Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Did I Mention That I Am A Quilter? I'm starting a new log cabin quilt from my stash of shirt fabrics.

I first learned to sew using my mother's Singer treadle sewing machine. It was a gorgeous machine with gold and silver decals and was housed in an oak parlor cabinet. I don't remember my mother actually showing me how to sew. I watched over her shoulder and I read the instruction book that was in one of the drawers on the left side of the cabinet. I once sewed the needle through my thumb as I furiously treadled away.

My first garment was a red gingham shirtwaist dress. When I purchased the fabric I did not buy enough yardage and in order to make the skirt long enough I had to go back to the store, buy a bit more, and make a ruffle to the hem to add length.

For years I sewed my own garments and those for my daughter.

Then came quilting. Oh, My! It is a sewing addiction that hangs on for years and years. I've made more quilts than I can count. I have drawers and drawers full of quilt fabric.

Somehow the addiction finally ran its course and now I have to work hard at getting up enough gumption to put together a new quilt top. The Log Cabin pattern dates back to the mid to late 1800s and our great-grandmothers made it in wools, cottons, or silks. The center square is traditionally red or yellow (and who am I to break with tradition?). Photos will be posted at a later date.

Each strip is 1 inch wide after sewing. The cotton fabrics are from shirts and blouses that I've gleaned from yard sales or Goodwill. I am always watching for quality fabrics and will bypass worn garments, flimsy cottons, and (horror of horrors) stinky garments. Once the garment is home with me, it goes into the wash; then I cut off seams, cuffs, collars, etc., and press the fabric, fold it and put it in my "shirt stash".

Another day I'll add some photos of my treadle...a model almost identical to my mother's machine.

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