Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How did you start?

I've often thought about how the quilting resurgence has created a whole industry for quilters. Not seamstresses or casual sewing enthusiasts. But quilters!

When I started quilting 25 years ago, I remember that it was a little difficult to find 100% cotton fabric. And there were no "lines" of coordinating fabrics to create that perfect quilt for a childs bed. You bought a piece of blue fabric with a tiny floral design and tried to find something, anything, that would go with it!

So I was thinking about how the quilting world has grown to such huge proportions, and I wondered what brought YOU on the quilting trail?

Is it fabric?

Or designs?

Patterns? Magazines?? The challenge of quilting??

What got you interested in making quilts? What keeps your interest? What challenges you? I'd like to know. Share a little insight with all of us.

And of course, happy quilting :-)

40 comments:

Wendy said...

I started quilting because my sister-in-law had taken up quilting. And I wanted something to talk about with her. And I already had a nice sewing machine, so I gave it a try. Went out and bought me a rotary cutter and a few fat quarters, figured out which foot was a darning foot... And now I'm hooked!

Nancy said...

wow...my sister in law is responsible for my starting to quilt. She took me to my first quilt shop where I bought nothing...I was so overwhelmed. So I went to a local quilt shop and signed up for a beginners class. The rest is history...it's been 13 years..and my taste in fabric and patterns has really changed over the years..

Seams Sew Together said...

I would have to say Fabric got me in, I use to sew all the kids clothes and worked for Bargain Box Fabrics, but then the kids grew up and didn't want the handmade stuff so I had to do something that involved fabrics, so quilting it was and I think my passion for fabric has become worse.. I'm a fabraholic....

CaraQuilts said...

I wanted a quilt and couldn't afford to buy one. Then my sister was getting married. So started the path of a fabric addict! Little squares turned into yards, and FQs...eventually I had to learn what to do with them so they actually looked decent. Thank God for the internet!

Dresden Quilter said...

I used to babysit for a woman who was taking a beginner's quilting class. I found it very intriguing. I already crocheted, knit and cross stitch and quilting seemed fascinating. Then later that year, I visited a cousin who lived near a quilting community. I was hooked, and it has been a passion on and on now for 18 years. I have always loved doing puzzles, but with young children keeping the pieces together was hard to do. Quilting to me is like doing a puzzle, with such a beautiful and useful outcome.

Rosie said...

Thanks to my sister-in-love also for encouraging me to take up quilting about 25 years ago!! I have been hooked ever since and we even had us alittle outing just yesterday to a brand new quilt store in our area! Oh I so need to go on a fabric fast!:)

Leigh said...

It started with the fabric for me- I loved the look of handmade kids' clothes but could not generally afford them. But I paid enough attention to learn which fabric designers I liked. So I started buying fabric, THEN started to learn to sew, and then I had all these beautiful scraps that needed to be used and so I've started quilting!

Darlene said...

I had been a quilting 'wannabe' for more years than I can remember! I'd look at quilts or through books and swear I could never do it. Then 11 years ago I decided it was time to take 'the plunge' - I visited every quilt store in our area to see how they treated a beginner. I signed up for a beginner class making an Irish Chain quilt and the rest is history. :-)

Gina E. said...

I had friends nearby who were always making quilts, and I could never understand why they wanted so many! I admired their work, but was happy to continue cross stitch and embroidery. Then, thanks to the Internet and bloggers like Pam Kellogg, I discovered Crazy Quilting, and because it had a lot of embroidery, I decided to give it a go. I do more patchwork than making quilts - in fact I've only made one actual throw!

Crispy said...

I had a friend who was expecting and I saw a Dresden Plate kit when I was at the fabric store buying fabric for making some work clothes (I no longer do garment sewing....not even buttons LOL). I thought, hey I can do THAT and did. The fabric was all solids and I'm pretty sure they weren't cotton but it sure got me hooked. I also found that it's much more fun NOT using a sewing machine and gave mine away. I do have my little featherweight for emergencies but does not see the light of day except maybe once or twice a year.

