I was tiny when I left my grandmother's house, about 3 years old. Didn't ever
see her again, until I was an adult. But something must have stuck in my
infant mind. According to family lore, when she sat down, she had a box of
scraps and she constantly hand-pieced quilts. When I went to see her as an
adult - sure enough, she was sitting in her recliner, piecing a bow-tie quilt
I was always fascinated by the needle arts. I took a class in high school,
back in 1972 or so called Home Arts. I had to take it because the cooking
class I really wanted was full, and it was the only one left open.
The teacher taught us how to crochet, crewel embroidery, cross-stitch,
hardanger, Swedish weaving (not what it sounds like, it is a form of woven
cross-stitch), latch-hook and twisted braid ties. She took us to her house,
where she showed us her wall to wall carpet, made entirely by herself and her
family...yeah. Dedicated woman!
I loved the needle arts. I kept thinking, I want to make all my own things,
too (call it a hippie era complex G).
I started collecting and trading crafts. Someone taught me to broomstick
crochet. I taught them another stitch they didn't know. And so on.
When I got married in 1978, I desperately wanted to make a quilt. Finally, DH
signed me up for a class in 1979. We had to drive 35 miles to get to it, and
there were like 6 classes. I didn't drive then, either, so DH had to drive me.
I started making a log cabin quilt. That quilt is still not finished. I even
still have the fabric.
Then I got busy with babies. No time to quilt. In 1984, we moved to Monterey
CA. Some lady down the block offered a quilt class. She had a pattern for a
small wall hanging, in which one learned all the techniques. Applique,
piecing, making your own binding, making your own templates, quilting the
sandwich, and doing the corner bindings right, either squared or
triangulated...and doing it ALL by hand. I finished that wall-hanging. The
colors are mediocre, because I wasn't brave back then. But it hangs on my wall
as my first truly finished quilt.
I also took jointed teddy-bear making classes and guitar classes G.
Then we moved again and life got busy. And then we moved to PA, the heart of
quilt country. I joined a guild in 1991. I stayed in it a year and didn't
learn a thing, because basically, it was all business. No sitting around a
frame quilting, although they did do some workshops you could pay to attend.
And then I saw Solar Eclipse II (Caryl Bryer Fallert). Man, I wanted to make
quilts like THAT. It was the FIRST machine quilted quilt to win the Houston
Quilt Show Best Of Show.
I paid to learn machine quilting from Harriet Hargrave. I've never looked
back. I also paid to learn a kalaidascope technique involving a triangle
ruler. That quilt is a UFO. And I paid to learn rotary cutter techniques.
That quilt is also unfinished, but it was due to being lost for over 5 years.
I guess I should finish it, now I found it...its also my one of my last
While in the quilt guild, I finished only 3 quilts - one of which went to
charity auction and raised the most money of all of them. It was a simple
embroidered cat quilt, lap-size. The man who bought it paid $75 for it.
I dropped out of the guild after a year, due to family crisis after family
crisis. By the time I was ready to quilt again - I was also on the Internet.
I didn't want to join a guild, but I wanted to talk quilts.
I did a search and here you were. I posted a little about myself and the rest
is history. I've since made over 100 quilts.
I was the person who challenged myself to finish a quilt a week for a New
Year's resolution, and managed to make 30 before another family crisis took all
As for the Needle Arts - I don't want to do ANY of them anymore. Quilting is
what I love best.
Oh, and I only own 3 of my own quilts. Family and friends have the rest...
Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once