For a while, I had a line in my professional bio that I dream of quilting. I’ve always had a fair amount of anxiety about sewing. I couldn’t sew in a straight line; my machine, basic as it is, was a mystery to me; I never really grokked how it all works.

Then an old acquaintance moved to town and we started hanging out. Of course the best way to learn the lay of your new land is to get out and about, and that happens to be a good thing to do when you already know the lay of the land. So armed with the motivation of my friend who wants to get crafty, I joined her in signing up for a basic tote-bag sewing class at Spool of Thread.

Best $40 I’ve spent in recent memory.

The class was three hours long. The first hour was all about getting acquainted with the machine. The basic machines at Spool of Thread make my old clunker look like an inelegant oaf, but the gist of sewing machines is pretty universal. Right off the bat I realized my intimidation by my machine had kept me from fully understanding how to even thread the damn thing.

Being in a class setting forced me to focus, and focusing allowed me to really take in what I was doing. Guess what – it’s not actually hard to follow the guides and sew in a straight line.

Thea, the instructor, was awesome. Clear and patient, she managed to keep us all going even after we ended up working at very different paces. Turns out I was speedy. I forced myself not to stress out about every cut and every pin, which was the best thing for me to do. It’s something I’ll continue to do, too. No more anxiety for me!

And check it, I made a reversible tote bag. Out of chicken fabric.

Saturday I’m taking their beginner quilting class, and I won’t be fearful heading in. WIN.

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So jealous – I wanted to take the beginning quilting class too!


As someone who has been sewing (literally) for an entire lifetime, I’m happy to see another person learning how to sew! It’s fun! (My mother was a tailor, I learned to sew at about age 5 and never stopped). The biggest problem is the amount of mending my “friends” drop off since I’m the only sewer they know. I love that chicken fabric, btw – so cute!

Congrats on learning a new skill!


that chicken fabric is fabulous!

Meagan Buch

Congrats – it’s a great skill to have!

Lauren I. Ruiz

Well, congratulations!

I’m going to bookmark your blog because I like the voice that comes through and because I so, so appreciate that you claim to be an editor AND that you do, indeed, edit your posts before publishing them. Yay for correct grammar!

Rebecca Kerr

Love the Chicken fabric, and yeah for learning to sew. Frankly I am intimated by knitting, sewing always seemed so much easier. There a set pieces and they fit together in a certain way. I am not the least surprised that you are speedy. =) Enjoy quilting class.

Lindsey @ Yarnia

That’s so awesome! I’ve had “learn to sew” on my to-do list for so long (literally, I actually end up writing it in every few months) and even though I scored a machine last spring, I still have yet to take a class. But you’ve inspired me! I know I can probably learn from a friend but I think I’d do way better in a class for the same reasons as you.

Nancy L

What a cute tote! I have always wanted to get back into sewing after many disasters. Taking classes at Spool of Thread has been so much fun even if things don’t go too smoothly sometimes. I’d love to see your quilt! I gave in and signed up for the second class they opened up.


I love to sew and i am only 12 years old. I can sew clothes like skirts,shirts, pants. i never tried Quilting before! I want to try and make the tote bag. it looks so cool!


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