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Thread: What first attracted you to quilting

  1. #26
    Power Poster ube quilting's Avatar
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    The great Alex Anderson was my first introduction to quilting. Well, My DH and Alex. He had to have a new boy toy in the form of a satalite dish which I couldn't understand but...

    I found Alexs' Show while channel surffing and have been a quilter ever since. That is now 12 years ago. I think he's sorry he got the satalite. I now own a Bernina, LA, treadle, singer, tables, tools and a whole new house to keep them in. Haa- haa
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  2. #27
    Super Member wraez's Avatar
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    Funny, I was never interested in quilts or quilting, always thought they were 'old lady / grandma' things. Then about 10 years ago I went with a friend to a Victorian Home and Quilt Show in Redlands CA ... we went to see the houses. But each house had quilts decorating rooms, hanging from porches, clotheslines etc. We were attracted to the 'art quilts' of the time, the watercolor quilts and portrait quilts and just blown away that they were so beautiful and unlike the traditional quilts. That got us hooked on learning to quilt and both of us still have not made a watercolor or portrait quilt but have made wall hangings and so many other kinds of quilts ... AND now have swung to traditional blocks too.

    'Old Lady/ Grandma things" ... well we have since become grandmas and love to make quilts for our grands, LOL.
    Warm quilt hugs, Sue in CA
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    Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death....Rosalind Russell

  3. #28
    Junior Member kayahr's Avatar
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    Back in the 1980's, I watched every sewing show on PBS. I had been making my own clothing since the 60's but thought that quilting would be boring. I was 50-something when I realized it would take a lot of work to alter all my clothing patterns that had "shrunk," and I still wanted to sew. There was a geometry lesson in the 5th grade materials I was using in my teaching situation that year. One of the units had quilts. I bought the Eleanor Burns book about pinwheels so that students could color the triangles. We pushed all the classroom furniture out of the way and arranged the colored paper triangles and pinwheels on the floor to see how transformations would change the look. (One student even colored the back of his paper so he could flip the sheet.) I realized quilting would satisfy my need for handling cloth and sewing. That was in 2004 and I haven't gotten bored yet.
    Kay Ahr in Indianapolis, Indiana USA

  4. #29
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    Lovely thread - thanks for sharing! I honestly don't know why I always wanted to make a quilt, but I always have. Possibly because my mother and older sister sewed (not quilts- I don't remember ever even seeing a quilt!)

    For years I collected ideas, but had no skills on how to make a quilt. I had some handsewing skills from my mother ( who never let me touch her machine) and I remember when I was about four years old we were learning to sew in school ( as you did, back then - it was the early 70s). I thought to myself- "well - when the teacher asked us to do a row of tacking, she did not know I can already do that stuff, so I will do something else!" You know that did not end well. I remember cutting out a square of pink felt and placing it on point on my scrap, attaching it with coloured stitches. I think I even managed a button in the middle! My teacher ridiculed me and the way I felt at that moment has fueled my determination to never let anyone else tell me that what I like to do is wrong, or ugly, or anything other than a joyful expression of my love of life!

    Sadly it did not help me to walk before I run, and I am still taking up 'too hard' projects 40 years later. That's me. I still have not made a fullsize quilt, but have got great joy making smaller quilts.

  5. #30
    Super Member Central Ohio Quilter's Avatar
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    I had sewn for as long as I can remember, but only clothes and doll clothes. When my husband's sister was going to get married, (late 70's) I knew I wanted to make her something special for a wedding present. I decided a king size quilt would be the most special present I could make for her, even though I had never made a quilt before. I have been hooked on quilting ever since!

  6. #31
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    I make quilts just so I have an excuse to buy lots of different bits of gorgeous fabric.

    I'm an artsy-crafty kind of gal, and my favorite handicrafts are things that can be made to be functional as well as being art, and quilts fit that perfectly. I also love that quilting connects me back to both of my grandmothers.

    I get to indulge my desires to surround myself in color and hone a skill...and then I get to give this tangible thing away to someone I care about; this thing like a hug trapped within a pretty envelope... What's not to love!?

    But really...it's all about my magpie-like need to have pretty things I can put my hands all over. Everything else is just an awesome bonus! Hah!

