My mom was my first sewing teacher. I can remember standing at the side of the machine as she would sew and I would beg her to teach me. Many years later, when we were sewing together, my mom admitted that she put me off because she did not think I would have the patience to sew.
My inspiration to quilt came about in a funny way. My sister and I were making cross-stitched basket liners and selling them like crazy at craft shows (thanks to the Longaberger craze). This left us with strips of fabric as scrap. One day she gave me a TON of these left over strips and the fight was on. Neither one of us wanted this bag of scraps. I thought, yes she does, she just doesn’t know it. So I made my first scrap quilt. It was ugly and huge! From there the nieces each wanted an ugly quilt. These became their college quilts. I used to make my nephew’s boxer shorts; therefore his college quilt was made from scraps of all of his boxers. At this time, I think the quilt still exists, but the boxers don’t. When my father passed, I made 9 quilts between the months of May to December out of his plaid shirts. Each child, grandchild, and great-grandchild received a “papa quilt” for Christmas. I have provided quilts now to four generations. I have not looked back since then. I enjoy making scrap quilts the most because I have so much fabric to use up and I can use any pattern or technique I want.
Quilts are meant to be used. A well-worn quilt is a compliment. Wear it out so that I can make you another one.
It was no surprise that I could not wait for my quilt tops to return from the quilter. As a graduation present to myself, I bought a long arm machine. It took me over a year to feel comfortable enough to quilt other people’s tops. Thanks to a friend who pushed me over the edge I have not looked back. I have become so excited about quilting that I now combine my teaching background with quilting. I have given lectures, taught classes, and hosted full-day and weekend retreats.
For me, quilting is the best therapy. It gives me a chance to clear my mind and fill it with new ideas. My specialty is making t-shirt quilts. I love seeing what was most important in a person’s life at that particular moment.