Saturday, October 30, 2010

Why I love to quilt or my journey into quilting

The other day a friend asked me why I love to quilt. She just couldn't understand why I would spend so much of my time doing quilting related activities. In her mind I could hear here saying "You have made a quilt so move on and try something else."  I've thought about her question a lot.
At the age of 12, I really wanted to learn how to sew. So I traded babysitting for sewing lessons. Each Saturday, I went to my cousins home and she gave me lessons. I'd sew all day and then in the evening I'd babysit her children and she and her husband would be able to go out for the evening without having to pay a sitter. When I got to Junior high and took sewing in Home Economics, I was aready pretty good by then. I  was making my own clothes by this time so the apron we got to make was so boring.
In High School I had a really great Home Economics teacher. Her name was Mrs. Boulton. I learned more of my basic sewing skills from her and I graduated into more difficult projects like a tailored clothing. I really learned a lot from her.  One thing that I took from her classes is that you need good equipment. AKA a good sewing machine. When others were saving up for cars and such, I was working to pay for a Bernina Sewing machine. I remember going into the local sewing machine dealer and picking out the one I wanted. I said to the owner Mr. Smith "I really want that Bernina 830 sewing machine. Will you please put it away for me and I promise I will come down to your shop every Friday and make a payment on it. When it is paid for it, I will take it home." To my surprise, Mr Smith insisted I take it home that day. Can you image trusting a 16 year old to make payments? But we shook on the deal and I couldn't let him down. I worked at Woolworths each day after school and on Friday when got paid I'd walk down to Mr. Smith and hand it over to him. The wage in those days was a whopping $1.10 cents per hour. So it took me a long time to pay for that fancy $1000.00 sewing machine.  I'm please to say that I never missed a payment and was true to my word. I'd earn extra money for my sewing machine by doing odd jobs like repairing  the Cranbrook Colts Hockey Club jerseys. That sewing machine works as great today as the day I bought it.
When I graduated from High School I was offered a job with the Bernina Company. But, I turned it down go to university. I wanted to be a Home Economics sewing teacher. I still can't belive I did that.
Well I didn't graduate from university. I got married. When my first child came along I wanted to make him a quilt but believe it or not, I could not find a quilting book or teacher. So I tried on my own. The projects I made were really simple. Usually a plain piece of fabric that I just hand quilted. Then I met some older ladies at the church that I went to and they showed me how do do it right. I spent many hours with those ladies and I probably learned more about life than quilting. I enjoyed the time that we spent together.
Then came the day that I noticed the add in the Community College brochure. "Learn how to quilt".  I spent one evening  for 6 or 8 weeks learning the basics. I'd was so fun! That got me hooked. Then I joined the quilt guild and I made some really good friends. And they loved to quilt too! We just kept learning new things.
Then as life would have it, our family needed some extra cash. Our family was growing and I needed to go back into the workforce. That is when I learned to machine quilt since I didn't have as much time on my hands.
So that brings me to  why I love quilts and quilting. I love the colors in the quilts. I love the stories of why quilts are made. I love learning and I'm always learning  techniques as work on a project. I love the inspiration I get looking at others quilts and appreciate the time and effort they took to make their quilt. I love the friendship and comraderie that comes with being a quilter. I love the joy I see in others eyes when you have made a special quilt just for them. I love that fact tht quilters seem to work together when someone is going through a rough time. I love the contentment I feel as I stitch at my sewing machine or quilt at my quilting machine. I love the time it gives me to reflect on life. Life is never boring if you are a quilter! I guess that is why I love it!

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