20 January, 2009

"Let's Talk" Tuesday...

I have had an idea brewing, to host a forum, or dialog, once a week through this blog, I've decided to call it "Let's Talk" Tuesday. You can pretend we're in my sewing room, chatting about whatever the topic of the day might be. I need to kick off the discussion somewhere, so I'm choosing what we talk about today. I picked a two part question to begin: "how long have you been quilting and why have you continued?" I've been quilting since 1983 when I took my first class to make a sampler quilt. I didn't finish that quilt for two years; it was for my son, and when I finally placed that completed quilt over him, he exclaimed: "it's like being covered with love"! Yes he did, that's true, he was five years old at the time. If that wasn't enough affirmation to continue making quilts for the rest of my life, I don't know what would be! Okay... that, and a room full of fabric and machines collected over the last twenty-five years tell me that there's enough of an investment here to prevent me from ever stopping now! But, in all seriousness, I quilt to this day for the satisfaction of creating something that will live longer than I will; for doing something that can't be undone, like cleaning and cooking. For me, quilting is an expression of who I am and what I want to leave behind; a legacy of love, color, happiness, friendship, and artistic expression all in something tangible and warm that one can wrap themself up in. So, how about you? When did you start quilting and why are you still at it? Throw me out a topic suggestion for next week too, I'll choose one. Let's make this a weekly place where we get together, share ideas about what we're doing and why, and get to know each other a little bit better.

Life is Good!

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KarenF said...

I see you're up early too... I like your Tuesday idea! Let's see, I started quilting in 2001 I think. We had moved into the house we are now in and I wanted to redo our bedroom. I have an aunt who is a fabulous quilter (tiny perfect hand quilting stitches!)who I had watched for many years and I guess her inspiration finally rubbed off on me. I was very intimidated at first, despite having grown up sewing. All the advice I heard was start small so I made a wallhanging. It was actually my first art quilt before I knew what an art quilt was - an original photo transfer family tree. From there I graduated to making LOTS of preemie and baby gift quilts, and then moved onto twin sized quilts for my boys. Finally I moved on to my bed quilt - a queen sized Blooming 9 Patch.

Somewhere along the way I realized the vast array of techniques used in art quilting and that's where my focus has been for the last three+ years or so, though I still do traditional quilts too...it's about time for a new quilt on the bed at our house!

Suzan said...

I started quilting nearly 5 years ago after I moved to Pennsylvania to be close to family. My sister and her quilting group allowed me to join them in making a small Christmas themed wall hanging. I quilted it by hand and after that I was hooked (though I rarely hand quilt any more!) I discovered that I really enjoy machine quilting and started buying machines to facilitate my learning. I have "graduated" to a high speed tabletop machine and an APQS longarm.

I quilt because I love fabric and I love creating with it. I love choosing the perfect fabric for a project and I truly enjoy quilting when I have finished piecing. Sitting in my studio with the sewing machine humming is a wonderful opportunity to be alone with my thoughts and it also offers something else very important to me - "alone" time.

mamaspark said...

I started quilting about 7 years ago I think. I joined the group at my church that I am now in charge of! I am fascinated by the color choices and designs. I love the piecing part of the whole thing and the designing part too. I keep doing it because I love it. I need some kind of creative outlet to make me feel good. This way I can be creative but practical too. My kids love my quilts and each one is treasured.

Thanks for opening up a dialog this will be fun!

LauraQuilts said...

Tuesdays will become very busy! I made my first quilt in 1974, mostly out of fabric scraps from my mother's beautiful, beautiful garment sewing (she clothed her three daughters almost exclusively). These scraps were cut with scissors into 4" squares. The batting was polyester, as were some of the squares, and I tied it. It was a monster and I gave it as a gift so by now it has (thankfully) vanished! My paternal grandmother was an accomplished seamstress and quiltmaker. She gave me a Dresden Plate with my name embroidered in one of the centers - I have no idea where that quilt is, sadly. I quilt today to create practical beauty, to express my art, for the tactile joy of handling fabric, needle, thread. I want to leave something behind when I'm gone - my Nana made that is one of my favorite sentences! One of the happiest surprises that I found in quilting is the friendship that gets stitched into your life when you hang out with other quilters. That's one of the reasons I quilt, too.

