May 2, 2006

beginnings, part 2--scroll down

I had always been around quilts and loved them. I helped Mom tie some quilts with yarn on borrowed quilt frames as a youngster. I have already shown you Mom's first quilt that I used at home and now own.

At some point in the mid 80's or so Mom started quilting. I remember when she bought her first rotary cutting, ruler and mat and being enthralled by how that all worked. By 88 she was teaching a beginning quilt class in an adult ed program with our friend Linda Hutchins in the town she lived in . I took that and the 2nd session that followed. I learned the basics of strip piecing but also how to make templates and the principles of drafting which helps me use EQ now. I guess you could say that Eleanor Burns and Georgia Bonesteel were our early influences. Posted by Picasa

Mom sent me this snap shot of me in the learning phases there in the church basement. (I had decorated that lovely sweatshirt I am wearing, BTW) I loved to knit, cross stitch, crewel embroidery, needlepoint, chicken scratching and had done macrame and that thing with the thread and nails too but I was hooked on this quilting stuff! At some point Mom joined the area quilt guild in Bloomington-Normal and then I did as well.

I could not see making blocks without a specific purpose in mind and decided to make a quilt for my long time love, DJ. I wanted a blue quilt and he wanted brown so it is brown with some blues. It was quilt as you go but duh, I forgot that blocks were to share their sashing! It got huge but what bachelor type was going to use a dust ruffle on his bed?? This is a horrid picture of it as it is obviously not hanging straight. Those blocks are all square and look distorted here. There is another row across the top that is not shown and the bottom border is folded up. (all hand quilted)

Of course, I lost interest in it. My mom sewed the quilt as you go parts together just to expedite matters. I shorted her fabric on the back--it was a mess! She eventually finished quilting the borders on it for me. 7 years later it was hanging in the quilt show, LOL. It is the one he uses in the winter.

I love to hand quilt though. I participated in a making blocks for the artisan's guild raffle quilts such as the one you see me holding up here. I made blocks for the guild's raffle quilts--I showed you the mistake block I made on an Amish flavored one on my "lost" blog. Tried this and that quilt wise and honed my craft. At some point the grandkids started arriving and I did a few quilts there but not many. Who could keep up if you were a hand quilter? And I wanted to try it all---still do, as a matter of fact!

DJ and I moved to Alabama in 97 and it took me two years to get hooked up with any quilters down here. I worked on a dolls and their little quilts, other craft projects and home decorating and gave up on the idea of garmet sewing at some point. Quilting really took over in late 99 when I began making quilts for WTIL and I've never stopped.

Somewhere in 2000 or 2001 I started machine quilting. Joy could not keep up quilting everybody's tops and I needed to pull my own weight. Still not fond of free motion. I have taught some quilting classes at Hancock's in the past and done some quilting for others but my main focus has been quilts for kids. It's my mission.

I found some other pictures that I will share in future posts--those dolls I made for the nieces, an Amish wall hanging that I mentioned in a comment on someones blog recently, etc. If I am going to get any work done today and an errand run, I'll post this and get busy!


  1. Morning Linda, getting to read your quilt beginnings is as good as a wrapped present to open!!! I love hearing how others got started and what they love and don't love!!

    You are so fortunate to have had your mom to teach you, and she has done a really great job! I'm very, very impressed. Both your dedication and all that you get accomplished.
    The fact that you will "re-porpose" a pieced top, puts you over the moon in my opinion. If a person hasn't done it, un-done and then re-done a quilt or top, they haven't got a clue how much work and love is involved. And incredible hats off to you girl!!!

    I'll be excited to see more pictures..*VBS*

  2. WOO-HOO!! Someome with conncections to my home town!! I graduated from Normal Community High School. I am also transplanted elswehere....small world, huh?

  3. Loved reading your story Linda!

  4. I enjoyed your quilting story - fun getting a glimpse of other folks sewing beginnings.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. I learned some new things about you LJ, how fun. that is certainly a cute doll you made for Allison!

  6. Lovely quilt for your DH :-) I can see from your block you are good at hand quilting !


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