Please join me in welcoming today’s guest blogger, Beth Helfter, as she shares with us her quilting journey. Leave a comment below for a chance to win a kit of Beth’s Funky Tree Farm pattern too.

Sixteen years ago next month, I became a quilter. Logic might then lead you to guess that my age is somewhere between 60 and 80 and that I have a full head of gray hair. In both cases, logic would be wrong, although in the second case this is mostly due to the fabulous invention we call L’Oreal Excellence Crème hair color. In reality, I’m a brunette-turned-redhead of 41, and have proudly called myself a serious quilter since the ripe old age of 25.

While I am no longer the infantile quilter that I once was, I still refuse to put myself in the mid-range of quilters, and will resist doing so until I am at least 93 if possible. Young is an attitude, after all, and I have plenty of that. And thanks to most sources I found when I used the very professional research tool "Google", which puts the average age of quilters at between 55 and 62, I have a long way to go before I am average – as if I ever could be. Even though my campaign to keep me the youngest member of my guild via blocking all new members under 40 is destined to fail miserably, I’m apparently still on the younger end of all quilters everywhere, and I’ll keep it that way as long as possible.

Those of us who discover quilting at younger ages get to have many more decades to enjoy our art than those who take it up later in life, but sometimes we have to work just a little bit harder to be taken seriously. A friend of mine, Robin Koehler of "Nestlings by Robin", told me that she walked into a guild meeting for the first time as a thirty-something and was immediately taken aside by one of the members and taught all sorts of basic quilting stuff. Little did the member know she was already a published designer.

Another member of my EPQD facebook community, Lisa Dragan of "Equulibrim Studios", told me people tell her all the time she doesn’t "look like a quilter" because she sports tattoos and sometimes quilts directly from the horse barn in riding breeches and boots. And I’ll truly never forget the time I asked for a quarter yard cut of fabric at a quilt shop when I was about 30 and was asked if I wanted a fat quarter or a regular quarter yard. When I replied that it didn’t matter to me, the sweet lady behind the counter put on a caring face and asked "Honey, you do know they are different shapes, don’t you?"

Fat quarter. Just to review.

Now, many of you are likely asking "WHY did she only ask for a quarter yard of fabric? That is barely enough to make a pincushion!" The answer would be two-fold: 1. I was buying other fabrics as well, so never fear, I am a real quilter (even though I never prewash, but that’s a blog for another day). And 2. Sometimes we quilters with young families need to be cheap so as to pay for the numerous dance recital costumes, swimming lessons, drama lessons because we don’t get enough of that for free from our kids, and 35 pairs of shoes each season. Having to share my resources, which could be used for fabric, with my family is a burden, but one that I shoulder happily. I figure eventually everyone will be out of the house and out of my wallet, and then I can buy as much fabric, in all shapes and forms, as I like. Until then, it’s another price to pay for being a youngish quilter.

I attended a webinar with Maria Peagler recently, and she gave a statistic that was upsetting to me – there are fewer quilters in America now than there were a few years ago, and the segment that has dropped off the most are quilters under 45. Ladies, (and a few gents I am sure), where are you going and GET BACK HERE! But on the other hand, I do get it to a certain degree. For those quilters in the throes of raising families, quilting is just one more thing to add to the day’s "to do" list, and in our quest to make everyone in our lives happy except ourselves, something that gives us pleasure is the first thing to go. But it shouldn’t be. I am a firm believer both in "a happy mom means a happy family" and in my own personal 20 Minutes a Day rule.

"Scrapapalooza 2003-2005." It was a very long party.

See that quilt? That’s one that I use in my trunk show to demonstrate that 20 minutes a day can really add up. Sure, that was a lot of 20 minute increments of my life over the course of two and a half years, but those 20 minute increments may have been all that kept me sane and feeling like I was accomplishing something just for me during the first two and a half years of my twins’ lives. And there is a lot to be said for remembering what makes YOU happy while you are trying to keep everyone else in your family happy. I am not sure how to reach all the former quilters who have given up due to a perceived lack of time, but I sort of want to make it a personal quest now to get them back. Because for one thing, the more under 45 quilters we have, the longer I can stay well under the average age. Do it for you. Do it for me.

There is one huge bonus I can think of to having a young family and being a quilter or quilt designer – you have cute models for your photos who will work for Goldfish crackers. Take this photo of my eight year old daughters, Eva and Paige, that I use on the inside cover of my "Diamond Dazzle" pattern. Cute, huh?

