A is for not following the instructions.
B is for basting and other boring activities. Or maybe that should be D for discipline? A quilt is made of three layers: the top is the pretty bit, the middle is the filling or wadding – normally wool or polyester, the backing is more, slightly less pretty fabric. Basting is the pinning together of these three layers in readiness to sew or ‘quilt’ them.
Basting is boring. The three layers must be laid flat on the carpet and not move as I, on hands and knees, pass curved safety pins through, pinning them together. Even with a talking book or Netflix binge, this is dreary work. Distraction can result in mistaking the carpet for quilt and pinning the whole thing to the floor. And then the dog walks in. And is sick on it.
Leaving out this stage (the pinning not the dog sick) not only results in immediate execution by the quilting police but also hours of sobbing at the sewing machine as the different layers drift into separate universes. This once again highlights my lack of discipline and inability to follow the bloody instructions.
P is for sewing groups. (See A)
Nice middle-class ladies making skilfully crafted soulless quilts, spouting racist memes from Facebook, and wearing Daily Mail knickers. Ok, so that might be a generalization. Not all their quilts are skilfully crafted. #just-because-you-sew-a-nice-quilt-love-doesn’t- mean-you’re-not-a-Nazi.
Do: mention benefit scroungers, refugees, poppy selling, young people challenging climate change.
Don’t: mention Human rights, Female Doctor Who, sit with your scissors gripped so tightly your hands bleed on your quilt or mention the women’s liberation embroidery you are working on.
C is for cutting.
Essentially quilting is about cutting up fabric into tiny squares and then sewing them back together again. Cutting requires precision, order, and very sharp blades. Cutting is also what will happen if I find someone used my sewing scissors to open a box from Amazon.
F is for fabric and fat quarter.
A Fat quarter – A measure of fabric, a square quarter of a meter. Normally priced at pocket money level, it is easy to get carried away and arrive home having spent the housekeeping and needing to feed the kids beans for the rest of the week. Never mind, they will be able to snuggle their shivering malnourished little bodies under a beautiful handmade quilt if you ever get around to cutting, basting, or actually sitting down to sew the damn thing.
Some fabric, it should be noted is not for cutting. It is only for looking at, cooing over and possibly stroking and then putting back into the box because it needs to be saved for a mythical project known only as ‘something special.’
Fabric curation is a separate hobby, requiring at least one extra room in your house so you can sit quietly and admire all the pretty colours without the distraction of sobbing starved children.
Or better still sell the children and use the money to buy more fabric.
Some of the quilts I’ve made while my kids starved.
I should also add that I’ve met lots of fabulously friendly quilters who are equally skilled and don’t read The Daily Mail.