WWQP Bulletin Board

Saturday, May 19, 2007

first quilt, etc.

My maternal grandmother made loads of quilts. I, my siblings and cousins grew up seeing her working on quilts. I think most of us experienced going to a Bee with her and being yelled at to not run with the scissors. :-) She often had her quilt frame up, either in the 2nd bedroom in their house or sometimes even in the front room! She made each grandchild a quilt which we all treasured. I know my mother made quilts but I don't really associate her with quilt making. I do associate Grandma with quilts though.

As a teen, I took Home Ec and made most of my dresses for High School. With all those scraps tempting me, I decided to make a quilt. I asked my grandmother for help but she didn't live very close to us. She showed me some patterns which quickly discouraged me. I can't remember if she or my mother finally suggested I just cut squares and put them together. I remember my mother was the one who suggested tying with yarn which we had on hand. I didn't have much help. I think the adults in my life were pretty busy then. I still have the quilt. It LOOKS like I didn't have much help. LOL Oh well. I've done better since then. And it's sort of fun to have that sorry looking quilt around.

I made a couple other small quilts when I was in my 20's. I hand quilted one and decided that wasn't for me. Then in 1982 I took my first class, a Log Cabin class. I made a bunch of Log Cabin quilts as gifts then graduated to Trip Around the World. Since then I often try a new pattern any time I need to make a gift quilt.

I tied the early quilts then did some stitch-in-the-ditch quilting. I think I started sending out to the machine quilter around 1999-2000.

I'm not sure how many quilts I've made but it's been quite a few. I'm not a great quilter though. I do strip sewing and am usually drawn to easier, straight line patterns. Hand work is not relaxing for me. And since I was working when I really got into quilt making, I've always wanted things to go fairly quickly. I have a tendency to be impatient and am MAJOR math challenged. Making quilts is something I do for fun. I like picking the fabrics, deciding what colors, prints then patterns to attempt. Some have not been wonderful but they usually turn out okay. Most quilts have been gifts which means they are out of the house as soon as they are finished. I try to do as many as possible for charity as well.

I've made all sizes of quilts, the first being twin size. I've made some king size but that challenges my level of patience and wanting things done sort of fast. :-) I went through a phase making pot holders to try different block patterns. I'd like to make table runners but other things have been calling to me so that's still on the 'to do' list. And like everyone else, I'll need to live to maybe 200-250 to use up the stash and make all the quilts I want to try. :-)

Fun subject. Thanks for starting it.

Mary in Oregon

first quilt ever

I had gone to a rummage sale and saw this neat bag of material. Took it home and cut strips from it after seeing a pattern. Made it up and our youngest son asked what I plan to do with it. Since it was close to Christmas, I decided if he was that interested in it, it would be his gift. Then made three others and gave them to the other three kids. It was tied with yarn since that was the way my mother and her mother finished their quilts. Later I learned hand quilting.
I was a clothes sewer before but stopped after the only daughter wore only slacks. Had three boys and didn't master the zipper in boys pants so the Singer machine sat in the closet for years until after the material from the rummage sale.
I also backed the first few quilts with sheets. Couldn't afford the material for the top, batting and the bottom too.
My first material was bought at JoAnn's and bought all the necessary equipment. My first attempt with the rotery cutter was a disaster. It kept curving away from the ruler and had to run to Jo Ann's for more material since the piece that I was cutting was used up real fast in my learning how to cut. :0) Think it was a log cabin quilt that I made that time.
Good question to get us to start blogging. LONNA IN WI

Starting out

I also started sewing in high school, making simple A-line dresses (guess the era). Spent many years making my own and my children's clothing, but also got into crocheting, needlepoint, crewel, and counted cross stitch. Then a new friend introduced me to quilting and the last counted cross stitch piece has never been finished. I guess I was just ready to learn something new. Quilting has been an obsession ever since - about 12 years now. Still do occasional home-dec sewing, but no more clothing for me (those patterns just don't fit right anymore - imagine that!). I love the "figuring" part of designing a quilt - keeps the brain cells active, but I also love the colors, the fabric, the secondary designs that sometimes surprisingly happen, the calming effect of hand quilting, and the cameraderie with other quilters - they seem to be everywhere. I suppose this will stay will me till the fingers just can't do it anymore. NancyH

My first quilting experience

Hi, I started sewing as soon as I could reach the sewing machine. Made all my own clothes, my mother even had an electric machine. When I took Home Ec. in school all they had were treadle machines. when I was married my DH asked me what I wanted and a sewing machine was top priority on my list. Had children and made all their clothes, still make an outfit here and there if one of them wants something. made a gown for my daughter last yr and she is 45yrs old. I made my first quilt in the early eighties, cardboard template drawn with a pencil, made the attic window cause it only had three pieces to it. Little did I know about mitered corners. Then I hand quilted it. The points do not match, cotton/polyester fabric and have no idea what I used for batting. It was queen size. My hand quilting got better and better as I worked on that quilt. Still have it. After that I was off and running. Then retired in 1992 from nursing and my sister (who never sewed a stitch in her life) suggested we open a quilt shop. Hurrah, I really went full speed ahead and am addicted as no one should be. Most of my quilts go to the longarm now. I have made baby quilts, charity quilts, wedding quilts and etc. Taught a lot of classes. Closed the shop in 2004 but still have people come and ask me to sew for them. I do a lot of gifty things now. Tablerunners, wallhangings etc. Marge in Pa.

