Monday, August 15, 2016

Beyond Reading: Sewing and Quilting with Natasha

Beyond Reading is where book bloggers share a post about a non-reading hobby of theirs! If you want to be featured, leave a comment!


Hi there! I’m Natasha from A Binding Attraction. Today I want to talk about my favorite hobbies outside of reading, which happen to be sewing and quilting. My first foray into sewing was via a 4H class when I was a kid. I tried to sew a skirt and I realized how utterly uncreative I was. I still don’t feel like I’m that creative, but the great thing about sewing and quilting is that you just need to be able to follow directions!

My mom started working part time at a quilt shop a few years ago and she wanted me to start quilting as a way for us to have some bonding time. I fell in love with all the bolts of bright colorful fabric. Ladies would cart all of their supplies to the shop just to chat and sew all day. There were so many fun and beautiful projects that I just started collecting fabric in the hope that I’d learn how to make similar treasures one day. My parents ended up buying me a sewing machine for my birthday and I’ve been sewing like crazy ever since! I will say, I find it much easier to control the peddle now that I’m older and have been driving for years (it helps you realize how much pressure to use and it goes a lot smoother instead of stuttering halts). It still took some time for me to sew a straight line, so I practiced on smaller projects. I have become a master of making coasters for all occasions. For people who quilt and have leftover scraps of batting, coasters are an excellent way to use those smaller pieces.

To make a coaster you will need:

1- 5x5 square of batting
3- 5x5 squares of your choice of fabric (fold 2 of the squares in half and press them)
3- 5x5 squares of a contrasting fabric (fold 2 of the squares in half and press them)

You will create a stack by placing one of you fabric squares face down, your batting on top, your contrasting square face up, then overlap your folded pieces with the open ends facing out to create the top square. After you have created your stack you will sew all the way around the square with ¼ inch seam. The last step is to just flip it inside out and voila! You have a coaster! You can trim the corners before flipping it inside out to remove some of the bulk, but it isn’t required. Keep in mind that whichever fabric you put on the bottom of your stack will actually be on the inside once you flip it inside out.

I also love cooking, so one of my other favorite projects is making aprons. There are so many fun patterns, but I prefer a more retro look. Below are pictures of some of the aprons I have made for
friends and family.

Quilts are my bread and butter. There are so many ways to combine different fabrics to make beautiful designs. Here are a few that I’ve completed in the last year. I still consider myself a
beginner so I tend to choose easier patterns.

Lately I have come across some incredible quilt designs that are nothing shy of inspirational. Sondra at Sorcery In The Bookshelves has been working on a Harry Potter quilt known as The Project of Doom. I have been following her progress on Twitter (@RunYouCleverBoy) This type of quilt uses a technique called paper piecing, which I have never tried before. I couldn’t believe it when Sondra told me that she has only been quilting since August and this was her very first quilt! She said that she barely knew how to thread her machine when she started and that progressing through the patterns of varying difficulty helped her learn how to quilt. Sondra assured me that if she can do it, anyone can!

If you are interested in creating a fandom quilt or starting a Project of Doom, be sure to check out Fandom In Stitches for free patterns and tutorials. Sewing and quilting are fun activities because they are relaxing and there is something satisfying about creating things with your own hands. They also provide an overwhelming sense of joy when you are able to share your projects and gift them to other people because there is nothing quite like a gift from the heart.

Do any of you sew? Show us some of your projects!


Alise said...

Aw, this makes me wish I had stuck with sewing now! My mother and grandmother had tried to teach me but I would get so frustrated if I made a mistake by hand or if the machine jammed, haha. Great post!

A Canadian Girl said...

Your coasters are so colourful; I love them! :) I tried crocheting last year but gave up when I realized how long it would take me to finish a scarf. I'm super impatient and in my head, I imagined I'd magically become one of those people that could knit and do something else at the same time. Perhaps I should try learning to sew ... I think it might be a little faster to make something.

Erika Sorocco said...

Oh, I love how well sewing/quilting pairs with being bookish. All of the above has that cozy vibe! I don't know how to sew myself, but I've always admired those who do. :)


Tracy Terry said...

Oh my goodness! Possibly one of the least creative individual I know I nevertheless love these craft posts.

cleemckenzie said...

I admire anyone who quilts. It's such a precise art and it produces such beautiful and useful items. I have my grandmother's quilts and I love each of them.

Joyous Reads said...

Oh, this is so cool! It's truly a lost art form. I so wish I can do something as creative. But I'm totally helpless with a needle. Lol.

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I saw this amazing dragonfly quilt the other day. I wish I had a bit more talent for quilting. I have made a couple of basic quilts, but nothing special. Your work is lovely. Thanks for sharing.

Christy LoveOfBooks said...

I used to sew a lot when I was younger, mostly clothes and pillows. Those quits are awesome, especially the Got one!

Midnight Cowgirl said...

Those aprons are adorable, and the coasters are such a cute project :)

The Bibliophile Babe said...

That's so pretty!

Cleo Bannister said...

I love the look of quilting but a whole bedspread is a massive project so maybe I should start with some of the smaller ones!

Jennifer Humphries said...

Your quilts are beautiful! We do 4H, just for animals though, but now I am thinking I need to make a coaster with my kiddos. How cute is that and they would make great gifts too.

Otakutwins said...

I would love to get in to sewing and quilting. I think it'depend be a nice calming hobby :) plus you could make tons of cute stuff. I love how you started so you could bond with your mom, those are family goals right there xD