I have been quilting for about 8 years now. I wanted to learn how to quilt for some time before that, but just couldn’t get started. I even bought a number of books on how to quilt and the basic tools (rotary cutter, mat, rulers etc) but couldn’t bring myself to make that first fabric cut.
My husband must have gotten tired of me just “talking” about quilting and one Christmas gave me the best present ever – a beginning quilting course at a local quilt shop, Patchwork Plus, now located in Marcellus, NY. Quilt instructor, Sharon Stroud (website & blog) took us from the basics of cutting, piecing and hand appliqué to hand quilting the finished quilt. Like most people, I immediately became hooked.
Never having thought of myself as creative, I find it is a way that I can express myself. Today this creativity translates itself into an art form, rather than the necessity of using up fabric scraps to make warm coverings for family beds.
My first quilt is labeled “Beginnings” because I knew that I had just scratched the surface of quilting. I wanted and needed to learn more. The next step in my quilting journey, was to join Thumbstall Quilt Guild, Skaneateles NY, thinking that I would have more opportunities to learn directly from people who love to quilt. I wasn’t disappointed. Our members are always ready to share tips and ideas.
A benefit that I hadn’t expected is the friendships that I have developed since I became a member of the guild. Quilters are just great!
As in pioneer days, quilting with friends provides a way for us to socialize with those who share the same intense interest. Last year a fellow quilter and friend, Lisa, showed me a memory quilt pattern that she was making for her parents 50th Anniversary. I remarked that I wished I had enough time to make a similar quilt for my father’s 93rd birthday which was two weeks away. She immediately offered to help with the piecing. Along with some other friends; Mae, Pauline and Ruth; we set up machines at my house on a Saturday and finished the top in a day. I was able to quilt and bind it in time for his birthday.
Quilters are the best.!
This weekend, again with the help of Lisa and Mae, I was able to begin the pattern Meadowsweet (Fons and Porter Nov/Dec. 2008) . Lisa cut fabric for the rail fence and the 3 rows of 9-patch blocks, which will be stripped pieced. Mae and I sewed strips for 2 of the 9- patch rows.
We not only got a head start on my new quilt, we also enjoyed a lunch of homemade vegetable beef soup, spinach salad and popovers (recipe from Jordan Pond at Acadia National Park, Maine) and good conversation catching up on the last two months.
The only way I can think of to improve on quilting – is to quilt with friends. We’re hoping to make this a monthly get together to work on joint or our own projects.
Quilting at Home!