(Middle English - quilte, from Anglo-Norman and from Latin - culcita = mattress)
Mr. Outback defines a quilter as someone who is typically covered with stray threads, always has some type of piecing next to their favorite chair, walks around muttering words like, "stash", "road trip", "fat quarter", or "blankety blank bias edges"....He wonders how a person can start a brand new project when there are others still in the works...
I define a quilter as someone who is hopelessly in love with everything that defines a quilt.
In 1982, a friend of mine called me one day and asked if I would be interested in signing up for a Beginning Patchwork Class at our local quilt shop (LQS). Being budget wise, I said "How much does it cost?"
$5.00 for a 3 week session. Sure, sign me up...my interests back then revolved around needlepoint, macrame and knitting. What could be so difficult about cutting up some fabric and sewing them back together?
A gazillion dollars & trillions of cut pieces later...quilting is such a part of my life, I cannot imagine a day without it. Most of my precious friendships have been formed by this passion. We all speak the same language.
Somewhere is the original pillow that was pieced during that Beginning class...it is packed away in a box. I do remember the pattern though - "Clay's Choice." Done in bright reds and a solid white background with a ruffle, it was very elementary but I stressed over that for weeks.
We still use the first full size bed quilt I made.
It has been relegated to the travel trailer and has provided warmth on numerous chilly nights when on the road. It is a sampler quilt and was pieced during an extended Sampler Quilt Class at the same LQS. In the '80's fabric choices were limited. You usually chose a main fabric, an accent and the background. The ubiquitous threesome. My blue border is even a cotton/polyester blend (gasp!) That would be a major malfunction now as 100% quality cotton is the only choice. Despite the drawbacks, the quilt is entirely handquilted and I can no longer achieve small, even stitches. I recall it taking about 2 years to quilt (not a speed demon, am I!)
The blocks look so large to my eyes now - especially compared to the nine patch quilt that appears above in my blog header...each 9 patch unit finishes to 1 1/2" and there are well over 1000 blocks in the quilt.
As we grow in our "passion," tastes are bound to change. These days, I am trying to learn applique. I read somewhere that historically, making appliqued quilts often comes in one's later years...the children are grown and on their own. There is time to devote to the more intricate projects. Choosing colors is quite different than piecing a quilt. Techniques are totally different and the quilter tends to linger over each block savoring the process.
This is the latest completed applique block in my Beyond the Cherry Tree Quilt.
And a peek at one that close to being finished.
As I stitch, the bond of all the other quilters now and in the past is strongly felt. We are a sisterhood (but with many gifted male counterparts!) and I hope that in years to come...someone will look upon my humble work and feel that same connection...
"When this you see...remember me..."
|A signed block from an 1840's quilt|
Have a good rest of the week and come back soon! Your comments are always a treasure.