Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ugly Fabric, Beautiful Creations

A little over ten years ago, I created a list of 25 goals that I wanted to accomplish in my life. These were over the top, out of the ordinary feats. Ok, some were over the top. Some not so much. Right from the start, one of the goals was "Make a quilt." I don't know why I've always been interested in quilts. Maybe it was because I remember always having the quilts around our home that my great grandmother and great great aunt had made. I'm not sure. But, I knew I wanted to make a quilt. So, after feeling a little more settled last year, I joined a local craft guild so that maybe I could learn - as most of the members are avid quilters. And, I could get going on crossing another line off of my list.

The new club president and vice president are very creative in making up new activities, and a few months ago, they asked for volunteers to participate in the "Ugly Fabric Challenge." I didn't exactly know what that was. But, I've learned that if I hope to get better at this sewing gig, I had better get a move on and get to sewing. So, I've been trying to particpate in the contests and activities as often as I'm allowed... no matter what it involves. It makes me stretch, and that's a good thing.

So, I opened my little paper bag to find my ugly fabric, and here it is stacked on top of some (somewhat matching) material that I purchased at the store. I didn't know what I was going to make. I didn't know what material to use. But, I did know one thing. I was sure my material was the only member's material that was going to go from UGLY to UGLIER.

Tracy offered the suggestion of making an apron since I am also trying to continue my studies in making clothes. Lydia was kind enough to allow me to use her "frilly girly apron pattern" which I just love. Both gave their kind suggestions on what fabric to use. There were rules to this contest, mind you. We could add only 3 other coordinating fabrics to our project - no matter what we ended up making. Lydia and Tracy helped me settle on two. So, drumroll please.....

Here is my submission for the contest - in its full frilliness and girliness and gawdiness and oldtimeyness. One apron that is sure to not be forgotten. Despite Tracy's very thorough and wise coaching, I still did plenty of messing up. And, when it took so long to get through the first two coaching sessions, I had to complete it on my own. That was a mistake! (Many mistakes, to be accurate.) It is not put together correctly, but it sufficed for last night's guild meeting and contest. Tracy has offered to continue in providing guidance once I take a few sections back apart, and I'm thankful. And, I need her help. BADLY. Those sewing instructions might as well be in Chinese. At least then I might have a fighting chance at understanding some of the symbols. I hope I'm not a lost cause.

After seeing my apron, I'm sure you can guess that I wasn't going to give anyone a run for their money in the contest at the meeting. (Let me laugh for you. HA HA HA!) But, I just wish everyone could have been there to see the beautiful creations my fellow members made. Gorgeous gorgeous stuff.... alongside my horrendous apron. At least I can be counted on for some humorous story at each meeting... sharing my mishaps and reminding all of the very mature ladies what it was like when they learned to sew back when they were 7 or 8. I am so behind... but I'm trying to catch up. I'm trying.

I could not capture all of the beautiful creations, but here are a few that I thought you might enjoy seeing. From wall hangings to quilts to table runners to sweaters to dolls to artwork... I was reminded that such talented ladies surround me... women who can make the most beautiful out of the most ugly. With fabric and otherwise. May they continue to inspire me and remind me this feat is possible.


Dani said...

1) I couldn't even make the apron so I commend you.

2) I don't think it looks so bad as you are making it out to be.

Elizabeth said...

Awww. I have one of Lydia's frilly, girly aprons and I love it. The fact that it's packed away and that I don't have access to a kitchen to use it in makes me a little sad.

Anyhow, I kind of like your ugly apron, it has character. Plus, with something like that you can hardly tell if something wasn't sewn perfectly or not. I'm partial to imperfection when it comes to sewing because that's the way I roll too.

jsarber said...

Is that ugly? I honestly don't think it looks that bad. I shouldn't even comment on posts like this one. I don't know anything about any of it.

Anyway, I wondering about:

A little over ten years ago, I created a list of 25 goals that I wanted to accomplish in my life.

I'd be interested to know what this list includes. Maybe skydiving? Rocky Mountain climbing? Maybe you want to try and ride a bull named Fumanchu?

Kelly Spezzano said...

I think your apron has a lot of potential! The fact that it looks like and apron is an accomplishment in itself.

And to Jeremy... LOL- if you haven't already, you must read Dani's blog about Country Music!

lydia said...

Strem, I think the apron turned out great! It is not ugly at all. I would wear it!

I love the creations the other ladies made. How beautiful! I'm sure they were even more wonderful in person. I especially like the small quilt with the lady on it (botttom left, I clearly don't know any technical terms for quilting).

I can't wait to see the apron in person and maybe even wear it!

strem said...

Thanks to all of you for the compliments. Well, the apron may not look too bad (regarding construction) from far away, but close up, it gets a little scary. So no peaking on the back!!! If I had my druthers (as "they" say), I would never put these fabrics together... but it makes things interesting.

strem said...

Lydia, I too really loved the "picture quilt" of the woman and her pumpkins. It was in my top 3, and I had a hard time choosing my favorite. This member was very creative in following the rules of not adding more than 3 additional fabrics, so she used the back of the fabrics to obtain more variance in her design. She's a smart one!

strem said...

Jeremy, about my list of 25 goals... Maybe I'll make a post on it sometime soon. You made some good guesses, though.

Skydiving? Yes.

Mountain Climbing? Yes.

Bull Riding? Yes... but I'm not picky about the name of the bull. :)

Chelle said...

I love your apron! I'm so bummed that I missed the meeting. Even worse, I worked on a scissor fob to go with Linda B's bourse/bag and it fell apart! I'll bring the scraps for "show and tell" Tuesday night. Hope to see you then!