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Thread: How and when did you get started in quilting?

  1. #1
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    How and when did you get started in quilting?

  2. #2
    Super Member Dragonfly Nana's Avatar
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    For me it was in 2007 when, for the first time in 30 years, I was not employed full time. I started with a magizine and some online reading and taught myself to quilt.

    My skills have increased more since I joined this board than they did in the first two years.

  3. #3
    Power Poster ann clare's Avatar
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    Saw a raffle quilt and decided that I could do as good. Took a class and never looked back. That was over 25 years ago.

  4. #4
    patti-cakes's Avatar
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    1976, I had a new baby and a 3 yr. old. We moved to a very small town and lived a couple doors down from the library. I was soooooo bored and had always been crafty, so I decided to make my new baby a quilt. I went to the library and checked out a book and decided to make a Sunbonnet Sue quilt. Not having much $$ I used some awful fabric I had and did it all wrong. I remember that I quilted on top of the applique! Anyway, my daughter cherished the ugly thing but lost it last year in a fire when the family house burned down. I have given her a couple quilts over the years and I offered to replace that one but she says there is no replacement as it was the first quilt for both of us.
    Been quilting on and off since then, but mostly off and just started back last November. Was so surprised and pleased at the new pre-cuts! I am back at with a passion now!! Thanks for asking Craftybear...what's your story?

  5. #5
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I was just 21 when I started my first quilt. I was married to my first husband and my then sister in law decided we could make our fortune making quilts. She saw an ad in the back of some magazine for 50 pounds of fabric for 5 bucks. It was a huge box of fabric! She took most of the fabric. There were some sheets in the box that I took and I got a piece of twill weave solid burgandy and a print of small roses and paisleys. There was a pattern for a double Irish chain in one of the women's magazines with instructions for templates. I used one of the sheets and the burgandy and print fabrics and made a double Irish chain. Then life happened and I was widowed and didn't get back to the quilt for a few years. Then I ran across solid white wide backing and got the quilt layered and basted. It got put away a second time for many more years. At the time I didn't know you could hand quilt without a frame. After I was married to my second husband the internet was born and I got a webtv and internet access. Thru that I found a John Flynn frame and finished that quilt. It was almost to the month 20 years from start to finish on that quilt. As soon as I had that quilt finished I started a second one and before it was finished I had started a third and fourth quilt. That second quilt still isn't finished but I've made many, many more quilts of all sizes since then.

    After I got internet access I discovered all sort of new techniques had been invented and that made all the difference for me. I'm not real likely to make many quilts with templates and scissors again!! Although there is that stupid Saturday Sampler waiting on me.

  6. #6
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    I have always been into sewing garmets and other crafty things but had never tried quilting. Some 6/7 years ago my cousin got this urge to try quilting so she begged me to go to a quilt class with her. So off we went with me whining and complaining that I just didn't like quilting--that I'd rather make clothes. Lo and behold I got hooked! She on the other hand has not even finished the quilt we started in class! :)

  7. #7
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    I started making my 1st quilt about 20 years ago, took a class at a LQS (Eleanor Burns quilt in a day, Lovers Knot lap quilt) and got the top done in class on a Saturday, a few weeks later the teacher that had taught the class was killed in bad auto accident

    I was never able to find anyone to help me finish it so last fall, I got it back out and stitching in the ditch now and hope to get it finished soon

    last December joined a quilting guild and this year joined another guild

    I am now having lots of fun with my new quilting friends and some of us meet weekly for a sew day

    I have learned:
    1. paper piecing
    2. disappearing 9 patch (top is done)
    3. hexagons (by hand and covered a cute pincushion)
    4. made a reversible table runner
    5. made a tube quilt table runner and entered it in a quilt show May 2010
    6. John Deere placemats, potholders and coasters
    and some small projects

    Craftybear

  8. #8
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    I used to sew all of my ex's and boy's shirts, and most of my own clothing too. My ex's mother was a quilter, and the first quilt I made was one for my mother's birthday...a friendship quilt where I cut and sent out blank white 12 inch squares for folks to "do whatever" on and sign...Got 49 wonderful blocks back with all sorts of different things...embroidery, painting, photos...put them together with sashing, tied it and Mom loved it!! That was in 1984...my next experience was in the early 90's when I made a feathered star wall hanging, again for my mother...no one told me that I wasn't experienced enough to do that, or the Mariner's Compass that followed it...they turned out great!

    I also made a Kaleidoscope quilt about that same time. That was the last of my quilting until this year...I'm so glad to be back to it!! :)

  9. #9
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    I have sewed since I was about 12 or 13. Mostly clothes, things for my home or crafts. When raq quilts became popular around here a couple years ago, I wanted to make one. That was the beginning for me. I gradually started making simple 4 patch and 9 patch quilts. I have gotten the courage to even try a few quilt patterns.

  10. #10
    Super Member candi's Avatar
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    It is always fun to hear everyone's quilting story.

