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Thread: How Did Everybody Get Into Quilting??

  1. #1
    Super Member Happy Tails's Avatar
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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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  2. #2
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    What a great story! The quilt is beautiful.

  3. #3
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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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!

  4. #4
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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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!

  5. #5
    Senior Member sassyg's Avatar
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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:

  6. #6
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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!
    Maureen

  7. #7
    Super Member Diana Lynne's Avatar
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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..

  8. #8
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    Quote 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.

  9. #9
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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!

  10. #10
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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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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  11. #11
    Super Member ontheriver's Avatar
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    I was fortunate in that my grandmother and mother both sew. My grandmother made what I thought were the most amazing quilts. I still have a pic of my grandmother and one of her quilts that was in the paper way back in the 50's. I wanted to learn, so my GM showed me, and I sewed and she ripped, and ripped and made me do it over until I got it right. I have a antique chest in my living room now and it is covered with part of a crazy quilt my GM was working on when she passed. It's only a little bigger than a runner but it is a prized possession. Now, my mom recently moved in with me, in a separate apartment area, and we both quilt. I am enjoying all the time we get to spend together with our passion.

  12. #12
    Super Member azdesertrat's Avatar
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    My grandmother didnt quilt,she crocheted and knitted,which she taught me to do.took basic sewing in Home Ec classes.then when I was around 40, I decided I really wanted to make quilts,My Mom said"Kathleen,Your intelligent,go get a book and figure it out" So I did, and I made my son a black,gray quilt,And I was hooked!that was 12 years ago,and still love it!

  13. #13
    Junior Member sharkee's Avatar
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    A co-worker and very good friend got me into quilting. One day at work about a year ago she was telling me about quilting and brought in one that she was working on and I said it was pretty but I didn't think I could do that, she laughed and said you should just go to a quilt store with me just once. Well a couple weeks later I went to the LQS that is about 50 miles away with her and I have been hooked every since. I think I made 11 quilts last year taking all sorts of classes and so far this year I am a member of Thimbleberries, making the queen size border blast quilt, also making the civil war quilt this year because the class is the same afternoon as the Thimbleberries meeting, took a hand quilting class and am just about finished with my second hand quilted project that is going to be a wedding gift and have numerous other projects on the list. Now if that pesky thing called work didn't get in the way I could do even more quilting. lol
    I have to say that this group has amazing members that are so eager to help when a question is asked even if it might be a silly on by a newbie and they are so generous with their comments on projects that you show. So glad I found this site. Thanks everyone

  14. #14
    Senior Member crashnquilt's Avatar
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    I had a surgery that was taking me "out of commission" for a while. My husband suggested I take a quilting class. At first I didn't like the idea of cutting fabric into tiny scraps and putting them all back together. But, since I really needed something to occupy my mind and keep me stationary I decided to give it a try.

    Found a local quilt shop that was having a class called Quilting 101. Right up my alley! I signed up, over the phone, bought the kit. The shop even had a machine for me to use for the class! Good thing because I wasn't able to carry my machine at the time.

    I am an accomplished seamstress so sewing is not foreign to me. I used to make all of my family's clothing. Needless to say my eyes are always drawn to fabrics.

    The day of my class was the first time ever for me to be in an actual quilt shop. I stepped in the door and my jaw hit the floor! WOW! So much beautiful, gorgeous fabric was everywhere! I couldn't open my eyes big enough to take in all the beauty! I literally stood in the doorway spellbound! This very sweet, YOUNG, girl came up to me and asked, "Are you Debbie?" "Yes, I am." "I'm so glad you came early! My name is Shawneen. I own the shop. I spoke with you on the phone. Let me help you to the class room and put down your things and then I'll show you around my shop." So, we did. We talked and she asked if I had ever sewn before so I told her of my past experience. She asked me if I would be interested in teaching garment making in the store. KEWL, I would love too. But that is another story.

    Shawneen introduced me Ann, the teacher. Class wasn't due to start for another hour, so Ann and I had a wonderful chat before class.

    Since I was on the disabled list, Ann did all of my cutting. But I was watching so close, quite often Ann had to move me back a bit. I was firing so many questions at Ann I was afraid she was going to kick me out of class. But she happily answered every question. I was so anxious to get started making that first block, my hands were shaking! When I finished that first block you would have thought I had made a wedding dress because I was so happy with myself. I was giggling like a little girl! Ann leaned over and said in my ear, "I regret to inform you but you are now addicted to making quilts."

    I completed my class sampler. Ann was so proud of it she asked if she could use the sampler in her future classes! WOW, fine by me! But needless to say, I was really hooked!

