I struggle now to remember how it was exactly that I started quilting. I've sewed since high school, making some of my own clothes, not very well, though there was always the odd project that was good enough to inspire me to make something else; and there have been years when I haven't done anything, but when I had little kids (they're teenagers now) I enjoyed sewing a few clothes for them.
|A recent finish- a Baby Cross Quilt|
My mum isn't a huge sewer- really sewist is a much better word isn't it! But she has definitely sparked my interest in sewing, shown me how to follow a pattern and given me those little skills and pieces of knowledge one tends to take for granted. She has made me some lovely things over the years. One of the most ambitious must have been my school graduation dress, an 80's confection in soft silk with ruffles and a boned bodice! And Mum and Dad gave me the sewing machine I still sew on for my 21st. Read all about that here. There's also a link to a post about the perspex extension table Dad made for my machine.
I think the quilting passion started when, for some reason out of the blue, I decided to make a quilt for my Grandmother's 90th, either that or it was when my son needed a new duvet cover and I spotted a log cabin design I liked and it turned into a quilt instead. No photos of that one, my son has it away at Uni. Actually I think he's close in the line up for a new quilt, since both of our styles have changed since then. But there's something special about those early projects, even though I don't love either of them now. In the mosaic below there's a gratuitous shot of that first quilt for my Granny...
Another significant early project, in terms of inspiration, were these very simple cushions, I saw this fabulous Marimekko fabric and just bought a little of each. They were hard to cut into I remember, but an example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts I think! Besides, I could never have chosen just one or two! We've had these on our sofa for over ten years now I'd guess, but I still love them.
I have an American friend in NZ where we lived then and I think she has more sense of the quilting heritage, which in turn influenced me and we used to get together to sew from time to time, which was great. We also went to a weekend workshop, with different speakers and classes. That was really inspiring and although we were feeling our way into something that seemed like there more older women doing it, there was an undercurrent of freshness and some new fabrics that were the beginnings of the Modern Quilting movement. It felt like the edge of something new.
|L-R Top to Bottom: HST Quilt, Improv in Pyjamas ; Gum Tree Quilt, My First Ever Quilt -for my Granny, Close up of Gum Tree Quilt, StripQuilt for my Sister, Baby Crosses, Mum's Quilt and Sophie's Vintage whole cloth Quilt|
But quilting has really grown for me as a hobby in the last few years and especially since I started my blog last year. Since I've been in Australia I've loved the chance to sew regularly with my friend Liz. We were chatting at an MTB event both our sons were involved in and both said we wanted to make time to do more creative things in our life, so agreed to meet on Fridays whenever possible to carve out time for that. It's been gold. Once the machine's out at the end of our dining table; and the cutting board and piles of fabric are erupting further along, they tend to sit there and it's easier to do a little. We do have a long table fortunately, so it can get shoved to the end half and there's still room for the family to eat! I love to sew while people are around and about, but I think the ideal solution is a room close to the action, where the door can also be shut!
|L-R Camera Case, Liberty Zip Pouch, Table Mats, Table Runner, Zip Pouch, Computer Sleeve|
Blogging for me is the other part of carving out a creative space; really a kind of accountability to myself for making something and a way of contributing to this amazing online world where I gain so much inspiration. If you like you can read more about my reasons for blogging and how it got its name here.
I'm off to read some of the other posts now and discover something about others' inspiration!