Jacque in SC said...

When my firstborn was about four or five, I took some of the maternity clothes I had worn, and some of the fabrics I was using for his little shorts and overalls, and made an extremely simple quilt top - just 6 inch squares put together in rows. He would stand beside me and admire it, pointing out squares and saying what they came from. Two more babies came along, and I homeschooled all of them til they entered college...the quilt was relegated to the attic. He was married and their first anniversary was approaching when I finally remembered the quilt. I hand quilted it and gave it to them - they were thrilled. They sat cuddled under it while he pointed out the different fabric squares to his lovely wife, just as he used to do. It has a place of honor on their bed now, and I am thrilled that they love it so.
That got me going - now I have six or seven projects going at a time, and love handquilting even more!!

Dorothy said...

Hi. I just discovered your blog, and love your idea of "Let's Talk Tuesday".
I started quilting about 15 years ago. I had gone through the smocking, and cross-stitching phases and it was the next step for me. I've been "addicted" ever since! My first love is hand applique, but I love all quilts.

paula, the quilter said...

What a good idea: "Let's Talk Tuesdays". I started quilting in 1976. Having just lost both parents in a flood and giving birth (both on the same day) I felt a need to gather family close. I made a pieced big block quilt using poly/cotton fabric. I hand quilted the center portion and then gave up trying to poke the needle through that fabric and finished it by tying the borders. I can't recall basting the layers together. Hmmm... I wish it was still around just so I can see how far I have progressed.

Sam said...

I made a quilt top for my son who always ended up with his quilt in a ball inside the 'bought' quilt cover. I finished it 16 years later. I did have five children in less than five years and so I was busy with other things. Now they are all grown up and I am loving making quilts and reading so many blogs from quilters on the net. I have never considered myself a very creative person, but I feel creative when I make a quilt. There are such beautiful materials out there, and so many people willing to share ideas. I don't think I will ever stop making quilts.

Ancestor Collector said...

What a wonderful plan to have a different topic each Tuesday. One of the nicest things about your idea is that all your readers will get to know each other better as well.

I can't call myself a quilter and I am humbled to even be commenting here in the presence of all of you. I have made several small quilts to insert inside a glass top coffee table and they give me great satisfaction when I change them out. I've made clothes and draperies, and one year went on a wild rampage with floppy-earred bunnies, among other things. My mother sewed all her own clothes in her early life and I treasure some of her creations still. I don't have the heart to dispose of them, even though they are so out-dated and are taking up storage space. My daughter has the quilting bug though and I enjoy watching her design and create her quilts.

I envy the passion you all have for your craft and I enjoy reading about your quilting sisterhood. Nice work, ladies!

dixie said...

Wonderful idea about Let's Talk Tuesday. I started quilting in 1989. I had the bright idea to have a quilting class in my basement on Monday evenings to counteract husbands watching "Monday Night Football". I had six ladies to sign up and the teacher was Ann Roth. The rest as they say is history. The reason I quilt is because I love the history behind quilting. I sometimes think we loose that concept when we as quilters have to buy every piece of fabric known to man. I have to remember that the history of quilts included utilitarian usage such as keeping warm and using scraps instead of going to "the general store" and buying dry goods with our "egg money". As for my first quilt, it is finished and very very "rough", I hope it will be loved by my daughter some day, (if she can find it!!!) HAHAHA

Julie in the Barn said...

After several false starts in the late 70's that didn't result in finished quilts, I joined the local guild in 1982 and signed up for a class at a local shop. I've always been a do-it-yourself person and had tried all the crafts du jour; macrame, tole painting, crochet, knitting, needlepoint, etc. I didn't think I'd have enough patience for quilting but fell in love with every step of the process from designing to sewing down the binding. (Except for the basting part...I hate that.) After quilting until about 1995, I took a 12 year break when life took a new direction and finally unpacked all my old fabrics and supplies only a little over a year ago when I retired. I have re-discovered how much I love quilting and found a whole new world of inspiration in the blogging world. All the new fabrics and designers make it a fresh new hobby and I'm hooked all over again.

