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Thread: How Did You Get Started?

  1. #1
    Junior Member marty_mo's Avatar
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    What piqued your interest in quilting? How did you get started quilting, self taught or classes etc? How do you do things differently now than when you first started? Do you have a picture of your first quilt to share with the forum? Was it a keeper or a gift?
    ____________________________________

    My interest in quilting was piqued when I saw some pre-cut blocks that matched the color and border paper in my parents bedroom. I purchased the blocks and put the quilt together for my parents for Christmas. My mother has since adopted the quilt and claims it was her Christmas present.

    I have been sewing for years and taught myself to quilt by surfing info on the Internet and books.

    My first quilt I pieced the top and but had the quilt sandwiched and quilted by a local quilter in order to have it completed in time for Christmas. The quilt was not as large as I had hoped but I was clueless at that time about sashing, borders or squaring up a quilt. I also purchased the binding strips for the binding. The lady that quilted for me...said to Never purchase bias strips...use up those scraps to make your binding....hun...off to the Internet to look up quilt binding...lol.

    I have completed several quilt they have all been gifts, I have yet to keep a quilt for myself. I started one this fall that is the "keeper" quilt for me and DH.


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  2. #2
    farscapegal
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    A friend of mine wanted to take a class. I didn't want to but she begged me so I went. Long story short... I quilt and she doesn't.

    Sybil

  3. #3
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    I was always interested by quilts - and one time started to cut out squares to make one, but was quickly bored & lost interest in it. Then one day the Adult Ed brochure came in the mail, & there was a beginning quilt making class listed! That was, mmmm, 17 years ago maybe...& I'm still attending the same class! lol
    Once I had been in the class for several years, a new quilt guild started in my area, and the first president was a member of my class, so I had to join in that too. Still a member there too. :D
    After I started quilting too, I found out that my great-grandmother had been a quilter, and I have a picture of her on the shelf above my quilt rack. She's sitting on the couch, with a needle stuck into the arm of the couch & a quilt on her lap, taking a break. I love that picture! The first quilt I finished hangs beneath her picture. I know I've posted a picture of it here before, but I can't find it now (it was LOOOONG time ago) - if I get home before dark, maybe I'll snap a new one to add here. :D

  4. #4
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    My grandmother got me started!! She made lots of quilts and I loved each and every one!! (And she let me treadle while she sewed :roll: ).

    I've always regretted that she never got around to making a quilt for me and that I didn't "grab" one she had made after she died :cry: :cry:

    So my goal this year is to start making quilts for the grandkids....

  5. #5
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    i always sewed garments. my father had a shop near a small manufacturer of -who knows? - but he used double knits. one day my father brought home a box of leftover pieces, too small to use for child's clothing. i made my first quilt out of double-knit polyester, with an old blanket for batting, and tied with embroidery floss. the backing was an old sheet with a bad stain on one end. the good part was big enough for my son's first 'youth- size' quilt. the back wraps around to the front. he used it in his first big-boy bed i still have it. MG, is it ugly! i forgot all about it until you reminded me. selective memory, i suppose. sheesh!

  6. #6
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    My mom has quilted for years, she ties her quilts' and I don't think I ever appreciated them a great aunt hand quilted and last year I thought I gotta try that, so my son bought me a mat and rotary cutter for christmas. I LOVE hand quilting and the way it looks I have made 5 alomst 7 quilts and Hand quilt them all, to me personally it is a goal and the only way, I love the old fashioned look and it keeps me busy. The Quilt in my Avitar is my first it is full size and the Lamone star.

  7. #7
    tarib's Avatar
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    I always wanted to learn to quilt. I figured when I retired then I would have time to learn. I never really sewed before, unless you call making a shift dress in home ec in school. A friend of mine does quilting and she said why wait, so I bought a sewing machine, she helped me pick out some material and I made my first wallhanging. Well I should say I helped make my first wall hanging. But she taught me alot and I really am glad she took the time to teach me. I am still a novice, but do enjoy looking at and buying material and trying to find patterns I feel I can do. I have yet to make a bed size quilt, but that is a goal one day.

  8. #8
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    One day I decided I wanted to try something new. I had tried other kinds of crafts, but never stick to it. I decided to try quilting, that was about 15 years ago and I'm still loving it. I taught myself to quilt through books and the TV show Simply Quilts.

    Janie

  9. #9
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I've always loved the look and feel of quilts but I didn't sew. I always said that when I retired and had time...I would learn how to quilt. While waiting for DH to finish an appointment one day..I was browsing Wallworld..ran across the "starter quilt" package..you know..cutter, mat, and ruler. Bought a starter book some remnants and went from there. That was 2006. I watched lots of Simply Quilts and read alot of mags and internet articles and of course...scream for help on this board. I love it!

