I came from generations of quilters, but didn’t have time to quilt until after I retired. When I was a child I went with my grandmother now and again on Saturday morning when she quilted for charity. If I was very quiet under the quilt, sometimes I learned some “life lessons.” My mother took up quilting when she retired and for some years, we quilted together, shopped for fabric and traded ideas. I learned on the fly, from magazines, and, of course, from my mistakes!
I first fell in love with a pattern much too difficult for a beginner – ten years later I’m just getting around to trying it again. I discovered paper piecing early on and found that my quilts looked much better than my true piecing skills. I tried appliqué, but found I should have learned needle-turn when my hands were much younger.
I joined the Hummingbird Stitchers Quilt Guild and started watching how other quilters did things. Working on community quilts with our group gave me practice on dozens of quilts and gradually I learned better piecing skills. Still a beginner with quilting, though, I’m working on it. I’m still very active in my Guild and enjoy all my quilting friends.
One thing that has been very interesting to me has been our guild’s annual challenge; it forces me outside of my comfort zone to have to translate an idea into a pattern. My challenge quilts have all been “art quilts” or a more abstract image. Here’s my quilt from Arizona’s Centennial year-
Quilt ideas come from all kinds of places; here’s one that came from a greeting card. This is “Seventeen Valentines” made in our 17th year of marriage. When you look closely, you can see 17 heart shapes in the spaces between the red shapes.
Another “quilt from the heart” was made in honor of my mother-in-law and all the other mothers of our generation. Here’s the overall photo. In the sashing you can read all those sayings our mothers drilled into us, such as “Wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident.”