My name is Mary Ann and I am embarrassed to admit that I've already been scoping out your website and have sent a few messages already, so I think now would be a good time to introduce myself -- better late than never.
This is my favorite month. Halloween is my birthday and, to me, Halloween starts off all of the family holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Boxing Day, etc.
I made my first quilt in 1974/75, a king-sized quilt that went to the floor. It was tied and I was hooked. Made another king-sized quilt from all of my old clothes and anything else I could find. Back then cotton wasn't the only thing you used in a quilt. To make sure that the quilt would stay together without falling apart, I top-stitched every seam with one of my Viking sewing machine's fancy stitches. Here it is 35 years later and the quilt stitches are still with us - however, the squares themselves have worn out. I guess you can't have everything.
I took about a ten-year sabbatical from quilting doing crafts in the meantime and selling plants at plant parties. Then in 1988, I met a lady at work that introduced me to a quilt guild. That's when my quilting world exploded. There were talented speakers, new friends, classes and I was in quilt heaven.
My addiction to fabric began shortly after that. I took a class on "Storm at Sea" and since it is a pretty scrappy quilt (that was the way the teacher was teaching it) and I didn't have much in the way of cotton fabrics, I had to go out and buy some. Little did I know that that would be my main preoccupation for the next 22 years. All told, I think I spent over $200 in fabric (remember this is 1988) and gave up on the quilt because none of my seams matched, triangle points were cut off, my blocks could not/would not come together and the teacher finally lost patience with me and I with myself. Truth be told, I was still sewing with a 5/8" seam allowance. Well that project is around somewhere just to remind me of where I started. Every once in a while I come across it and smile. It is good to keep your first projects because they let you see just how far you have come in the time you have been quilting.
I've grown as a quilter and have learned many techniques. In the San Francisco area that I come from we are blessed with many talented quilters, some known internationally, who are willing to give their time and share their knowledge about quilting. If you have a quilt guild in your area, I would highly recommend that you join. The commeraderie and group knowledge is priceless.
Well, enough about me. I just want to say that the few weeks that I have been checking out this site have been so much fun. The people here are friendly, funny and talented. There is something going on all the time and I feel like I have found a new home. Thank you.