There is something simple, unpretentious, and purposeful about quilting… My first sewing lessons were done by hand- cross stitch and needle point mostly, and clumsily beginning a Holly Hobby sampler that, sadly, still sits in my UFO (Un Finished Objects) pile waiting to be finished. Summer vacation included sewing lessons at the machine, for which I remember making an awful “sweatshirt” that indeed, looked very homemade and was embarrassing to wear. Sleeves were my nemesis- I could never figure out how to bend and fit the fabric correctly without everything puckering. During college breaks, I turned my attention to quilts- mostly cutting and piecing – as mom always had plenty of “Stash” to use. A flying geese block was my first bed-sized attempt, and although I chose the design for the hand quilting, school started again, so Mom and Dad took turns quilting it for me.
Life happened, and it wasn’t until my daughter was little that I began looking for a “useful” hobby- something that gave me a tangible outcome. Seeing a pattern for a cute baby quilt, and realizing that there were no curves, just straight stitching, I felt comfortable trying it out on my own without Mom there to fix my errors. That quilt was such a success that I tried another, and another. Eventually, I got brave enough to try making a few outfits for my daughter, and although my relationship with sleeves never got any better, (thanks, Mom, for finding and finishing the projects I stuffed in drawers during a fit of frustration!), skirts didn’t scare me *much* anymore. The more I sewed, the more I loved it. One day, I realized that in making my home a peaceful place to be, I wanted to choose decorations that gave me personal satisfaction. And so, I quilted wall hangings, table-runners, lap quilts, and anything that could be hung on walls, draped over sofas or beds, or placed on tables.
Today, I choose projects that teach me new techniques that make me stretch myself, and my sense of style and design.
Quilting is grounding. It is finding purpose in creativity, and making something ordered and beautiful out of a chaos of color. It is simplicity.