Who or what encouraged you to become a quilter? I know many people who quilt come from a family where quilting is or was a long-standing tradition. Often times people remember seeing their grandmas, mothers, or aunts quilting and so to them it is a natural progression into the craft. As far as I know, there was no one in my family who quilted. I don’t know if quilting just wasn’t big in the Netherlands ( where I was born and lived until I was 15), or if I just wasn’t aware of any relatives quilting as a hobby. I do know that my maternal grandmother ( my Oma ) liked to sew and one of my favorite photos of her is her sitting at a sewing machine with a kitty by her side. My mom was also a sewer and sewed matching dresses for me and my sister, and also made some embroidered tablecloths.
I really wasn’t aware of quilting and quilts at all during my later high school and college years either. The town where we lived and went to school just didn’t have that artsy community feel.
It wasn’t until my husband and daughter and I moved out to Montana that I became aware of quilts. We started visiting museums and old ghost towns and all of a sudden I was noticing these amazing bed coverings. I would go to the library and check out books about quilting and became convinced I HAD to try it. Luckily for me, I had met a new friend whose daughter was the same age as ours. I think we had known each other a few years already but then I found out she was a quilter! When Colleen offered to teach me I was so excited! I remember picking from her scrap basket ( I had absolutely nothing!) and she taught me how to make a potholder ( hand quilted and everything!). I was completely hooked! I loved it and wanted to learn more… right away… yesterday… ( you know how that goes 😉 ). But at this point she had 2 young kids and I had 3 so getting together for quilting was not going to be that easy. That’s when I decided to sign up for a quilt class at a local shop. I made my very first quilt, a sampler, and after that I was well and truly addicted and there was no turning back! Up to that point in time I had scrapbooked and made greeting cards, but that quilting bug bit hard and I really stopped everything in order to make quilts.
So here we are 17 some years later and quilting is still my greatest passion, although I do make cards occasionally too. I think I could spend 24 hours a day quilting, if there weren’t other responsibilities. I know my family gets it, although outsiders do not, when I say that I “have to have a quilt room”. Our youngest was very concerned when we turned my quilt room back into a dining room for the purpose of selling. He said : “But Mom, where are you going to quilt?”. Gotta love him ;).
Over the years I have tried to convince other people that they should try quilting, but I always tell those
unsuspecting victims people that if they don’t love it right away, it probably is not for them. I love having this wonderful hobby. It keeps me sane, it inspires me, it gives me a connection to other like-minded people, and it allows me to make something beautiful and useful, not only for our family, but for others as well. And now I am lucky enough to write a blog about quilting and to have a very wonderful facebook group that is dedicated to quilting and filled with people who “get it”. What more can a girl ask for?
How about you? Did you follow in someone’s quilting footsteps or did you discover it all on your own? I would love for you to share your quilting journey in the comments!
Until next time~happy creating!