Wednesday, May 19, 2010

guest blog post - rachael p.

today... you get a guest post.
from one of my favorite people.
i hope you enjoy it.

part 1 of 2

Hello jaybird followers. Today I bring you an unsolicited guest blog post. On a recent Friday evening I called our favorite blogger only to reach a shell of a girl. As she’s documented recently, the poor thing has been holding down the fort while mom & pops play with the new baby (congrats g’rents!), she’s been keeping the biz afloat, sewing like a mad person until the wee hours to prep for market, living off of take out and apple juice, and blogging along all the while. She’s become a zombie like state of the Julie I knew in her pre-quilting days circa 2003. So while I stitched up a quillow for new niece we have arriving soon in our family, I snapped some work-in-progress shots (pardon the point & shoot shots, I’m not so DSLR equipped) and thought I might document some of the Julie-taught-me-how-to tips she’s shared with me.

See, I was fortunate enough to know Julie live and in the flesh before she ventured into blogland. That WIP Wednesday post from March 17, the sorority one with the tshirts and all the other stuff strewn together because it’s purple & gold or has irises on it, I know most of the back story on each individual piece. And, well, a sorority sister has got to do what a sorority sister has got to do, and this one is going to send Julie off to market with hopefully a shred of sanity, and maybe some dignity. So I bring you, things I didn’t know about sewing until Julie told me about them.

We’ve reach a stage in our lives where babies are being born to our friends families about as often as we grocery shop. So I’ve learned to build up the stash and have material on hand before the shower invitation arrives in the mail. But a week before one recent baby shower for a very special friend, I was short some yardage, but had complimenting fabric, and no idea what I was doing. I’m not so much a quilter, but more of a crafter, so I called my local quilting mentor in a panic, and Julie promptly exclaimed, “Do NOT Cut Anything! Come over any evening you want this week.” I put down the rotary cutter, packed up the fabric and notions, bought some groceries, and went over to Julie’s to make her French toast for dinner while she saved the day.

she also brought me this flower.
our sorority flower... which also happens to be the only flower i'm not allergic to

Julie helped me realize that just because my crib batting is 63”x 46”, doesn’t mean my layout has to equal that. She devised a basic 60”x40” checkerboard, 6 rows and 4-10” squares across. Of the 2 coordinating fabrics, I had plenty to cover the area. So she whips out this handy squared ruler of hers and starts cutting away – so I went out and bought one of those 12 ½” x 12 ½” rulers and it really does make the cutting so much simpler. It’s time to start piecing and she pulls out the ¼” quilting presser foot and sits me down at the machine. Now this really blows my mind at how much easier it is to have the seam allowance guide ON THE PRESSER FOOT. Where did she find this thing and how can I get one?!? Try… right… Set one of blocks pieced, “But wait,” she says, “don’t snip that thread. Leave those blocks right there, grab the next set, and just keep going. The threads will make a chain of your pieced blocks. Snip when you’re done and moving on to the next step.” Dude, I was glad to be in the room with her at that moment.

the one in progress photo i snapped that night

-Rachael P.


Nicole Morris said...

Rachael, thank you for steppin in and helping your sister out. I am glad you are venturing into the quilting world. Be warned it is addictive!

Sandy said...

Rachael,Rachael,Rachael....Kudos for being Juls guardian angel!! And thanks to the congrats to the g'rents.. You are a very special woman and friend and my 'happy' teary eyes say "thank you"
Sandy aka MomMom to Elijah & ALiyah
and Mom & best friend to my Jaybird

Audrie said...

Hi Rachael! So great that you had a good teacher in Julie with your first quilt. I'd like to say my first quilt looked as neat and well thought out as yours but I really can't hehe!

Patty said...

What are friends for? You learn from them and you help 'em out when the need to get some rest or french toast for dinner. Nice post Rachael.

April said...

Love your post. Thanks for helping out a stressed friend! Maybe she'll make YOU the french toast next time!

Angela Nash said...

Awesome post! You're so lucky to have Julie sitting with you and shouting out all those tips - all of them huge sanity and time savers. Cant' wait to see your finished quilt!

Selvage Quilter said...

What a nice story! Thanks for sharing.