I’ve pretty much kept my story on the About Me page of my blog. It’s literally the first post I ever made on this blog. I can expand on that story just a bit.. As of last year, I have been sewing for 40 years. If I were going to attribute it to a family member, it would be my dad, who continuously said to me that when I turned 16, that I would be responsible for buying my own clothing and accessories. So, I decided to try taking a Home Ec course to see if I could learn to sew. I didn’t do so well to be honest, I found the teacher difficult, she wasn’t the kind of teacher who explained the details. She literally expected you to delve right in and figure it out yourself. If it hadn’t been for my best friends sister Ronnie, I never would have learned how to sew. She gave a summer class and I chose to take it. Every few days, we’d get together, and learn new techniques in creating clothing. I came away that summer with a future prom dress.
When my husband and I moved from Salt Lake City, to Cumberland, MD, I thought taking a course at the local community college would be a good way to make some friends. I didn’t make any friends, but I did take the quilting course and fell in love with quilting. I continued to take courses, and eventually learned enough to start teaching on my own. I didn’t necessarily want to do big quilts tho, I really loved doing projects that were small and that people could gift with, so my classes were more about creating quilted items such as purses, coats, small wallhangings, table runners, etc.. With teaching that style, I learned a lot more about techniques, different blocks, piecing, applique, and quilting. I also realized that my thought process of doing it all by machine could work just as well as those who do it by hand.
On this blog, I also keep a projects page, it contains many of my early projects. I have always maintained that the Log Cabin is my favorite pieced quilt, but I also love doing scrap quilts. While I think matching colors can make some amazing quilts, I just find scraps to be how shall I say.. “homy”.. comfortable… I absolutely love it when I can make a quilt that has literally no repeat fabrics in it at all.
The project in the top of my post is my first stained glass project. This was a pattern I purchased and I truly loved making this wallhanging. It also features a metallic fabric that I backed with a woven fusible interfacing.
This was my first quilt
This was the quilt I made in the class in Cumberland. It goes so against the grain of traditional quilting rules. It’s not a good quilt, there are many mistakes, but I think the funniest thing about this quilt is that I didn’t just use cotton in this quilt, I used all kinds of fabrics. There are knits, poly cottons, sateens, you name it, I used it, even some denim.
I guess you can see why I still love the Log Cabin so much it’s probably the sentimentalist in me in that my first was a Log Cabin, so it remains a favorite.. I don’t know if that’s the reason, but I do know that the one thing I love about Log Cabins, is that the layout possibilities are endless.
The black print, was a Hoffman Challenge fabric.
This is my all time favorite quilt, best quilt I truly ever made, and other than the black squares and the border, there are again no repeated fabrics. The larger blocks are all “novelty” prints. At the time, novelty prints were just coming into popularity.
This is the only quilt that’s ever been in a “big” show. As plain as it is in a way, the use of the novelty prints was what people loved about this quilt.
I can still remember putting this quilt together and how I played with it on the design wall trying to make all the different blocks work together.
The above three quilts have always been on my projects page.
Recently, I found a flash drive I had that had some old projects on them, so I thought I’d show those today also.
This is one of the first applique projects I ever attempted. It was a pattern I had purchased. At the time I started this, I was fairly active on Compuserve, which was an online service like AOL at the time. It was owned by Sprint.
I think .. I can’t quite remember, but I think it was Jackie Robison, who had brought out a book called Progressive Quilts at the time, and on Compuserve, she was looking for people to do a progressive quilt via sending your basic block to a different person each month and we would each work on a border of that block. Their were 7 of us each in a group. When this wallhanging got to the sixth person, the woman put big huge triangles on the corners, which was going to put the quilt on the diagonal (and it would be left to the next person to make that horizontal again) with these great big huge figure 8 type bows on the triangles. It was gawd awful.. She had used heat n bond to apply the bows, which I had expressly noted in my box and my book that I didn’t want used in the quilt whatsoever. So I was very upset and I asked the woman who got it next to send it back. Their was no sense in her trying to work on it if all I was going to do was to take those triangles off.
