Devoted to sewing. Make that Sewing! It’s National Sewing Month – September 2017.
I’m sure President Ronald Reagan wasn’t thinking about Quilt Market when he declared September as National Sewing Month by official proclamation in 1982. If he had been, he’d probably have designated both months, September and October. Septober. And April and May, of course.
What it means for those of us who love stitching in any form is there are all sorts of great things happening this month that celebrate some aspect of sewing.
- National Sew A Jelly Roll Day – September 16th.
- The Million Pillowcase Sew-A-Thon with our friends at American Patchwork & Quilting – September 16th.
- The Quilters Take Manhattan event from more of our friends, the lovely folks at the Quilt Alliance – September 15 through 17th.
- The Moda Blockheads – every Wednesday in September!
September is also the perfect month to try something new – learning a new technique, trying a new product or experimenting with a type of project that has either interested you or terrified you. (Like zippers… I have a two friends who won’t make bags because they have advanced cases of insertazipperaphobia.)
As usual, I have a list of quilts to make and things I want to learn to make. (My sweet Mom wrote the book on making lists for everything, including lists of her lists.)
Like templates. While I have used different kinds of templates in the past, I want to expand my horizons by making a new project using one of these.
This is one of Latifah Saafir’s Clammy templates – The Clammy 6″ size. I have always loved Latifah’s Glam Clam quilts, as “The Quilt Engineer”, she was the first to design and make a completely machine-pieced clamshell quilt in a larger size that was perfectly suited to more contemporary fabrics.
This is one of Latifah’s most famous Glam Clam quilts. So yes, I want to make a Glam Clam quilt. Soon.
If not a Glam Clam, then a quilt with complicated blocks made with templates. You know… like one of these.
Jen Kingwell Designs. Of course. Aside from designing gorgeous fabrics, Jen designs and makes spectacular quilts using complicated blocks… or blocks that look more complicated than they are. Whether hand-pieced or machine-pieced, using templates makes it easier to cut perfectly sized pieces to make perfect blocks. (Or for a few of us, “as close as you’re going to get to perfect blocks”.)
I don’t know whether to start with Gem Star, Utah or Mrs. Bannister’s Star. Or Glitter – I really like that one. And there is Drops of Jupiter! I will pick one before the end of the year, you can count on it. And I will report back.
Do you use templates for any of your quilt projects? Acrylic, cardboard or otherwise?
Because it’s National Sewing Month, I am going to be using thread. Lots and lots of thread. I’m excited to keep playing with these Aurifil 80wt. threads. I’ve written about these threads before but I the more I use them, the more I like them, especially for machine-quilting smaller projects. I have a sewing project I’d like to tackle and I’m giving some thought to trying this thread in the needle and the bobbin. (Yes, I’ll let you know how that goes.)
I also have two quilting-stitching books on my reading list right now.
Modern Quilt Magic by Victoria Findlay Wolfe. I love Victoria’s books because all embrace her “let’s have fun” approach to quilting. Fifteen Minutes of Play? Even if you’re a traditional quilter, I think you’d love that book.
I won’t be giving anything away if I share that the “parlor tricks” are partial seam construction, blocks with partial seams, y-seams, free-form curves and Victoria’s signature “made fabric” – this time in “mini” form. The projects are gorgeous – perfect for any style of fabric and easily incorporated into other designs and projects.
The other book is Modern Folk Embroidery by Nancy Nicholson.
I learned to do embroidery when I was eight or nine, and I’ve done it on-and-off over the years. When I saw this Modern Folk Embroidery book, I got the itch to do more. (I’m also waiting not-so-impatiently for Kathy Schmitz’ Stitches From The Harvest book to arrive in a week or so.)
So I will be sewing this weekend and planning my month. What about you?
Leave a comment by Midnight on Sunday – September 3rd – answering one or all of the following:
- What is a technique you’d like to learn?
- Is there something sewing- or quilting-related that intimidates you?
- Do you have any projects planned for National Sewing Month?
One winner will get a couple of books, some thread and a Fat Eighth bundle to play and experiment with.
A big “thank you” to everyone who has asked if we’re doing okay or worried about us. Dallas is far enough north that we haven’t had any rain so we’re fine. We are praying for the folks in Houston, South Texas and Louisiana, and doing everything we can to help.
Have a safe and wonderful long weekend!