    Shawneen and I developed a beautiful friendship as well as a strong business relationship. I taught garment construction and Shawneen was my best student. Shawneen taught me more about quilting and I became her best customer!

    Unfortunately, due to personal problems, Shawneen had to close her shop but we continue to be friends.

    I saw Ann just a few weeks ago. She came to my house. We had coffee and few good laughs and wonderful conversation.

    Well, that's my story and I'm stickin to it!

  15. #15
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    My Ex MIL quilted, and I loved her quilts. She taught me. She is a great lady, taught me how to be frugal, garden, can and freeze, sew and quilt. She grew up during the depression, and thought everyone should at leat have these skills. Its really paying off now!

  16. #16
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    I was working at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC in the mid-70s. A colleague and close friend and I admired a textile professor's vest - Cathedral Windows pattern.
    Marilyn and I both began a CW quilt. She finished hers, I gave all I'd done away years later.
    Always have though it a miracle I continued quilting after a Cathedral Window start.
    I've slept under Marilyn's - like lying under lead with no give.

  17. #17
    Aimee G's Avatar
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    My first quilt was sort-of made in self-defense :) My step-mom gave me a huge box of all sorts of fabric scraps. I thought, I have to do something with these to get them out of the way! So, I cut them up into blocks & hand-sewed them all together. When that one was done, still had a lot of little scraps, so made up a bunch of crazy quilt blocks. While shopping for the binding, I saw my first Bargello quilt. Very pretty. I said to my step-mom, I can do that. She made a rather rude snorting noise. Hmm. Must prove her wrong. And I did ;) Been hooked ever since.

    My first quilt
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    My Second Quilt
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  18. #18
    Super Member EagarBeez's Avatar
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    I love doing crafts, croceting, needlepoint, I did macrame way back when it was popular. Made a table lamp from it. Made a frame around a mirror with florist foam and shells. Made pine cone wreaths and x mas trees. I just love to dabble.
    I was interested in the wedding ring quilt that I remember my parents having on their bed when I was a child.
    Present.. I was visiting a John Wayne museum, and came across a beautiful puff/quillo quilt. Since I just look at something, and go home and create it. That is what I did. Never made a quilt, but, looked online and saw how they were made. Purchased a cutting board and all I felt I needed. I had DH draw me out my size and nbr of blocks needed.
    My avitar is the first quilt I ever made. I have made a basic fabric blanket for my first granddaughter, complete with curtains and a diaper hanging bag without a pattern.

  19. #19
    Junior Member buckyfan19's Avatar
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    For my baby shower, a friend of mine gave me a baby quilt (with some cross stitch as blocks), and I LOVED it. No one in my family quilts, or really sews. My experience with sewing was making a tote bag and a pillow during home ec in junior high school.
    I had been begging my hubby and mom for a sewing machine for quite a while because I had cross stitched a stocking, and I wanted to finish it for my first baby. So last year for christmas (2009), I got a pretty basic Kenmore sewing machine (Black Friday deal) from my Mom. She was pretty convinced that it would just sit in a closet and not get used. Well, it didn't. I headed out to the store and found a pretty cute baby quilt kit with dogs on it and a bunch of minkee fabric. It had GREAT instructions included about pressing seams and such. That was it, putting together basic 6" blocks and adding minkee borders, and I LOVED it. I DVR'd all the Sewing with Nancy episodes (I now have 42 episodes saved on my TV!), and learned a lot from there.
    A neat story that has happened recently I want to share with you. I read so many stories on QB about people who give quilts and the recipients don't appreciate them and I just finished a baby quilt for my hubby's cousin and I kept thinking "I REALLY hope she likes this and uses it" because it took so much work and care to do it, so I decided to email the lady who made me the baby quilt for my shower. She was so excited that I emailed her, that we have been talking sewing/quilting/embroidery ever since. We now have dogs AND sewing to talk about!

  20. #20
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    I love hearing all these stories - we all share the same pioneering spirit in our quilting stories.
    My grandmothers quilted, crochet, tattted, and everything else. I always remember one of my grandmothers always had her quilt frame loaded with a quilt -it would take up the whole room in her apt - when she was older and couldn't see well - she made quilts out of sheets and tied them -she always had a tote bag filled with sewing or crochet - she kept her hands busy this way. My other Granny - she made beautiful quilts and I loved the stories about the quilting bees - and met some of the women who belonged - I didn't get to participate but still loved the stories.
    My mom made some of our clothes when we were young - my granny would take some of the clothes and turn them into quilt blocks - so it was fun to see the quilt with our old clothes.
    Anyway, fast forward - I was married for about one year(25 yrs ago) and decided I wanted to make a quilt - I bought some fabric and tried like heck - I was not successful and did not have alot of money to spend - just put it all aside until about 1 1/2 yrs ago - the I went full out - bought a sewing machine - then wore it out - my hubby bought me a Viking Sapphire 875Q - I was afraid of it - but have mastered it since - now I am addicted to fabric - and my hubby supports my habit. Bought a longarm about one year ago - that is still tough to master - but I take my time and rip tons of stitces out - one day I will conquer the longarm. Like everyone else I am self taught - never had a class - never sewed clothes or anything - now I can't imagine living without my sewing machine. I have made quilts for charity, friends, and family and I love it and don't have enough time in the day to complete all my projects - but love waking up every day to sew and quilt. Really helped pull me out of a depression that I was experiencing and gave me more confidence in myself. It has been a lifesaver for me and I love completing my projects and trying new blocks. That is my story so far.

