Ever have a craft project you've been planning for months? How about years?
For me, the corduroy quilt has been in the making since high school, when a dear friend of mine made a duvet cover and an overnight bag out of mismatched corduroy pieces. She has always had a knack for sewing and crafting and busted those projects out like nobody's business. What made the pieces so interesting was the different sizes of squares, and the colors and textures of the corduroy. I also loved making something so functional out of scrap pants, and my inspiration has been stewing ever since.
I must admit, collecting the right pieces of corduroy was the first challenge.
And also, learning how to sew. There was no way this would be made by hand. But I was running out of excuses once I had my grandmother's machine for over a year, so I finally got cracking.
Ironing the fabric and cutting out the squares is the first step. I was wisely advised to make my first quilt with same-size squares. (So glad I listened!)
Because I had different amounts of fabric, I wanted everything cut before I started to design my layout. I liked the softness of the pink and light blue with the brown and tan color sequence. I'm thrilled the cords are all different widths and textures to make it more interesting and touchable.
This is the fun part- making the design! Here's an experiment with the random look. Hmmm.
Then I tried laying it out into more of a steady pattern.
Yes, this is so much better! I arranged based on the number of squares available, and now I can start sewing the strips.
My main goal with this project is to get more comfortable sewing simple, straight lines on the machine, as well as loading bobbins since this uses so much thread. All the stitching is on the back, so there's a lot of leeway with mistakes, making this a perfect project for a beginner. Even if it's a big one!
After several afternoons working on the stitching over the course of two months, I have finally sewed all 12 strips of 10 squares, and combined them all for the front of the quilt! It is a huge accomplishment for me, since there were "sessions" where I couldn't get through more than a couple squares without the bobbin acting up and my temper flaring to a string of obscenities sure to make my dead grandmother blush.
The worst was when I had all a panel of 3 strips attached next to another panel of 7 strips, only to find they didn't match up. I had to rip out the seams of all 3 strips and reattach them. This mistake took 10 minutes to initially sew together, and about 3 hours to rip out. Ripping out seams is now my greatest personal hell.
Sewing is nothing if not a serious test in patience.
Next will be finding a border, the backing, and figuring out how it can be fitted over a comforter. Happy the end is in sight, but don't mind putting it aside for a few weeks so I can recharge and get my bearings.
Remind me if I ever want to work in a sweatshop that my skills would be put to better use elsewhere.