On Thursday I attended my first quilt guild meeting ever. In New York I learned to free motion quilt from the Internet, mostly Leah Day. But since I’m in Illinois now I can take advantage of the ginormous local quilting culture, and that means the Illini Country Stitchers. There were over 100 people there! And by “people” I mean “women,” as there was nary a man to be found.

The meeting’s main speaker was Kaye England, who was so funny and compelling I signed up for her class the next day. My first sewing class! Where I learned to piece traditionally, something I’ve never done before, yielding my first pieced block:

It’s not nearly as precise as everyone else’s, but it was incredibly satisfying just the same. I’ve long wondered what the appeal of patchwork piecing was. Now I think I know: it’s largely in the process, like doing a puzzle.

These quilters possess MAD SKILLZ that take a long time to learn. Kaye is on the left.

Later I free-motion quilted my block at home, my first free-motion quilting on patchwork. The quilting isn’t great, since I’m way out of practice.

I don’t plan to do much more traditional piecing; this is more my style. But it was great to learn something new, and learn to do it properly. The class was a lot of fun, and I may have learned even more about teaching than I did about sewing.


Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

2 thoughts on “Firsts”

  1. You rock Nina! I love this bright little block and, gosh, who cares about perfect matching points when you’re just going to cover it with so much awesome texture? Love it!


  2. That is excellent! I love the colors you chose and I think the free motion quilting only enhances it!

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