Sauer Sometimes


This article was written on 04 Jul 2011, and is filled under Craft, Sew.

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Why do I do this to myself? Pt. 1

I have been sewing and crafting for a while. I don’t usually work from any official instruction. I just find the info I need as I need it and hope for the best. It is certainly an interesting way to live a creative life.

Let’s just say there is a lot of cursing, followed by a hefty helping of improvisation.

So after languishing between knitting projects, and feeling lame for not finishing my Sketchbook Project, I was looking for something HARD. Something to challenge and also clear out my randomly acquired fabric stash. I’d always wanted to make a quilt. I really meant to keep it simple. I swear!

I saw some awesome quilts made in zigs and zags and hundreds of half square triangles. HOTT and modern. It seemed like simple geometry. Namely, these:

Quilt Sketch
Ok, don’t ever give me graph paper again.

After counting hundreds of little squares I took the piles of fabric from underneath my desk and started painstakingly cutting it into strips. Then the strips into squares. I do some further google searching and Lo! Half Square Triangles are super hard! Now you tell me! They never come out the size you hope for. One should really cut larger and then trim it all up. So I measure what I have. Sure enough, THEY ARE ALL TOO SMALL!!!!!!!

Lots of Squares

Hey, I don’t give up (except sometimes when I get sidetracked by new projects so as to provide a convenient excuse to work on something new). Here’s my plan:

  1. Okay, the squares won’t be 4 inches now, obviously. Maybe more like 3.75.
  2. I’ll add a border around the edge to make up the lost inches.
  3. If it ends up a bit small, that is okay.

No really, it’s fine. I have a very Wabi Sabi view about crafting. I love the imperfections in my personal work. I don’t want things to look ugly, but hey, I am not a professional, nor a machine. I like to challenge myself. And that usually ends up meaning a less than perfect finished product with loads of learning throughout the process.

Until next time I’ll be cutting, sewing, and ironing.



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  1. lisa
    July 8, 2011

    yeah. this pretty much describes my crafting to a T. i’d love to see how it turns out!

  2. Amanda
    July 9, 2011

    That design is amazing! That’s going to be awesome! Are you going for a bed-sized quilt?

    • Alisa
      July 10, 2011

      Thanks! Yes, sadly I designed it to be queen sized ;)

      • Natascha
        March 7, 2012

        Ok, because there is vitluarly no where else to vent, and I doubt anyone is reading this forum at this point, here I go:I think I hate quilting. I’m not sure if it’s the exacting fiddliness of it all or if I am just not that into sewing machines (hand sewing? Hell yes!) but today was a total piss off in every way.1. On the bus to the work room a woman with her headphones on whistled all the way from Bloor to Queen St West, along Lansdowne. But not along with the music she was listening to, oh no, that would make too much sense, just one note over and over again, toot toot toot toot toot toot toot toot 2. I couldn’t get the zig zag correct on the machine I always use and had to get help twice. It makes me feel totally stupid and I hate that. Then the tension was wrong and my fabric was bunching up in an ugly, hateful way, so I needed help again. 3. And then ironing and did I mention I hate ironing?4. Then the sewing machine I always use died. Literally. It was smelling funny, burny maybe, but I thought that maybe it had been freshly oiled, it was working fine, chugging along and then nothing. Motor gonzo, sorry Karyn. That’s a $1300.00 Bernina, if you were wondering.5. Switched to a fancier machine ($3000.00 Bernina, fucking EEK!)that is all computerized and it was a clusterfuck for a bit, fiddling fiddling fiddling and then it was working and boy howdy, I want THAT machine, srsly, but sadly, I ran out of time. I got about a third of what needed to be done finished. Not one block is done completely. And I work tomorrow, training a new employee and again on Thursday (which I don’t normally work) and then directly to my class Thursday night where I will have the complete lack of joy announcing my complete lack of doneness. This from the woman who only works 7 hours a week. Ugh.I suck.

    • Antonio
      March 7, 2012

      I have a two week old baby and completely know what you mean when you wtenad to sew to do something just for you. When I get to sew for a few minutes in between feedings for my son and taking care of my 2 year old daughter, I love that it makes me feel like I am doing something just for me. For my sanity and it makes me a better mom. Love your quilt- going to do one of those one day when my stash gets big enough! :)

  3. Julien
    March 7, 2012

    i like numbers 10 and 11. Quilting for me is sort of a love hate thing too. I think ebacuse it’s just *so* *much* *work* compared to other things like knitting, needlework, sewing small projects. It’s alot more physical, takes way more steps in between sewing sessions, and the sheer size of quilts sometimes is overwhelming. Ironing is totally a pain. Washing the fabric before you sew is a pain. Hand quilting is a pain. I find myself procrastinating most nights and just resorting to knitting on the couch and watching a movie. This is why i knit and embroider alot!haha. However, that said, i love having a finished quilt. It’s much more rewarding to finish a quilt for me, than finishing a pair of mittens i knit or a bag i have sewn. I dunno. I average one quilt a year, usually no more ebacuse of the pain of everything involved. But I still like looking back and knowing I made one. It helps me practice at sewing too. :) You’re quilt is going to look great! Just keep working, and all of the sudden one day it’ll be done, and you’ll be super happy. :)

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