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Kim and the Crazy Quilt

June 15 2012 at 8:54 AM
Kim  (Login KimAB)
The Frugalista Files

or How Kim Went Crazy Trying to Learn Something New...

First of all - let me say that all the women involved are doing this for free and extremely kind and gracious. I am the crazy on in this story AND I KNOW IT!

My whole goal was to learn really nice surface embroidery so that I could do embroidered pictures or the kind of pictures that have different kinds of fabric in them, but they look like something.

I have a lot of embroidery experience and I would say my skill is past beginner for most basic stitches. I gave it up for a long time, though, so I haven't got a lot of stuff and kind of don't want a lot, either. I've got a couple hoops in different sizes and I buy floss as needed for a project then use it up in small 'use it up' projects like little Swedish huck weaving bags.

I do have a lot of thread and strings in white and a pale taupe that I am beginning to dye for a bit of selection.

I am trapped in the 70's (I guess) and the only cotton I have in the house is white or unbleached muslin. I never sew with cotton. I haven't since my kids were little and I was making their own clothes.

The only quilting I ever did was with my grandma. Grandma S. (sigh) She was.... uhhh... :-/ What does a person say about Grandma Olive... She was very happy with herself and her life. She liked quilting and sewing clothes for international orphans. The clothes were made of Fortrel (sp?) so they are probably still around somewhere... not worn out... just like all the clothes she made for me when I was a kid. Anyway- she was tone deaf, but liked to sing and had no sense of colour, but liked to quilt!

I spent a lot of summers being her slave monkey tying off quilts for her. She couldn't quite be convinced that the Great Depression was over and she could teach the VERY cheapest among us a thing or two about saving a penny. AND I MEAN A PENNY. She had a drawer full of short elastic and she would just rifle through it to find a piece when making orphan clothes for example. She never used a seam ripper. She used an old razor blade that was too dull for other things and when it wouldn't cut anymore she would resharpen it.... :-P

Anyway- that was a diverting side trip.

As you all know I've been feeling... menopausal? Sad? Something? And I think when you feel like that it is good to learn something new. SO I've been on this list for a year and I've done a couple things with them and THOUGHT that I would be able to learn some things that would help me in my future crazy quilting needlework goals.

The way the classes are run is HIGHLY organized. You get one lesson at a time and you can't go on until your mentor is satisfied that it is correct. Crazy quilting is a little bit subjective, but they are teaching you the rigid rules before you branch off and do your own thing. I see their point.

I have had one mentor with them. She was from the same province as I am, similar age, same job and when I say I can't get something she believes me. We just really clicked and I was happy that I got her again. I had a couple things made, she said they were correct then I got a call from the organizer (yes... she calls!) and she said my mentor had an emergency and she was going to have to send me to someone else... who just happens to be her best friend... happy.gif My new mentor is a wonderful person (I'm sure) but I kind of got dumped on her. Then I was told everything I had done was WRONG and had to start over.

So I started over and I just felt very pecked to death! I STILL don't know how the hell to chose a focus fabric or a theme! A THEME! It is a $^%&$# thread roll up. There is no theme...

My insanity creeped to the top there... sorry...

So now I've gotten as far as the actual embroidery and I still hate it. I might even hate it more. I have templates that I have to use for the stitches. I am now on the seam treatment portion of the lesson. I have to put all the stitches together on lines or seams and prove knowledge. It is a list of 13 stitches. When I am done that I have to photocopy or trace my block and show her what I would do on my actual block and the colours I would use.

And trust me - she won't like the colours that I pick and I'm sure she is right. I've never done anything like this before and I swear I will NEVER do anything like this again. I think my mentor is used to being gushed over a little more than I ever would, too. I have been carefully neutral whenever she asks me if I like what I'm doing or enjoying it. A couple days ago I was very honest and told her exactly how I feel and she wrote back saying she hates it when she has artistic block, too. That is not it! It is not artistic block. It is that I HATE IT.

So - reasons not to quit: I've put a lot of money into this stupid project and I need to finish before I can do anything else. There is nowhere locally to learn this and they really are everywhere on the internet. These women really ARE knowledgeable and I could learn a lot from them if I had a better attitude.

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