|That's me putting my first ever basting pin into my quilt at CQ |
- the other ladies in the class then helped to baste the quilt
I quickly discovered though that what you do have in America is quilting. Quilting didn't interest me, not in the slightest - it's for frumpy old women and who wants a boring old quilt anyway (please bear with me at this point, I will be proved wrong!)? Searching for an outlet for my love of sewing showed me that I didn't really have a choice - it was quilting or clothes making or nothing. So with great trepidation (and my husband, S, and daughter, F, on my arm for moral support and to stop me backing out) one Sunday afternoon in August, we ventured out to The City Quilter in Manhattan. We weren't even sure that we wanted to go in at the door, but we rang the bell and were buzzed in.
We were all looking at each other not sure that we liked this place and not knowing what to do and then a really friendly young lady (now fellow guild member and friend, Karen Haynes) asked if she could help. I told her I was new to the country and new to quilting and wanted to sign up for a course to learn to quilt. She told me that she'd done the same course, Introduction to Patchwork By Machine and that I'd learn so much and meet great people and she said that the instructor, Christine Janove, was amazing - by the time she'd finished I was feeling much more comfortable with the idea of learning this new skill, quilting, in what was then my strange new world, America.
|At the end of the 6-week course, |
I'm proudly holding up my sampler quilt for a CQ photo
I quickly learned more and more about quilting and realised that it's not an old-fashioned technique for grandmas, what's gone before is an incredible passed on tradition with so much skill and artistry and now there's a whole new wave of quilters coming through taking this skill forward, learning the 'rules', following and breaking them in modern, contemporary ways that are artsy and fun. People love quilts, and now my family and I know why - they keep you warm when you're cold, they are cool when you're hot, they're lightweight and fold up smaller and neater than you'd ever imagine, they can be customised, personalised and make great gifts, you can sit on them, lie under them, cry into them, hide inside them and snuggle up with them, they hold memories of people and places that we love and have loved and they become so personal to you that you cherish them ... it's your quilt, it's part of you to be used, hugged and treasured and eventually handed on to the next generation - who'd have thought all that about a quilt!
And here is what I made, my very first ever quilt - it's a Sampler Quilt made for my daughter, F, and from the moment she reluctantly held it, she fell in love with it - and now, at those times when the quilt starts to crawl to the washing machine all on its own, it's reached those dizzy realms of "if you're washing it, it has to be dry in time for me to go to bed tonight?", and that's true love!
So that's it, I'm hooked - 9 months on and I'm using quilts, making quilts, blogging about quilts and building my life around quilts - what was that I said about quilting " it's for frumpy old women and who wants a boring old quilt anyway?" - well what did I know and WOW, wasn't I proved wrong!
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