.  I can make the most tragic drawstring bags the world has ever seen.  I can actually hem pants and sew my bra straps securely on my too old bras.  And last week I made a mini quilt in like four days.

I started it I THINK last Monday, and when my mom came to visit on Tuesday I decided I had to finish it to give it to her before she left on Friday.  I had read a fab tutorial on making string quilts during one of my frenzied searches for more sewing blogs to add to my Reader (I know it’s going away but I don’t want to talk about it) and I was like, shit, it’s all straight lines?  I can do straight lines!  Sort of, most of them were wobbly but whatever you can’t tell.  I bought two bags of scrap from Fabric Temptations and basically sewed shit together until it was done.

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I did a bit of planning, like I measured the batting I’d bought and saw that I could definitely get a 5×5 quilt top using copy paper sized blocks out of it, but then it messed up the diamond pattern I wanted to make.  And I’d have to do more work.  So those got squiggled out, and I (repeatedly) tried to get the angles right.  It took an embarrassing number of tries and I’m glad this is a shitty iphone picture so you can’t TOTALLY see how dumb I am because apparently I forget how squares work.  I dubbed the two angled blocks I’d need to make “a’s” and “b’s” instead of oh I don’t know, lefts and rights or something that makes sense and might have actually stuck in my mind the next time I go to make one.  It got done though!


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Process.  If you have a sewing room you’d better go to it right now, get down on the floor, and kiss it.  Are you seeing how small this table is?  My bed is two feet behind it, fyi.  I wish I had taken pictures of how I put the quilt sandwich together, it was a hot mess.


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And pretty finished quilt!  I’m pleased with myself for my first quilt and sewing project ever.  It was really fun and kind of mindless, I watched SVU while cutting the fabric into strips and sewing the blocks together, so this quilt is blessed by Our Lady of Wonderfulness Olivia Benson.

I swear to you I was going to make some really funny pun about “string fever” in the title of this post but then I realized I had read that at Stitching In Color about a billion times during my string quilt research!


8 thoughts on “Stringy

  1. Oh, I laughed out loud and read parts to my hubby. I love this post. Love it. No, really, LOVE it! Here’s why….we’ve all been there: cheap machine, no space, wobbly stitches, the whole deal. And just like us, you’re hooked, and you’ll get better and better, and in no time you’ll be entering quilts in shows and then we’ll be jealous! How do I know this? Because I was right there about 40 years ago. Aw, now there are tears in my eyes.

    • Oh my gosh, thank you so much! Your comment really means a lot to me, one of the biggest reasons I decided to get into sewing was the intergenerational community aspect! I’ll have to get on that show quilt 🙂

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