Eva and Paige snuggling under "Diamond Dazzle", my latest original pattern, and showing off my early spring brown grass and leaves. I'm a quilter, not a gardener. So forgive me.

My friend Jen Eskridge, the thirty-something force behind "ReannaLily Designs" used this cute photo on the cover of her book. Who can resist those little feet?

"Deploy that Fabric" photo by C&T Publishing

It’s sometimes amazing to me that I have been doing this for as long as I have, and when I give my trunk show lecture to guilds I can only hope they enjoy comparing where I have come from to where I am now as much as I do. Every time I start at the beginning of my journey 16 years ago, I am amazed by how my style has changed so drastically. But that’s another fun part about being a quilter with decades ahead of you – you can experiment at will and find your bliss in your own style at whatever pace suits you, and can keep growing as a quilter for a little longer.

I’ve always liked the look of appliqué, but it took me years to develop my machine appliqué style of using lots of tone on tones for backgrounds and lots of funky shapes and fun embellishments to dress it up.

The beginnings of my applique career, long before I discovered machine applique. This is so not my style anymore it's hard to believe I actually made it – but that doesn't mean I don't still think it is adorable.
A more recent machine applique project, "Funky Tree Farm", showing my love of pieced backgrounds and non-traditional design.

Although most of my designs tend to use some sort of machine applique and embellishment, I do now and then create something pieced as well, but like my applique, my pieced designs have evolved from traditonal to more artsy. Some might even say "wacked out".Which I would take as a compliment.

One of my first pieced designs. Don't we all start out traditional?
"Syncopated Ribbons", one of my favorite original pieced designs that couldn't be less traditional if it tried.

I want to thank Michele for allowing me to muse this week about the joys of discovering quilting at a youngish age. I hope no matter how many years you have been quilting and no matter what age you were when you discovered it, that you always have nothing but joy for this art that gets under your skin like no other! I also hope you will visit my blog, Quilting Hottie Haven, now and then to find out what new things I am up to or musing about!

For now, I’d love to hear your comments and am offering a kit to make my "Funky Tree Farm" pattern pictured above to a lucky winner who has something lovely to share about his/her quilting experience.


To enter the give-away: Leave a comment below sharing a brief quilting story of your own. One random winner will be selected next Wednesday to win one of Beth’s "Funky Tree Farm" quilt kits.

If you’re reading this on Facebook, please visit the blog and leave your comment there, not on Facebook. CLICK HERE to visit the blog post.

Guest Blogger: Quilter, Beth Helfter, and a give-away too!
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146 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Quilter, Beth Helfter, and a give-away too!

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I love love love your blog! I don’t take alot of time to read, but this is worth it and very inspiring. I will be 55 in a few days, and I have no intention of being a little old gray haired quilter! I intend to be a lovely blonde not so little quiter! :-D

    Thank you for inspiring me!!

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I don’t have great quilt story. I did make a quilt for my mom representing all her children and grandchildren.

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I am also a 41 yr old quilter. I always wanted to quilt, I did crafty things as long as I can remember. Finally I bought a kit(about 15 years ago), and the obsession began. I have just recently become addicted to reading Blogs & trying things others have posted. As a mother of 4 I really like your 20 min a day rule! I love making baby quilts as they are easy to finish.
    As I continue to challenge my skills, and learn new ones from inspirational people like you, I thank you!!

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:24 am

    What a wonderful story! I too am a “younger” quilter …under 50 but over 45! I have only just started and am enjoying the limited time I have to spend. It’s a great idea of Beth’s to just spend 20 minutes a day – she has inspired me! Thank you!

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:27 am

    One of my greatest joys of my teaching career was instructing 3rd grade gifted/talented students the joy and benefits of quilting. Hopefully, some of them are part of the survey of “young” quilters today!! We started with basic 9-Patch but added embellishments. Teaching is more than the 3 R’s! Taught school for 22 yrs. & just retired so hope to do more quilting. Love your patterns!

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:29 am

    love your story!i started quilting a few years ago i lost a son to a genetic disorder and in honor of him i started quilting for donations at childrens hospital!now as time has past im quilting a little bit of every thing!!i also make time in my busy family life for my quiet time in my sewing room!i would love to add the tree pattern to my collection of finished things!