This time I'm older and have more time to indulge in my hobbies. I am more willing to try techniques and styles I wouldn't have tried in the past. It's less about decorating my home or making quilts for family and more about being creative and just having fun. A big part of it this time is blogging and the world wide virtual quilt guild I am now a part of.

Libby said...

I suppose in the most technical sense, I made my first quilt in 1980 for The Princess. The top is whole cloth that has yarn embroidered alphabet blocks. I did an envelope turn with eyelet lace edging and then tied the layers - every stitch by hand.
My 'real' quilting career didn't begin until said Princess was about to leave home and I began looking for things to occupy my time. After working my way through several craft medium, I landed at quilting and never looked back.
Having never felt particularly artistic, quilting does give me a sense that I have a little something to offer - color choices, design changes, etc. I love the feel of fabric in my hands.
I started doing simple embroidery and cross stitch as a young girl and have developed a life long love of working with fiber in my hands.
Quilts almost always leaves me with a smile on my face and I know that I am offering family, friends and strangers just a little piece of love from my hands and my heart.

Pati said...

I started quilting in 1995 when I moved to Nashville, TN with my new husband. Although I had always sewn clothes for myself and my kids(read: already a fabraholic), quilting was something new to me. I took a class in Franklin, TN at Stitcher's Garden and learned to hand piece with templates and scissors. I was an overachiever from the start...we were supposed to make one sampler quilt and I made two. I have two daughters and couldn't make just one!!

A move back to Florida and subsequent law school didn't stop my quilting journey. I've worked in a quilt shop and a managed a Joann's just to be near fabrics.

Quilting gives me an outlet to express my creativity and an outlet to relax. My favorite fabrics are purples and paisleys. I tend to be a "matchy-matchy" person but I'm trying really hard to get into using scraps. I'm having a blast working with the scraps.

I've made over 100 quilts in my 14 years of quilting. And I don't see myself stopping anytime soon.

quiltkeemosabe said...

"Let's Talk" is a good idea. Glad you thought of it.
I started quilting back in 1982 during a cold long Indiana winter. It was going to be something to do while snowed in for long periods of time and I was going to make a quilt for my daughter's big bed since her brother was on his way. I had sewn clothing most of my life so I thought how hard could it be??? And when I read that I was to use 1/4 inch seams, I thought that was ridiculous and decided 1/2" was just fine. I used all sorts of fabric in that quilt, a Friendship Star, including corduroy, kettle cloth, and a bed sheet for the backing. It was finally finished almost 10 years later and never has been on my daughter's bed. Of course many quilt classes were taken and many other quilts were started and possibly finished in the meantime.
Why do I keep quilting? I used to do a lot of counted cross stitch and still love it, but quilting allows me to make something uniquely my own. If you give two quilters the same pattern, there is so much opportunity for each quilt to be unique due to the design choices made by the individual quilter. There are so many techniques to try and to master. So much to learn. So much color to be used. One should never be bored.
I just need more snow days.

Quilt Memories said...

OH MY!!! What stories we all have to tell and how fun to share and get to know each other....
I think ( DON'T TELL) I actually made my first quilt when our son was about 18 months old....Yep, he is now 50...But that was 2 pieces of "cloth" and something in between, probably an old blanket, and we used it on his twin bed for many, many years, BUT, I really didn't enjoy making that quilt and didn't make another one until about 8 yeasr ago.My sister kept at me to make a quilt, she is a quilter and thought I should be also.So, I had recently bought me a new machine ( I made lots of garments) and the rest is history. Since buying that machine , I now have 2 more. Yes, I just purchased one 2 weeks ago.
I have only made one king size quilt, and am having a really hard time with the quilting of it, so haven't made another one that size. I made one for a double bed, that one was professioally quilted, I have made a few wall hangings, but my true love is making baby quilts. I am currently making our newest addition to the family ( GREAT GS) his special quilt! A design all my own, and I guess that is what I like most, I can do whatever I want, choose whatever fabrics, etc.and I do love the whole process.
I also love the people I have met, at the quilt shops, all over the USA and especially here at our LQS, and I so very much enjoy all the blogs I read. I don't do a lot of commenting, but I DO read what you ladies have to say and I have learned so very much.
So, I think " Let's Talk Tuesday" is a wonderful idea and I hope it continues for a long while.
I have no idea what you could have for your next topic but am sure with all the talent "out there" and especially You, MS. G, I know all Tuesdays will be very interesting.
Happy Quilting Everyone on this cold snowy day in NC.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Lovely dialogue going on here!