  21. #21
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    I was more of a sewer than quilter for many yrs. Then in the 80's I found an old quilt rack in my basement. My mother-in-law told me what it was and we went to a sheep farm north of me and bought a bunch of wool had it cleaned/carded (at that time I was spinning) sized into twin size bedding(covered with cheese cloth) .My mother-in-law got a bunch of her friends together and we tied 6 quilts. That was fun.My first pieced quilt was a queen size sampler in the 90's.I have not looked back.I quilt for myself/sister-in-law/ friends who place orders for memory quilts and much more.

  22. #22
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    When I was about 13, I showed some interest in quilting, because my aunt quilted. I picked out a Star pattern because I liked stars. I cut out all the pieces, and attempted to hand piece, hadn't learned my sewing machine yet. needless to say, got bored, short attention span, aunt finished piecing it, it still has never been tied, maybe will one day and post. About 6 years later, I still wanted to quilt, but wanted to learn on my sewing machine, so my aunt took me to her quilting class at Joann's, and with the help of her and the instructor, I made my first, all done by me Basket weave( ie. rail fence quilt) I really enjoyed it, but with college and time constraints did not have the time. another 6 years later, I met my husband than boyfriend, and made him a quilt for his birthday, with my aunts help, and since then have never stopped. I haven't made that many quilts, only my irish chains of love, but have made a pot holder, 2 diaper bags, an apron, an organizer that goes over a coffee can, 1 tote bag, a couple abbey bags, also have a few UFO's unfinished backpack, table runner, one asian lap quilt, a patriotic rail fence for a friends son in the army, a paper pieced BOM star kit. been very busy, have fabric for a bow tucks, bella bag, lovers knot quilt, and a quilt kit from connecting threads for my daughter. Anyways, I now love it, wished i had gotten more practice in when i was younger and had more time, but me and my aunt have a shared hobby gives us time to spend together, and she has someone to hand down all her quilting stuff to so it doesn't get sold at estate sales as junk like some so I am glad I got into to it, just wish it wasn't such an expensive hobby. I have to wait for gift cards to be able to afford nice fabric for an actual quilt, which is why i don't make so many

  23. #23
    Super Member GwynR's Avatar
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    While my father was in vietnam we lived with my mothers parents. Grandma K loved to quilt and had quilting bees at her house. I was threading the needles for the ladies and they would let me make a few stitches, before someone else "needed" threading. I also got to help add to her braided rug made with scraps from old clothes. Grandma would point out old clothes she had made for my aunts and uncles and mom that were recycled into the rug. My Grandma P. made clothes and so did my mother. Grandma P's sister had a fabric shop and I used to beg to go in there and play with the fabric. I had my own little stash by age 5. As I got older and was away from extended family while we were stationed around the world, I lost (most) of my interest. It was always somewhat there. When I got married and became pregnant my interest in sewing came back bigger than ever. I made clothes for years. Just lately I started quilting and have not stopped! I think its built into me and will never go away. I still want to play with the fabric when I go shopping. Now its called petting though and the LQS all allow it! :-)

  24. #24
    Senior Member pheasantduster's Avatar
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    When out of high school I had a job at a dress shop in Boston doing alterations and at that time the shop had sundresses with coulotte legs (full pant leg type) that were not selling. We cut the pant inner seam and stitched a straight seam down center back and center front to make plain skirt to make regular sundresses. I took all the cut pieces and made squares along with pieces of material that I had and made this quilt. Worn out - and is kept in our car for 'emergencies'. Needless to say I have come a long way from this "first quilt"

    My First Quilt circa 1962
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  25. #25
    Senior Member sandilee's Avatar
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    I married into a family of quilters. They are all gone now except one and she has alzheimers.
    So, I had a great bunch of teachers!

    I wish my SIL who has the alzheimers was still able to function, she was fantastic! They did it all by hand, too.
    Not me, I do it on my machine!

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