Friday, December 4, 2009

Oh, No! It's Happening Again!

I've got a new addiction. Here's how I know I've been bitten by the quilting bug: I'm beginning to buy quilting books. I can't go into a store without looking at the selection of quilting books. Late last spring, I realized storage space in my sewing room was disappearing, so I sorted through my collection of sewing books and donated lots of them to the public library. I was very proud of myself. Now I'm buying more books. Of course, I knew this would happen. I just didn't think it would be quilting books.

As a beginning quilter, these are the books I've found most helpful.

1. Quilter's Mix & Match Blocks: This book contains instructions for 50 blocks. Some blocks are very easy and some are more challenging. As a beginner, I appreciate the step-by-step block construction directions. I bought this book a few years ago, but never found the motivation to use it. Now, I'm really glad I bought it. It also includes directions for borders, batting and binding.

2. Start Quilting: This was the reference for the quilting class I took last spring. It covers all the basics, including directions for 6 easy blocks. As with the Mix and Match book, it has all the information you need to make a quilt from beginning to end.

3. Machine Quilting: As in garment sewing, there are certain quilting "celebrities" and Alex Anderson is one of them. I think the actual quilting (as opposed to piecing) is going to be the hardest thing for me to learn. I bought this book hoping Alex would make it easier. She didn't. It just takes practice, practice and practice.

4. The Quilting Answer Book: The subtitle of this book is "Solutions for Every Problem You'll Ever Face - Answers to Every Question You'll Ever Ask" and I really think that's true. Whenever I've had a question, I found it covered in this book. This book 6 1/2 x 4 1/2 and 1 inch thick - small enough to stick in my purse and carry around.

Book buying is not the only sign of my addiction. This week I drove TWICE to Steve's Sew and Vac in King of Prussia, PA – a notorious black hole shopping/traffic area, especially during the holiday season. And, after Steve's didn't have what I wanted, I drove 25 more miles to Hayes Sewing Machine Co. in Wilmington, DE. I had to get just the right fabric!

A few years ago, I got hooked on soap making. After the initial thrill wore off (and I had almost 100 bars of soap), I settled into making soap only when the mood hits me. I think the same thing will happen with quilting. So, I'm not worried that quilting will replace garment sewing as my major obsession. I will always, always be primarily a garment sewer. Quilting just gives me more of a variety of projects to sew.


  1. Are we related? I get "into" lots of different things, but all at different times. Summer and Fall of this year were all about quilting...but now the pendulum is swinging back to garment sewing! Usually somewhere in between, there are often stops for knitting, crocheting, weaving, stamping, fabric dyeing, etc. (One exception though: I had a soap business for several years - it was so-o-o-o much work. I quit because I just couldn't keep up, and I've NEVER made another bar of soap!)

  2. Oh, I do this too! Since I'm older and wiser, I try to lay down until the urge to have a new hobby goes away! Boy, I don't need to have a quilting fabric stash!

  3. Have fun with it. There is room for all kinds of sewing in our lives.

  4. It is the quilting fabric that lures me, the wonderful prints and colors. Good luck with the quilting and I can't wait to see your creations.

  5. This is a great addiction to have! You're just learning new things, keeping yourself fresh and it makes garment sewing that much more special when you get sew.

  6. I must be related to you and BJ as well. A few weeks ago I decided I would bead the waistband of a dress for my upcoming SWAP. I've never beaded anything, so I went off to the library and borrowed some books. One of them I liked so much I ordered from Amazon, now I've started buying beads (and not just for use in my SWAP). I even started to think I could make some earrings and a bracelet to match. I don't need anpther hobby! But then, there are those bags of scraps in my sewing room that could make a nice quilt ...

  7. I know what you mean. Many peas in a pod. Faye loves books, too! I managed to hop and wheel my way (with help of course), to JoAnn's when they had the July 4th sale and purchased one of yours (Alex Anderson) in hopes to kinda teach myself until I'm able to get to a class!

    Thanks for the recent comment earlier this week. :)