  10. #10
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    I have always enjoyed looking at "real" quilts and fabric, but have never been a fan of the $39- $59 quilts sold online or in stores. The mass produced just weren't good enough for me. :lol:

    I have lost hours at quilt shows and shops. I just never could bring myself to try it, but I don't really know why. Then my mom died last spring. Long story short, she was not really the mom type and we hadn't really talked in years. It is sad, but I just always remember her as unhappy and self-absorbed and after her funeral I realized I had become a lot like her and I didn't want to be that way.

    So, I resolved to find my bliss. I tried exercising, I saw a counselor, and I went to another quilt show.

    Quilting, it seems, is my bliss, I love everything about it: the designing, the shopping (really love that part), the sewing, the assembly, the quilting, the binding, and chatting online.

    I love love love that there are no real mistakes in quilting that cannot be changed or altered to work in another way. Lately, I have found myself taking that idea and applying it in other places in my life as well.

    I find quilting to be easy and challenging at the same time.

    I have learned by taking a few classes, reading online, purchasing a few books, drilling LQS employees for information, and watching numerous quilting shows and videos.

    As I have written on this board before, I have learned so much from all of you and feel so comfortable asking questions and, when able, sharing the little bit of knowledge with you that I have gained.

    And as expensive as this hobby has turned out to be, my husband says the change in me is worth every penny and I find I am happier in general. My cats are also big fans of the quilts and the piles of fabric and batting.

    Probably way more information than you wanted, but you asked and that's my answer. Maribeth :lol:

  11. #11
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    hear, hear!

  12. #12

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    I bought a sailboat late last year that needs new cushions. I figured "It's sewing, how hard can it be"(whole nother story there). Anyway, I ended up with an industrial 30 inch free motion sewing machine
    [IMG]http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a3...ve/Consew1.jpg[/IMG]
    and thought, since it's here.... After some construction experiments I decided to go deep piecing a top to quilt and this is what I have so far
    [IMG]http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a3...e/DSCF2056.jpg[/IMG]

  13. #13
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    fanrastic!

  14. #14
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    Learned to sew in Home Ec and ended up making all my clothes for years. Made clothes for kids and hubby, jeans, t-shirts, jackets, westren shirts, curtains, furniture covers and embroidered the name tags for hubby's National Guard buddies. Made small baby panel quilts, hand quilted them, for gifts and always wanted to do a real quilt. Had a friend bring me the scraps from a clothing maker....the polyester stuff. Made crocheted rugs and a quilt that I tied. After retirement thought finally time to quilt, ha ha. Made my grandson a full size Summer at the Farm quilt. Turned out cute and went on from there. Would love lessons, learning it all the hard way. Have no sense of color so my DIL will pick colors for me, she does a great job but I don't always wait for her :roll:
    This board gives me so much help and inspiration, thank you, thank you! :D

  15. #15
    PrettyKitty's Avatar
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    I have always made cross stitch samplers for any of my friends that have had babies. Then, last summer, I had two friends that were due to give birth within a month of each other. I had finished the cross stitch sampler for the first friend, but didn't have time to do one for the second friend, and plus I wanted a change from doing cross stitch. Knitting or crocheting would take too long to learn to a satisfactory standard, but I could already sew and use a sewing machine, and knew the basics of patchwork. So with some research online and A LOT of help and encouragement from everyone on here, I made a simple, patchwork squares baby quilt. Now all my friends with babies have a quilt, and have been tryinga different pattern with each one and loving it!!!

  16. #16
    Super Member Mplsgirl's Avatar
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    Maribeth, your story is very inspirational. You go girl! I started quilting because I have to be doing "something". Doll houses, stamping, card making, stained glass, now quilting. Do you know you can have UFOs in just about every hobby there is! I can prove it!

  17. #17
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    Pam,

    Thank you, that is so sweet. The other wonderful thing about quilting is that I feel artistic for the first time.

    And yes, I am aware of the nature of UFOs. My husband is into puzzles and model sailboats and he has a closet full of these UFOs. My sister loves making stained glass and she has made some beautiful pieces. We are planning on exchanging projects. I will be making a red and black (her favorite color combo) quilt to give her and she is making a few pieces for me to hang in the windows.

    Maribeth

  18. #18

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    DavidMichael that's great progress, keep up the great work.

    Maribeth good for you, I'm glad you where able to find a part of you that you deserve to know.

    I rebelled against quilting. My mother did many quilt as you go log cabins when I was a teen. My grandmother had been a seamstress long ago and had taught me how to hand sew during that same time, so I knew enough to fix things, and have a much cherished doll blanket that was my first quilt. Funny it is my first quilt. Though I have always thought of the one in my avatar as my first one. I'll try to post the other later.

