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  1. #1
    Missouri Star

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    Default Frustrated new quilter

    I'll preface this by saying I'm definitely not new to sewing. I've been sewing as long as I can remember, and I've made everything from simple clothing and curtains to a majorette costume, a suit for my husband, and my wedding dress. But it seems like quilting intimidates me, and I always run into some kind of problem when I attempt something that should be easy.

    I had a jelly roll that I didn't know what to do with - bought it when I started learning to quilt a couple of years ago just because I liked the colors. I watched the tutorial on the crosswalk quilt and Jenny made it look so easy. So I sewed all my jelly roll strips together, alternating the direction I sewed them so they wouldn't bow...and a couple of them still bowed! So...if I take them apart and sew them together again, are they useable, or will they still be bowed? What did I do wrong that they bowed even though I alternated the direction I sewed them together?

    I've been learning to quilt for two or three years now, and I don't have any finished projects because I always seem to run into something like this and it's a roadblock for me. Now I'm afraid to try anything because I don't want to mess it up and waste the time and money. I've taken classes at my LQS but it's just basic instruction with a little sewing, but most of it is to be done on your own at home. They make it seem so easy, but when I get home and try it, it's not so easy to me.

    I know I'm rambling, but as I said, I'm frustrated. I am determined to make this work and quit creating more UFO's, so if you have any advice on how to keep the jelly roll strips from bowing, I will be very appreciative. If you've stuck with me this far...thank you!!

    Cokie

  2. #2
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Frustrated new quilter

    I understand the frustration. I wonder if you aren't being too hard on yourself. You are obviously a great seamstress, so relax. I have to watch myself when I sew strips to make sure the ends are perfectly matched at the beginning of the seam, that they start together and that one isn't slightly crooked. Then I watch to make sure I have an even 1/4". It's very easy to be off just a few threads each time. I also iron my seams after I have four strips. Hope this helps.
    Quilters never die, they just go batts.

  3. #3
    Designer Diva

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    Default Re: Frustrated new quilter

    Don't be so hard on yourself; simply do your best and finish the project. I just recently finished a quilt in which I did everything wrong...nothing went together as it should. I got so cross and despondent with the quilt and the fact that I just couldn't do anything right. I gritted my teeth and tempted myself with the promise of a nice new project to do if only I would get this quilt finished.....plodded on for months but at last I got it finished and given away! Sure wasn't perfect and crickey I'd be blushing to show it to anyone else who quilts but to the casual eye of the recipient it was gorgeous and well received. I think we just have to accept that not everything we do is going to be our "finest", but hopefully everything we do will lead us to our finest...in the end!!!!

  4. #4
    Applique Angel

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    Default Re: Frustrated new quilter

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KOIuFJrIkQU

    Try this method for Jelly rolls. It might help. I am also new to the quilting world. I am not a seamstress though and would never claim to be! But I understand the frustrations that can come with quilting. My Aunt has made many quilts...hundreds...and she still has frustration moments.....she is a perfectionist. But, I think quilting can be that for many of us from time time. Some more than others. None of the quilts I have made are perfection. And might never be! However, I truly enjoy creating them and trying out every pattern I like.

    Hope it becomes your joy too! Hang in there!
    Last edited by TracyD; February 27th, 2016 at 08:38 AM.

  5. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Frustrated new quilter

    Cokie,
    First welcome to MSQC......
    My experience with sewing is very similar to yours. I have made wedding dresses, all of my DD's & my clothing, costumes for plays etc.
    I began to be interested in quilting in 2011.....I was a lurker for awhile on the site here as well.
    Okay....Here's my opinion. ( and I might get blasted for this...but this is what I did and it seemed to work for me. I read somewhere on the forum to start out with small quilting project ( and if you read many stories about pioneers and quilting, it's pretty much the same thing as when people in the 1800 ( Laura Ingalls Wilder .....Little House on the Prairie ) little girls began to quilt using a 4 patch or a nine patch. Simple quilting. nothing fancy for the first quilts etc. Also, making something such as a tote bag, or a table runner will give you some confidence etc. Another reason why I began doing the totes and the table runners is that it gave me a smaller project to work with, and it wasn't so daunting.....the projects were finished in record time, and I felt a great sense of accomplishment.
    I also would watch the weekly videos and instead of planning on making a quilt right after watching the video, I spent time making a couple of "blocks" from each week's tutorial as well.
    So, I began with the video Jenny has making 3 tote bags out of one ( 1 ) Charm Pack.
    https://youtu.be/S7i6Wrl4rZ8
    After making several of these for my friends for their B-days, I then went onto table runners......I made this table runner first
    https://youtu.be/-i_RVyvIxXM
    Then I went onto to using 2 1/2"(inch) Strips....from scraps or from a Jelly Roll.
    https://youtu.be/sjGifl2m_3k
    I then made a Christmas Table runner using a Half Hexie Ruler ( purchased here at MSQC )
    https://youtu.be/27r6eGwDzXA
    Here's another table runner made with the Half-Hexie Ruler...it's a pumpkin table runner !
    https://youtu.be/NpCrxbr9hjE
    You mentioned having Jelly Rolls....here's a simple Jelly Roll Quilt Tutorial
    Jelly Roll Race II
    https://youtu.be/9w9UOFj0CSo

