Behind the Seams Series: Alyssa N.’s Path To Quilting

Aug 20, 2022 9:45:00 AM / by Alyssa Nordmeyer

Hello, AccuQuilters! This Behind the Seams series will take you, well, behind the seams of TekBrands. Each post will cover who the team member is, as well as their quilting journey, for you to get to know the wonderful individuals behind this company of creating. 

 

Without further ado, here's our first one - me! 

 

TekBrands Creative Copywriter, Alyssa Nordmeyer

 

 

 

A Brief Introduction

My name is Alyssa Nordmeyer, and I'm one of the Creative Copywriters! To give a very basic overview of what I do, I happily write anything that's requested. If I didn't write it, I probably edited it! I lend a hand in working on or helping with, among other things, blog posts, press releases, livestream events and video scripts - and I love each and every one!

 

I have an immense passion for creating and working with my hands, especially when I can challenge myself to enhance any of my skills. Since I can remember, I have thoroughly enjoyed creating with building worlds and developing characters in stories, painting, and making gifts from fabric. My crafting has evolved in each form: from writing stories by hand to typing them, painting canvases and then evolving to wooden paddles or glass, as well as creating tie blankets before starting my path to quilting. Quilting, however, is slowly becoming one of my favorite crafts.

 

 

A Similar Vein

 

 

Alyssa's First Tie Blanket

 

 

My quilting journey began this year, but really, it started in 2014. I wanted to make tie blankets as a fun, new activity to try. That first trip to my local fabric store was intimidating. There were SO MANY aisles filled with fabrics. I had no idea what the difference between fleece and cotton was, let alone what pattern to choose. 

 

Today, I have made well over 30 tie blankets for myself, family, friends and one of my sorority’s philanthropies, Prevent Child Abuse in America. I make them mostly in my spare time and have given them as gifts for people's birthdays or favorite holidays. I tend to choose prints that visualize the recipient’s personality or interests, or simply choose fabric that reminds me of them.

 

 

Alyssa's Fall Themed Tie Blanket
Extra Soft Tie Blanket Alyssa Has for Guests
Tye Dye Tie Blanket Alyssa Made for Her Friend

 

 

While I love making tie blankets (I even have a tattoo of the pattern from my very first tie blanket), I was looking to advance my skills with using fabric in handmade presents. As luck would have it, AccuQuilt gave me the answer to what I had been searching for.

 

 

Being Immersed in the Quilting World

I’m a writer through and through, but I am even more passionate about writing when it involves my interests. In this case, it’s anything that has to do with creating something out of fabric.

 

Since it happened to me, making tie blankets is one of the paths that can lead to quilting. Sewing is a more common path, but I only knew how to mend small holes in clothing that I had learned from a few YouTube videos. Quilting was the exact challenge I wanted because it would allow me to learn how to sew better, use a sewing machine, and create even more thoughtful handmade gifts.

 

 

Learn Icon on AccuQuilt's Website

 

 

Beginning my journey as an AccuQuilt team member has exposed me to the wonders of quilting. I have gratefully learned so much (I LOVE learning!) about this world:

 

I could go on and on about what I have discovered from quilting experts I’m lucky to collaborate with on a daily basis. The biggest shock was I was wrong about quilters; I genuinely thought quilters were just “built different” and made each shape by hand! Well, I quickly learned they don't have to, because as AccuQuilt Cutting Expert Pam Heller always says, “there’s a die for that.”

 

Being able to immerse myself in the quilting world this way wasn’t enough for me, and I had to start my own quilting journey using all this knowledge.

 

 

Alyssa's Quilting Journey Begins

One of my favorite aspects of AccuQuilt is how educational we are. I enjoy being able to watch livestream events each week for more tips and tricks, and our website’s resources are perfect for beginners like me.

 

To start my quilting journey, I used The Complete Guide to Basic Quilting Supplies, advice from the AccuQuilt quilting community, and set out to buy everything I needed to start quilting. AccuQuilt's Community Engagement Specialist, Emily Kerr, was kind enough to advise me on which AccuQuilt products to get started with – and even sent them to me!

 

 

Print Fabric Used to Cut with the Rectangle Die and the GO! Cutting Mat-6" x 6"
Print Fabric Used to Cut with the Parallelogram Die on the GO! Fabric Cutter
Print Fabrics Used to Cut with the Half Square Triangle Die on the GO! Fabric Cutter

 

 

Once I had everything I needed, I prepped for my first ever test block. I snagged a few fabric bundles along with a yard each of fun prints to use on larger projects, once my quilting skills had improved. My aunt came over to happily teach me how to use my new sewing machine (we’re starting our quilting journeys together!). After I had the basics down pat, we started using a few of the dies from the GO! Qube Mix & Match 8” Block.

 

I started with the rectangle shape to have a larger piece of fabric to work with, then tried cutting out parallelograms, and finally, half square triangles. The half square triangles were more difficult to sew together since they’re so small (pictured below), but after a few attempts, I finished two half square triangle blocks and trimmed off the excess thread with the great scissors AccuQuilt offers. 

 

 

Perfectly Cut Rectangle Shapes
Learning How to Sew Half Square Triangles

 

 

The end result is pictured below (on the left). As you can see, I’m still figuring out how to sew a 1/4” seam and ideal fabric placement for cutting in my Ready. Set. GO! Fabric Cutter, but I’d say I did a pretty good job (or, at least, my aunt said I did)!

 

 

Alyssa's First Quilt Block
Attempt to Fix the First Finished Block

 

 

Even though I'm a perfectionist, I learned how important it is to embrace mistakes as a beginner because the AccuQuilt system helps quilters create their projects safely, quickly, easily and accurately. I used my GO! Quilting Ruler-6" x 12" and tried using scissors to trim the block to make it straight (pictured above on the right), but the GO! 45mm Rotary Cutter and a GO! Rotary Cutting Mat are now definitely in my shopping cart! Practice makes perfect, but I know if I need to fix something, AccuQuilt has my back.

 

 

Quilting Builds a Community

I’m making a few more test blocks before I start on my first project, the GO! Dutchman’s Puzzle 8” Block Pattern. Eventually, I want to make the GO! Qube 8” Pencil Me In Wall Hanging to hang above my desk, but that’s some time away while I improve my quilting skills. Thankfully, I have a wonderful group of AccuQuilt quilters and my aunt to help!

Topics: Quilting Stories

Alyssa Nordmeyer

Written by Alyssa Nordmeyer