I started quilting in 2004 ~ why have I stayed with it? The colors, the choices, the array of possibilities... what more can I say. SO much to consider and explore!

(and yes, I have my hot tea here while I'm enjoying all the other comments ~ tea and talk time...)

SubeeSews said...

I really like your idea of a "talking Tuesday".
Sewing skipped a generation in my family. I am 58 and have been quilting since my 20's. Both my grandmothers did many crafts and they both taught me sewing, crocheting, tatting, embroidery and needlepoint. I made all my clothes through school. I also made many of my mother's clothes.
I knew early on that I wanted to quilt but no one in my family quilted. But a neighbor of my mother-in-law did. She took all my sewing scraps and made the best scrappy quilts all by hand. I was bitten by the quilting bug and also by the "frugal" bug. So hard did the frugal bug bite me that I save every little scrap. I also have this love of boxes and containers of all shapes and sizes. I label them and fill them with precious bits of fabrics...stack them high and continue to buy and fill these containers.
I thank my lucky stars when I found Bonnie Hunter's site and her stash system. I work on whittling away at those old precious fabrics ala' Bonnie.
I love touching,pressing and cutting fabric. I am sad when I finish a quilt.
Subee in Northern Indiana

Patchwork Penguin said...

Oh what a neat idea! I have been quilting for 16 years, but have loved quilts all of my life. My first wallhanging was made after my son was stillborn..... I guess you could call it therapy. Now I quilt for me and my family and whomever needs a hug. I enjoy it plain and simple. It is still my therapy; especially after a day at school that didn't go as well as I would have liked.

Quilty Hugs!

Nane said...

I made my first quilt in 1985 when I was home on Christmas break. My parents had moved to the Puget Sound of Washington...it was rainy and I didn't know anyone. I saw a "quilt it in a weekend" in a BHG and started out. The engineer side of me likes the piecing but I also really love sewing on binding because it is the last step. I keep doing it because I love to give them away. Good Idea Mrs G

Janet said...

Let's Talk - great idea!
I'm not sure if my first quilt would actually qualify as it was close to 30 years ago when I took one of those pre-printed, pre-quilted panels and bound it with the soft satiny blanket binding. A few more of those and some that were hand quilted, a few years off, starting, getting discouraged and finally starting again when we were empty nesters, that's pretty much my quilting history. I've always been a crafter and sewer but now I feel like I've found a new passion for something that's always been in my blood. My mother made quilts for each of her grandchildren as did my husband's grandmothers. When my first grandchild was born last summer, I felt like I was completing the circle! Though I still am challenged with the actual quilting, luckily there are talented long arm quilters out there to help me out. When I received the grandbaby's quilt back from the LAQ, I cried tears of joy that I was able to craft a gift that carried on the tradition of his great-grandmothers who are no longer with us.
I don't belong to any quilt guild except that I love reading the quilting blogs of many like you. You are all so inspirational!

Domestic Designer said...

Love your idea! I first learned how to hand piece and quilt in 1973 from my grandmother. I still have those first pieces and treasure them greatly! My first big quilt project on my own was completed in 1981. I started it while I was in college and completed it in 2 years. A cathedral window done all by hand. It was my therapy and I truly believe it kept me sane during that time. I love working with my hands and I always have something going. I just can't sit still! LOL I am guilty of having a lot of UFO's but my goal is to complete many of those this year. I feel like quilting gives me a connection to the past and a way to pass the legacy on to the future. I recently added a new machine to my collection which should make machine quilting easier, but I won't be giving up the hand quilting. I just can't!

MARCIE said...

Good idea! I'm just lurking for now.

Cornfield Quilter said...

