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Thread: Why do you quilt?

  1. #1
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    There's probably many different reasons that folks here quilt, and more than likely it's a combination of several reasons actually. I think the main reason I've gotten into it is because it's a creative outlet and one in which I don't feel so frustrated with the end result because of my own perceived inadequacy with it.

    I used to paint many years ago (seems like another lifetime now), and won awards at it when entered in juried shows, but I never really felt comfortable with it. It was WORK to get it to where I felt it was tolerable to look at, and I destroyed a lot of canvases in frustration in the process. And I know where that "not good enough" thinking was seeded at, but that's another long story.

    So, why do you quilt?

  2. #2
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    I love puzzles, and putting together all the little quilt pieces is like completing a puzzle. The bonus is that in the end you have something useful. I really enjoy the process of cutting up all the bits, then watching how the pattern emerges as they go back together.

    I started quilting to make baby quilts for grandbabies.

  3. #3
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I used to knit many years ago but my arms could not handle the repetitive motion. Then I dabbled in assorted arts and crafts. When we bought our house in '89 I decided that it needed a quilt .....and THAT, as they say WAS THAT.

    I love the smell and feel of the fabric. I love the inspiration of the colors. I love the cutting apart and reassembling of the pattern and I adore watching the top come to life. My imagination is very visual and I usually see the project in my mind's eye long before it is done.

    Advancing from the beginning Rail Fence to a Jacob's Ladder or a more advanced pattern is a personal challenge. Finishing a quilt and seeing the joy on the recipient's face is priceless.

    I cannot imagine living without quilting. It keeps me sane. (sort of) LOL!

  4. #4
    Super Member henryparrish76's Avatar
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    I quilt to carry on the tradition. My grandmother taught me, who was taught by her mom, who was taught by her mom who was taught by her mom.

  5. #5
    GMA
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    Junior Member GMA's Avatar
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    My mother quilted later in her life and I loved going with her to pick out fabric - it took all day on my day off-. she made several quilts before she passed and we have those to hold on to. I never took any home ec classes but I have always wanted to quilt - so - when I retired, I taught myself and took some classes and now, don't feel complete unless I sew almost everyday. Quilting is very calming.

  6. #6
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I started quilting after watching many shows on it and started thinking that "I can do that!" I had given up on crafts and handwork a number of years ago due to fibro and found that I CAN be creative in quilting!! Once I started I fell in love with the whole process 8) 8) 8)

  7. #7
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    It helps me be creative and use my brain so it doesn't turn to mush :lol: . Plus it is a huge stress reliever for me, I call it my "therapy" :lol:

    And one more reason, I love to give gifts!

  8. #8
    Super Member Baren*eh*ked_canadian's Avatar
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    I have been sewing for a long time ( well, long time for me, I'm only 27) I used to make my clothes because everything was always too big, even as a child/teen, now I mostly do alterations. I also paint, I mostly work with watercolour and I do portraits, I took fine arts in college and have my DEC, and now my real job is painting cars... I guess you could say that I'm creative and pretty artistic.

    I started quilting last year. Actually, my best friend, who was very very sick, was getting ready for a long hospital stay, and I was looking for activities and things for us to do together, and that she could do alone while I wasn't there, and I came across quilting. My plan was to make a friendship quilt, each of us was to make 6 different blocks, two of each, so we would both have a quilt made by the two of us. I started practicing, looking up patterns and ideas, and well, it all just took off. We never did get that quilt made, but I went over often and taught her lots of watercolour techniques, and we're going to make tote bags this summer, to use as beach bags.
    She also wants to try quilting, she's always so excited to see what project happen to be working on, I think I may eventually have another quilter, lol!
    My mother taught me how to sew, and now I'm teaching her about quilting, I think that's fair :P

  9. #9
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    A few years ago, after the death of my beloved grandmother, while cleaning out her home, I found 6 bow-tie squares in her linen closet. they were hand stitched and made from feed sacks. Being only a grand daughter I wasn't in line to get any of her quilts, but I did get these blocks. I brought them home and looked at them for awhile. then, I decided to buy material and turn them into a small quilt. And that's how it began for me. Touching those hand sewn blocks, and loving them, a quilter was born in my heart. I still have those squares, made into a small top.I have yet to quilt it. always thinking I will add something to it,someday.Once I made that first cut of the fabric, there was no going back. I am just an old fashioned quilter. Loving the old patterns, and hand quilting. There is no rhyme or reason to what we do. But there is a lot of joy and satisfaction in the finished product. I have never made a quit without mistakes, always striving for that perfect point or square! :D :D

  10. #10
    Super Member tuesy's Avatar
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    I have always loved quilts, always loved the feel, the smell and the history of them. Never once did I think I could make one though. They just seemed to far out of my reach of my capabilities.
    Then one day I decided to try and it didn't come out to badly...so I made another one... and so on.... I find it's such a great stress reliever for me too... Also it keeps me always thinking of what I need to do next or how I want to do it which keeps my brain on the active side.

