Thursday, October 14, 2010

the whole quilting thing

I have sewn for many years, but am known in the knitting world.

I have been sewing clothing for years, when I worked at a nightclub; my days were spent creating clothes to wear at work that night. I loved those days. Then after the club days, I had a professional foray in designing and piecework for fiber artists (weavers and silk painters) for about 7 years.  Sewing is not foreign to me. I have made over 500 garments in my career (for myself and for pay); so I know sewing, but when it comes to quilting…

My Grandma Emma was a quilter. She would piece on the machine, and then quilt by hand. She taught me how to hand quilt. 

Being a lefty, I always was going the wrong direction, until she figured out that I could sit across from her or around the corned of the quilt frame and we could cover common ground.

I recall helping her with a quilt to celebrate the Bicentennial (which happened to also be Colorado's Centennial). We made an Irish Chain quilt in Red, White, and Blue and gave it to the Church for their Bazaar. It was a beautiful piece and I have no idea who won it in the raffle. 

I hadn’t really done much else in quilting but maybe a couple of Seminole jackets, but they weren’t really quilted.

I caught the bug a few years back…
I discovered the Stargazey patterns by Australian designer,
Jan Mullen, while purchasing fabric for a skirt for a photo shoot. The pattern was on clearance and just too cool and “wonky” to pass up. I knew I woulfd enjoy making a wonky quilt. I actually bought 4 of those patterns. Came home and made blocks for a wall quilt that weekend. It still is unfinished but very beautiful in pieces.

I know what I like and I like the freedom of playing with fabric with very few parameters. This worked. I went on and created a block of my own and made a wall quilt for my office.

When working on editing a book a year ago, after lo…oo…ong days at the office I would go home and need to decompress. Knitting was not the vehicle for that. I would sit at the machine and sew for an hour and forget all the k, p yo, dec, inc that had me stressed at work.

I began piecing quilts.

I joked with the author that I became a quilter thanks to her knitting book…and it kind of is the truth. Now I find myself interested in fabrics, with the yarn and needles waiting for work inspiration and responsibilities. 

And now I have discovered the whole Flickr quilting bee community!
I am in trouble, in 7 months I have joined 4 bees and one swap and am having the time of my life, making new pals.
Do not get me wrong…
I will always be a knitter, and plan to finally get my book published, but quilting is a new challenge and diversion, and I want to share.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, do you knit left handed as well? I get a lot of funny stares from professionals in the knitting industry, about me knitting with my left hand. I wish quilting was a therapeutic to me as it is to you (I am still way too wonky). How exciting about a book too!