Getting back into sewing, after a long absence, has been a real joy for me. I love the opportunity to create something unique – whether it’s to wear, to use, to sell or to gift. In my past sewing life I took on many challenges. There were Halloween costumes, drapes, cushions, kids’ clothes, ski jackets, skating costumes, stuffed sheep and my wedding dress.
Quilting is a whole new ballgame for me and my limited experience has brought to mind some well-known adages. The first is “slow and steady wins the race”. I think the quilt can sense if I’m in a rush or not focussed. Bad things happen; pieces get sewn together upside down or inside out, thread breaks, pieces don’t match like they should. Of course, the more frustrated I get, the more bad things happen. This is when it’s time to simply step away from the machine and put down any sharp tools.
Another way to express the above is “haste makes waste”. A recent project is a perfect example. I thought that there was a deadline to complete a certain something. So, I wasn’t paying attention and used a product that is not meant to be sewn. Why not, you ask? Well, this product has an adhesive on it and when you try to sew through it your needle gets all gummy and the stitches skip and break and look awful. I had to restart the whole project from scratch, and the original fabric is pretty much (s)crap!
How about “you get what you pay for”. Fabric and sewing supplies are expensive. Sure, there are good deals at the big box stores, but the quality generally isn’t great. I do use these stores for some things, where I know the brand. However, for fabric, I frequent a number of small shops where the service and quality are excellent. I’ll link my faves below. I’ve discovered a wonderful thread and am gradually using up my old stock and replacing it with Superior Thread. This thread sews like a dream and the colour selection for all of their products is amazing. Yes, it costs a bit more, but it’s worth every penny. Let’s face it, making a quilt is a lot of work, you want it to stay together and look like new for a long time.
Some of my favourite haunts for fabric and thread:
Cloth Castle in Langford. Husqvarna dealer and lots of fabric, not just quilting. Second floor is clearance and mark-downs.
Snip and Stitch in Nanaimo. Husqvarna and Janome dealer with good selection of quilt fabric and helpful staff.
The Cloth Shop in Vancouver. Small shop on Granville Island. Lovely fabric, good book selection, interesting kits and friendly staff.
Fabricana in Coquitlam. A well-organized big box store with good quality fabric, great book selection and friendly staff.
Cindy’s Threadworks on Vancouver Island. Online shopping.
Thanks for reading. Now it’s time to ”make hay while the sun shines”.