I started quilting in 1977 when my youngest was born. I quilted for my own enjoyment for many years. In 1997 my middle daughter died of Leukemia and I quilted to keep my sanity. Since that time I make quilts and give them away to people that need to know other people do care for them. I enjoy the process of making quilts but I love giving them away more! :D

Quilt Hollow said...

I could have written what you said in your post. I've always sewn my own clothes...well, since my early teens anyway. Then sewing moved on to crafty things I sold in bazaars and in the 80's quilting became my number one. This was after meeting an older neighbor who quilted. It was always nice to go over for a chat and find her sitting and stitching on something. Quilting for me over the years was a great stress reliever especially during times my husband was deployed. It kept my mind busy....along with my boys. It was one day after many, many quilts that my son #1 said, "Mom, I know who that quilt is for." I thought for a minute, how does he know that? He said, "because anytime you make a quilt with those colors it goes to her." It was then I realized I'd never made them a quilt. I made it my mission then to work on quilts for my home and family. My son was right, everything I had ever made went out the door. If I want to see all the quilts I made in my early years I just need to visit my friend's home! My home is now filled with quilts that not only friends have made me but ones from my own hands and heart. My boys have quilted Christmas stockings from me that will be with them long after I'm gone. They now "dib" what I work on if I say it is for us. Of course my guys are now young men and request longer and larger quilts...therefore, a longarm machine is in the house to accomodate. LOL......I've come a long way from those early years. I've been in numerous quilt guilds, taught many classes, worked in a quilt shop and even for Pfaff in Germany....wow....lots of chapters in my life in regards to quilting.

quiltmom said...

Well Ms.Goodneedle,
I have been meaning to comment on this post all week but just haven't got back to it so I am sorry that I am a bit late in answering-
I started quilting for the first time when I was pregnant with my son ( he is now 21) I made a few panel quilt blankets and made a log cabin quilt from a Quilt in a Day pattern ( it took much longer than a day :O)- I also made quite a number of baby wraps and tie quilted them. Then I didn't quilt much again until my son was 10- working full time and having a younger child just didn't leave much time to quilt.
I took a couple of beginner courses and have never looked back- I have made over 50 bed sized quilts and continue to make more- I think I keep quilting because it feeds my creative soul. I also have more fabric than one person should have so I better keep going so that it doesn't go to waste LOL. There are so many gorgeous fabrics out there and I keep finding patterns that I want to make.. Sometimes the desire to continue subsides for awhile but after a while it returns because I find a new pattern or piece of fabric that inspires me...Quilting has introduced me to a whole new circle of friends. There is a sense of belonging and shared interest among us. I am proud to call all of them my friends. Blogging about quilting has introduced me to even more lovely quilt friends..
There are still new techniques to be explored and designs to experiment and so I continue on on my quilt journey.
What an interesting idea for a post Mrs. goodneedle- I will look forward to visiting your blog as always...
In the meantime, Happy Quilting,

*karendianne. said...

I love how you take your ideas and turn them into reality. Your life is a verb!

Started quilting when I stopped working. 2005. It was simply a gift from God. Events perfectly aligned which reinforced my Faith. I don't know why I continue to quilt except that it pulses within the center of my chest, I feel it and I have to do it.

It's attractiveness to me? A mild obsession w/ legacy. My journals (since 13yrs), my writings, my books (reflect me) and now my quilts. Plus, I'm an old soul so I love being pulled back in time.

Nan said...

I am playing catch-up (as usual), and I think your "Let's Talk Tuesday" is a wonderful idea! I started quilting in 1980-something (I can't exactly remember when), and I made all sorts of quilty-type things for family members, and they were so bad, the family members were quite kind in keeping those quilted things for a time. I knew they weren't very good, so I kept working on my quilting skills, because I was embarrassed by what I had given them. I guess you could say I kept quilting because I enjoyed it, and I wanted to perfect my skills! I'm still trying to perfect my skills, but I do love to quilt, perfect or not! I guess I'm getting better at making my projects "look" good. It's become something I "need" to do to express who I am as a person and seamstress, and now I'm very happy to say that family and friends now clamor for me to make them something quilty. It brings a smile to my face and my heart.