Please join me in welcoming guest blogger AnneMarie as she shares with us her vision for her new blog: Gen X Quilters (& Y too!).
Hello there! My name is AnneMarie and I am the hard-at-work quilter behind the new blog Gen X Quilters (& Y too!). I’d like to thank Michele for giving me the opportunity to guest blog here at the Quilting Gallery to tell you about myself and the community I hope to create at GXQ.
Let’s begin with a little background.
When I was young, my mom repeatedly asked to teach me to sew. And like any girl growing up in the 80s and 90s, I was desperate to be independent and everything-not-domestic. I was slightly tom-boyish, preferring soccer and sports to dance lessons, but I always enjoyed art.
We crafted up a storm in Girl Scouts, but I absolutely refused to learn to sew and cook. Once, I think my mom convinced me I should make a patchwork blanket for the dog. I remember cutting some squares out with scissors and that’s where it ended. I never even sewed a stitch.
I went off to college and studied mechanical engineering. Being 1 of 2 women in my classes, I was completely submerged in everything male. Gears, beers, and dirty jokes. It was a lot to handle. After working a couple years in the trucking industry (of all places!), I married my husband. I relocated, went to grad school, and finally started to reconnect with the artist in me. For the first time in years, I could explore something crafty and creative without feeling like I needed to hide my femininity (I’d spent a lot of time toughening up so I could work in a man’s world – the auto industry). But now, I was doing something I liked (studying biomechanics), married, and finally figuring out who I was in life. Imagine that! It only took 25 years to figure out who I was!
I tried a variety of crafty hobbies…..cross-stitch…. knitting….. scrap booking….. searching for the one I could become passionate about.
When pregnant with my first son, I asked for a sewing machine for Christmas. Now remember, I’ve never even sewn an inch. It sat in the box a few months (until pregnancy nausea and exhaustion subsided) and then IT began. My obsession, I mean. First, I had to teach myself to sew a straight line. Although I had no idea what I was doing, I refused to be stifled by instructions and a pattern. This is what I came up with.
It’s not quilted (I honestly didn’t even know what quilting meant) or tied, just 3 layers of material sewn with stubborn persistence and love for my unborn son. It’s not the prettiest thing, but he liked it and somehow, through my cloud of confusion due to lack of research, I had somehow taught myself to sew.
Fast forward a bit through baby sleepless nights and adjusting to being a stay-at-home mom….when I resumed my new hobby, I just couldn’t get enough! My excitement at watching the quilts come together and learning new skills grew and grew. It’s been four and a half years since I began and now I enjoy creating my own designs. The need for detail, precise cuts and seam allowances perfectly suits the anal retentive engineer in me.
Enter Gen X Quilters…
I started a blog on a whim (Quilting Chronicles), thinking I may like to work part-time at a quilt shop. I thought the blog would be a good way to show my quilting “resume” when I went to apply for the job. Just a couple weeks later, I attended the National Quilting Association Quilt Show here in Columbus. I was shocked that I could count on one hand the number of quilters under 50. I was just getting my feet wet in the blogging world, but I knew there had to be others out there like me. My friends do not sew. In fact when I mention that I quilt, it sometimes gets raised eyebrows, like “are you an 80 year old grandma?” or possibly even because I live in Ohio, it conjures up the image of Amish women sewing around a frame 100 years ago.
I so wanted to meet someone in my age group that shared a more contemporary view of quilting. After a Google search produced no results, there it was! Gen X Quilters (& Y too!) and a blank screen on Blogger. Now all I had to do was find a friend.
Although GXQ is a blog (which tends to be more a monologue than conversation), I am trying to create a central hub for Gen X and Gen Y Quilters to come and see a more contemporary take on quilting. Be it through my own projects and designs, reading about others background and work on Gen X Quilters’ Follower Fridays, viewing GXQ’s photo stream on Flickr, or just perusing the blog roll.
I hope to:
- Create a place to find others with interests similar to your own hip, modern, quilty flare!
- Inspire someone who has never tried quilting or learned to sew.
- Have fun meeting quilters through sharing stories, admiring work and sparking creativity.
Quilters of all ages, shapes and sizes, please hop on over to Gen X Quilters with a cup of coffee. Read a bit and send me your suggestions. GXQ is in its infancy and can morph into what the readers want. I hope this blog will help connect quilters in Gen X/Y so that we may keep quilting going strong in years to come. Because, like me, I think many women (and men) in our generation never learned to sew. With the ever-evolving Internet and digital media, the passing of knowledge in crafts such as quilting has been revolutionized. We can reach a broader global audience and teach others that the fantastic art of quilting can be as trendy or as traditional as the quilter desires.
Thanks for spending some time with me and happy quilting to you!