This was another book that came out, where I was creating a project in the book. It looks like a town, with roads, and sidewalks, etc.. I made three of these, these were really fun to create and sew easy. it was entirely pieced, no applique. I love pieced blocks that have something to say.. like this one above.
This was the first applique class I took with Mimi Dietrich. Her Baltimore Beauties book had just come out and she was teaching this class in Fairfax, VA at a quilt shop.
This is what made me fall in love with applique. At the time, I remember asking her if she minded if I machine appliqued this with the blind stitch and she came back with the reply that of course, she was fine with it, and that’s probably why I still love her today. She was just so nice about being open to new techniques. These are leftover blocks from the quilt I made from her book.
I have a love for dimensional techniques, this bow tie was a really fun project. I made a wallhanging out of these, and the plaids are all madras plaid, which if you know anything about madras, they are a very thin fabric.. I used a lightweight fusible interfacing to make them a bit stronger for a wallhanging.
This quilt was from a class I took from Trudi Hughes. I didn’t really care for the end result of this quilt, but it is one of the only quilts where I tried to match my fabrics, although it still could be considered a scrap quilt, the following is anther view of this quilt.
The fun thing about this wallhanging was that I used metallic type fabrics in this quilt, and again I backed them with a fusible lightweight woven interfacing first to give them some strength.
This is a little mini progressive that I was part of. This was something fun I could do to hang year round. The theme for this progressive is that all the blocks had to be paper pieced.
and last today is this lovely Nutcracker that I made for my sister. This is actually completely made in the hoop on embroidery machines.
This design is from SewAZ
As you can see, I love doing things that are different, I like trying new techniques, and enjoy dimensional embellishments elements in my quilts.
I don’t stick to the idea that a quilt has to be made in cotton only, because while cotton is a preferred choice, you can get some great textures by using fabrics like corduroy, velvet, denim, even knits and rayon type fabrics. In some cases, where the fabric is light or frays easily, you’ll want to back the fabric, and this is where I use a lightweight fusible woven interfacing. I use interfacing, not heat-n-bond, and I use a woven interfacing, not the other stuff. The woven interfacing gives it the weight it needs and is more likely to stay in place than other interfacings are. I used woven interfacings long before I knew I should use it, and that’s because it comes from my sewing background with clothing.
Over the last 40 years of my sewing history, I’ve tried many techniques, many styles, and many designs. I can create all my own clothing, I can do decorator furniture coverings, quilts and machine embroidery. I like each of these types of sewing, their isn’t a facet of sewing that I don’t like. I will always sew, I can’t attribute my love of sewing from family, because no one in my family showed me how to sew, even tho my mother and my grandmother both sewed. I still envy to this day the sheer patience of my mother who made Barbie doll clothing for us when I was a child, this is something I would not even attempt to do. However, her best sewing was actually hand embroidery. She did many beautiful projects over the years, she also crocheted and did cross stitch also.
My grandmothers mother was a tailor, she created clothing for rich people in order to help her family eat back in the 1920 and 30’s.
So I like to think that I inherited the spirit of creativity that they carried within them and that’s why I love it so much today.
My proudest achievement as a quilter isn’t anything I’ve ever made tho,
I like to think it’s the next project to come.
I would like to take a moment and thank all of you who have commented on my other daily blog posts this week. I haven’t always been able to answer on the blog itself, but have tried to answer in email. It really means a lot that you’ve liked the patterns this week. I truly enjoyed making them for this hop in particular and think they are pretty fun.. Very different from the traditional that we always see.
Thank you so much for stopping in today.
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This is not a leave a comment giveaway, you’ll need to answer the question. 🙂
If you read my post, you’ll know the answer.
This giveaway will end on Monday March 28, 2016