Monday, May 19, 2008
QUILTING: MY OTHER PASSION
I began quilting in the 80's, hand piecing and hand quilting, as a way to be more sociable when we were cruising. I had a tendency to bury my nose in a book unless we were at a meal or on an excursion. Since I couldn't knit and didn't like to crochet or do counted cross stitch, I decided to teach myself to quilt. Being the cerebral type, I bought a few books on the subject--I know, initially my plan had a flaw--and then bought a kit for my first effort. I still have that small Ohio Star quilt on a stand in our bedroom. Because I was working full time, my output over the next 20 years was small. I loved quilting, mainly because it wasn't something I "did in my head." It relaxed me--yes, even making teeny, tiny stitches with a teeny, tiny needle--and I began to take classes and buy more quilting stuff. You know that stuff is part of every hobby; it's not just a man thing. Probably my most ambitious project from my hand quilting days is the twin sized applique quilt I made for my sister's son, my Godson. He still has it; I haven't seen it, but hope to one of these days.
In 2000 or 2001 , Larry bought me my first sewing machine, an inexpensive Brother. I had asked for just such a machine for Christmas, figuring if my efforts at learning to machine quilt didn't pan out, we wouldn't be stuck with an expensive clothes hanger. That machine sat in the box for over a year, which makes me recall it was 2000. In 2001, I was in a bad car accident and while I was recuperating, thought I'd give the machine a try. My efforts to thread the bobbin and the machine very nearly made me give up. Seven years later, I own 2 Pfaff machines, one an embroidery machine; the walls of our log home will probably not hold any more wall hangings; a generation of babies at the school where I was principal have grown up with one of my baby quilts; and, I am in the process of finishing a rather difficult queen-sized quilt for our bed.
Machine piecing is "the bomb." I don't feel as passionate about machine quilting, though I've done some simple stuff. I now have a sewing room where I can store the many books and quilt-related stuff that I've accumulated and it just doesn't get any better as a hobby. I just made and donated 2 lap quilts to the nursing home center where I volunteer (and mom resides) and I still take classes whenever possible.
I love quilting as much as I love cooking and it's surely less fattening!
Check out my friend Susan's blog on the subject: