A Quilty Pleasure

How I got started with quilting

Yea – I am finally ready to enter back into the blogging world. I don’t know how much I will blog, or what all the topics will be. I do expect they will be about quilts, quilting and occasionally about my family.

My journey into quilt land has been a long and circuitous one.

My maternal grandmother quilted, basic quilts and tied them. As far as I know, there aren’t any left in the family – I mourn that fact. My mother didn’t have the quilting bug, nor did her sisters. I can remember being intrigued as a small child by the quilting frame in Grandma’s dining room. You know the kind that is mounted on pullies and taken to the ceiling when not in use? It was suppose to be mine after she passed away but a family member made the decision I didn’t need it because 1. I wasn’t a quilter 2. I didn’t have room for it and 3. I lived to far away to get it. It was sold before I knew it was gone. I mourn that fact.

I tried teaching myself to quilt using books and simple tools. I had a basic set you can buy in any fabric box store or big box store. I bought my first fabrics from JoAnn’s without any help from anyone. I knew nothing about color, value, contrast or quality of fabric. To say the least, the quilt was a mess. I eventually donated it for homeless teenagers.

It wasn’t until I moved to the mountains of North Carolina that I decided I was going to finally learn to quilt properly. I enrolled in a Beginning Quilting class at my local community college, AB Tech. In 6 weeks I learned how to pick fabrics, rotary cut, step up my machine for a scant 1/4 inch and follow the pattern. I was on a business trip to Charleston, SC. I went to a quilt shop where the wonderful people helped me pick out my first “real quilt” fabrics. My quilting instructor, Sara Hill, has been quite instrumental in mentoring many local quilters. I can remember thinking how small the pieces of fabric were. I was creating 12 1/2 inch blocks. Sara encouraged all of us to enter our quilts in the local quilt guild show. I did so with trepidation. When I arrived at the show Sara informed me my quilt was in 2nd place. I was thrilled! Once I got the program and looked at the class I discovered there were only 2 quilts entered in the 1st timer category. I still smile about how she was so encouraging and gave me a way to look at my entry in the show.

Fast forward to present day. I create complex paper pieced quilts from patterns designed by Judy Niemeyer. I create landscape quilts from the most gorgeous photos my husband takes. I use quilting as a way to continue to learn new techniques, meet new like minded people and soothe / replenish my soul.

My goal for myself this year is to learn to actually quilt the tops I piece. That story is for another post.

I don’t know where my quilting will take me but I do know it will be a fun journey.

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