Saturday, December 1, 2007

Yet another all-consuming hobby.

There's no denying that I'm a very lucky person. Remember my plan yesterday to go to a quilting shop and look around, despite my (very real) fear that they'd point their fingers and laugh at me? Well, mid morning I rang my friend Sandy (she only works 3 days a week, so I knew there's be a good chance she'd be home), and asked if she wanted to come with me.

"There's a shop in Burke road I've heard about," I said. (Thanks for the comments yesterday, everyone.)

"Hang on," she said. "I think there's one around the corner from me."

And so there was. And what's even more important than it being around the corner from her is that it's just down the road from me. (It's all about me, Sandy....) In Centre Rd Bentleigh, number 281 (near Wheatley road), there's a shop called amitie. We went in. I've never been so nervous. But we had a great time. Sandy's been wanting to go there for ages but never had a reason to, so that's obviously why she has me for a friend.

We wandered around looking at all the amazing fabrics, talked to a lady who works there, started choosing fabric for a black and white quilt, when Sandy discovered some little packets of coordinated pieces that they'd put together. All up they equal 1 metre of fabric in total for $20 a pack. Much easier for a novice to work with. We chose two packets to make a boys quilt. (I needed fabric with muscles. No sissy pinks and mauves for my family!!)

When I was up at the counter getting the pattern for the new 'all boy' quilt, I asked about quilting classes. Sandy (who will one day take up quilting, even if she says she's wedded to learning to play the piano at present) has loaned me her sewing machine, so the only thing stopping me from beginning this thing immediately is a little thing called know-how. Plus I have to learn how to drive the sewing machine. So from next week Thursday nights are going to be quilting time. The poor things. Next Thursday I'm going to rock up to class, clutching my muscular fabric pieces in my small little hands, look at them and say, "So what do I do now?" I hope they're prepared for total ignorance.

(Though I read in 'Quilting for Dummies' that I should wash fabric before I quilt with it, so I'll have that step done.)

Connor came home from school first and claimed the quilt as his. So now I'm committed. Actually, I'm pretty excited about it. So is Sandy. She rang up just before dinner to talk about it again. I suppose that means that I'm doubly committed. Or should be committed....

And yet another exciting thing happened.
While I was talking to Sandy, I checked my emails and guess what? Harper Collins has a reviewer program where you register and they send out a soon-to-be-released book for you to review. My first one is being sent out even as I speak! How amazing is that? I'm going to be a book reviewer!!! I'm really pleased about this one. I can't remember if you simply get the book or if they also pay you a nominal amount, but I'm happy either way. is the place to go (I think.) I registered a while ago so I'm a little hazy on the details. (I actually forgot I registered until I got the email telling me my book was on its way.) I feel so important. My opinion matters. Whoever would've thought?

Just before I go to start another weekend full of racing from gardening to baking to housework to knitting to dog food making (thanks a bunch, Sandy. You OWE it to me to take up quilting now after getting me into the BARF food for the pets), I thought I'd share a blog I discovered this morning about quilting. Oh My God. This woman is prolific with the old needle, and she's made some fantastic things. I'm torn between being totally excited about this new area in my life and being totally intimidated.
Crazy Mom Quilts has kept me royally scared and in awe for the last hour or so. I particularly like the icy-pole quilt she has pictured on Flickr. I can see something like that on my bed. (It's too good to waste on the boys.) Just as an aside, are there any other Australians who find it really hard to spell 'Mum' as 'Mom'? It's something I have to concentrate on, and it's ruffling, because it totally feels like I'm making a spelling mistake. And making speeling nistakes is something I hate to do.

But enough of whingeing about those whacky Americans and their crazy spelling rules. (They make damned fine quilts, though!) I'm off to wash my masculine fabric pieces and dream of starting my new (all squares) quilt. Have a good weekend everybody!


maybaby said...

The quilt will be wonderful!

I come from a quilting family but neither my mother or I quilt. My great grandmother had a quilt exhibited at the World's Fair once. I feel somewhat a failure at carrying on the legacy.

I do cross-stitch, though. And I embroider. My mom is an extremely talented knitter and weaver. So I guess we're still going with the family textile crafts theme.

Scott said...

Frogdancer - I'm not sure that you can really 'butch up' a quilt so it's not 'sissy-like'- isn't a 'masculine quilt' a contradiction in terms? Look forward to seeing it though, you are such a dag being afraid of the Camberwell store! You make me laugh!

Kim said...

Good move signing up for that quilt making class! It takes time to learn, but learning about something that has grabbed your attention as quilting has will be a joy. I promise! You will find that quilters are fabulous folks who share your passion for quilting and will share knowledge as well. So go grab some old fabric and learn that machine so you can get busy on those perfect 1/4" seems. I hope you chose an easy design. Something like a strip quilt where there aren't a lot of points to match is a good place to begin. Do you have good cutting tools? Sharp needles, good thread, good lighting, a lot of patience? LOL! Sounds like a lot, but the basics will do just fine. I suspect that you are going to enjoy this process. Please keep me updated. I can certainly try to share helpful hints. Just ask, anytime you want to. I remember feeling intimidated by quilting. Now I just jump right on in and do it. I still ask for help when I feel the need. It's fun to hear how others do things. Quilt clubs are very fun!

Melinda said...

A whacky American popping in to say thanks for your comment on my blog! The support is greatly appreciated.

I'm always so jealous of you crafty types. The thought of attempting something involving thread gives me the heebie jeebies. :-)

I'm funny about the speeling nistakes too! :-D

Frogdancer said...

Oh, no worries Kim. If that list is all you need to be good at quilting... well then I'm in trouble...
Especially with the patience bit (just ask my kids). I might be popping on asking for clarification, though, like Maybaby, I have a mother and sister who sew.

Scott: how dare you try to categorise my quilt!I refuse to be bound by old fashioned notions. My quilt can be as butch as it likes. So there!

Precious_1 said...

you tell him Frogdancer! And I'm sure your quilt will be very butch.

I dabble in quilting myself - dabble in that I've never made one lol. I've been sticking to small projects that use quilting techniques and stitching. One day I'll get around to making something as big as a bed...... maybe lol

Kelley said...

Centre Rd Bentleigh??? I used to hang out there as a teen cause my Dad's Tandy store was around the corner! It totally freaks me out when Bloggers mention places I know! He he he. You know I am crazy...

Yeah, the Mom thing always trips me, I go to spell Moo and then have to backtrack every. freaking. time!

h&b said...

you must also live around the corner from me too then ( lots of bloggers do, it seems ).