And so I finally get down to the business of some quilting. Now that the stressful parts (I think) about buying the fabrics and waiting for the fabrics to arrive and worrying about my fabric choices are over... now the real fun can begin.
Our teacher, Rachel, has given us some very detailed information on equilateral triangles and tutorials for how you cut them and sew them together for quilts. This is a good thing. She is also available to answer questions on our class site or on our private Flickr group. I am learning tons from my fellow classmates too.
But of course everything starts with pre-washing. Yes, I am a pre-washer. When the class first got together some of us did a Google Hangout and the subject came up, and it seems that the majority don't pre-wash, instead preferring to dig straight in, and to throw a 'colour catcher' sheet into the first wash to handle any dye running.
I like to pre-wash for a lot of reasons, but mainly because I enjoy handling the fabrics much more after they have been washed. Pre-washing gets rid of the chemicals and sizing which all fabrics carry straight off the bolt, it also deals with the shrinkage (which can vary from fabric to fabric) and of course, any dye loss. I even enjoy pressing the fabrics after they have been washed, because it gives me another opportunity to look and touch and consider my choices. And finally, I think the fabrics stick together much better after washing, which makes all the piecing so much easier. The only part I don't love about pre-washing is all of the fraying. When things come out of the washer they tend to be gnarled up into strangulated bunches and I have to cut them apart and trim all the thread. I have tried 'pinking' the edges before laundering but it doesn't seem to help much.
The other good thing is the weather. Remarkably, for southern Florida, we are having a rather grey and rainy weekend. (It rains a lot here, but it's usually quick & nasty tropical downpours and the sun is out 30 minutes later.)
I guess all those years in London have left their mark, and there is something particularly satisfying about spending a grey & wet day inside, cozy and warm and making something with thread. I had a tiny little attic crafting room in London where I could look out over the treetops while I stitched away. Days like this in Florida bring a little of that back for me and I really enjoy it.
Quilting soundtrack: Mark Lanegan, and Banks.