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I absolutely love your writing style and adore your quilts. I’m a 50 something (closer to 60 and been sewing for years. I remember thinking that when my girls were grown I’d have time to sew, quilt, knit, crochet, etc. Well what someone forgot to tell me was that they have children and in today’s economy daycare is way too expensive so in rushes Mommom! I love your idea of 20 min. a day. I so often get aggravated because I don’t have any”me time” to do the things I love. But 20 mins. is a wonderful idea! The baby has to sleep at some point, right? The GD is 7 now and I taught her to make her first patchwork quilt in January (she took it to school as her show and tell!). The tree pattern is adorable and would really look nice in my living room (hint, hint!)

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I hate prewashing my material! I do it but it is never the same after you wash it. I love buying quilt kits on clearance at a shop near me and then making them my way. They are affordable, already color matched and I can still piece them in crazy ways to make them mine! Thank you for your story. I really want to hear more about prewashing!!! D

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I am a quilter in the “middle’ category. Continuing to gain skills and just starting to pass on inspiration to beginners. I’ve just retired so hope to get to encourage more of both!

    P.S. I love Syncopated Ribbons!!

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I am a 42 year old quilter who just started serious quilting last year. I have made two twin size bed quilts, numerous table runners, and a couple of wall-hangings. I LOVE to quilt and sew! When I am not quilting, I am typically sewing clothes for my four children (4-18).

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I started quilting in my late fifties when I found out my son and his wife were expecting my first grandbaby. Lincoln loves playing on the quilt and it came out really much better than I thought it would. Pulled many, many stitches but it was worth it to produce something good enough for my grandson.

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I started quilting when at 28 I took a quilting class and made a baby quilt for my first daughter. The quilt has been used for all 3 daughters and both of my grandsons. I’m going to try the 20 minutes a day as I’d love to get more quilting done. Thank you for your story. N.

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:39 am

    A 4′ x 6′ block for the AIDS quilt launched me into obsessive quilting. It spent 14 years in the design phase and I complete it for the fifteenth anniversary of the death of my beloved brother. Four years later, I’m still quilting 40 hours a week. You can see my brother’s AIDS block at:
    and search the quilt for KEN BLAIR
    Currently, I am obsessed with hand quilting very large quilts.

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:40 am

    I too have been quilting for a while now, although my style and techniques haven’t evolved as much as Beths…what a great metamorphosis… Last child just graduated from high school, now maybe I can make time to quilt…like the 20 minutes a day reference. Looking forward to what’s ahead!

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Loved your story! Quilting is truly a lost art with the endless opportunities & options you can express yourself and give years of happiness. Quilts are a wonderful way to express yourself whether it is traditional or modern there are no limits! I grew up in a quilt making home and now I pass on the joy. Be creative make a quilt today!!

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Wonderful quilts. OH to find the time to get them finished. I get tops made but fall down on the finishing.

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Like you i strated quilted when I was very young with the help of my grandmother who had me making potholders at the age of twelve, from then on I worked on small kits and have completed 3 large quilts. These days I have to do more admiring of quilts than the actual hands on due to an injury that has left my fine motor skills on the rather wonky side. I still stock oup on flat quarters for the – one day my miricle will happen – but I am finding that so long as I err towards the side of not being completely perfect – difficult coming from a perfectionist – I am managing some small machine sewn projects – so Funky Tree Farm – my be just what I need to get my confidence and skills back on track :) Thanks for the great blog and matching photo’s

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:43 am

    I’m a “late bloomer” to quilting (52 and am 7 years into the obsession), but I love it! I love the “20-minutes-a-day” plan; I’m going to start that plan, today! You’re story was fun and inspirational! Thank you for a great start to this day!

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:43 am

    My grandmother quilted and I learned from a very young age to sew and to put stitches in her quilts that were in her kitchen. I will carry those memories with me forever and I am happy that the LOrd gave me something to share with her. Out of several cousins I am the only one to enjoy those times and try to carry them forward. I have aunts on my papa’s side that have quilts and stories published books from the 70’s and 80’s. The tradition has to move forward. I am happy that I love it and I would love to not work so I could quilt more often. As long as quilting is available to me I can destress. My next goal is to join some classes and learn how to machine quilt and hopefully be able to join a guild one day. I am 50 now and have been very randomly hand quilting for around 40 years. I would like to make this Tree Farm quilt of yours. I enjoyed your blog and love the pics of the quilts.

