Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How and Why I Started Quilting

I learned to quilt from my Irish grandmother when I was 13 years old. We used a cardboard template, probably a four-inch square to cut the fabric with fabric shears made for right handers (I'm left handed). I designed that first quilt on paper before we even bought the fabric. The quilt was made with red, yellow and blue calicoes and solid fabrics. Simple four patches in red, yellow and blue. Why these colors? Because these are the colors a baby sees first and this was a baby quilt. The patches were set diagonally, not on point, but in a diagonal line. I don't remember using batting. I do remember tying the quilt. I had hoped to find the quilt when we moved my parents out of their house last summer but didn't have any luck.

I didn't make another quilt until 2004. I was inspired by a quilt on my DH's aunt's bed. It is a postage stamp quilt made from the aprons her mother (DH's grandmother) wore to work at the brush factory in Springfield, MA. At that time I had been drawing/art lessons for two years trying to find my creative self. I wasn't finding my creativity with paint, pencils and paper. Yet, I was enthralled with that quilt. I couldn't stop thinking about it or about the quilt I made with my grandmother.

One afternoon I searched the internet for quilting classes hoping I could find close to home. Instead I found Quilt University. I signed up for the starter class and the rest is history. I have two first quilts. I made my first mystery quilt on New Year's Eve 2004. I completed the top by the end of January. It didn't get quilted and bound until August. I made it for DH using Red Sox and Patriots fabric. It was the first top I finished.



My other "first" quilt was also a mystery quilt. I consider it my other "first" quilt because I made it all in three weeks. I tied it and machine sewed the binding down. I made it between the time I made DH's quilt top and had it quilted. I made it for a co-worker who had trouble getting pregnant and was finally blessed with this adorable little girl. The snowball fabric is Winnie-The-Pooh. That quilt is now two years old and was recently promoted from the crib to the big girl bed.



I adore playing with fabric. I don't know why I waited so long to start quilting again. But, then again, if I hadn't waited I would have a much larger stash and that's OK with me.

7 comments:

deputyswife said...

That was a great story!

Kathy Wagner said...

What an interesting path to your creative inner quilter!
Great quilts!

Doodlebug Gail said...

What a lovely story and memories you have to tell. That's a really cute Winnie the Pooh quilt and omg what a sweet little thing laying on it.

Cynthia said...

thanks for sharing the story. Love the quilts.

Judy said...

Glad you are back in the studio and returning to business as usual! Aren't Grandmas wonderful teachers?

Libby said...

I would have to say you have 3 first quilts - don't forget the one you made with Grandma *s* You must have always known inside that you were a quilting just waiting for the right time to start.

Morah said...

I'm dying to take a class from Quilt University. I'd love to hear more about your experience.