My Irrational Fear of Quilting

I was amazed to find that there is no term for “fear of quilting”. Seriously. If you look at the first phobia list that pops up on Google, you’ll quickly find everything from fear of symmetry (Symmetrophobia) to fear of long words ( Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, it was a cruel, cruel psychiatrist who named this phobia). However, notably missing from this extensive list is what I am now dubbing Quiltingphobia. Not creative enough? How about Quiltomographobia? Yeah, that sounds more scientific.

I need to add here that “Oooh! I LOVE quilts.” Quilts are fun, beautiful, memory-making, and (my personal favorite)… warm.

It’s the making of quilts (quilting) that is the frightening part. I myself have completed 1 and 1/43 quilts.

The first “quilt” was a total disaster. I was armed with good intentions, a pair of scissors, a quilting book, and matching fabric. Sadly, the end result managed to NOT match. In fact, not only did the fabric not match, but the seams didn’t match, and the sizes of the squares didn’t match. Needless to say, my sorrow also had no match. Fortunately, my sweet friend was the gracious recipient of this gift and was good enough to thank me for my offering. But, the wound still hasn’t closed. Even now, years later. *Sniff*

And now.

Two fabulously talented friends of mine started a quilting group recently, as you may recall. Oh boy, I was excited. Oh! I could make something memory-making and *mmmm* warm. Oh! I could learn from people who know. They’ll walk me through it step-by-step. Do not be afraid, Anne… Do not be afraid…

So, I found fabric. I even managed to find the LAST piece of fabric that would coordinate and tie the whole quilt together (thanks Lisa!). I cut the fabric. Not without mishap, but armed with a, uh, cutty thing and a uh, flat mat thing… I did ok.

Sweet sewing machine!

Then, things took a turn for the worse. After dragging my heels for weeks and weeks, I pulled out the classic sewing machine passed on to me by my mom, discovered I didn’t have thread, and threw in the towel (or the quilt, rather).

The idea of trying to actually sew the squares together and *shudder* make it crooked is just paralyzing. I realize that “practice makes perfect”, but look how cute the fabric is! Look how (mostly) straight I cut the squares! Why mess with success?

Scott may say “Mess with success so we can have another quilt on the bed” or “Mess with success so your quilt squares are no longer strewn about the family room”. But I say… mmm… maybe tomorrow? πŸ™‚

Just a few of my many squares

I previously considered myself a gutsy person. I am the type who will point out (discreetly) to a stranger that they have something in their teeth. I am the type who bungee jumps, sky dives, and wrangles wombats. I am the type who will hunt roaches in a shady European motel so Scott can sleep in peace. But today, I am not the type who quilts.

Quiltomagraphobia. It’s really real.


About beanland

Scott is a family practice doctor and Anne is a full-time mother and teacher to three beautiful girls and one boy.
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7 Responses to My Irrational Fear of Quilting

  1. macpeanut says:

    Bobe, I just sat here reading this blog, chuckling. It sounds all too familiar. I am scared to quilt as well. The task is overwhelming and I can’t even bring myself to pick out fabrics. Especially right now, since I want to make one for baby peanut’s future room. I can’t bring myself to commit to making one because I just know I would screw it up.

    My advice, just do it! It may turn out better than you think!


  2. Kristin says:

    First and foremost, what a beautiful post! Second, that sewing machine is rad! It looks like your mom earned it as Mary Kay sales award. If she’d only stuck with MK, you could have inherited a matching pink Cadillac too. Practice really does make better, and I have every confidence in you and your ability to make a bangarang quilt. Till then, I’m enjoying being tougher than you… in quilting of course.


  3. Lori Walker says:

    Hey, Annie, remember me? I am Meghan’s mom. I am also a quilter, and once I was like you, wanting to quilt but afraid to even try. You did better than me. I even went to a quilt shop once to buy fabric and nobody helped me, so I left in a snit. But then I went back to that quilt shop and took a class in beginning quilting. And then I took another, and another and another, and it became an obsession. Seriously, if you can sew a straight line, you can quilt. BUT you just need to know a few basics.
    1. ALWAYS MEASURE AND CUT CAREFULLY. It really does matter that you are precise.
    2. Your seams should always be a scant 1/4 inch. Take a piece of masking tape and measure from the needle on your sewing machine (lovely old machine, btw.)to the right of the needle 1/4″. Now place that tape just inside that 1/4″ measure line to form a boundary for where you place the edge of your fabric when you sew.
    3. ALWAYS LINE UP SEAM LINES. Butt them right up next to each other.
    4. Seams are to be ironed to the side, not open. Rule of thumb, press seam toward the darkest fabric first. If it is bulky because of seams, then press towards the least bulky side.
    5. Take a class. If you have a quilting store in your area, they probably offer classes. Just sign up for a beginning class. Don’t get ambitious (and stupid) like I did and sign up for 5 classes. (That means you will be buying material for and putting together 5 quilts in a very short time. It will kill you.) Start with one. The teachers will be able to talk you down from your quiltomophobia, I promise.
    The end result will be bedspreads, comforters, baby quilts and lap quilts, all warm and cosy. Good luck and just DO IT!


  4. beanland says:

    @Lori – Of course I remember you! πŸ™‚

    I miss Sunday dinners at your house… and I really appreciate the words of encouragement about quilting. Let’s see…

    I tried to do number 1, but I later realized Just. How. Important. it is. πŸ™‚

    Number 2 is a great tip for making sure you’re using the right spot on the machine to get things lined up. The tape idea is genius.

    3 and 4… so far so good.

    As far as 5 goes, I definitely considered it. Maybe your comment was just the nudge I needed to sign up! We’ll see… πŸ™‚


  5. Teresa says:

    I don’t know you – I was searching on google for “quilts & seams not lining up” and found your page. LOL!! Anyway, I wish that I had a quilting group where I live because it would make this quilting thing SOOO much more enjoyable! You may actually be able to determine what you can do to perfect your quilt skills, and besides, its the comradery that is way more important. God Bless!


  6. Deb says:

    Hiya – I also don’t know you! And I was googling for “quilting seam match” cuz *MY* seams don’t match either. (p.s. there is disagreement out there as to whether one should press to the side or open — open can make it easier to match seams (i read)) I’ve been solving step #1 from above — by buying cut out fabric on ebay. (i’m addicted to ebaying) But since my seams *still* aren’t lining up, maybe I’ll start with the simple 4″ square blocks I bought …. and make a few satchel purses for my nieces. Yeah, they’ll make good Christmas presents! And when I’m done, perhaps my seams will be better! Hope you haven’t given up on quilting. I can sew up a storm — but this matching stuff is tough!


  7. Deb says:

    P.S. This page looks helpful:
    and in fact, I read through the whole set of lessons there. Good stuff! NOW comes the acid test — does my sewing get better? Or just my reading skills!


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