Today I had my first ever quilting class, and now I feel much more confident in my abilities. The class today was very informal, as it was just a “block of the month” class. A block of the month (BoM) is a common thing in the quilting world, it is a quilt that is broken up into smaller monthly projects. They are typically year-long affairs, but there are various lengths from six months to two years. It really just depends on the intricacy of the quilt being made.
These projects are hosted by quilt shops, and the participants pay a monthly fee. Again it varies by BoM, but typically the way it works is that each month you get fabric and instructions for that month’s block, and there is an optional class that you can attend where they walk you through making the block. I have signed up for two BoMs this year. One has a class each month, the other does not. You can see more about those quilts on the project pages I made for them… Elegance BoM and Thangles BoM.
I have never really socialized with other quilters before this, except for brief conversations while in stores. As I said, the format of the class today was very informal. The owner of the shop gave some brief instruction and then people just sewed and asked for help or tips as needed, and chatted with one another. Everyone in there was old enough to be my mother. Or maybe grandmother in some cases. There were about seven ladies in there aside from myself; they all seemed friendly and were of various skill levels. The lady that sat behind me was very experienced and even made some show quilts, while the lady opposite me seemed very new at sewing. Possibly even newer than myself, as she was having quite a bit of difficulty.
Whenever it takes me a bit to figure some new thing out, I always just assume it is because I am inexperienced and/or an idiot. But hearing these ladies that have been quilting for years stumble on the same things made me feel a lot better. I really enjoyed the class, although I hesitate to really call it a class. It was more like a workshop, or supervised sewing time – Uninterrupted sewing time!
That was the best part. Three hours of sewing without having to feel too guilty about not taking care of something at home, having to stop to do baby things, having to wait until the baby was asleep, etc. It was three hours of time set aside and approved for me to get out and have me-time doing something I enjoy. It was one of the few times I have been able to focus completely on sewing since the baby was born, and one of the first times in quite a while I was able to sew without being tired since I normally don’t get to have time to myself until the baby goes to sleep and I take care of things around the house… which means I only get to sew in the time I can steal after about 9pm.
Of course I still felt a little guilt that I was away from the baby, but I guess that is just part of being a mommy. Every time you aren’t giving all of your attention to the baby, you feel like a bad parent. Especially if you are breastfeeding, and know you are voluntarily away from her when she should be nursing… even though the people taking care of her are perfectly capable and she can drink from a bottle just fine.
Anyhow… I have now completed all 5 of my January blocks, 1 of the 4 February blocks, and one of the four March blocks. It shouldn’t take me too much longer to finish up the remaining blocks, as I made a lot of progress on them. I will try to get those knocked out soon, as well as my March Thangle block (Thangle quilt is one single block each month). Then I will update those pages with some more photos. I am saving the Thangle for once I am done with the Elegance blocks though, as seeing how the Thangle turns out is pretty fun. It will be my reward for getting the Elegance stuff out of the way.
I am starting to feel a little overwhelmed with my backlog of projects, so I am sure Sean will be happy to hear I am not allowing myself to take anything else on for a while… no matter how many times I see something and think “OMG I have to make that!” I will still pick up patterns if I see something I really like, but no more fabric for a while. When I see stuff that I get super excited about, I just remind myself that there will always be something that I will be excited about and that I should just let it go and wait until I have finished what I already have… or at least until I finish most of what I already have.
That Yellow Brick Road quilt is still sitting here waiting to be quilted; I am swimming in BoM blocks; there are some appliqué patterns someone was kind enough to digitize for me (so I can use my embroidery machine) two weeks ago that I haven’t had time to test out; the Flower Patch quilt is still only half pieced; I have most of what I need to make a tote bag sitting here on the table; I have a book of “in the hoop” projects Sean gave me for Christmas I haven’t even had time to play with yet; and fabric for at least four quilts waiting on me in the closet. Not to mention I have really been wanting to try making some baby shoes and plushy toys! So many things, so little time. And I am pretty sure I have missed some things in there.