Monday, August 27, 2012

A NYC quilt

I've discovered the wonderful world of quilting and here is my very first completed project. It's a New York City-themed quilt, hand pieced using several vintage NYC postcards that had been reproduced on fabric. The Statue of Liberty, the Chrysler building, Times Square, the Flatiron and the Brooklyn Bridge are represented. I have been learning a lot over this past year, with the help of my friend Diane, who first introduced me to the art of the quilt and to classes I've taken at the City Quilter, one of my all time favorite places.

"My NYC I"
Hand-pieced quilt
26 x 26 inches

This journey started several years ago when Diane, a wonderful quilter, invited me to an exhibit of the Empire Quilt Guild in New York. We've since attended many quilt exhibits and at the last one I was blown away by a NYC-themed quilt. Diane suggested I try making one of my own, and she offered to help. At that point I was someone who could barely thread a needle, and I'd never had a sewing class in school, so I was a total newbie. Diane helped me design this wall-hanging and started me off sewing several of the sections. After awhile she realized how little I knew about sewing and that she really wasn't cut out to be a teacher. She suggested I check out a class at the City Quilter taught by Judy, an excellent teacher. A wise move. I learned the basics of quilting by hand and soon became enamored of the various processes. I love, love, love looking at the colors and fabrics and coming up with ideas. Now all I have to do is learn the various techniques and I am doing just that, slowly but surely.

I enjoyed the class so much, I signed up for another class, all the while working on this wall hanging. My stitches improved, I could thread a needle and I was rolling along. Then, in one session, there was a technique done by machine. Now, I'd NEVER been near a sewing machine, and never intended to be. After the class, I started thinking that it might not be a bad idea to learn how to use one, as so many quilting techniques are done by machine. I mentioned this to my studio mate Tobi who just happened to have some old Singer's stored in the studio that had belonged to his aunt and grandmother. We moved one into my studio and I found a terrific place that serviced machines on the Upper West Side. The fellow came out to the studio as he was intrigued to work on the old Singer, circa 1938, and he got it running, in his words, "humming" and "working like a dream." I also purchased a new, small portable machine from his shop as I've signed up for a focus group for beginners, and will need to bring a machine with me. So, now I have 2 machines to learn how to use!

Quilting is for me, painting with fabric, and I find sewing very meditative and calming. Looking forward to the many quilting projects in my future. As you can tell from this post, I'm hooked :-).