I learned to quilt, when I was about 12 years old, from my mother and my maternal grandmother; later I was prompted to try a quilt all on my own by an ad in a women’s magazine in 1975. The ad was meant to sell a bed but what caught my eye was the Double Wedding Ring quilt being used as a bedspread. Up until that moment I had thought of quilts as simply bedding – to be placed underneath the bedspread.
Seeing a quilt being intentionally used as a bedspread was a new concept to me and I decided to keep up with the latest fashion by making a Double Wedding Ring quilt of my own. Have you ever noticed that all new quiltmakers want to start with a bed quilt, usually king sized?
After using a corner of my bedroom for fabric storage and the kitchen table for a work station for many, many years, I now have a quilting studio of my own. The thing I like best about it is not having to the share this lovely large room with any other function. Great lighting, lots of storage, a comfortable chair for hand stitching, and a large work surface is great too. My second favorite thing about having a quilting studio is my Ipod player and dock. I can listen to music that fits my mood or my project. It is lovely to mix and match my favorite artists at will.
Most of my quilting work is by hand. I simply love the process of plying needle and thread to fabric (whether hand appliqué or hand quilting). It is fascinating to watch a design appear from such a simple tool as a needle.
For me, helping students find an easier way or refining a technique they have been struggling with is one of the greatest rewards of teaching. All of my classes are geared towards that end – teaching techniques that make hand stitching ever more enjoyable. There is nothing as beautiful as a quilt that was made over time. To me, such a quilt carries the essence of its maker, whether she is living or long lost to passing time.