Sunday, July 9, 2017

From A Garden to Quilts and Beyond

Last week, Facebook showed me a memory from eight years ago. The photo threw me back in time, and got me thinking about how much my life has changed since then.

This was the second summer of my retirement. The photo was taken during the last summer I had a vegetable garden. I had developed back problems that were aggravated by gardening. Quilting was the hobby taking more and more of my free time.

I had only started quilting a few years earlier and I was finally getting it all figured out. I can't believe how little I knew about quilting when I first began. I mistakenly assumed that it was pretty much the same as dressmaking. I'm afraid I had quite a comeuppance very quickly.

With dressmaking, I was able to eyeball a 5/8" seam, and everything came out beautifully. I thought I could do the same with the 1/4" seams needed for quilting. I also assumed that every seam should be pressed as soon as it was finished just like I'd been taught to do when sewing other things.  In the beginning I didn't even know there was such a thing as a 1/4" quilting foot. With the imprecise seams and the ironing of seams, it's no wonder than my corners and points wouldn't line up.

Needless to say, there were a few quilting disasters. In spite of that I persevered. Quilting is  precise!! I think it's that quest for perfection that truly hooked me.

This is the first quilt I was really proud of. It was hand quilted and I spent two years finishing it. I hadn't yet discovered free motion machine quilting. My daughter has this one. Actually she has quite a few of them. She's a quilt thief, and she takes most of the good ones.

I was so nervous doing free motion quilting when I quilted this early lap quilt. In spite of the uneven stitch length and irregular curves, it's still a favorite. I keep it in my bedroom and use it all the time.

Here are just a few of my early quilts. All are my own designs, but they were made before I discovered Craftsy or pattern making.

Christmas sampler. Pieced and paper pieced. Hand quilted.

Wonky houses. Paper pieced with my first fusible web applique for the flowers. Fee motion quilting.
Too Much Pink. First pieced sampler. Free motion quilting

A lot can happen in eight years. Never in my wildest dreams, could I have imagined that quilting would completely take over my life in the way it has, or that I would be designing quilt patterns instead of buying someone else's designs.

I wonder what the next eight years will bring. I'll have passed my 80th birthday, but I hope I'm still quilting!