Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My first quilting bee!

I recently received an email from one of the class parents saying that sewer's were needed.  I had a good laugh at "sewers" and then didn't offer to help.  I have very little sewing experience despite my mother and maternal grandmother's best efforts!  My grandmother used to make wedding dresses for people in her spare time, when she wasn't busy raising her six children and volunteering at the war memorial etc etc, she taught my Mum how to sew, knit, crochet and they both then tried to teach me.  Despite their best efforts it was mostly unsucessful unfortunately, I can just stitch a button back on and sort of know how to work a sewing machine.

 Another email was received not long after the first, desperately requesting assistance.  The school is hosting a Bollywood Ball  as a fundraising event and each class year are auctioning an item they have made to help raise some funds.  Every child in Lower First (the Captain's year) had decorated an elephant on a square of fabric.  The art teacher then suggested that perhaps some of the Lower First parents could make a quilt out of all the calico elephants squares.  Gorgeous idea, except not one of us had any quilting experience and only a couple actually had any real sewing skills.  Regardless, we were up for the challenge:

Elephants stitched in rows, with 4 cm strips of blue fabric between and the wadding ready to be stitched on.

One clever Mum embroidered this square.

The Captain's elephant!

Husband has had a good laugh at me hunched over the sewing machine for the past few days.  As he pointed out to me... the sewing maching has been in a box in the roof for the last 15 years.  Every move he has suggested that we pass it on to someone who might use it! Never I would cry, I have plans to make beautiful clothes for our children, library bags, cloth nappies, linen napkins, lovely cushion covers.  Grrr, he would mutter and curse at me under his breath as he moved the sewing machine into yet another roof cavity!

Last week as I was squinting in frustration at the little strips of blue obstinately refusing to come out at 4 cm despite having been pinned into place, I tried to recall the last time I had actually sewn anything.  After a bit of thought I vaguely remembered whipping myself up a french maid's costume to wear to the Mardi Gras party, way way back in my early university days.  Hmmm, definitely had been a while then!  Even though I only managed to stitich two rows of elephants together I loved the experience and am looking forward to trying my hand at some new projects!  Maybe a library bag?  Any suggestions for an almost novice?


  1. That is just gorgeous! I bet it will fetch a lot at the auction. I'm a shocking sewer but I had fun (over a period of 18 months) making some bunting for my boys using vintage toy style fabrics, a great project for a beginner!

  2. I have a great bag for you to try...I'll look for the directions.

    I love the quilt - and Bollywood! I have a secret passion for Bollywood films.

  3. Oh, Emma, I am seriously impressed as I fall into the same category as you. Well done, my friend. I can't wait to see more! J x

  4. Well done for participation - the quilt looks gorgeous and is an excellent idea! I don't know about some first projects, maybe bunting or little drawstring bags or something that you don't need to know too many 'rules' for? I look forward to seeing what you come up with :)

  5. Good on you Emma dusting off the machine and wizzing up some of the quilt, I bet your help was really appreciated:) A little apron or even a tissue cover could be a nice little project to make. Enjoy your sewing. ox

  6. I love it! I would be crazy bidding for that!!

    Maybe start with some really easy summer pants for the boys. They take two seconds to whip up...I'll give you a lesson!

    Oh and I have some news about preschool will text you tomorrow...our favourites are leaving....very sad. xxx

  7. Well done Emma! The quilt looks like a winner to me. I do have a good project for you. I'll be posting it on NooshLoves in the next week or so so keep an eye out. It'll knock your socks off how easy and impressive it is... X

  8. Wow, it is just gorgeous! I love the colorful elephants, and I love that it has inspired you to try more projects. Move over Martha! XOL

  9. Do you know what? I would have panicked. I literally would not have known where to start! I cannot sew, do not own a sewing machine and in all probability (to my embarrassment) can not sew on a button.

    I dearly would like to learn, but wonder that it's not too late. (And hunched over a sewing machine possibly not the best hobby for someone with my spine).



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