The Start

In 1962, DH was working for FAA. They sent him to their academy in Oklahoma City and I went along, with our baby. I didn't know anybody there, and hadn't a craft thing to do, so went to the dime store (remember those?) and found an Aunt Martha book with quilt patterns and directions. I picked out a pattern that alternated an 8 pointed star with a block full of half square triangles. I bought white fabric, green fabric, and a green print. DH watched as I made cardboard templates, cut out all the pieces, and then sewed them back together. That first quilt I had hand quilted by a lady back in Michigan when we returned there. DH looked at it and asked, "Wouldn't it have been easier to just sew the big pieces together?" It was at that point that I realized he just didn't get it, LOL. I made a few quilts while the children were growing up, including a twin size for each of them that I hand quilted that used old wool blankets for batting! The stitches weren't tiny, but they were even. The second quilt I made was for my Mom, and was the Star and Crescent pattern. You could tell I had no friends that were quilters--they wouldn't have let me try one with such steep curves in the pattern for a second quilt. I make a lot of charity quilts now. I just sent in 34 blocks to an alum of VA Tech who's making quilts for each of the 32 families that lost loved ones there, and one for the family of the man who committed the crimes--they must be devastated by what their son did. And, I'm expecting a new grandbaby in November, so must make a quilt for him/her, and youngest grandson has requested a quilt that's black with yellow stars.....

Pat in Rockport, TX

When did I start quilting?

I'm one of those who sewed my own clothes when I was a teen. I always wanted to do more creative things. About 20 years ago I cut up some squares, sewed them together. Used an old blanket, wool, for the batting. This was in West Palm Beach, so we didn't need a wool quilt! Too hot. We sweat every time it was over us. I think the squares were poly.
After that I used two sheets and sewed them together with something.
Later there was a quilt shop that opened and I took one class before moving to No. Fla. When I moved here I quit working full time so had more time to "play". When I first moved here there was only one quilt store in town, now there 5 close by and one in St. Augustine. I continue to take classes, as I enjoy the friendship, and learning new things.
Baby quilts out the ears, charity quilts, quilts for the grandsons, now "big boy" quilts to replace the baby ones. Quilows, purses, now on to wall hangings and artsy things. After 20 years I did one more quilt for our bed this past Christmas, and it looks so good. Regular cotton batting, m.q. and m. binding. The squares even match up.
Sara in Fla.

My Long Term Memory Fails Me

I can't really remember how I first began to quilt. I'll try to throw out some thoughts. In high school I hand-pieced several blocks of carpenter's square to make a quilt for my "hope chest". (I didn't have a wooden chest, but did have the concept and was preparing things for life after high school.) I have no clue as to what happened to the blocks...they were never finished into a quilt. Probably my first quilts were baby quilts I made when I was pregnant with my daughter. For one I used a 1-inch gingham check and fussy-cut the fabric so that 9 one-inch squares of the check worked as a "cheater's 9-patch". I alternated these squares with white fabric. DD still has that quilt. Another baby quilt was a child's applique design that I found in Farm Journal magazine. My curved edges were pointy, to say the least. LOL. A year or so later, I made her a larger quilt, using rectangles of garish yellows and hot pinks of the 1970s. Money was tight and I believe I used bath towels for batting...they were ancient and had been worn thin by years of use. Backing was part of an old sheet. I believe I hand quilted (poorly, I'm sure) the gingham quilt. The applique and the yellow/pink quilts were tied. About that same time I made a crazy quilt, using my cotton sewing scraps. Each block was sewn to a square taken from an old sheet. This was a very heavy quilt for there was a layer of stitched fabrics (the crazy Q design), the layer to which they were sewn, then the batting which I believe was an old drapery fabric, and a backing (again, an old cotton sheet). In the eighties, a quilt shop opened up in town and I began to borrow Q books from the local library. Local quilters had gifted the library with a mat and rotary cutter and I borrowed them to make my first log cabin quilt. I was hooked. The rest, a hundred or so quilts later, is history. I've made donation quilts, baby quilts, recycled fabric quilts, artsy quilts, challenge quilts. Lately I'm slowing down... After a year's absence from the sewing machine, I'm finally starting a new quilt. I'm guessing most ladies my age (silver hair era) began their quilting career in a similar fashion, having first used their sewing machines to sew clothing for self and family. My! My! Times have changed, and our experiences must sound as strange to our grandchildren's ears as our grandmother's must have sounded to us.
Great question Judy !.....My first ever quilt I made I did it on a wing and a prayer I think....just cut up squares of what was surely poly/cotton and started sewing them together....it did go together and that 'quilt' was used as a picnic blanket for some years....but it was never something I 'bragged' about.....some years later after tiring of dolls and making clothes for them I stumbled into the first ever quilt shop in town and signed up for a log cabin class....after that it was a Debbie Mumm book....now after 15 years or so it is still my favourite 'hobby'.....and the number of books and patterns is staggering....and we won't mention the fabrich stash!