    No one in my family (that I know of anyway) sews or quilts. I am a craft fair junkie, and I was always fascinated by quilted things. My husband and I travel a lot for work and we spend at least six months of the year away from home. In September of 2007, we were in Boise, Idaho for a three-month period and we happened t be staying near a quilt shop. As I was driving by one day, I saw them advertising beginner quilt classes and I heard the shop calling my name. It was my first time in quilt shop, surrounded by fabrics and notions and I realized right then that it was something I'd enjoy. I asked the helpful ladies about that class, and they said even if I can't even a thread a machine and don't have one (both were true in my case), I can take the class learning on one of the store machines. I signed up. It was a six-week class, one session a week, where the teacher taught us about fabric, measuring, pressing, cutting and we made Ohio star blocks. She taught us how to add sashing and borders and by the end of the class I had about 45 by 45 wall-hanging. The teacher was so gracious and generous that she even loaned me one of her personal machines to use at home. I enjoyed every minute of the class, and despite the challenges I faced learning everything from scratch and struggling with even winding the bobbin, I knew that quilting was going to be a new hobby for me. We then went to Hawaii for nine months (for work) and quilting was not an option for me during that time, but it was always on my mind. As soon as we left Hawaii, and got to Spokane, I told my husband that I am buying a sewing machine, bought one and quilted my Ohio Star top from the class. Since then, I've worked on some small projects and some bigger ones, took a machine quilting class and attempted few things, and I am loving it. I take my machine and some stash with me whenever I can and I try to always have something to work on, some months I get a lot done, and some months I barely sit on my sewing machine, but I am always thinking about it. I discovered that I don't like kits, and I like to change many patterns. I got a used copy of the EQ5 and I am discovering that I love designing quilts. I am a better piecer than quilter, but definitely have a lot of room to improve in both arenas. I also discovered that my spirit is more advanced than my skill levels, I keep getting myself in way over my head, but I am loving it.

    Thanks for asking :)

  11. #11
    quiltingIsfun's Avatar
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    I started sewing again about 4 yrs ago. Then while on vacation this past Apr. I met a lady in the hotel we were staying in who mentioned she had finished a t-shirt quilt in her room. The social butterfly that I am I asked if she'd teach me and she said yes! We did a baby quilt (10in rectangles). I've been hooked ever since and made a new friend in the deal!! She and I keep in touch and she says now her daughters have asked to learn as they were jealous of the time we were spending together :-)

  12. #12
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    It was 1976, when I made my first full size quilt. Before that I would play around with scraps and make blocks. This wa all in the dark ages , before the rotary cutter. I can not tell you how many "projects" never made it to completion. It was just to boring to trace and cut each piece.
    Then the rotary cutter .... a life changing invention! Then long Arm quilting ..... wow ... whats next !!! And my Grandmother was excited for a Zig Zag machine.

  13. #13
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    I helped my mother make a king size quilt from all her stash she had collected from sewing all our clothes for several years. I was 10! She never made another quilt!
    I sewed a lot of my own clothes over the years, but didn't start quilting until August 2009 when a co worker said,"Yes, you can."

    And... YES I CAN!" Quilt, sew, create, design.... love doing it all.

  14. #14
    Super Member StitchinJoy's Avatar
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    We lived in Newark NJ in a 4th floor walk-up apartment in 1969. I worked across the street from the Newark Museum which was free admission for residents. I went there every day at lunch break and looked at the antique quilts. A curator showed me a top, underneath, where it was stitched, and eureka, the lightbulb came on over my head. I started sewing quilts like the ones in the museum.

    I used cereal boxes for templates, scissors for cutting, and hands for stitching. I hand sewed and hand quilted for 20 yrs until I finally got a sewing machine.

    Now I'm a professional quilter with clients in 14 states and 3 continents, and quilts all over our home and all over the world. I would NEVER have seen this coming! Pinch me!!! Who knew that an interest could become a passion, and a passion could become an occupation and a life?

  15. #15
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I started in 1992, but did not really get going until 2002. I had been to the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, and there is one whole building of just quilts. I think that is what did it for me.

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    early mid-70s.
    Working at the time at FIT in NYC; one of the textile teachers was wearing a Cathedral Window vest. Marilyn Henrion and I loved it and proceed to make quilts. She finished hers; not I
    I've always considered it a miracle that I kept quilting after that start.

  17. #17
    Super Member kim_s's Avatar
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    I bought a second hand sewing machine a few summers ago with the intent to learn how to use it. The shop included lessons so I took one. Well, I had never used a sewing machine in my life - and everyone else knew what they were doing. I had no idea you even "wound" a bobbin. I thought you just bought them that way! :roll: The lady teaching the class was not very nice to me because she had to stop to keep helping me - and I was somewhat intimidated, so I never went back to take any more lessons.....and gave up on the idea of learning to sew.

    Then I joined the quilt ministry at my church where they taught me how to sew a seam, etc. on their machines. I then took out the manual I got with my sewing machine and made myself figure it out. The rest is history. I thought it was clothes that I really wanted to sew, but it turns out it was quilts. I love all the colors and the patterns. It's really artistry I think. And it has become my hobby. I love it!!

