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How did you catch the quilting bug? Who taught you to quilt?

How did you catch the quilting bug? Who taught you to quilt?

Old 01-02-2021, 03:54 PM
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I grew up with my mom sewing, most of my special occasion dresses, and lots of other things, even winter coats. She eventually had her own leather clothing business for many years.
I have been sewing for over 25 years. I bought a sewing machine at our local thrift shop for $3. I started out making clothes for my daughter, dresses mostly, all without patterns. Then I went through a hippy phase on my life and vended at several Phish shows and other shows, selling patchwork clothing. Pants and long wrap around skirts and dresses, all patchwork style. When I was no longer going to those shows I had the sewing bug, so I turned to quilts, patchwork to start, then over the years I built my skills and broadened my horizons. I've never looked back.

Last edited by Quiltah Mama; 01-02-2021 at 03:56 PM. Reason: Fix wording
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Old 01-02-2021, 04:08 PM
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Great thread!
I learned to appreciate quilts from my Mom. She took classes in the 1960s from Jean Ray Laury, who also lived in our hometown. Mom made appliqué pieces and stichery after those classes. She finally made a quilt in the early 1980s; it was log cabin quilt using Eleanor Burns Quilt in Day book. My Mom had no feeling for geometry and struggled with piecing that Log Cabin ( made with strips of torn fabric!). She hand quilted it and gifted it to my cousin as a wedding gift, but never got a thank you.

Around the same time, I took a class at a local quilt shop that called for making cardboard templates and tracing them onto fabric using a ball point pen. Never finished that project (but still have those instructions somewhere).

My next project was based on a postcard of one of Laury’s quilts. I started making it with fabric from sheets. Another project that I never finished (but still have stuffed in a closet).

I finally finished a quilt from a panel in the 1990s. It was a baby quilt and the quilting was fairly bad (who knew that there were batting’s made of something other than thick polyester or such a thing as a walking foot?). But I got better with each project by reading books, taking classes and joining a guild. When my grandmother retired, I gave her the advice and support she needed to finish and hand quilt a grandmother’s flower garden quilt she started in the early 1930’s before she married. My Mom inherited that quilt but I inherited the scraps, including pieces of her sister’s pajamas that she used in the top.
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Old 01-02-2021, 06:14 PM
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About 54 or 55 years ago my Mom taught me a bit about quilting. Mainly I learned by magazines and later quilt books. After rotary cutters,rulersand mats became popular I really started doing lots and lots of quilts.
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Old 01-02-2021, 08:00 PM
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I wrote my story and for some strange reason I could not post. It said I did not have permission, Strange?
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Old 01-02-2021, 08:01 PM
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My friend wanted to make a quilt and talked me into going with her to the first class. She had a machine but did not know how to use it. I was to be her guide in this process. Well long story short, I got hooked, she finished her quilt and I have been quilting since 1990.
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Old 01-02-2021, 09:33 PM
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I blame cable TV. We had just gotten cable and one of my favorite channels was HGTV. Alex Anderson was so inspirational and uplifting on her show Simply Quilts. I never intended to become a quilter, but I found a pattern I wanted to make for my husband, so I took the plunge. That was over 22 years ago. Since then, I have invested our retirement in quilt-related supplies. I even bought an Alex Anderson edition Bernina 153QE. I figured if she endorsed it, it must be good.

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Old 01-03-2021, 02:38 AM
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As a kid, I loved the "Little House" books and any others featuring pioneer girls who did needlework, especially quilting. I started sewing my own clothes as a teenager and into adulthood. After I finished grad school and started working, I decided to take a class for fun and chose quilting. The multi-week class covered a lot, and I also watched Georgia Bonesteel on PBS. In those days, we made cardboard templates, traced the shapes and cut the pieces with scissors. We handquilted. It took a long time to finish a bed-sized quilt - 14 years to finish my first quilt due to having a baby, working, getting divorced, home improvement. I made one quilt a year if I was lucky. By the 1980-90s, the rotary cutter had been invented, and it gradually became OK to machine quilt. Thank goodness!
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Old 01-03-2021, 04:20 AM
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I have sewn since I was 10 but never quilted. Probably 35 years ago Eleanor Burns came to my local JoAnn's store and taught a quilt in a day class. It didn't take one day but neither did it take forever. Made a quilt and I thought it was beautiful but it wasn't quilted rather tied. I didn't know there was another step to it. She didn't teach that. I was proud of it, had it on my bed. Got a puppy which I had let sleep with me and she chewed a 24" hole in the middle of the quilt. It looked like somehow it had snowed in my bedroom, all that awful polyester batting flying around. I wasn't mad, I loved that dog and still miss her to this day. But that was it for quilting for 30 more years. Had no interest, didn't find traditional quilts all that moving or beautiful to me. (I've since learned to appreciate them and love them and make them). Not this past year, obviously, but other years my town hosts a flea-tique for unused art supplies that folks sell and it is in the yard of an art gallery. One year the display at the gallery was quilting. I was blown away by the beauty of these modern quilts. One quilt in particular just had me captivated. It was a picture of a young girl printed 4 times in 4 different colors and each panel was sewn together. I don't remember if there was a border or sashing. I must have stood at that quilt for an hour and kept asking my friend, how did they get all those stitches in the middle of that quilt? Didn't know there was something called a longarm. I just figured if this person did it, I could do it too. I figured it all out - thank goodness we have the internet. I jumped right in, bought cotton fabric, an Accuquilt even got the longarm. I'm on my second - I bought both used. Sewing was always my joy and often my way of making a living but now I quilt for joy. I have been paid to make 5 quilts but I try so hard to get out of doing these. I just don't want to. I work at a hospital now for my money, I just want to sew/quilt for pleasure and I like to give my quilts away.
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Old 01-03-2021, 05:00 AM
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I have sewn since I was 6 or 7. Made all my clothes for school. Worked as an industrial seamstress. My grandmother always had a quilt frame in her front room.I took on interest. Became a nurse and made all my uniforms. One day One of nurse friends suggested we make some quilts for oncology patients. Had a work day send made 11 log cabin quilts. The rotary cutter. Bingo. I was hooked. 6 months later bought a longarm and started a business. That was 20 years ago and still going strong. I call it my therapy.
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Old 01-03-2021, 06:19 AM
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My oldest sister was a quilter and sent me a quilt top for Christmas one year. I would watch her piece things together but couldn't figure it out. (she was 21 years older than me). So for years I wanted to learn. It wasn't until I was much older when I saw Elenore Burns on a PBS program teaching how to make an Ohio Star that I knew I could do this using a rotary cutter. So I recorded this program and many others and began to teach myself to quilt. I have yet to take any classes on quilting but that does leave me open for the future. There is always something more to learn and do. I have been quilting now for more than 30 years and there is always something new to try. I am happy to be able to enjoy this craft and my stash will out live me x3! So all this adds to the quilting bug.
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