  7. #32
    Super Member grammysharon's Avatar
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    I watched Georgia Bonsteele (spelling?) on PBS teaching quilting on TV and then my niece was turning 4 and wanted to make her a quilt for her birthday!! That was April of 1989 and am loving it more since I retired two years ago!!! I finally joined a guild and am learning alot from the teachers that have done presentations!!!! Who doesn't like to play with fabric and all the new tools each year?????
    A quilt is a blanket of love. Sharon

  8. #33
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    There are lots of factors. One was that my grandmother did it when I was a child. She passed away when I was 9, but I remember enjoying the quilts on the bed where I slept when we visited her house and remember her sewing a quilt. I don't have anything of hers, but feel a connection to the family tradition.

    Another factor is that I have been sewing since childhood. At some point it didn't pay to sew clothes any more. Ready made clothes aren't much more expensive than they were 30 years ago (speaking of the kind of basic things I usually wear every day). At the same time, the cost of fabric and patterns and even thread rose to the point where it costs more to sew clothes than to just buy them.

    A third factor was that sewing clothes became much less rewarding after my daughter grew too old for cute little toddler things that she loved to wear, and meanwhile I added just enough (poorly distributed!) weight that the easy fit I used to get from patterns had become much more complicated. It's hard enough to find ready made clothes that fit right and are becoming, and when I reached the point that something I spent hours sewing wound up looking very bad on me, I knew it was time to give it up.

    I missed sewing as a creative activity, and have always done a variety of crafts, so it was almost inevitable that I'd eventually pick up quilting as an alternative. We live in a warm climate and don't need a lot of quilts, but joining a guild that donates a lot of quilts to needy people has given me much needed impetus. I love feeling that something I made will help someone stay warm and to feel connected to people who care about them. Besides that, I just spend time playing around with different designs and colors. I make things such as doll quilts just because it's fun.

    I have to add that going to the huge International Quilt Festival in Houston a few times over the years was also extremely inspiring, as was watching Alex Anderson's Simply Quilts.
    Last edited by Rose_P; 07-16-2012 at 10:00 PM.

  9. #34
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    I was hooked on HGTV when they actually had shows that were interesting. Found Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson. A friend also quilted but did all of her piecing by hand at that time. Started watching Simply Quilts regularly and decided to give it a try. Found that, for me, it's a great mix of hand and machine work. I machine piece and hand quilt. I love all types of hand work - knitting, crochet, needlepoint, cross-stich, etc. but was getting bored with them so quilting it is!

  10. #35
    Senior Member janegb's Avatar
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    When I was a very small child, my Grandmother made quilts for Sister and my Twin Beds. They were the "Sunbonnet Girl" blocks. Made from family clothing. How I loved to touch fabric from my Fathers Purple Paisley print PJs.. that was my first falling in love with Quilts.

  11. #36
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    I like houses decorated country style. I wanted a quilt but they were so expensive. Since I sewed I figured i could make my own.

  12. #37
    Senior Member jtquilts's Avatar
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    I have sewn for years and a friend would come spend time with me in my sewing room. Michele began quilt lessons and would stop by after every lesson and show me what she learned. When she finished her quilt I would make a 'mini' sample of what she just made. About the same time my mother living in another state began quilting so we had that in common. I am very thankful for Michele stopping by!
    Judith

  13. #38
    Super Member Grace MooreLinker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joset View Post
    my sister had quilted for a long time and she made beautiful quilts. and then she started
    her own business hand-guided machine quilting by pam berntson. she did long arming and
    made severl quilts for customers and all the family. i was blessed with 2 of her quilts. so i took
    some classes and here i am. she always answered all my questions. well june 2 we lost
    that special person. i havent quilted since but know i will. but i sure do miss her. some of the
    quilts she made covered every pew in the church for her funeral. some pew had two or three
    on they were gorgeous.
    What a heart warming tribute to your sister, God rest her soul .I learned from my MOM at a very young age,will always treasure those times with her.
    Freedom is costly and quilting keeps us busy...