    DH offered many many times to buy me a sewing machine I refused. Many things some of them seemingly no big deal and others very hard for me, lead me to make a quilt from my daughter's baby clothes. Because of my hands I did it all on the machine. I love it and feel that no fabric is to much of a challenge and no pattern I wont try that doesn't eat me first. ;)

  19. #19
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    I always made my granddaughter's clothes, but when we started homeschooling, she didn't need school clothes. It just so happened there was a small quilting group close by, that you could donate scraps, thread, etc., to, you didn't have to quilt to join. They donated all their quilts to local women's shelter. I had no intention of quilting. My dh wants to know where the REAL Carmen is, because the REAL Carmen said she would never quilt. I told him that was before I learned about rotary cutters, rulers, quick piecing methods, etc.LOL That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

  20. #20

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    I started out not quilting, but, going shopping many trips w/a quilter. Her only son left for college and she retired all in the same year and was looking for someone to help her fill a void and I was that friend. Even though I did not know how to sew, I'd shop w/her and help her pick out colors. She convinced me to do a Dear Jane w/her, paper pieced. Verbally told me how to do it and I raced home, dug in the bottom of a closet for my old brother (that burned up w/in this 6months!)sewing machine and sewed my first paper pieced and first quilt block....upside down!:))I figured it out and we had a great time buying and sharing our fat quarters for this project. I became very addicted to quilting at that point and now have 2 janomes in my space:)Skeat

  21. #21
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    Ahhh I remember my grandma's quilts when I was a child. She took scraps of our old dresses and made something majical from them. A blanket with beautiful sunbonnet sues and stars and blocks that if you stared at them, they became stories and the patterns danced in my head until I learned myself from a checked out library video in davenport iowa.

    The first book I ever bought was an Elenore Burns log cabin book. A quilt in a day! You tore the fabric strips and sewed them together. That was b.c. (before cutters)They weren't invented yet. Ha ha ha ... But, being a person who loves family history and tradition. I knew I could do it! And I could.

    The first one was a pink and blue floral log cabin, a gift for my best friend's birthday. A queen sized , log cabin in a feilds and furrows setting. As promised by elenore, it was sewn into a top in a day. Then I used the small pink floral as a backing, added the batting and tied hundreds of pink and blue little embrodry thread knots. a labor of love, but oh was I proud to present it to her, on her special day. And she still has it to this day.

  22. #22
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    davidmichael, who's your little buddy? if you stop the quilt now, it's just about the right size.

  23. #23
    Izy
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    Super Member Izy's Avatar
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    I thought I was joining a cross stitch group...came away with a handful of scraps and a bit of tracing paper template...this was the result and I was hooked :D
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  24. #24
    Super Member candi's Avatar
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    Great stories everyone. Thanks for sharing.

    Well, I have always loved quilts,never thought it would be me quilting. I considered myself more the outdoorsy type, hiking, camping ,horseback riding,dancing and such things are things I love doing. But notice, none of the things menstioned above do I get an end product,some actual thing that I can show and touch, I only figured that out after I made my first quilt.
    So anyway, we were at a work contract in Boise ID for three monnths Sep-Dec 2007. It was a little cold, and I was driving home from work first week we got there, and I saw a banner saying: Beginner Quiltmaking classes, iregister inside. Wellm being who I am, I went in and asked the lady behind the counter "I can't sew and don't have a sewing machine, can I still sign up", she said "OH yes, we love your type", well, the rest is history.
    I just bought my first sewing machine couple months back, and satarted a second quilt. I love this board for all the help and fun. I use the ternet and books for prosedures. But that class Ii took, really taught me most of the basics that I can now build on.

  25. #25
    Super Member KGoodhand's Avatar
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    I love hearing all these stories!!
    My story is that I have always loved looking at quilts and thought how amazing it was that someone put that much time and effort into it and made something absolutely beautiful!!!
    When I had my two daughters (8 & 5) I knew I wanted to do something special. I too do the cross stitch thing and love it too!! But I was looking at a magazine and it had a memory quilt in it. I had saved some of my girls pyjamas from the time they were born till their first birthday ( and anything really special to them from then on) and decided I was going to learn how to quilt to make them a quilt out of their pyjamas! Little did I know at that point how addictive this craft is!!! I took my first class two years ago this month! A log cabin table runner!! I loved it!! So now I still have the girls pyjamas and stuff but I am doing other stuff first! I tell my husband that I have to get 'better' at quilting before I tackle working on the girls quilts!! I have always told myself that I am not giving myself a time limit for their quilts!! I figure they will probably be wedding gifts!
    So now I am just enjoying and learning what I can from classes at my LQS and from this wonderful board!!! Thanks for all your help everyone!!!
    Kendra :D :D

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