Thursday, 13 October 2011

A Quilter's Journey

I hope my regular readers will forgive a bit of self-indulgence on my blog.  I have been quilting for almost 8 years now, and I realize that I have little record of those early years.  The last couple years are documented on the blog - at least snapshots into my progress and plans.  But my early quilts, most of which were given away, are hiding in the corners of my computer, in pictures with no context around them.  So I have decided to start a journal here, which will describe the process involved in the creation of each of my quilting projects.  I flatter myself that this might be of interest to some of you.

My plan is one post a week on this topic.  Certainly no more than that.  Sometimes less, as life becomes hectic and my journaling takes a back seat to other activities.

My introduction to quilting came unexpectedly, and rather sadly  I've sewn since I was young.  My mother taught me how to sew - I still remember my first project (a pair of flannel pyjamas).  I dabbled from there, and when my kids were born I made a lot of their clothing.  I considered quilting a few times, but could not see the point - what did one do with all those quilts, anyway?

Then one day in 2003 a friend, who I knew only through an email group, told us she had breast cancer.  One of the group members suggested we make a quilt for her, since we were not close enough to offer any direct support to her and her family. Over 30 of us contributed blocks, one quilter on the list assembled the quilt and sent it out for quilting.

This was my very first venture into quilting.  I bought 2 fat quarters in the colours chosen for the quilt (purple and green - the recipient's favourite colours), and searched on-line for a pattern.  I found a "friendship star", which seemed perfect.  Carefully following the on-line instructions, I assembled my first quilt block. Above is the end result including an embroidered phrase in the center block.  Below is the finished quilt, just before it was sent to our friend.

By the time I finished this single block, I had decided that I loved quilting, and wanted to do more.  I haven't looked back since.

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