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How Did Everybody Get Into Quilting??

How Did Everybody Get Into Quilting??

Old 03-19-2011, 04:54 AM
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I'll start........One Christmas, a few years ago, I didn't know what to get anybody for Christmas, and I remembered a quilted tree skirt my old boss had made me for Christmas years back. Well I decided I wanted to make one for each member of the family. I went to Walmart and bought a sewing machine (I didn't even know how to thread it, I had never sewed before) I got some Christmas fabric and a pair of scissors(LOL) and proceeded to cut out, with scissors 100's of 6" squares. They turned out really nice so I decided to take a quilting course. Keep in mind, I know nothing about quilting OR sewing. The course was the snowball quilt. I had wanted to make this for my dear little Mother and Father for Christmas, so off I went to pick up the items on the supply list. The first night of the course, the teacher was showing us the finished product and I said (in a room full of strangers) OMG that isn't big enough (it was a lap quilt) I said my mother watches TV in bed and my Dad watches in the den, how they gonna share that? After a very long time of pleading and bribing (with Tim Hortons coffee) I was able to talk the teacher into doing the pattern for a queen size quilt. She did this with UNDISGUISED resistance. Anyway, was I in for a shock, we would do a step in class and our homework was to complete that step for the whole quilt for the next step in the next class,, Well I stayed up all night preparing, and after cutting out 600+ 6" squares and 920 little 2 squares (learned to use a rotory cutter) I was ready for the next step. After each class (6 week course) I spent the entire week till the next class carefully completing each step. Each week the teacher looked so surprised that I had completed every single bit of homework. OMG I was so proud of this quilt...The very last class, my teacher turned to the class and said - I would like to publicly apologize to Wendy (I thought omg what did I do) and she said in all the years of teaching, whenever she took her time to rework a lap quilt to a full size quilt for a student, they never completed it and this was the reason she really didn't want to do it for me. But I made her proud!! And that's how I got started in quilting :) And I've never looked back. It was a tied quilt (never would do another one) and I can tell you I had the sorest fingers in the world. Why I kept quilting, I'll never know, lol I struggle with it because I don't have anybody in my family that sews, but I've learned a lot on this board and on You Tube....thanks for listening, Here's a couple pics of that very first quilt Wendy
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:02 AM
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What a great story! The quilt is beautiful.
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:05 AM
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Great story. You are dedicated, for sure.