    Here's where someone the members of the forum might disagree with me. While Jenny does her level best to make these tutorials seem easy, if you haven't made a huge quilt before, again, I would start out with the small stuff. Then go on to quilt tutorials that you like. If you look at the descriptions of each quilt in the tutorial section on the website, it will tell you if it is a quilt that a beginner can do. Of course many of Jenny's tutorials are easy enough for a beginner, but as I said, I think they are "easy enough " for a beginner who has done some small projects first. I know this really helped me.
    So, that being said, I would suggest you try a quilt that you can make easily....Such as the Garden Flower Quilt With Sashing. This quilt is a four patch with a added bonus of Jenny showing you how to make snowballed corners. Not only that, but she also shows you how to do sashing and by sashing a quilt it gets pretty big pretty fast.
    Here's the Garden Flower Quilt (2011 )
    https://youtu.be/inSg61NaAW8
    Here's the Garden Flower Quilt wit Sashing & Corner Stones
    https://youtu.be/7yElxKHl_OQ

    Last but not least......after getting a little bit more comfortable with what you are doing, maybe one of the other quilt tutorials just might be the "one" for you! As I said previously, making quilt blocks from the tutorials was a great way to learn the different things do. Not only did make different blocks but I also watched tutorials about other things I needed to learn to do when making a quilt.(You will find videos on binding etc....here on MSQC :

    I have several projects going on at the same time....which keeps me from getting bored. Another thing I would suggest you don't do is to put yourself in a time crunch to get something done. When it gets done, it's done. As Tesspug here commented....I really do think you might be being "Too Hard on yourself"
    I remember feeling the same way, I had to stop and remember how I felt when I first began sewing many years ago. In a way, I felt the same way learning to quilt, simply because it was a new experience for me, and something I had never done before.

    I hope this helps.......and remember things will get easier in time.

    Last edited by redcaboose1717; February 27th, 2016 at 08:57 AM.

    Jacqueline ( Sugar ) Dorer-Russell
    http:\\www.sugarssmilinpapercrafts.BlogSpot.com


    "I miss the me I was when you were here"

  6. #6
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Frustrated new quilter

    Cokie.....
    Another thing I wanted to add.....when I was learning to quilt I too took some classes, and I felt that this made me even more frustrated. Silly me, I went to the first couple of quilting classes I wasn't aware that we wouldn't "finish" the item. Oh, I think the first class we did finish it, but the other classes I took we finished the projects at home. The biggest thing I had to remember was back when I started sewing, I had to pace myself, and remember that in good time, the items I was working on would eventually get finished. ( If they didn't...well, they ended up in my UFO ( unfinished Object BOX !!! LOL !

    Jacqueline ( Sugar ) Dorer-Russell
    http:\\www.sugarssmilinpapercrafts.BlogSpot.com


    "I miss the me I was when you were here"

  7. #7
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Frustrated new quilter

    I know it isn't what anyone wants to hear, but pin it. You would with a long clothing seam.

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  9. #8
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Frustrated new quilter

    For a beginner, I always recommend ..yellow brick road ...pattern. I have taught many newbies with that pattern. It's easy and fast and fun! Jelly rolls can be tricky, your working with smaller pieces. Be consistent with your seam allowance. Regardless of what it is. Your consistent seam allowance is key for quilts.

  10. #9
    Binding Belle

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    Default Re: Frustrated new quilter

    Try to wrap your head around your frustration as a learning experience. I too experienced terrible anxiety when I first started quilting. Been sewing since I was a kid but just couldn't get the perfection I wanted with piecing and quilting. I still get irritated when something is not as it should be, but it most always turns out pretty and it will keep someone warm and I have never made a quilt but what I didn't learn something. And I try to finish everything I start. Surround yourself with really good equipment and ENJOY yourself!

  11. #10
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Frustrated new quilter

    We are always our own worst critics. Your problem may have been when you pressed the strips. I always set the seam by pressing it as it was sewn and then carefully opening the strips up with just the tip of my iron. After they are open I press them flat using an up and down motion rather than a back and forth (ironing) motion. I press the top last.

    I had to learn to love my quilts because there is always something I could/should have done better. Every quilt we make teaches us something. Try to enjoy the journey. (HUGS))

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