Bells, Whistles, Strobe Lights in Sky
I just had one of those wonderful light bursting moments that changed the stress level of my life 100%. For all of you sewers and quilters I know you will be ROFLing (my daughter taught me that one, short for rolling on the floor laughing).
I haven’t sewed in 30 years and have only retained enough to get myself in a tizzy. You see I’m a perfectionist so we tizzy easily.
I have been worrying myself sick about how I was going to know what the “straight of the grain” was when I got to a piece of fabric that didn’t have any selvages. Alex Anderson in her book Rotary Cutting says to cut off the selvages, and I know in sewing clothes you lay your pattern out so it sits on the good side of the selvage and gets cut off.
I know that the thread runs parallel, straight, with the selvage. I figured I would worry myself into sleepless nights trying to tell which direction the “straight” was only knowing that the crosswise grain had a little more give. I tried pulling several pieces of fabric to see if I could tell. Nope. Sweating here. I can get myself in such a tizzy I can’t sew until I am positive what I am doing is right. I know. CHILL BETH! The little house on the prairie ladies used grain sacks and old aprons!
I learning quilting alone since I can’t get to a beginner’s quilting class for a long time. I thought I would read everything I could find on the web, buy some books and I’d be OK since I have sewed before. For beginners I have a HUGE WORD OF CAUTION! I got messed up with that first book I tried by picking an author who is “known” and a low price. BIG MISTAKE! There are so many books out there pick from for a beginner’s sewing or quilting book. It is a research project just like buying your sewing machine for the first time. You can read every review out there and be even more confused than when you started. Until you have a book in your hands that is your’s highlight and note, you just won’t know if it is good or not. You can look at in a store and think it is great, but you won’t know until you dig in deeper than a store glance. First see if you can buy second-hand in good condition either in your local store or on-line. Be prepared to buy two or three of your top picks. If you don’t like one, trade it back to your second-hand dealer and trade it. Tonight I started on the Quilter’s Complete Guide by Fons and Porter. Here is my epiphany moment from page 16:
“Arrows on patchwork pattern pieces indicate how the pieces should be placed on the fabric. When using a fabric without a nap or sheen, align the arrows with EITHER (EMPHASIS MINE) the lengthwise OR I(EMPHASIS MINE) crosswise fabric grain. THIS IS CALLED CUTTING PIECES ON THE STRAIGHT OF THE GRAIN (AGAIN, EMPHASIS MINE).
So for all you wise and learned sewers and quilters out there, assume that no piece of your knowledge is to little or to frivolous to mention (oh, she knows that). No, she may not know that; maybe she is so wrapped around pole she can’t figure it out on her own, etc.
Thank for giving me a place to come where I do not feel dumb and stupid with my messages. I only hope that others in the same boat as me have the courage to ask what seems like the dumbest question in the world because you never know, someone else out there might have the same question they are too embarrassed to ask.