Monday, October 18, 2010

Quilter Wannabe

I have a confession.

I have been sewing for 49 years. I sewed my outfits in high school. I made my own wedding dress. I made clothes for my babies before they were born. I made cute outfits for my toddlers and more cute outfits when they were school age. I made work clothes when teaching. For Christmas bazaars, I now make aprons, hand mitts, little purses, hoodie vests for kids, baby bibs, and much more. In other words, I know my way around in a fabric store, and I can work a sewing machine.

But---I have never made a quilt. I have always wanted to make a quilt, but I'm scared. What?? I can't explain it. Maybe it's the size or a fear of failure. I absolutely love quilts. I admire them at the county fairs and bazaars. I follow quilter blogs and marvel at their creations. I have even resorted to buying ready-made quilts for our bed and couch. I have a pretty good fabric stash that makes people ask if I am a quilter. I'm always buying cotton remnants that elicit comments like "This must be for your quilting stash." And (I'm embarrassed to admit) sometimes I'll say "Oh, yes it is!"

I'm a total quilter "wannabe". Okay, so now that I'm retired and have all of this glorious, uninterrupted time, I'm committing myself to making my first quilt. I'm not sure which way to turn. Should I begin with something small like a wall hanging or runner? Should I just jump in and begin cutting shapes and making blocks? Which design should I start with? A nine-patch, a string quilt . . .? Is there a good book or website for first timers? Should I sign up for a class? I feel a little lost, but determined.

I now have my mind set to complete a quilt before I turn 60--that gives me about a year. And I'm on a mission to find a project that will put my silly fear to rest! Any suggestions?