  11. #11
    GMA
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    Junior Member GMA's Avatar
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    the amish believe that it is bad to think they can make a perfect quilt because that is too god-like. unless u are a perfect person- no perfect quilts. relax and enjoy that's what I do some points make it some don't. most of the time, the receiver of the quilt doesn't have a clue.

  12. #12
    Super Member Susy's Avatar
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    Great subject! I think it is the first time in my life I have felt like I could be creative & maybe someday a bit artistic. I started out sewing clothes after I quit working(hated not working but had health problems) and never got the hang of making things fit. I promised DH that I would never get into quilting (thought it was expensive & stupid to buy fabric & cut it up again) but here I am, new to it but feeling like I have my first "addiction."

  13. #13

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    My grandma and mom quilted together, don't know exactly when they started. They were always buying material and starting new projects, taking classes and finishing small projects and swaps. I used to go to the store with them when they bought things really not knowing a thing about what they were saying. Eventually I started picking out fabric colors for them or matching up colors. I always thought it was so beautifil the work they did(all by hand). Well my grandma quilted even when she was sick in the hospital. Then I started asking questions about quilting and wanted to learn. Once my Grandma passed I really bugged my mom to show me how. I guess I never really started before then because it was a thing for my grandma and mom to do and I was happy enough to just be around. So I started to quilt, by hand only, I have yet to finish but like them I am a great starter!! :lol: I really enjoy seeing what I can do.

  14. #14
    Lisa T's Avatar
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    Oh, cool topic! I like hearing what everyone has to say.

    For me, it's in my blood. My whole entire family quilts- my great-grandma taught my mom and my aunt, and my grandma (who was her DIL) taught me. My sister and my cousins all quilt on some level so I think we just absorbed it while we were playing under the quilt frame while the grownups were tying off quilts.

    Another reason is that I just adore fabric- the feel of it, the colors, how it looks in stacks. (What do you suppose it tastes like...?) I guess if I just bought it with no reason my husband would have me committed so I say it's for my quilts. LOL!

    I think that quilting is the perfect marriage of creativity and usefulness.

  15. #15
    Senior Member quiltswithdogs's Avatar
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    I learned sewing basics in high school, stopped during college. Then I crocheted. Soon after getting married, DH surprised me with my first machine and I went to town on clothes. He sweetly wore even matching shirts or his shirt to my skirt...I know, I know... but it was a "thing" in the early 70s. When our daughters were little, I made them lots of cute clothes and crotched slippers. My sewing soon was just mending with a rare skirt, pajamas, or holiday or stage-performance costume. The closest thing I did to quilting was a pillow where I stitched over print of double-wedding ring... the cheating turned out pretty real looking and I never forgot it. So when in honor of my 50th birthday, I decided I needed a hobby and for it to be something nobody else I knew did, especially in my whole extended family, I remembered that pillow and how even pretending to quilt made me happy. I took a beginner class and told my sister the wallhanging would be a gift for our mom since she'd love it and I didn't know if I would be good enough at it to continue so it might be my one and only quilt. Well, I enjoyed it so much and it looked so great and everyone was so thrilled that I could do this, I was hooked! I really love the puzzle-piecing aspect. After my current projects with deadlines (baby quilt, daughter birthday) I am going to play around with kaleidoscope quilting. I have so many techniques and patterns to try, I rarely do the same one more than once unless it's just for a pillow. I love it, find it so mesmerizing that time can fly by with no tv, no music... only discussing quilting at hand things over with my dog and bird.

  16. #16
    Super Member jbsstrawberry's Avatar
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    Because I love to sew, and quilting was a new challenge. I researched quilting to death before I actually attempted it. Then I found a BOM here on the board that I loved so much I had to give it a try. I piddled and piddled making little experiments here and there after that first block.
    Then my nephew was diagnosed with cancer, I decided to make a quilt for his benefit (along with several wonderful ladies here who kindly and gererously donated quilts to the cause). When I showed the top to my dad, who was on home hospice care for cancer of his own...he looked at me and said..."You're so smart, and talented. You can do just about anything ya know. Lisa this is really 'perty'" (Dad was from KY hence the perty LOL). It was the only time I can remember him complimenting anything I did. Now I love quilting even more, because Mom shared with me a few months ago, that even though he didn't tell me personally, he bragged about "Lisa's talents" to anyone that would listen to him. He really was proud of me, so now I do it to honor that pride he felt all along, but couldn't tell me about directly.

  17. #17
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    I quilt because it's an outlet for me to get away from the world.
    I can go "inside" myself and not worry about what is going on outside.
    There's been many nights when I've disappeared into my room, only to emerge with the sunrise. Then I think....where did the time go?
    I love that feeling! I don't like the tired feeling that envelopes me later.
    But, I love taking the fabric apart and turning the pieces into something completely different from what I started on.
    I used to knit. Not very well, I may add, but I tried. I cannot crochet to save my life. I don't like scrapbooking...too boring if you ask me, but give me some fabric to cut up and put back together? I'm in HEAVEN!!!

