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Of Quilts and Crafting Confessions

3 Times the Charm

Remember when I said I would try out the Jennifer pattern from 3 Times the Charm 2?  It's fine if you don't remember it because I posted about that little endeavor several months ago.  And then never followed up because I didn't want to say this:

I think that I dislike sewing.

I love handmade things.  I love quilts.  I love heirloom baby clothes sewn with love.  If you've done so much as seamed together some throw pillows, I probably love them.

Fabric - 3 times the charm
I LOVE buying fabric, too.

But I do not like sewing.

I can't tell if it's because I inherited my mother's fear of fast and noisy sewing machines, which is a fear made so much worse by watching The Brave Little Toaster at an apparently very impressionable age.  Or maybe it's because sewing requires the attention to detail that comes with measuring, marking, ironing, pinning, sewing, re-sewing, cutting, pinning, marking, dancing, tasting, pinning, throwing out your iron in frustration because ironing sucks, turning yourself about, breaking your thread, and screwing up your tension for the third time in an hour.

Honestly, the part of sewing I'm best at is when I get really tired and frustrated and eat some late-night Taco Bell while checking Facebook.

What? You can't tell me that's not part of the sewing process!  It must be, because that's what I did the last SEVEN times I tried sewing projects.  Seven is probably a conservative estimate, if we're being honest.  And I am, because this is crafting confession.

So maybe I shouldn't have attempted the Jennifer pattern from 3 Times the Charm 2.  Maybe I should have remembered that I like quilts more than I like sewing.  And maybe I should have taken into consideration that I can knit or crochet a billion baby blankets in the time it would take me to make a quilt--especially when I'm WAY more likely to actually pick up my yarn and instruments to work on a project than I am to haul out all the gear it takes to sew something.  And in theory, sewing is faster.  But there's all that build up--the washing and drying and ironing and cutting and pinning--just so you can sew something incorrectly.  With yarncrafting I can work through my project one stitch at a time.  If there's a mistake, I can (theoretically) catch it in time to fix it.  Most projects I choose don't require the amount of precision I feel like sewing does.  There are fabric pens and cutting mats, for Pete's sake!

And that's fine.  I'm just not a sewer.


For someone who's just more comfortable with yarncrafting, sewing just doesn't hold a lot of appeal.

And that's a real shame because that book is full of lovely patterns, just like the one before it.  The quilts are mostly lap-sized, which would make them perfect baby blankets without looking too 'baby blanket-ish.'  And the pattern I picked out has my name and everything!

All that being said, I'm not tossing my blocks just yet.  They're safely sealed up in a Ziploc bag, right on top of 3 Times the Charm, Book 2.  And do you know why?  Because these little hearts:

are waiting in a project basket somewhere in case my mom needs another 20 years to think about what she'll do with them.  That's not me making fun of my mom.  These heart appliques are just a bit old, but she's already cut them out and hemmed them.  So she'll do something with them, but there's no need to rush.  And they're not normally sitting out on the old deck with its warped boards.  I just thought that would look picturesque.

Some projects just rest a while.  Like this.

Yup, that's a tiny little quilt.  She made the blanket itself quite a while ago, and it was meant for my younger sister as a doll quilt.  Then my sister was a little old for dolls and then it was going to be a wallhanging.  Then I had a daughter three years, and this became her doll quilt this weekend!

Ta da!  Heirloom!

I don't even know if you can say "ta da" over something that takes two decades to complete, but my mom makes crazy tiny stitches and this is seamed and quilted by hand.

My daughter loves that the hearts have hearts on the fabric, and the quilt is covering up her doll right now.  So I think I'll keep my stack of fabric for a little while longer.

Maybe I'll have a free weekend where I just have a sudden and inexplicable urge to to piece together a quilt top.  I now have the manual for my husband's grandmother's old sewing machine, and that should really help me with the weirder intricacies of winding the bobbin and re-setting tensions.  Maybe my daughter will decide she needs a quilt that looks something like this.  Or maybe it's for some special little person I don't know yet.

I know I'm not a sewer.  But maybe I should say I'm not a sewer right now.  I'll hang on to my squares, and my book, for a while.  Who knows what kind of crafter I'll be in a few decades?

4 thoughts on “Of Quilts and Crafting Confessions”

  • Beth

    Ahhh. do hang on. I have knit and crocheted, and done needle works for years. I am quilting now and I always felt like you do. Of course a new sewing machine made all the difference. And my first one was really really basic (and cheap). :)

    • Jen

      Ha ha, I almost never say never when it comes to crafts. But I'm certainly going to let the project rest a while. There's something about taking perfectly good squares and then cutting them some more that feels so counter-intuitive to me!

  • Janet

    Sew the squares together for a quick & easy quilt.

    • Jen

      I might do that someday (after threading the machine.....ugh), but I'd really like to make the quilt pattern! But I have to admit, my favorite quilts are the ones with plain square blocks. I've got good fabric for it!

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