When I was a small child, I recall the quilts my great-aunt put on my bed at night. I would try to make 'streets' out of the patterns and drive my car on them :-D Very fond memories. When she died, her quilts had mysteriously disappeared and I wasn't able to get one to remember her. Then, as a young mother, I took a class. I didn't want to use a standard pattern... I designed my own blocks... only finished 3 of the 8 blocks of the sampler. Through the years, I went to quilt shows, but never had the time to make quilts, even though I was an avid sewer. When I took early retirement, I decided that the time was now. My first quilt was for my DGS... a tumbling blocks baby quilt. [didn't start with something easy!] I've been quilting ever since. Love it!
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:09 AM
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Wow, what a wonderful story! Yep, you are a quilter for sure. My story I guess, is I always love quilts from when I was a little girl and we would drive to my grandmother's house 3 states away. I would curl up under the quilts at nite and be so warm & fall right to sleep. I don't think my mother ever quilted (she passed away young) but she did sew. She sewed many of our clothes and could do it without a real pattern if needed. Many years later, I must of been 25 yrs old. I got busy & hand cut like you tons of blocks to make a quilt, kids came along and I got sidetracked and ended up giving the quilt blocks, books, etc to someone who made lapquilts for the nursing homes.About 10 yrs later, I did this again, cut tons of blocks by hand (back before the rotary cutter) and again donated the blocks for charities of the nursing home. Just never found or took the time to do this. I had an old straight stitch Singer 15 to sew on. 3 yrs ago, children raised,and a bit more time on my hands I decide to give this another try. I went to a quilt group that was starting up, I was invited. Sounded good to me. They said go home and make two log cabin quilts block for the next meeting and even though I had to look them up on the internet to see what the heck I was doing, I have been quilting every since. 6 sewing machines, 2 sergers later in my own quilting room. I finally did it! You made a beautiful quilt & great memories!
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:09 AM
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First of all I must say presistance paid off,your first quilt is absolutely beautiful. I'm a begginer but I decided I wanted to do something to fullfil my time since I just retired and I love the look and feel of quilts. I've watched so many quilts show and bought alot of magazines and books . I just love the beauty of it and it is such a wonderful way to spend my day.
Keep up the good work.
Sassyg :thumbup:
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:18 AM
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Great story Wendy...amazing what Tim Horton's can getcha!
I've always been a sewer..taught mostly by my Mum. Growing up as one of 6 with a single parent, sewing saved a ton of money then. But it was a friend that actually "started" me into quilting. She & I were giving a baby quilt to another friend so my part was to help quilt it. HAND quilt! What?! I've never done that but she had a frame her dad had built her so there we were in her attic room hand quilting this wee quilt. It was fun but it didn't seem to move fast enough for me but it was a great time to chat up all the technicalities of quilting. Time went on & I had no time to realling "get into" quilting. Then one evening while attending to one of my pts at work, the visitor & I struck up a conversation which led to quilting! This visitor gave me the names of a couple of ladies in my area that hold quilting classes in one of the ladies home. Perfect! Being taught by true blue experts...it couldn't get better. I learned soooo much & am still learning. I don't enroll in the sessions anymore due to time constraints & already having too many WIPs in the works. But I am ever so grateful for those ladies & for a lot of the information from you wonderful people here on this board! Thank you for always sharing!
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:21 AM
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Not really sure..I always hated sewing and anytime my Mother tried to teach me, I was running out the door to go to my horses..Still trying to figure out why all of a sudden to make quilts has become one of my many loves..To me, its like painting..You never really know what its going to look like until its all done..And for me I guess that is why I love it so..
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by emerald46
What a great story! The quilt is beautiful.
I agree a beautiful story thank you for sharing it with us all.
I first started to quilt many many years ago and it was the little hand sewn hex's well that cured me of quilting almost for life.
I have always loved sewing and went from a treadle to a singer blue magic. WOW what a machine it had cams to change the stitches and I thought I was in seventh heaven. I made all our clothes on that machine even my boys first dress suits.
then I killed the machine with too much use. it just got plain worn out. then I discovered the Brother machines and for the first time I also bought an overlocker (serger) well I did sewing for just about everyone. I did alterations for anyone that knocked on my door. then I became to busy looking after what seems like a myriad of cats then mum came along and needed to be looked after so the sewing took a back seat. I started to make cards and loved that but mum hated the mess and it all ended up being stored in the shed not a very inspirational place to work. so I decided I would try quilting again nearly 45 years after my first attemp and I just love it. mum is now in a nursing home since the house burnt down and now my sewing is in the shed but my DD came over and helped me clear the shed out and now I can cut out on a huge table tho I must get DH to make it about 6 inched higher so my back doesn't ache so much. so when I am not helping him in the shed I am either on the net checking in on everyone or quilting. still waiting for the insurance to pay up so I can buy really nice machines.
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:51 AM
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When my mom passed away in 2007-my aunt connie bought her entire sewing room contents from my stepdad. There were 6 of us kids from the combined family- myself being the only girl. I know that it bothered her that i didn't end up with my mom's bernina embroidery machine anyway. So she purchased it and then gave it to me. Haah! I had three kids in college and never could have began to afford to buy it. It was such a surprise that she did this. At the time, I had absolutly no interest in quilting and privately i thought what am i going to do with this? I knew that if i brought it home it would end up in the back of some closet somewhere-never used. I had a little office in town (i'm a painter and that's where i put my painting supplies and ladders etc) I cleared out a corner of the office for my machine. long story a little shorter that was 4 years ago. I have painted the office twice because my sewing room has to be bright and cheery-and my "machine"has taken over my shop. My painting supplies are now in "a corner". I love my Bernina and I love my Aunt connie for thinking of me at a time when i needed her the most. I spend hours and hours in that office sewing and quilting and I relish every minute. Every time I sit down to sew I feel like my mom is with me. I'm 50 years old so I have a great many years of sewing ahead of me-and it will be on my mom's bernina. I'll never trade up. I love it just the way it is. Thank you Aunt Connie! I love you!
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:56 AM
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My first exposure to quilts came when I was about 8 years old. Didtant relatives of my father's had found him by looking for any family member with the Dabney/Collier name, to take on an antique family quilt that was about to pass out of the family line. Her was the first male to inherit it. I remember driving a long way from home with him to pick up this quilt and how much fun it was because we got to have a store-bought ice cream cone. We arrived back home, Mother and Daddy spread out the quilt on their bedroom floor to see what it looked like. I remember thinking, "All this excitement about *that* thing?!"

Decades later I was treated to lunch in a little cafe that had a small quilt store upstairs. We went up to look around after eating and I signed up to take a class. Made three quilts in 6 weeks with those girls. That was in 1983 and I've never looked back!

The family quilt shown below was made prior to 1780, according to the Textile Museum at Colonial Williamsburg, where it now resides. It is one of the earliest they have ever seen, made near Richmond, VA from linen grown from flax on the plantation and imported English calicos.
It is pieced almost exactly as we piece today, with 8 point stars and broderie Perse applique. The colors were stunning originally, with vivid rose pinks and clear aqua blue in the applique from the imported calicos.
It is actually rather prettier than these pictures, but was in such fragile condition after 225 years of love and display, that I had to give it up to safty and restoration when it passed to me.

Jan in VA
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