How Did You Learn to Make Quilts?

After looking at that photo of mine with those fabrics in very loud colors on the BB I think I am obligated to prompt a string of postings to bump it on down the page. I've wracked my brain to come up with an easy question that everybody can answer.

How did you learn to make quilts? Were you a garment sewer who read some Q books and took off from there? (That's how I learned.) Did you take some classes? Did a friend or family member teach you? Or did you just bumble around and figure it out on your own?

Please make your own posting instead of merely adding a comment to my posting so you can help make our blogging BB look lively. Eric probably thinks we don't appreciate his effort in creating this blog ... many signed up but so few actually post messages.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Here's Something That's Not "Quiet" For JudyPete

Remember the "Explosion of Colour" challenge that I mentioned earlier this year? This is the contest that is will be happening in Great Britain and you merely have to make a 24" square wallhanging and ship it "over the pond". (Did I just use that word "merely"?) Well, BBers, this puddle of fabrics is my explosion of hand-dyes and mock hand-dyes from my stash that I will try to shape into something worthy of competing. I think I need to turn a fan on this heap of fabric ... but it does look explosive, doesn't it?

How can JudyPete and I be such very good friends when our tastes in fabric are so radically different? LOL


The WWQP BB is soooooooo QUIET these days!!

It's been months since I've sewn a quilt block. Today I made two...I've placed them atop a quilt made with the same pattern so you can see the setting blocks and how well it goes together. The block is a shoo-fly but I've changed the colorway from two to three....saw an antique quilt on eBay made with the three fabrics and liked it.
Why all of a sudden do I begin sewing again? The simple truth is that I found a vintage Singer 301 at a local thrift shop for $10. Brought it home. Today I oiled and cleaned it. Then dug into my basket of shirts (yep, I love shirt quilts). I like to check yard sales and Goodwill for name-brand shirts and blouses that have quality 100 percent cotton fabrics. I like near-new shirts as the fabric is not old, over-washed, and rotten. If the collar and cuffs are good and there is no fading and the armpits smell fresh, I figure this is gooooooood quilting fabric. I avoid the looser weaves although if someone is into homespuns, the looser weaves would work nicely.
I'm not sure I'll ever get back to my quilting frenzy days but at least I'm starting to come out of the quilt doldrums. LOL
The next question in my mind is this...will I ever get out of my shirt-quilt phase and again begin using some of huge stash of quilt shop fabrics???

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

More on the Buggy Star Quilt

I can't take a better photo of the quilt as it now resides with DGS. However, I found some leftover fabric and also some leftover star pieces. I laid the pieces out in star formation so you can see how they look. Mind you, they are not stitched, so the design is not perfect, but you can get the idea of how a novelty fabric turns into fun when cut in the Stack and Whack method. The fabrics are stacked with the design repeated exactly in each layer. Lady bugs atop lady bugs, butterflies atop butterflies, etc. Then cut in the desired shapes. Bethany gives excellent instructions on how to do this. Each cut covers a different part of the fabric design and so each cut of eight pieces makes an entirely different design when sewn together.

Walking Foot For Singer Slant Needle

You can find a walking foot for your Singer Slant Needle machine at www.clotilde.com which is where I bought the one I use on my machine. It is a "generic" foot but it works just fine. Here's a URL for you http://www.clotilde.com/detail.html?prod_id=4212&criteria=walking+foot and it is even on sale today.


Singer 401

Singer did make a walking foot for the 401, which by the way is a terrific machine. The thing with walking feet is that their bottom mechanism needs to match well with the feed dogs on the machine you want to use it on. There's a Yahoo group called Vintage Singers made up of folks who collect old Singers, and they would probably be able to tell you which walking foot would work best on the 401. I had one several years ago, but my collection has moved back in time since then. My newest machines now are my Singer 319s, made in about 1956.

Pat in Rockport, TX

Monday, May 14, 2007

Singer Sewing Machine Question

I just purchased a Singer slant-o-matic 401 sewing machine from my aunt and now am looking for a walking/even feed foot for it. Do they make them for this machine? Where is a good place to find one. My niece is starting to quilt and she will be using this machine. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Sue in Iowa

Buggy Star Quilt

Some of you have made Stack and Whack quilts as taught by Bethany Reynolds. I made one. I didn't care for the tediousness of the process but I must admit the quilt came out lovely. I made this quilt for my grandson using a buggy fabric that worked up very nicely into the 8-point star blocks. The set of the blocks was my own design and specifically chose the stripped strips to set off the design. Anyway, here for your quilt viewing enjoyment!!!



Sunday, May 13, 2007

lastest lonestars

these are my last two quilts hand pieces and hand quilted, I bet you never thought i would finish them.