Blogger’s Quilt Festival – One of My First Quilts
October 9, 2009 § 48 Comments
This is one of my earliest quilts. And this is the story about how I became addicted to quiltmaking.
In 1995 my husband wanted to move back to his home town to be closer to his family. Near the end of the year, he accepted a job in Spokane, the other more brown and less green side of the state. And so, between Christmas and New Year’s Day we packed up our apartment and moved all of our belongings.
Our new home was a HUGE one-bedroom apartment that was one of five in a large home built around the turn of the century. Back in the day, the wealthy mining moguls built these huge houses that could no longer be maintained as a single family home when the mining industry waned. In our apartment were two large walk-in closets and one small one. The large walk-in closet in the living room became my sewing room. I put my banquet table (which I still use today, but now painted white) in the closet and set up my sewing machine. Up to this point I really only sewed clothing and home deco items.
While Gary was at work, I was home alone and bored. I didn’t know my husband’s family very well and I had only one other friend who I had come to know through him. We had been married only 2 1/2 years. Through a series of temporary jobs, I finally found a mornings only part-time job. In the afternoons I would sew. Besides JoAnn Fabrics, there was a really nice quilt shop on the edge of town. Eventually, I discovered that there were several quilting book authors living in Eastern Washington and they often taught classes at this quilt shop. Watercolor quilts were really popular at the time and the authors of Watercolor Quilts were teaching a class. So I signed up. Cool huh?
My best friend now owns the quilt I made in that class. I have only a poorly lit photo. It was prior to the popularity of digital cameras. (But I can visit it any time I want.) That quilt led to another quilt which my sister-in-law now owns. And then these really cool floral flannels were starting to be manufactured. Not just plaid flannel shirtings, but flannels with flowers! And nice heavy flannel, not brushed cotton. Thick and heavy. Perfect for a cozy quilt.
This pattern is from Marsha McCloskey’s book Quick Classic Quilts. This was before I knew all about quilt math. Before I really understood free-motion machine quilting. Before I knew anything about Electric Quilt. And before Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler and all those fabulous fabric designers that are now blazing the trail for new quilters today. But I have to say, this is probably the quilt most often used in our home. We have taken it on ski trips and to the beach. We’ve piled it along with other quilts on top of our bed when the power goes out. We have crawled under it in the dead of winter and watched sappy old movies on the sofa. It’s warm. It’s cozy. And it’s seen us through the ups and downs of another 14 years of marriage since then. Even though the fabrics of today have changed, I still love this quilt.
Well, Gary’s job lasted only a year and then we moved back to the Seattle area. But that foundation of quilting has continued on in my life. Three or four years after our move back, I started working in a local quilt shop, which led to a job in a different quilt shop, which led to my tiny little pattern company, which led to this blog. Who knew that one quilt class so long ago would take me down this road in my life!