Me and My Quilts

My mother spent 30+ years trying to teach me to sew.  One of my earliest memories is her helping me lay out a pattern so I could make a t-shirt dress.  It was lime green with smiley faces all over it.  Gotta love the early 70s.  I hated every minute of it.  And every minute of every attempt after that.  The last time she tried, all I had to do was sew a 1/4″ hem in the bottom of a dress.  She had it started for me, showed me what to do, and left the room.  She came back an hour later to find me sobbing.  I think I’d sewn about 12″ in all that time.  She thought I’d sewn over my finger from the way I was crying!  I explained to her that sewing gave me STRESS and that I just knew I couldn’t do it right.  She sighed, calmed me down, gave me a tissue, and completed the hem in about 2 minutes flat.  We silently agreed that she would give up teaching me to sew.

My Grandmother also got in on the act and left me her sewing machine, the cabinet it came in, the original owner’s manual – complete with all her chicken-scratch notes in the margins — her wooden sewing box to keep everything in, her Gingher scissors set, etc.  All of this came with a simple “So that someday you’ll feel like sewing.”  I carted all of that stuff around with me for YEARS.  Didn’t dare get rid of it, because I knew she’d come haunt me!

In late November 2011 I got this crazy idea to make my mom a quilt for Christmas.  It was one I’d wanted for myself for a long time, made up of alternating solid blocks and cat faces.  The instructions seemed simple and straight forward.  What could go wrong?  Everything!  The templates that came with the pattern were the wrong size.  I mis-cut the fabric.  My sewing machine needed to be serviced.  My sewing machine died!  The needles broke.  The fabric bunched up.  The binding didn’t line up with the edge of the fabric.  Did I mention I had no freaking clue what I was doing?

Somehow, though, I got it finished.  It’s not perfect, not anywhere near perfect, but it’s pretty, warm, cozy, and my mommy likes it.  The weird thing is, despite all the setbacks, somewhere along the line I realized I liked the creative process.  When my oldest stepson called from Afghanistan just after Christmas, I told him of my misadventures and that I now had a new hobby.  He asked for a quilt.  Next thing I knew, I was at the machine every day.

A friend of mine pointed out that I tend to throw myself into projects.  I never realized that before, but I guess it’s true.  And this is no exception.  Some of them are short-lived (beading, for example, lasted about 3 months).  This one, however, seems to be here for the duration.

So, about 14 months after I started quilting, what do I have to show for myself?  Mom’s Cat Face Quilt, Nolan’s Broncos Tessellation Quilt, a Blue Star Banner wall hanging, a Jelly Roll Race quilt, a Squared Inside Out block swap quilt, a Colores Sunburst 20th anniversary quilt, the Jessica and Ditch Kymeliwend quilt, three baby quilts, and a handful of others.  I plan to get them all added as time goes by, so stay tuned.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. sassyquilter
    Apr 06, 2013 @ 19:21:51

    Like your blog! I think your latest obsession is the best:) Happy Quilting!


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