My west coast daughter has been bugging me to create my own blog primarily to post pictures of the dozens of quilts I have made since I began quilting seriously about 15 years ago. So I've caved despite the fact that I think I might spend more time on the computer than I will on the sewing machine. [Update: I've already spend 5 HOURS reading blogs and creating my own!] I am no tech-savvy mid-50's grandmother, but I do a bang up job with spreadsheets and data bases full-time at work. I have a cell phone I rarely use and I don't have an Ipod music thingy. I just got my first digital camera this Christmas from my kids so I can take the pictures to put on the blog. Now I have to learn to post the pictures!
So here goes...please excuse any rambling randomness.
When I was pregnant with daughter #1 I discovered I had a talent for fine handwork. I began with embroidery and not just the simple stuff. Oh, no! I started with a detailed floral bouquet that I finished probably five years later. From there I went to crewel, needlepoint (from graphs no less-no painted canvases for this girl!) and macrame. Remember macrame? I made all kinds of plant hangers and some jewelry. I picked up counted cross stitch, again from graphs. Then I found quilting. After making a couple of those huge one-block wonders from patterns that were published in Family Circle or Women's Day, I decided I wanted to learn quilting "the right way." I took my first class at a quilt shop where the owner became a good friend later on. The class cost $65 and included the fabric. After the first session I was hooked. I put away the cross stitch stuff and never looked back.
My former master bedroom is now my quilt "studio" and stuffed to the gills with fabric - in a dresser, boxes, baskets, bins, bags, but NOT the freezer, in the trunk of my car, or under the guest bed. All my fabric purchases are there for my husband to see (which he usually doesn't care to see, except when I bring home reproduction Civil War fabrics). He buys books like I buy fabric so he can't complain. The studio has 3 windows that face south, west and north so I always have good light all day long. I use an old computer table that has a drop-down keyboard tray where my Bernina Virtuosa sits at the perfect height for sewing. This table is now "out of print," sorry to say. I could use a new one. But it's perfect because it is deep. But it keeps collecting other stuff that has no home, which I have to move (usually to the floor) when it's time to quilt all those baby quilts, lap quilts and wall-hangings. I love my Bernina. I also have a Singer Featherweight which I take to classes and a 1928 electric Singer in a cabinet that I found at a church rummage sale for $20. I had it tuned up and polished and it works like a charm. I was hoping to actually fix up this room with cabinets and counters and wonderful lighting, but until that happens, I work with an overhead light, an Ott-type floor lamp and table lamp, and another old small lamp that sits behind me. I feel like I'm alway working in my shadow, and my husband refers to my totally lit up room as the "landing strip."
I have a gazillion projects in different stages: Planning-wedding quilt for daughter #2 who eloped; I have till May 4 (1 year) to get the top made; baby quilt for same daughter's baby boy due in June; baby quilt for baby due March 3, baby quilts for mom of premature twin girls. Christmas quilts for all the kids. Hard cover book projects; soft cover book projects; magazine projects; Civil War and reproduction quilts - you get the picture. Under construction-very, very many. Finished-I don't think I ever counted. I've discovered along the way that I like making traditional quilts. Civil War and reproduction quilts speak to my soul, never mind the history. I make traditional patterns with wild colors. For the past couple of years, that electric limey green has been in all of my quilts, some a lot, some a little. Can't understand it.
I love fabric. During the first couple of years of this passion I stocked up on lots of fabric to create my stash. I now own a lot of calicoes, which are usually at the bottom of the drawer or box or bin. Ninety-nine percent of the time I walk out of a quilt shop/fabric store with fabric. It's a very rare occurrence when I'm empty-handed. The point is to keep the stash fresh and how is it that I never have the right shade of green when I need it?!!
I have two very wonderful friends who are quilters, J and B. We plan group projects with good intentions that don't often happen. We love to visit new quilt shops in our area, quilt shows within a couple hours' drive of home and an occasional overnighter. We have a lot of fun. Among us we could open our own shop with all of our quilting stuff. When I retire in another six - 6! years I want to work in a quilt shop-for fabric of course!