Quilting is so personal to me. From the reason why I started quilting to the reason I quilt today, quilting is personal. In my 15 years of being the editor of Better Homes and Gardens American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, I heard lots of reasons why people started quilting and why they continue. For me, it’s personal.
My maternal grandmother Maurine Moore taught me to quilt. I was a young girl participating in 4-H and wanting to learn all about the crafts. I mostly did cross-stitch and quilting, but my 4-H club shared other crafts as well. Grandma Moore was a teacher for 45 years, so she had lots of patience. She showed me how to pull threads to cut the fabric straight. She showed me how to mark my 1/4 seams with a guide for easy hand-piecing. She looked over my shoulder as I hand-stitched the pieces together with very tiny stitches.
Grandma didn’t own a rotary cutter. Her daughters gave her a sewing machine, but after collecting dust for many years in the closest she gave it to me. Selecting the fabrics and the pattern to put them in were among Grandma’s favorite parts of the process. I, too, find these steps fun and exciting. Grandma’s eye for color was wonderful. I hope that my color selections are equally pleasing to the viewer’s eye. Her quilts weren’t award-winning, but neither are mine. But our quilts are loved and cherished by those that receive them, and that is better than any blue-ribbon anyone could receive. I’ve never understood or needed to enter a quilt in a contest. I don’t need praise or criticism from others. And, I really don’t care if anyone else likes my quilts. Remember, for me, quilting is personal. It’s about how I like the quilt and how my recipient likes the quilt.
Fortunately for me, I have been able to have my career focus on quilting, as well as being my hobby. I’m passionate about sharing quilting with others. Quilting touches everyone’s lives…they quilt themselves, or they saw their grandmother quilt, or they have an old quilt in their family that was made for a special occasion.
As editor of American Patchwork & Quilting, Quilt Sampler, Quilt-Lovers’ Favorites, Complete Guide to Quilting, Quilting Ideas, Quilts and More, and other quilting titles, I was able to make quilting personal for others. Each month I saw hundreds of quilts and had to select just a few to be on the pages of the magazines. We focused on finding a variety of colors, patterns, sizes, and styles. We found stories about quilters that were fun to share with others. I wanted each issue to be so exciting to the subscriber. When the magazine landed in the mailbox I wanted the customer to run to the house to read every page. Most days we were successful.
In 2007 our family life changed forever as we welcomed the addition of identical twin girls–Goldie Maurine and Virginia Rose. Big brother Henry Jack has adapted well to his little sisters, and so have Mom and Dad. With a refocused purpose in my life I found a new job that was a better fit for me. Now, as National Sales Manager of APQS, I help customers find the long-arm quilting machine that best suits their needs. I was so fortunate to find a job in the quilting industry and one that still allows me to help customers make quilting personal.
When I changed jobs, I also had a chance to rethink how, when, and why I was creative. It’s been so exciting to try new things–like creating a web site, learning to long-arm quilt, hosting quilting retreats, and designing a line of fabric. Yet, it’s so comforting to do the things I’ve always loved to do–pick out fabrics and patterns, piece and appliquÃ©. I started blogging as a creative outlet and love sharing tidbits of my life, whether quilting or not, with others.
Even with a full-time job and three kids, I MUST find time to quilt. I firmly believe that 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there, will add up to finishing a quilt. And, having more than one project going at a time is a must! I’m currently piecing a quilt for a wedding present. I’ve got fabric pulled out for several more. I’ve got ideas for using my new felting attachment on my machine. I’ve got a sketch book full of ideas for a book featuring my fabric line. If only there were more hours in a day.
Because I have a little fabric in my stash. I would love to give you a sampling of it as a prize. So, I will pick 3 people that comment on this blog posting or on the link in my blog to receive a surprise package from my stash. Winners will be chosen February 26th.
My hope for anyone reading this is to have fun quilting. Enjoy each and every part of the process!