I love the history of quiltmaking. There's just something heartwarming about thinking of our great-grandmothers using small, leftover scraps of fabric out of necessity, and turning them into useful practical, BEAUTIFUL works of art out of love, each one unique and telling its own story. That SO appeals to me!
Quiltmaking used to be, of course, an art of total handwork. Each top was meticulously (and laboriously!) pieced by hand, then the top, back, and middle (batting) would be quilted together in small, delicate, perfect (and beautiful!) hand stitching.
But it's a different world nowadays, and most of us work outside the home, and lead very busy lives. So today's quilters usually piece their tops by machine; and machine "quilting" (the actual stitching that holds the top, back and batting together) has become an art form in its own right, as well.
I learned to quilt about 11 years ago, when I was admiring a quilt that a dear friend named Laura (Lollie) had just made. She asked me, "Would you like to learn to quilt?" I said "OHYESPLEASE!" before she barely had the question out!
My first quilt (under Lollie's excellent tutelage) was a simple "Quilt-in-a-Day" log cabin quilt, with inexpensive fabric from the local fabric shop. It wasn't very big (and looking back now, it wasn't even very beautiful!) -- but I LOVED it, and I LOVED making it. I still have it to this day, and I probably always will!
It was from this book by Eleanor Burns, which is an older book, but still an excellent resource. We really did make the entire quilt top in one day!
And thus an addiction was born! I finished that quilt and could barely wait to start another. My sewing machine was humming day and night. My husband laughed and said I was a "chain quilter"!
In the years since, I have made 35 quilts. I have given some away (I believe that quilts are the ultimate gift of love!), but I have never sold any.
Here are a few of the quilts I have made, and a little about each one.
This quilt was another "early" one, and I made it especially for the living room of our home before this one. It is a "Flying Geese" pattern. I had it hanging on the wall, on a shaker peg rail with hooks, that went all around the room.
This next quilt (like many others of mine) is a Thimbleberries quilt. It is made of thick, soft flannels, and is one of my favorite napping quilts, especially during our long, cold winter months! I get so many compliments on it, and it was really one of the easiest quilts I have ever done. It's just mostly fabric STRIPS!
This next quilt is my Farm Animal Quilt. It's my 2nd favorite quilt, and I love it because it is just such a happy, whimsical quilt. It was one of my first attempts at "blanket stitch (machine) applique". For interest's sake, none of the "pinwheels" in this quilt are exactly the same.
This next quilt is a full/queen size, and was made for our guest room. It's another Thimbleberries pattern, using mostly Thimbleberries fabrics.
Here is a rustic, antique ladder that is in a corner in my living room, displaying 5 of my quilts. I love to look at it, but every now and then, I do take each quilt down, open it up, wrap up in it... and enjoy it all over again!
This next quilt is another napping quilt. (Can you tell I like to nap?!) It's my "Snowman" quilt, and it, too, is made of all flannels. The back of the quilt is a soft, cozy, micro-fleece -- it is simply delightful to curl up in on cold evenings! Can you see the swirling pattern of the quilting stitches? Looks like swirling snow!
This next quilt is called a "Bull's Eye" pattern and it is my All. Time. Favorite. Quilt. EVER. Here's why... not only is it beautiful (so soft and vintage looking!) but it was done as a "buddy quilt" with Lollie. She made 70 squares (using her favorite fabrics) and I made 70 squares (using my favorite fabrics) and then we cut all of our squares in half, and traded half of our squares with each other. So we each have a quilt like this -- and it is a beautiful, daily reminder of my wonderful, lifelong friend, Lollie!
Quiltmaking has also taught me some valuable life lessons, because making quilts requires what I call "stick-to-it-iveness"! One of my life's mottos may well be, "Little by little, great things will be accomplished." If you stick with things, piece by piece, you will get them done! And there is just little else as fulfilling to me as finishing a beautiful quilt.