Like so many other young women, my grandmother taught me how to quilt. But Grandma Mary never quilted alone. She had the ultimate workforce: her community (other blue-haired farmers' wives and daughters). They came on Sunday (the only non-workday) with their sewing and loaded down with baked goodies. As a little girl, I thought having a plethora of tiny helpers was a prerequisite for being a good quilter! Needless to say, I will never forget the overwhelming smells associated with quilting at grandma's house. While gobbling up the goodies, I soaked up all the knowledge these ladies so graciously shared, which in turn, I'll share with you now!
Lessons learned from my Grandma Mary's living room: Quilting Straight Lines.
Grandma Mary used an eight-foot-long two-by-four as a straight edge to mark the stitching lines on her giant quilts. Imagine that! This two-by-four was a prized possession of my grandma; however, the two-by-four method would not work on the tiny jacket I was sewing at the time.
Using a ruler to draw lines on the jacket was also out of the question. The pencil lines would show up after stitching, and I needed a brilliant solution. Generally, I walk out of the sewing room to clear my head in these situations. ("Clearing my head" is code for "eating chocolate" and usually works like a charm.)
Out of the blue (pun intended), a brilliant idea came to me… blue painter's tape! I'd use that wonderful Smurf blue tape as my guide! I dug through our stash of painting supplies until I found a roll of blue tape. I laid the tape on the fabric, and it stuck just enough to stay in place. Then by lining up the pressure foot on the edge of the tape and following the edge of the tape from the top to the bottom of the fabric, stitching perfect lines was a breeze. The jacket turned out just as I hoped it would.
Blue painter's tape is the way to go to achieve straight lines when quilting! It sticks without leaving residue, and it's available everywhere! Just sew along the edge of the tape and behold the straight lines!
Some of you know my story; my wonderful white-headed mother taught me how to quilt, and her wonderful white-headed mom taught her. So naturally, I thought I needed to grow old and become white-headed to be as great a quilter as they were. Funny how you feel when you're young.
Both my mom and grandmother had a vast quilting community to draw inspiration and knowledge from. We at Chateau Sew & Sew want to provide our "family" the expertise and community from which you can draw hints, experiences, and love.
My mom is a wealth of knowledge, and I hope I have her for many more years, as I hope to be here for my daughter Karen. Please feel free to reach out to us, the Krewe at Chateau Sew & Sew, to share tips, experiences, and love.
Yours in Seuxing,