  14. #39
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    My great grandmother made quilts that we used on our beds as children. So, when I had children, I made them quilts. It's grown from there.
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  15. #40
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    I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and spent a lot of time at my grandmothers farm in Elizabeth Town. As a kid, grandma's house was 100 years old and they only heat was provided by the wood stove in the kitchen, one in the living room, parlor, grandma's bedroom on the 1st floor and my aunt's bedroom on the second floor. My cousin's bedroom where I slept didn't have heat, just relied on what ever heat filtered from my aunt's adjacent bedroom. I slept on a feather bed that once warmed by your body kept your back and sides warm, on top Grandma layered on family made quilts, the only form of blankets she had. I loved the rainbow of colors of all the quilts and felt very secure under all the weight of the numerous layered quilts. To this day I love heavy weighted blankets and quilts on my bed, of course my dear hubby who grew up in Michigan with central heating says he can't move under the weight, but I'm happy as a clam. Now when I quilt I naturally gravitate to the old fashion prints and patterns - that's definately my comfort zone!

  16. #41
    Super Member mcdaniel023's Avatar
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    When I was young, we would go to the state fair. All of my city kid siblings wanted to see the animals. I wanted to go see the quilts. I would look as long as they would let me. As a teenager, I saw the quilts my aunt was making and knew someday I would do this. When my kids were young, I was lucky enough to be able to stay at home with them. I started to watch Elenor Burns and Kaye Woods. I was totally hooked and knew I could do it. (I did take a couple of home ec classes, LOL) I had a machine my hubby(then bf) gave me as a hs graduation gift. I went to the library, got a quilt as you go book and I was off (1993). I was totally self taught and an ok quilter. Then in 08 I found this board and the education really began.
    Happy Quilting.

  17. #42
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    Mother taught me to sew before I started school. I started my first quilt shortly after my first child was born (1954). Two more came along so I didn't finish the top. My SIL took it to her Mother to finish piecing it. She gave it to my Mother who quilted it and gave it back to me about 1958. It is on my bed right now.
    I opened a dress shop in 1971 and begin teaching (yes I would do a block the night before the class) in 1976 when quilting begin to be in style again. I haven't been without a quilt in the making since. Don't hand quilt anymore.

  18. #43
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    I learned to sew in 7th and 8th grades and made some awful looking and fitting clothes that turned me off to sewing.
    Over the years I did some simple sewing, curtains, covers for old blankets, some craft projects, etc. but it was discovering Simple Quilts that turned me on to quilting. At first I really didn't understand much of the show but loved seeing the finished quilts. In June 1999 I took a week long quilting class at an Elderhostel site and learned the basics and I have been quilting up a storm every since. Family and good friends each have one or more quilts that I've made them. I do a lot of charity quilts for my guild and on line groups like Heart Strings. I'm co-chair of my guild's Project Pillowcases and each year we make at least a 1,000 pillowcases for kids in hospitals. I would have to say I'm no longer turned off sewing.

    I want to add along with discovering Simple Quilts I discovered on line quilting message boards like this one that helped me expand my quilting knowledge and skills. I also made so many on line friends several of which have become friends that I get together with several times a year. Quilting has expanded and enriched my life in so many postitive ways. May in Jersey
    Last edited by May in Jersey; 07-18-2012 at 05:02 AM.

  19. #44
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    Originally I think I did it as a tribute to my Mom. We didn't get along very well but I admired her talent for sewing and quilting. When we moved to Galveston I loved the quilt shop and took a class on hand piecing. Then my husband bought me a machine and I have loved it ever since. I think it was my way of doing something that I thought my mother would approve of and be proud of me for doing. Now I love it because of all the nice people I meet. Quilters are such nice people and love to share their knowledge.
    Texas raised, Texas Proud

