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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 01-03-2021, 07:16 AM
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My grandmother did every type of needlework but only made whole cloth tied quilts with 2" wool batts from a local mill in Appleton, WI. My mom had a sewing machine but only used it for mending and before I could learn she used it on a folding table, which collapsed under the weight and vibration and it quit working. A sixth grade friend's mom taught us both to sew one summer and we each made an "A line" skirt. I was hooked. I took every Home Economics class in Jr. High and H.S. and finally got my own machine at age 16, a Christmas present. I still have that work horse Singer that weighs a ton. I went to UConn and majored in Home Economics and though I never worked in the industry, continued to make gifts, home decorating items and clothes for myself and the family. My first applique quilt, probably 45 yrs. ago, was a wall hanging for a friend's first baby. (I was informed recently that that baby now uses it in her children's bedroom LOL) I took two beginner quilting classes, one in Laramie, WY while my DH was in grad school and one in the IL town we finally settled in to raise our family. Both involved cardboard templates and scissors and hand quilting. Never did finish those and got rid of them. I made tied quilts for the kids, like my grandma, and they were well loved. In the early 90s my mom moved into a condo with a large blank wall above the kitchen in her cathedral ceiling living room and I found the perfect pattern for a Welcome quilt. I pieced and appliqued and hand quilted the approx. 45" quilt and it now hangs in our entrance. I made a few more hand quilted items, all small: a tree skirt, wall hanging, stockings when finally I discovered quilts could be machine quilted. That discovery and that of the rotary cutter, made all the difference. When our middle son moved out after college in 2001, we converted his bedroom into a formal sewing room, instead of the dining room table. We bought a country house in 2008, but with the recession my DH continued to work until 2012, 100 miles away, and would come home on weekends. It was during this time that my quilting really took off. I finally bought a Tiara in 2017 and no longer have to depend on my friend to quilt the larger ones for me. I have two closets full of fabric and projects, enough to last me 5 more lifetimes, but continue to widdle down my supply with quilts for family members and charities. My DH has an Etsy woodshop in our full basement, so we each have our retirement hobbies, but relax together in the evenings. It is a wonderful life.
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Old 01-03-2021, 09:41 AM
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I have been around sewing my whole life My mom is a wonderful seamstress and so were both of my grandma's. One grandma started me sewing buttons on a scrap of fabric at age 3 to keep me busy so I wouldn't hit my little brother. I asked for and got fabric and a pattern for Christmas when I was in 5th grade and made a jumper to wear to school over Christmas vacation. I made most of my school clothes and my sister's school clothes thru Jr. High and high school. I made my kids clothes when they were little. I sewed Army patches on uniforms for my former husband's unit. I made my first quilt when I was 21. It was for my daughter who was going from the crib to the big girl bed, She is 47 now, and still has the quilt. I did everything wrong. I used 5/8 inch seam allowances and even used polyester blend fabrics. It was the 70's so polyester was popular. My grandma was so impressed that she gave me a subscription to the Quilter's Newsletter Magazine when it was a brand new magazine. I looked forward to those issues and read them cover to cover. I learned to quilt from magazines and TV and asking questions in quilt shops so for the quilting part, I am self taught. I am also a retired bridal seamstress so I used sewing to make a living too. It is something I love to do and now that I am retired, I get to make what I want to make. I spend a lot of time quilting.
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Old 01-03-2021, 09:52 AM
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I honestly don't know. My grandma sewed a lot. She used to make us stuffed animals, but I never remember her making a quilt. I remember the first quilt that I made I was in high school - it was not good ha ha Then when I was in my early twenties I made my first twin size by hand... then it was years before I did another one

I think I must have just seen quilts around and on TV and just really liked them
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Old 01-03-2021, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by sewingsuz View Post
I wrote my story and for some strange reason I could not post. It said I did not have permission, Strange?
That has happened to me also. I think it's because I take too long to type. I log back in, go to the reply part again, and hit the auto-save feature, and the post is there, if you do it right away.
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Old 01-04-2021, 05:27 PM
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Elenore Burns book, "Quilt in a Day" and Shar (on a rented video from the library). After that it was templets and scissors for many years until rotary cutters and mats came out. Although my very first ones were strip quilts for my sons with boy prints and light weight denim. They were hand tied after birthing them. What fun to learn and start over with rotary cutters.
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Old 01-04-2021, 08:55 PM
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I may be the oldest 'New to quilting' person here. My grandmother was a fantastic hand quilter - she supported herself making quilts after my grandfather died. A $40 pension didn't go very far. My mother sewed clothing, with some difficulty, but no quilts. I sewed my first dresses when I was eleven - two for my grandmother and then a few things for me in high school. After marrying, I made everything the children and I wore - winter coats, suits for my son, wedding dresses, etc.
When I retired at 70 because my back couldn't take concrete floors and small chairs any longer, I was sad because I didn't know I was going to do if I couldn't teach children to read. The next Sunday, a woman at church asked me to make a prayer quilt. Sure, I can do that. Chose a pattern with small pieces and partial seams and started. I had to learn to sew exact seams, but my years of apparel and home dec sewing were helpful.
I know what I can do with the rest of my life - prayer quilts, donation quilts for fund raisers and gifts for family and friends. I've yet to do one for me and it's been 10 years.
Self taught except one 2 hour FMQ class that didn't go well.

Last edited by Irishrose2; 01-04-2021 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 01-05-2021, 05:07 AM
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There was always sewing in my home as i grew up. Mom made all our clothes - 3 little girls. Took Home Ec in school. Still clothes. My best friend from school was a quilter and always tried to get me interested. No go. Then in about 2013 I stumbled upon a tutorial by Jenny Doan MSQC. Something clicked and the rest is history. I love it - but i am still a way better starter than finisher!!!
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Old 01-05-2021, 09:56 AM
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No one taught me, but I had been sewing clothes and household things since I was 12 or so. When I had children, I was naturally drawn to making their bedclothes and quilts. I started with panels and quilted them, and worked up from there.
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Old 01-05-2021, 01:29 PM
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I had sewn clothes as a young mother but never thought about quilts. When I retired I took a class in stained glass and loved it, still no idea about quilts. We sold our home in CA and moved to a wonderful area in Idaho, still glass and no quilts!
Started meeting neighbors and friends in our new home and got involved in the local culture. I was invited to attend a guild meeting but said I know nothing about quilting. that night changed my life. My new friend said she would teach me. Little did I know at the time that she was one of our worst quilters! Her opinion was "qood enough for who it's for". Lucky me there were plenty willing teachers and new friends. Needless to say my glass went by the side, still have it for maybe someday. My life changed with that first guild meeting over 25 years ago.
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Old 01-05-2021, 03:00 PM
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It's interesting to read everyone's experiences and creative bug bite stories!
My grandmother was the sewist in the family, she made matchy outfits for us as kids. She was an amazing tailor, really. No job too big. She never quilted, but she did teach us how to thread the machine, and put a stitch into fabric...and how to crochet.
I never took sewing in Home Ec, I took cooking, and then in a moment of rebellion and "I won't be pinned down as a girly girl!" I took shop. Now, I wish I had learned how to sew clothes! Many years after H.S. I took to the concept of quilting after seeing a show, and I bought myself the machine I could afford, but never took a class. The machine was basically trash, and I didn't make much sewing progress, oddly! Finally bought myself a decent machine in the late 90's and took a beginner's class. I've been off and on with sewing ever since. I can count completed quilts with a few fingers to spare, but I have made a number of pillow tops, placemats, etc. over the years...the creative bug is in me, for sure. I absolutely love putting fabric under the machine!
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