  18. #18
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    There was an old treadle sewing machine in the haymow, the kind with the long skinny bobbins. I asked my mom to come up in the haymow and clean and oil that machine so I could sew doll clothing. She did that and I sewed many happy hours, not making anything much but sweating like a trooper in the summer heat. After I married I made a quilt for each of my own babies, and then for nieces and nephews, friends, etc. Also sewing lots of clothes for my girls and western shirts for my husband and son. Needed to do something with the scraps so quilted some more. Just couldn't get enough of it and I still sew and quilt a lot. Don't do many garments any more, mostly crafty sewing and quilts. Enjoy every minute!

  19. #19
    RoxanneS's Avatar
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    I am new to quilting....got a Fons and Porter CD and instruction book for a split nine-patch, and became hooked. Just 3 years ago, a freind asked me to dust off my old sewing machine and make dog coats for her cold-blooded Doberman. I kept making dog coats, and had scraps left over from fleece....in abundance. Then....made blocks into dog coats.
    I had mentioned to this friend that I really wanted to do the impossible....make a quilt. The concept of making such a project was WAY beyond me. I found out that simple sewing makes beautiful quilts. I have now finished and machine stitched 10 quilts...including my avatar. I love this craft!!!!!!!!!! :lol:

  20. #20
    Super Member moonrise's Avatar
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    I don't remember ever NOT sewing and quilting. My great-grandmother and grandmother sewed constantly, and I was totally fascinated by everything they did. I remember sitting at my great-grandmother's feet, watching her while she hand-pieced quilt squares, and then helping her quilt it on a big frame that hung from her living room ceiling. While quilting, she'd watch TV on an old console TV set that took forever to "warm up", and when she'd turn it off, a little dot would glow in the middle of the screen for several minutes afterwards. Her favorite while-quilting show was ... wrestling! :lol:

    My grandmother got me a toy sewing machine that really sewed :mrgreen: on my 5th or 6th birthday, and not long afterwards, my parents bought me a real one. Fast forward 35 years or so, and here I am now. :)

    My great-grandmother passed away when I was 11, and my grandmother passed away in March of this year. Now more than ever, I want to make quilts. And if someone enjoys the quilts I've made even a tenth as much as I cherish the quilts my Granny and Mammaw made, I'll be tickled pink! :)

  21. #21
    Gal
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    I have always sewn from an early age having learned from my Mum making dolls clothes etc, I began making my own clothes as a teenager, when I got married I designed and made my own wedding gown and things for my home, I have always admired quilts especially the old traditional American quilts, scrap and country styles. I am retired now but most of my working life has been in fabrics and I always knew that when I had more time I wanted to learn to quilt. I began with a series of classes first in hand piecing then in applique to learn the skills, I taught myself hand quilting and now I am about to have a go at machine quilting. I have only been quilting seriously as a hobby for about a year I guess, needless to say I do not make my own clothes any more I am too busy making quilts Lol!!

    Gal

  22. #22
    tmg
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    I started sewing when I was 22. While I worked at a custom drapery factory. I quit working in 1999 when I had my 3rd. child. That how I got sewing. No one in my family sews.

    Moving forward. This last Christmas break I gave up my sewing room so my two girls could have there own room. Well my oldest daughter Tamar could not find any bedding she liked. She can to me and said that she thought I could make her a quilt. I have an older friend of mine that quilts ( she gave me one for my birthday). She let me borrow some books. I went out and bought the ruler because I had the other things i needed. Picked a pattern (rail fence). Tamar and I went fabric shopping. She wanted purple black and gray. It took me about a two weeks to finish it. Tamar was very happy with it. I have finished three more quilts and have four more in the works. Oh my avatar is picture of Tamar's quilt.

  23. #23
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    Made one in the 60's with my Mom from scraps and tied it. In 92 she died and I got her scraps. I took a night class and learned strip cutting and piecing. Hand quilted it and have been at it ever since.

  24. #24
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    I have always been a crafter. As a child I made clothing for my dolls, I knitted and did crochet an other things. My mother teached me. It was not until 1989 (I was 23 years old) before I found a book about patchwork quilts - but I must say I was immediately hooked. There were no workshops or other quilters around me in that time so I'm self taught. My first quilt, a sampler in 4 shades of blue solids, is hand sewn and hand quilted. I recognized very early that I loved the handquilting process much more than the sewing - but I didn't know about wholecloth quilts. In 1993 I found a book about handquilting and wholecloths and this was the start of my handquilting career! So I stopped doing patchwork and until that time I have only done wholecloths and strippies.

  25. #25
    Super Member Janetlmt's Avatar
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    My grandmother was a quilter, my mother is a quilter, my sister is a quilter..I am a quilter.
    Growing up around quilts..loving fabric and color..just seems to come naturally. I started my first quilt 25 years ago. Once the quilt bites you..look out!

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