Who encouraged you?

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 aย  natural progression into the craft.ย 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.ย  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.oma sewingย  My mom was also a sewer and sewed matching dresses for me and my sister, and also made some embroidered tablecloths.Easter table cloth

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.When you visit a ghost town, you have to dress the part of that time period! 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). 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. Quilting in the Country in Bozeman, MontanaI 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.ย  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!

Monique

15 thoughts on “Who encouraged you?

  1. My little Memaw was a quilter! She wasn’t able to teach me how to do it but she did teach me crochet. I come from a family of makers, just not always quilts. I started getting interested in quilts & sewing as a teenager. It just grew from there! Having my blog has definitely connected me to more quilters & makers around the world. By the way, there is an “old west” picture similar to yours hanging on my parents wall! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  2. I always sewed, but just clothing. I don’t know anyone in my family that quilted. My Mother did sew and my Aunt and I spentโ€‹ time one Summer sewing. I made my first hand pieced and hand quilted quilt and was hooked.

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  3. My mom always sewed and quilted. I can remember seeing her with a box of quilt blocks sitting next to her when I was only 4 or 5 years old. She did everything by hand though she had a nice sewing machine. She taught me to sew doll clothes and later to quilt. I made my first quilt when I was 12. After I got married there never seemed to be much time to quilt. I had a family and a career as an engineer. I did sew some home decor items, curtains and throw pillows and such. When I retired I saw an article about the Splendid Sampler and signed up. Iโ€™ve been making quilts ever since.

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  4. My mother always sewed our clothes…I can only remember one time when we got “store” purchased clothes for Easter. The one year she worked outside of our home. I started sewing my own clothes about 7th grade and continued sewing from then on. Purchased my first sewing machine when I worked for two weeks in potato harvest when I was a junior in high school. But, I never made quilts until later. My mother had made a quilt for each of her grandchildren and gave it to them when they married. My oldest daughter told me she thought I should continue that tradition…”but, Grandma never worked, never….” I had all kinds of excuses. But my sister belonged to a quilting group where they took turns quilting each others quilts, and she said if I would make them, she would quilt one a year for me. So, I embarked on that journey back in the 80’s. Then one a year wasn’t enough, and I was making a “few”. Then, it became more and more, and I couldn’t get them quilted fast enough. Finally, another sister and I purchased a long arm together, and I retired from work, and now I could spend 24/7 quilting. I also scrapbooked, made cards, crafts, and still like it, but quilting has replaced the biggest share of my crafting time.

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  5. While teaching, I didn’t have much time to quilt. After moving to Montana there was plenty of time and ended up working at Quilting in the Country. The employees still get together to quilt and have a food fest.

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  6. All of the women in my family were what I’d call crafters. They each did a selection of knitting, sewing, crochet, tatting, rug making, lace making and embroidery. None of them were quilters. I enjoy doing most of the above crafts but my first love is patchwork. I’m not so keen on the quilting part. I think I love it so much because I love geometry and colour. the possibilities are infinite ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the photograph of your Grandmother. It reminded me of my lovely Primary School teacher Miss Fox who taught me to machine sew when I was ten.

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  7. I was inspired to sew by my grandmother – she wasn’t a quilter, but was great at sewing and crocheting. She had an old singer sewing machine in a stunning wooden cabinet. Whenever we visited, I just had to open the cabinet door to peer inside. There was a little compartment where she would keep bobbins, threads and other paraphernalia, and whenever I think about it, like now, I can still remember how it used to smell. She sadly passed away quite a while ago now, and since then the machine has been passed down to my mum and it will eventually come to me one day. I got into quilting after visiting the American Museum in Bath (UK) and I was blown away by the quilt collection. That’s what got me going. But the person who really encouraged me was a lady called Dianne Huck, who used to edit British Patchwork and Quilting magazine. She encouraged me to send in projects to the magazine. I had never thought I would be able to do this, and she gave me the confidence to do so. She too has since sadly passed away, but I always think of her whenever I create a new projects and it’s featured in the magazine. Mx

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