Monday, March 20, 2017

25th Anniversary

How long have you been quilting?  I date my official start to the early spring of 1992 and that means it has been 25 years!

I dabbled in quilting prior to 1992.  I was in high school during the USA Bicentennial celebration, when traditional American crafts experienced a resurgence.  I was an occasional garment maker so I used some leftover cotton (probably cotton poly blend) fabric to make a tote bag.  I cut the squares and sewed them with a 5/8" seam because I did not know any better.  That tote bag held up for a long time though.

Then in the early 1980's, I took an evening quilting class offered by the continuing ed department of my local public school district.  We used cardboard templates, cut the fabric with scissors, and sewed by hand.  I enjoyed it but those were my hard-charging early career years of little leisure time.  I made a pillow in the class, followed by a small wall hanging.  Then I started on a set of place mats.  A year later, I had one place mat finished and a second one started.  Food was never coming in the vicinity of those place mats after all that work!  I put quilting aside.

An early project, my first Christmas quilt

But the local quilt shop still had my address and I'd occasionally take a look at the newsletter they sent me.  In early '92, I noticed they were offering a "Log Cabin Quilt In A Day" class.  I was extremely skeptical about making a quilt in a day but dropped into the store to find out more.  The staff introduced me to rotary cutting and machine sewing.  I  had the machine, bought the other equipment, and took the class.  I did not quite finish the quilt in a day but took it home and kept working on it.  Just as I was finishing up the top, my sister announced her pregnancy, and that first quilt went to my nephew, Nicholas.

My sewing room, where it all happens.

Miss Main Street came along two years later and she needed some quilts.  By then, I  was hooked. And when we moved into our present house in 1997, I could have  a dedicated space.  No more picking up the supplies to make room for dinner on the dining room table; I had a room where I could leave everything ready for when I had a few minutes to sew.  I've had a least one project in process ever since.

The collection grows.

Now, my collection of quilts is outgrowing my storage space.  How did you get hooked?

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  1. Interesting to read, as it parallels my own path fairly closely, although garment sewing was a 'one and done' event for me. My real hook was the Irish Chain in a Day. Again, not quite a day, but it convinced me I could quilt and have a life, too. Congratulations on sew many years and beautiful projects under your belt.

  2. I remember as a young girl, my sister had a hunter star quilt made from yellow and pink flannel and I remember wanting that quilt for myself. The feel, the pattern, the colours, the softness. Then 25 years and 3 boys later, I stopped at my local quilt store and took a look. My mom didn't sew so she didn't ever teach me, nor did I have a sewing machine, but it was close to Mother's Day and I bought a sewing machine over the phone, even unseen! My mother in law had an Alex Anderson beginner quilting book and I made 2 baby quilts from that and then an Atkinson Yellow Brick Road quilt (haven't we all made that quilt?!?). That was in 2002, so I guess this May will mark my 15th anniversary. I bought scrapbooking supplies, and card making supplies and I did a lot of cross stitch, but with 4 kids and a farm, my time is limited. I chose quilting as my hobby and gave all the rest away to neighbours who would put my investments to better use.
    Thanks for sharing your hobby with us. You make wonderful quilts, Cathy!

  3. I'm an accidental quilter, I knew how to sew but once my daughter no longer needed Halloween costumes I no longer knew what to sew. Then I wandered into a quilt shop to ask about getting a quilt repaired and was talked into taking a few basic courses. First pressing and cutting, then a class where we made 9 patches and split rail blocks. I was hooked. That was around 12 years ago, and I'm coming up on my 200th quilt. I doubt I make it to my 25th anniversary, Congratulations.

  4. Nice to read about your quilting start and have to say that most us probably are similar in either sewing cloths or just a class and getting hooked. Thanks for sharing and look where you are today Cathy!

  5. It's interesting to read everyone quilting beginnings. I had seen garments too and then decided to make a quilt in 1973 just after I got married so we could have a "bedspread". Truly been hooked ever since.

  6. Happy Anniversary! I did my first quilt, a king sized log cabin almost three years ago. I'm learning from y'all every day! Thank you! -Jean

  7. I starting quilting in early 1996. A group of coworkers had signed up for a sampler quilt class and invited me to join them. I didn't know a rotary cutter from a pizza cutter at that point. I learned quickly! I finished the first of 16 blocks the first week and then found out I needed to complete 3 blocks per week after that! I felt totally overwhelmed but finished the sampler. I've come a long way since then and am now retired with a fully stocked quilting studio. I do miss being part of a quilting group but I am a member of several online quilting groups. I am still learning and have now started to do my own machine quilting. My goal is to minimize the number of UFOs I have stored away, use my stash whenever possible and make more charity quilts.


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