  18. #18
    Super Member Baren*eh*ked_canadian's Avatar
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    Awesome topic! I love reading about how everyone started quilting :)

  19. #19
    Senior Member quiltswithdogs's Avatar
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    I forgot to tell you about a big inspiration to choosing quilting as the perfect hobby for me!

    It wasn't from only that pretend-quilting pillow from 25yrs ago that I mentioned, but probably even more, from a particular movie.

    Did you ever see that movie called Stepmom? It's basically about Julia Roberts as the stepmom and Susan Sarandon as the children's mother. Well, Susan gets terminal cancer and decides to make something very special for each of her children before she dies. So for the rest of the film we see her taking photos and then using them on 2 quilts. She makes a bed quilt for her daughter and a magician's cape for her little boy. It's heartwrenching but got me so excited to do photo quilts!

    Although I haven't done a big, primarily photo, quilt, what I have done is use the photo technique in a smaller way on gifts and they've made the receivers so happy. I often include a photo on my label sewn on back and on smaller projects like pillows and quillows. For example, I made a fancy-with-golds quilted pillow with a copy of their wedding photo in the center of the pattern (I forget which one) for my BIL/SIL's 50th Wedding Anniversary. They love it. Thanks, Susan Sarandon. Eventually I would've found and tried using photos, but watching the projects grow over 2hours of this movie inspired me to start out in my first year having this rewarding technique.

    See that square in my avatar quilt? It's a photo of a dish broken into 4 pieces and a "whole" dish surrounded by the Broken Dishes pattern. I wanted to symbolize how a "broken" victim of sexual assault or domestic violence can become whole again. The photo helps me do that.

  20. #20
    mgshaw's Avatar
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    I have sewed forever, took 4 years of home ec., 2 years of fashion design and 1 year of occupational sewing in high school. Mostly what i did was garment sewing but some crafty type stuff too. I have always been big into "old " stuff, heirlooms and that sort. I love anything historical. No one in my family that I knew quilted. My Grandma had a Double Wedding ring quilt that my Great Grandmother made and originally one of my Uncle's was to get the quilt when Grandma died. So I decided to try to replicate it and that is what got me started. I just found out recently that my Mom ended up with Great Grandma's quilt, so I will end up with it eventually!!! :D

  21. #21
    Senior Member Roben's Avatar
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    Awesome topic, Eddie!

    I have always admired (and coveted :D ) quilts, but my Mom was the seamstress in the family. Boy could she make anything! I felt I couldn't even come close to measuring up to that, so I went a different way - needlework. The love of a needle and thread in my hand had to come naturally :wink: I did that for 20 years, going from counted cross stitch to designing Hardanger and Counted Thread pieces. Then MS took the focus from one of my eyes, and one day I just couldn't do it anymore. Rather than look at what I lost, I focused (pun intended :lol: ) on what I could do - and being older (maybe not wiser :wink: ) I turned to quilts. I can design again, I can play with thread again! Plus, the kids are grown and gone, so I have spending money again!!!

  22. #22
    Senior Member motomom's Avatar
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    Wow, what a great topic! I have so enjoyed sitting here reading about how everyone got started quilting.

    My mom and grandmother and aunts all made quilts.

    The first thread in this post-
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/23168.page
    is the story of WHY I got started making quilts.

    I love fabrics and quilts. I love the process, well, everything except the basting, and now I have spray!

    There is nothing so peaceful, so relaxing, so calming than to sit down and quilt by hand. Someday I would like to learn to machine quilt, but for now, hand quilting is my therapy. To feel the beautiful fabric under my hand and very slowly, never a hurry, just take my time and put in all those little stitches is just my joy.

    At first I thought it was just me and that I was really weird or something, but then my Aunt told me that they used to have to MAKE my grandmother stop quilting so she could eat. Then my daughter was visiting me and I realized that after I had gone to bed she stayed up ALL NIGHT quilting. She inherited the quilting gene!!!

    I wonder if we all have it?


  23. #23
    Senior Member hulahoop1's Avatar
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    I've sewn for over 40 years (Geez! THAT made me feel old!) As a teen, I made my own clothes, learned to knit, crochet, cross stitch and when I moved to Hawaii, learned to do Hawaiian applique' quilting. My hands have to be busy, quilting has become my therapy.

  24. #24
    Senior Member CindyBee's Avatar
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    Like many of you here, I love to sew and enjoy the creative process of quilting. I was looking for a new challenge and found it in quilting. I love every aspect of quilting from choosing a design and fabric to that last stitch on the binding. It is my mission to gift all my family members with a special quilt. I also enjoy making charity quilts for my quild. When I am at my machine, the hours just fly by! I also love the camaradarie of my quilting friends. I have never met a quilter I didn't like! Quilting has truly enriched my life.

  25. #25
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    Pleasure and satisfaction that I can make things for my family. Plus is very relaxing

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