Crispy

Sandie ~call me crazy said...

My Mom was visiting, a shop was having a great sale, I wanted a quilt for every bed~ LOL, rotary cutters were pretty new then, so I cut out her entire quilt before she left, then worked furiously on mine so she wouldn't forget that she said she'd quilt it for me. After that I just kept going and now I do have a quilt+ for every bed, but I'm hooked. ;-)

Pioneer Beauty said...

I am a Wanna Be...Quilter.. : ) I just do basic Squares..and really whatever seems to fall in place..I started because I am a Sewer and had So many Scraps left...I just hated to see them go to waste...So my Quilts really never make Sense...Maybe I should call them "SENSELESS QUILTS"... : ) they do look pretty though..at least that much makes Sense..

Jennwith4 said...

I always wanted to sew but what got me quilting is my friend who bought me my first machine is a quilted and I started out learning how to quilt. I've loved it ever since!

Mom and Josh said...

I saw a blog or 2 that had some beautiful quilts last year and decided to learn how to do it. I've never been able to sew a straight line! But thanks to the 1/4 quilting foot I can now! Who knew that existed! There are so many helpful blogs out there that teach you how to quilt. I am so greatful. Quilting has become an obsession for me now. And my sewing has progressed leaps and bounds!

Quilt Hollow said...

I've always been a fabric girl. Mom taught me to sew all my own clothes during school years and I think I may have loved fabric more than shoes!
In the 80's a met an older neighbor who was a quilter and at the time I stitched crafts and cross stitched. She convinced me I could quilt...she was right. :-) My motto now is too many projects for lifetime and I love instant gratification quilts...likely why I love Schnibbles so much. I can use all of the new fabric lines at minimal expense and whip up something new in no time at all.

Loris said...

I had long dreamed of quilting. Made a couple of uninstructed attempts as early as 1970. In '78, I bought the worst sewing machine ever and plowed through projects of curtains and stuffed animals and some clothes..it was sad. It wasn't until about 1993 when my second DH encouraged me to take advantage of an offer from Bernina and our favorite sewing machine man to junk that machine and get a Bernina. The sewing machine man even paid for the $50 two day beginning quilting class. It was pure heaven and I have never been the same :-)

Lisa Marie said...

I posted about my Quilting start on my Blog today
http://scrapsofthisandthat.blogspot.com/
Thanks for the prompt, it brought back good memories of my beginning quilting days. And now I am hooked!

Barb said...

Me, just wanting a quilt for my bed, was way to expensive and so I created my own...that and getting the quilt top my grandmother made for me....just a combination of events and people. Now why do I keep at it? It is like a drive, wanting to create, to keep busy ... it makes me happy.

Sandy said...

Just before moving to a new home, my husband helped me cut the strips for an around the world quilt pattern "Quilt in a Day" by Eleanor Burns in either the Woman's Day or Family Circle. Can you imagine? We had NO idea what we were doing-but made a spread and coordinating valences for my son's bedroom- took more than a day-lasted many years-and got me started on the road to quilting. Put away my counted cross stitch and never looked back! Sandy. He was 8 at the time, is now 32....and wonders what happened to that thing (shhhh, it just plain fell apart after a zillion machine cycles/dryer cycles- and I never was able to figure out where the batting went!)

Susan said...

I am a material girl from way back to the 1970's and then around the time quilting started up I mostly watched it on PBS television--Eleanor Burns will always hold a special place in my heart. It wasn't until the 1990's I actually started making quilts and continue to grow in the craft.
Good question, it is nice to read how others got involved.

Candace said...

I wanted to have a quilt and no one that I knew was going to give me one, lol. Then after I started I also started using the computer and reading blogs and then I didn't just want one, I wanted one like that, and one like that. Still no one I know is giving me any, so I have to make them myself. Now I give them to people I know, but I don't think any of them have ever wanted one as much as I did.

