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The Adventure Continues

Emily Achondo

My Creative Adventure Continues. Next stop: Quilting Part 1

I joined the Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Centers team in August, and after spending some time with a group of incredibly talented quilters, embroiderers, sewists and crafters, I was inspired.

As a result, I decided to renew my creativity, beginning by establishing a strong foundation of sewing basics. I started in January with Dara Dubois’ Sew Fun and Easy! class at Meissner Sewing in Sacramento.

Click here to read more about my experience in Dara’s class!

It’s now mid-February, and I can safely say that I haven’t taken my foot off the pedal since then.

I have consistently practiced the sewing techniques I learned in the class, stitching up several more tote bags, all in different sizes and shapes.

But my creative adventure continues.

Now, I am enrolled in Jeanne Powell’s Basic Quilting for Beginners at Meissner’s Sacramento.

It seemed as though I was taking a huge leap, jumping from beginning sewing all the way to a quilt class, so I was a bit nervous.

To ease my own anxieties and to increase the potential for success, I made sure to download the supply list from the class registration page and gathered all the tools I would need.

I faced my first challenge, however, when I was tasked with selecting my fabrics. As an indecisive person, I struggled to choose just eight complementary fabrics from the several beautiful patterns and prints available in the Sacramento store.

In order to find eight fabrics that I would enjoy working with for six weeks, I sought guidance from Jeanne, and together we laid out several different combinations of prints and solids until I landed on a collection that I knew I couldn’t live without. My finished quilt will have a mixture colors, including various shades of blues, reds and oranges, as well as a blend of solid and printed (with birds and flowers) fabric.

With that fabric challenge behind me, my excitement for class grew. I felt as if I was in the third grade again, eager to begin school so I could put my new supplies to use.

Bubbling over with both excitement and nerves, I walked into the classroom at Meissner’s Sacramento on Valentine’s Day.

Jeanne checked in with each student who entered the room, confirming that everyone was equipped with the required supplies and providing the opportunity for all of us to get settled at our stations.

She began class by introducing herself, explaining her background as a teacher and a quilter—both positive qualities that were apparent throughout the class as she was detailed in her explanations, incredibly knowledgeable in each topic, and patient with complete quilting beginners like me.

I was seated in front of the (adorable) Janome Anna Maria Horner M100 Sewing & Quilting Machine, and after her Jeanne’s introduction, we quickly got stitching.

We began by creating a sample 4-patch quilt block, a process which would serve as the foundation for the next three blocks we would complete in the first day.

As the class went on, I became progressively more confident using a rotary cutter. I also became comfortable stitching with the AMH100, a machine equipped with all the features I needed and more. I even started picking up on some quilting lingo.

Four hours later, I had three finished quilt blocks, including a rail fence block and two blocks made from half-square triangles, in hand.

It was a good idea to begin my creative adventure by establishing my basic sewing skills first because the techniques I had been practicing in the weeks leading up to this quilting class were certainly put to use in Jeanne’s class.

I look forward to watching my quilt come together in the next five class sessions as we go through the steps to construct six more blocks, baste the quilt top and apply the backing, stitch in the ditch, and then finish the quilt edges.

Stay tuned for updates from the classroom as I continue on with this exciting creative journey!

Note: This post is part of an ongoing series. Click here to read the first post in the series, and keep following along with the Diary of a Beginning Sewist! 

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