For this week’s post, I wanted to do something a bit different. I want to share with you how I got started quilting, with a peak at my earliest quilt, and things that keep me inspired. I want to hear from you too! I’ll ask a few questions at the end of this post. Answer them in the comments so I can get to know you, my readers, better. There will also be a winner drawn from among the comments for this new pattern booklet from Annie’s Quilting that includes my lap quilt, Galaxy!
What Inspired Me to Quilt
Believe it or not, no one in my close immediate family is a quilter or a sewer. When I was growing up, the only person in my family that quilted was my grandmother who lived several states away and passed away when I was 9 years old. Mom could barely hem a pair of pants. If she could do it with a stapler, she might have. LOL!
I actually decided to quilt because I was looking for something to do as a newly wed while my husband played league softball. I saw a catalog from the local community college advertising an adult education quilting class. So I said “why not?”. The fact that I chose a very difficult pattern (LeMoyne Star and a variation) and a queen size quilt did not stop me. The fact that it was all by hand almost did.
Ugh! Those colors! Although Addie seems to like it…..
Like I said above, you’d think I would want to quit after that class. However, after making this quilt I was hooked…. and I also went out and bought a sewing machine so I would never have to hand piece again!
What inspires me today is the large variety of beautiful Civil War reproduction fabrics. That is my favorite fabric to use and when I find a new line, it inspires me even more. I also get a lot of my inspiration from antique quilts. I love looking at books of antique quilts.
My Favorite Quilting Technique
Since I never wanted to hand piece again, you will find it funny that my favorite quilting technique is needle-turn hand applique! I took a class early on and loved doing it. Over the years I have added applique to many of my quilts because I thought it added a unique “flair”. Here’s some of my favorite applique projects:
See how applique adds so much to simple piecing? That’s what I love about it. If you want to do it by machine because you find it easier, it will still look just as beautiful. In recent years, I have added wool applique to the techniques I love. Wool applique has the beauty of needle-turn fabric applique but is a little easier because there are no seams to turn under.
The Tool (or Notion) I Can’t Live Without
Well, I’m cheating here because I have a few. The first of my favorite notions is Roxanne Glue Baste-it.
With how much I applique, this has saved my finger tips. When I first started appliqueing, I had to anchor my applique pieces with pins. I can’t count how many times I poked my fingers as I was stitching down a piece. When this glue came on the market, I was thrilled when I gave it a try. Small dots on the back of my applique piece secured it in place allowing me to stitch with out finger pokes or, Yikes!… blood on the project!
My second favorite tool is the Quilt in a Day Triangle Square-up Ruler.
I love to include half-square triangle squares in patterns …. some have a lot! This ruler makes it so much easier to trim these units to size. You trim before pressing them open so you only have to make two cuts to trim up all four sides instead of trimming the four sides separately!
Finally, the O’lipfa Safety Shield for rulers used in rotary cutting. I had a cutting accident about 3 years ago and lost a tiny tip of my finger. Let me tell you, I do not want to do that again. So, I purchased these safety shields and attached them to all my rulers!
They only come in the 22″ size for the long rulers, but you can get your local hardware store to cut them down to size to fit smaller rulers too. They stick to the top of the ruler on the edge and are clear so you can still see the lines. This keeps the rotary cutter from skipping over the ruler’s edge and hitting your hand.
So, that’s my story, what is yours? Answer these three questions (below) in the comments and you will be entered into the drawing for the Annie’s book of time saving quilts!
- What inspired you to quilt
- What is your favorite quilt technique
- What is the tool or notion you can’t live without
The drawing will be on Monday, March 30th to give everyone time to answer! ***We have a winner! Congrats, Sheila Bales!***