Allie said...

Isn't the selection fabulous these days? I started by seeing a pic in a magazine of a quilt I loved - decided to make it - a friend showed me how [using cardboard and pencil!]. I made every mistake in the book. After that, I did painted muslin wallhangings, and just stitched around the picture. Not sure how I graduated to the rest, but I'm glad I did!

quiltingnana said...

I always admired the quilts my grandmother made so when in about 1979 I saw a quilt in a magazine and decided to make one. I had no teacher and had to figure it out myself. I started with a queen sized quilt (first mistake, had no clue about bias or the kind of fabric to use, marked and cut everything with a template, hand pieced and hand quilted with a sheet as a backing...needless to say I was overwhelmed. But I kept the quilt and finally finished it in 2008!

Jan Hatchett said...

I guess I wanted to know that I could make something to connect me to the women who made quilts out of necessity. I grew up under my Granny's quilts that were passed down and I guess I wanted to know if they could be anything other than 70s double knit with a flannel backing-LOL!

Indeed, they can!

Linda said...

I am fairly new at quilting, although I have sewn all my life. My Grandma was the best seamstress I have ever met and she could make anything and never used a pattern...I got my love of fabric from her. My sister quilts and has a group that she quilts with, so she sucked me in, although, I think of myself more as a sewer, than a quilter!

Becky said...

I have always liked quilts. My mother always wanted to have a quilt, but there were no quilters in our family. There were garment sewers and some crafting, but not quilting. My MIL quilted, but we never lived close to where they were in central LA. I did take a class in the '80's where we had to make templates, but I was a classroom teacher. My extra time was always spent grading papers. After my son was born in 1991, I needed an escape. DH would watch DS on the first floor of the house. I escaped to my sewing room. I was sewing house banners at that time, but morphed into quilting. It was in 2000 that I finally got serious about quilting and took some classes. I did read lots of quilt books and online message boards, when DS was young. Lots of head knowledge, but no real skill :) Thanks for asking!

Wendy said...

I started quilting because of a desire to leave heirlooms for my family. Also, I didn't want my girls to grow up without knowing how to sew and create like myself. By God's grace He put more experienced women who have come alongside me to help me and my four daughters learn at the same time.

sunny said...

I've always LOVED old quilts, but I wasn't very successful with sewing, so never tried to make one. Then I attended a retreat with my SIL, and saw everyone cutting, and sewing, and with the rotary cutters, it didn't look too hard. And it's mostly straight lines, so I decided to give it a try. I was quickly hooked. I'm very good at the shopping and buying part. Love fabric and books. and blogs.

syocom said...

My grandma taught me to sew, I started with pillows and moved onto a quilt when I was 10. (I still have it somewhere). I will say I am a seamstress and have fun with it, but I love quilting so much fun and they are useful too. One of my favorite things about quilts are the colors and all the different ones that can be found.

Deborah said...

I'm 57 years old. Nobody in my family sews - not my mom or grandmother. I had never sewn clothes for my twin daughters or for myself. Five years ago, one of my daughters was pregnant with my first grandchild. I had formed a friendship with a dear lady that had quilted for years and had quite a few quilts in her collection. I had admired them, but that was about it. Once I found out I was having a granddaughter, I expressed an interest in possibly making a baby quilt. THAT started it. My friend was so totally excited that I was interested, and took the time to help pick out fabrics and a pattern. Luckily, she had taught some quilt classes, so gave me very good instructions. My granddaughter is now 5 years old, and that quilt is one of her favorites. (I cringe when I think of the two quilts I sold at a yard sale many years ago for $10 each. Yikes!)

Piecefulafternoon said...

I started long, long ago - when I was 7. We lived in Alaska and the long winter nights had to be filled with something to do - so I took scraps and made a quilt for my doll. I wish I still had it - but it is long gone. I then gatehered scraps whenever I could and continued to make small doll quilts - until I was in high school and made a bed size quilt for myself. I continued, making baby quilts when we married and had kids and progressed on to making our our bed quilts when the kids were growing up. I still make quilts and have a nice collection, plus a lot that I've given as gifts. One can never have too many quilts.

