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I’m too young to quilt

I’ve started sewing. I guess I should say again. I sewed in jr high and made a skirt that made me look really hippy which is hard to do to a prepubescent completely rectangular body. I also made a stuffed elephant. I made a bag I put my scriptures in for a few years as well. My mom sewed and so I tried. Then I went to high school and decided I didn’t want to take home ec. and I never wanted to go near a sewing machine again. I took yearbook and did my best to be in every club picture and place myself in the book so my posterity will believe I was one of the most popular teenagers in Taylorsville, UT.

My friends Rachel and Rosy gave me a sewing machine for a wedding gift. After having our first child, I made Christmas pillowcases and matching stockings. They are nothing fancy, but they hold a good amount of candy. That is really all that is needed in stockings. (And the foot needs to be big enough to hold an orange.)

Three years ago I bought a bunch of felt material to make rag quilts. I washed them, ironed them, folded them, and placed them into a box which I left at my mother’s until she made me take it. This year I decided this is the time to do something with the box. (It did not fit into our fire pit.)

I opened the box and realized that NONE of the material matched. I then went back to the fabric store and bought 8 more yards of material to give some variety to the 4 yards I already had. I cut a lot of squares and I started to sew. I sewed and sewed and sewed. I sewed so much and so inexpertly that my $100 10 year old Brother sewing machine decided it didn’t enjoy being used this much. It started to double up on my bobbin thread and eat my material. I don’t know much about sewing, but I know this is bad. I cleaned it and I oiled it and I did my best. I finally donated it (It did not fit into our fire pit.)

I started to research sewing machines. I started reading about them and I called really old ladies at church to find out what they use. (Some of the really old ladies, the ones that still have eye sight read this so that is why they are being described this way. They are actually 10-20 years younger than my mom so I guess I would describe her as one foot out of the grave. I know the saying is one foot IN, but I think my mom would agree that she is mostly in the grave with just a foot sticking out.) (She reads this too)

I decided on a Bernina. I went to the Bernina store. The first Bernina I saw was on sale for $3299. I started to laugh. I then found a sewing system for $16,000. It included a long arm quiliting machine attachment and table and I was hoping a couple of example quilts as well. The owner of the store headed my way and asked what I was looking for. I told her I was looking for my $100 Brother 10 year old sewing machine. She helped me find a bottom of the line Bernina. She then helped me sign up for a “how to use your machine” class. I thought I didn’t need this class but I did. I had no idea why my machine had two thread holder – one vertical and one horizontal. I learned I had attachable things and I learned that a walking foot costs $150. I sat next to a lady who chose buying a new machine over a car. I realized that once again I was over my head, but I decided to go deep. I signed up for a quilting class and class to sew kath an easter dress. I bought GORGEOUS material for it and realized I could have bought a Gymboree dress for full price for what I spent on material. But if I’m going over my head, I want to make sure I can’t swim to the surface to easily. I am a certified scuba diver, after all.

Looking back on the whole experience of buying a machine, more material, decent thread, bobbins that actually fit my machine, and taking over half my kitchen table, I think I should have saved money and space by buying a bigger fire pit.


  1. I have a Bernina, it is older than I am but it is a Bernina and has a trade in value if I ever get enough money to upgrade. I need to get into a class or get to my aunt's house but who has the time. I also need to get some boy baby blankets done because I have fabric and a man child coming. Good luck with your project. We may have more time when the kiddo's are older…I hope. Have fun and thanks for blogging. I really enjoy it!

  2. I have an all-metal Singer (weighs a ton) that my brother bought for $20 at D.I. in Provo. Works great. I have a couple big plastic bins filled with material for projects I wanted to make. One day… I'll actually use that machine that I've lugged to each new house. Good luck on your projects!

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