Monday, April 12, 2010

Apparently, I *Sound* Like a Quilter...

After getting halfway through typing this, I realized that you might be thinking "what in the world do the first few paragraphs have to do with quilting?  But hang on! I do make a point, I promise!

I have always been a reader.  I was the kid who read while brushing her teeth, eating, in the car... my friend and I used to read and roller skate at the same time (no, really.  I have no idea why one or both of us isn't dead).

It also I read freakishly quickly.  When I was in 5th grade, I read Gone With The Wind in two days -- and I slept.  I remember getting in trouble in third grade... my "reading group" was sitting around a table and we were supposed to be reading a certain page.  I got in trouble for drawing on my note paper because I was supposed to be reading.  What my teacher didn't know is that I had already read the assigned page FOUR TIMES.  (I had no idea that other people didn't read this fast too, so I never brought it up.)

This helped once I became a history major in college, and again in the various jobs that I have had.  So when I decided to take up quilting, I started reading everything that I could find about quilting.  I had nose/sinus surgery a month or two later, and since the painkillers and my discomfort made me think that actual sewing was a bad idea, I spent a LOT Of time on the computer, reading about quilting.  My recovery time got even longer after I had some complications, so I kept reading.  Most of my reading consisted of the blogs of a few incredibly talented quilters.  I like to have all of the information, so I started at the beginning of their blogs and read through the present.  I think that I have lost count of how many I actually read.  I'd try to come up with a list, but it would be a very long list -- remember, I read freakishly quickly.  If a blog mentioned that they check their stats (as in, how many people visited their site, where they were from, etc.), I felt compelled to email that person and apologize for screwing their status up. And to assure them that I'm not a stalker.

Let me put it this way... if you could somehow gain experience and talent by reading, I would be the next AmandaJean by now.  (Quilting blasphemy!  I know.)

So, here's the actual story/point of this post.  I was in Joann's picking up some cheap yarn and some "cheap" thread (I use the Gutermann 100% polyester for miscellaneous projects).  I was trying to decide what to get when a lady who had been standing near me turned and asked me, "what do you sew?"   I consider myself to be a pseudo-quilter, (I'm slowly working my way up to "real quilter") but I went for the short answer ("quilts") instead.  "Oh good!"  she said, looking very relieved.   "I just made my first quilt and am on to my second, and I have NO idea what kind of thread to buy!" She started to pick up one kind of thread, which turned out to be Gutermann's hand quilting thread -- she had just told me that she had even free motion quilted her first quilt, so I was fairly certain that she wasn't buying the correct thread.

Now, my ability to sew a consistent quarter inch seam in a straight line might be nonexistent, but all she wanted was information that did NOT involve any experience!!  I could TOTALLY handle this one! I even sounded confident in my answer, which was (essentially), "pretty much everything that I have read or everyone that I have talked to has recommended good quality, 100% cotton thread."  Then we had a short discussion on where one can purchase this thread -- she had no idea that a local quilt shop existed, so I gave her directions and asked her if she used the internet.  She did, so I pointed her in the direction of SMS and said that they were having "quilting month" and that their blog would be full of great tips.  She said that she had found SMS, which led her to Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson!, which is where she got her first pattern.  I was just about to say that the blogs of some of the contributors have some fantastic tutorials and hints, but she had already gotten there.  Now I *really* looked like I knew what I was talking about. And when we parted, she thanked me profusely for my help.

This just goes to show you that a little bit of knowledge in the hands of the wrong person can be very, very dangerous.  I went and passed myself off as a quilter!

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