Cheryl said...

OK, I learned to sew when I was young, taught by Mom,I was a costume designer and seamstress for years, until we gave up the business, then Mom had moved to north Florida, she got involved with the ladies quilting club, everytime I went to visit she would tell me I would like it, It was a couple yrs later that I finally gave in, I have been hooked evey since,I made my first basket weave quilt and hand quilted it, I won a blue ribbon at the show, then mom's friend Jane got me interested in the art quilts and I have been quilting 9 years now ,I love it !

The Tile Lady said...

I enjoyed reading what the other quilters had to say. I am a quilter because my Mother and Grandmother and Greatgrandmother were all quilters, but I didn't start when I was young. When I did get started, I was a real purist, believing in hand quilting and traditional patterns, but I eventually learned that there are many more ways to skin a cat than one. (What an awful expression! :-)) And besides, there are many more interesting patterns and styles and techniques and designs than the traditional, too, and they are all wonderful! Anyway, I love COLOR and am a fabric addict too.

SewCalGal said...

Super cute post. But I didn't think you were old enough to remember all this history. Did you read it somewhere? LOL.

I was a little girl when I would visit my grandmother, in the midwest. She was always quilting when we visited in the summertime. She showed me a bit about quilting and I think I always held an interest and continually tried to learn more.

Quilting has certainly evolved. I too am impressed with Patsy Thompson's DVDs and wondering why I didn't try to expand my skills until recently. She certainly inspired me to take a big leap forward into our on-going evolution of quilting.

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

sewingseeds4U said...

For me fabric is always first...then design. I got bit about 10 years ago but lost touch with the beauty of all until just recently. I guess I got bit again. Patty

http://sewingseedscraftylife.typepad.com/sewingseedsthoughts-an/

QuiltSue said...

I was "bitten by the bug" completely out of the blue just over 10 years ago. I walked past a quilt shop and saw a stunning quilt in the window. I just had to go in and look closer, and that was it ...

Jacque said...

I am a house keeper and a couple of my clients are quilters. I would see their beautiful projects and just could'nt take it anymore. So a year and half ago I started and LOVE IT!!!!!!! Then I found a hand full of wonderful quilting blogs that I love too! It recharges me and its something creative to do for myself,not my kids or hubby.

annieb said...

I have always been a crafter, and done lots of needle work. I made my own clothes in my 20's and for my kids when they were young. But the real incentive came when I needed to get out (as a stay at home Mom) and was looking for evening classes. I came across a local quilt shop, fell in love with the fabric (and the staff), and the rest is history.

Grams said...

When I took up sewing again after my kids were all grown up there were no fabric stores in the town where I lived.The closest was 35 miles away and it didn't have a huge selection to choose from. So, I started doing my fabric shopping online for the most part. I also started watching for shops when I went to visit family. I found several shops in Nashville and got so attached to them I decided to move to this area when I retired from teaching a couple of years ago. I guess the fact that three of my four kids and four of my eight grands live here might have influenced me slightly too :) I have to say though that one of my favorite shops is on the way to visit my sister who lives in Dayton OH. It's the Fabric Shack in Waynesville OH. It's off the Interstate about 15-30 minutes depending on which interstate you're traveling but well worth the detour if you have the time. They have a huge selection of fabrics - very neatly organized and the friendliest helpers you could wish for. I'd give them a five star out of five recommendation.

vail in tn

Jan Hatchett said...

For me, I think I am attracted to the combo of friendly staff and beautiful fabric. I am Mom to 2 boys, so I love that it is a girly place for me and that my boys don't want to go LOL!

My LQS is The Gardener's Quilts in Jackson, GA (pictured in your post--how fun is that!) and A Scarlet Thread in McDonough, GA is the second closest. I love them both!