  20. #45
    Senior Member rrhaigh's Avatar
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    I learned to sew in the 8th grade back in the 60's. We had a semester of cooking and a semester of sewing. No one in my family sewed, so this was new to me and I fell in love with sewing immediately. I started making clothes for myself and later for my children and then my grandchildren. Back in the 70's I sewed dresses for a local custom dress shop. I also made a lot of home dec items. I have been obsessed with fabric since my first encounter in 8th grade. When I started making clothing for my little grandkids I would always keep a 6x6" square of each fabric and gradually sewed them together to make a quilt top (which is still not finished). Now my grandkids are from 12 to 22 and no longer want home made clothing. But, I still had the urge to play with fabric and sew. So, looking at their clothing scrap quilt top gave me the idea to start quilting. I was planning to retire in a couple of years and knew I needed a sewing hobby to keep me happy in retirement, so I signed up for a quilting class at our LQS. I was hooked immediately. That was 4 years ago. I retired 2 years ago and hooked with a past co-worker who has quilted for years. She graciously invited me to join her friendship quilt group that meets at her house 2x a month. They have all been such a blessing to me and have taught me so much. This year my DH tore out a wall between 2 bedrooms and made me a wonderful sewing room - 2 closets for stash and room for my new HQ Avante 18". I spend most of my time up there in my "quilting nest" - love it!
    Robin
    robinsquiltingroom.blogspot.com
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  21. #46
    Super Member roserips's Avatar
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    My grandmothers quilted and I grew up with a quilt my mothers, mother made it went every where with me. When I turned 12 my mother taught me to sew and told me if I wanted new clothes, I would have to make them my self. She had a wonderful stash then to select from and I loved going home after school and sewing up a dress to then wear the next day. My senior year of high school I took an art studio class and had to contract to create so many projects. Short of cash I went to my own scrap heap of cordoroy's and created a twin size quilt which I turned in for one of my projects. My art teacher was so impressed that she wanted to share with the Home Ec teachers, I tried to tell her that they wouldn't be impressed. I was right they wanted to know how wide my seam allowances were and why I turned the grain line differnt directions on my top and then why on earth I would use flannel to back it with. Well I was glad my art teacher appreciated it and I loved it as well. So that was my first quilt and many more have followed.

  22. #47
    Super Member BeckySt's Avatar
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    Well my mom and gramma were both wonderful seamstresses, but they didn't quilt. I dont remember if i sewed as a child or not, my gram always had patience so I might have. I took home ec in Jr. High and high school and I could sew clothes also but not my thing. So about 9 years ago a lady in our small town who had never quilted before wanted to make her son a wedding quilt, she found someone to come and give instructions (cost $10.00 a class) and we also we all made lovers knot blocks for her quilt and got 2 new block patterns each month. Well I only wanted to learn to make a rag quilt for my 6 year old daughter at the time and never quilt again. Well I fell in love with quilting and feel it connects me to my mom who passed away before I learned to quilt. The only wish I have would be to make my mom a quilt.

  23. #48
    Senior Member susansomethings's Avatar
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    I am a avid yard sale person, never know what you will find. Well about 2 years ago I went to one and found a group of old cotton fabric sample swatches probley from the 40's each about 12 x16 and I just thought wouldn't they make a beautiful quilt. Well I purchased them ...but have yet to use them in a quilt, although I have made about 10 quilts now. I had never done any sewing and have not taken any classes. Learned by reading and watching tutorials. Just goes to show, you never know what may inspire you.

  24. #49
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    My grandmother's quilts!

  25. #50
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    When i was in college, back in the 1970's, my roommate Nancy Meijer was making a Grandmother's Flower Garden for her wedding quilt. i loved watching her and was so impressed that she thought she'd get it done by her college graduation and wedding date. She had a workhorse Pfaff sewing machine which i used for making a comforter. Longed for such a machine for years. Ended up sewing for myself and my 7 kids when they were growing up on a Bernina 830 i bought on time in 1981. Still have the machine, which is now being used for quilting by my oldest daughter. I started watching quilting shows in the 80's, subscribing to Quilter's Newsletter periodically as money allowed and collecting quilting books. The first quilt i made was a Shoofly that i started for one of my older daughter's, which didn't get finished for 15 years or so. I actually finally finished it when the daughter was a teenager. Since then i've made three graduation quilts, 2 high school and one college. Now i'm working on eldest daughter's wedding quilt. Thankfully i'm a lot faster these days. Machine piece but love to hand quilt. And i found a vintage Pfaff machine like my old roommates at Goodwill 6 years ago which tuned up is still a workhorse. So i now have a Bernina 830, a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0, a Featherweight gifted to me by my high school BFF last year and a new to me White 1917 treadle.

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