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:46 am

    I recently made a baby quilt using scrap material and I really tried to create “outside the block” and maybe I have been quilting traditionally too long to be comfortable with it but the quilt came out really cute. Abstract design to me is an oxymoron…let me explain, a designed pattern has shapes and size all figured out for you and you just follow the pattern. Very A-symmetrical. Wonderful, great and all that but what if you have a piece that isn’t the right size and you still want to use it and you pair it up with another fabric and so on? I get stuck…alot. I love the “Syncopated Ribbons” because it IS piecing “outside the block” yet it comes together really nice. Not like my hodge podge!

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:47 am

    One of my best quilting moments is pinnng a quilt sandwich with my 5 year old great granddaughter. She laid the safty pins out just so, happily chatting. She asked if I would have it ready for her wedding! Out of the mouths of babes!

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I too am below the “average age” of quilters. I started quilting in my 20’s but life got in the way I and I didn’t get back to it until 20 years later. Even in my 40’s my nephew once told me “Auntie quilting is for old ladies and you are not old.” What a nice compliment! Hopefully I can continue to sew, piece and quilt until I am one of those “old ladies.”

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:49 am

    When I was 19 and about to get married, I became interested in family history. In a box of old pictures, I came across a quilt top my great-grandmother had begun. I added onto it and put it together. And fell in love with piecing quilts. I have not been consistent, but am working on my 2nd quilt in 2011, having set “make a full size quilt” as one of my goals for the year. Yay!

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I too am a youngish quilter compared to many in my guild. I think the average age is dropping. But with the price of fabric constantly going up, it is hard for people raising families to purchase it. Wish the fabric companies would figure out a way to lower thier costs. If fabric were reasonably priced I know more people would take up quilting.
    BTW- Love the funky tree pattern. I’m a sucker for anything with trees.

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I was living overseas, didn’t have much to do (couldn’t work, green card or something). So, I decided to try my hand at quilting. My first quilt was a log cabin, stitched on the machine. Couldn’t find any batting so I made a quick (long distance) phone call to my favorite fabric shop in in the States and they sent me some (it cost a fortune to get it out of customs). Got it all based and quilted it by hand. It turned out just lovely. It was an over sized twin with all sorts of different quilting on it. When we moved back to the States, it was lost somehow or other. So sad to not have my very first quilt.
    I love making any sort of quilt and really like the ‘funky tree farm’ pattern. thanks so much for the giveaway!

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Good day.
    I love the Scrapapalooza quilt. I hate throwing away any fabric so i cut them down to 2″ squares. I have a box full of these 2″ square. This quilt looks like it would fit the bill to use them all up.
    I got into quilting as a means to end my loneliness. I moved to a rural part of the country. I worked from home and did not get out much to make friends. I saw a sign one day in a store front and that’s when it all started 8 years later i am knee deep in fabric and quilts and loving it.

  • May 27, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I started quilting about three years ago because I had an idea in my head that wouldn’t go away. Perhaps it’s not a good idea to begin that way, because I am on my third and fourth quilts now and still evolving patterns as I go. I would like to take formal lessons and follow a pattern from beginning to end…. I love the original patterns that have a modern element!!!

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I just loved this blog post, as I am in the same boat, 40, quilter since the 1990’s, and I have 3 boys, to boot. I stay busy, busy, busy, taking care of everyone, but I “clock out” from my Mom job at 8 p.m. every evening to become “Quilt Woman”. Gotta go…17 month old is waking up. Thanks for sharing your experiences & have a super day!

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I really enjoyed reading your story, and loved your inspiration of 20 minutes a day. I quilt with a group of ladies where the oldest is 68 and the youngest is 14 so we have quite a age range in our group. I am 53 and have been quilting off and on since I was 8 and my grandmother taught me how to make my first block, pretty much dropped it until the 70’s, then dropped it again, then after my mother died in 1999, I think her spirit took over because she loved to sew/quilt and now I can’t get enough of it, Thank You! Bj.

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I didn’t start quilting until my youngest child was a junior in high school but in the last 13 years I have made up for lost time. I love to make quilt but have even more fun giving them away. I am making them for all of my nieces and nephews babies along with my own grandchildren, of course. I also make them to donate to benefits. Everyone is so appreciative of a quilt.

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:16 am

    My first introduction to quilting was as a young child. I remember my mom and grandma have quilts stretched across home made frames to tie quilts together. Old blankets were used as batting. Everything was cut out with scissors and templates were made from cardboard.

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Hi Beth,
    I enjoyed reading your story. I fall into the older demographic of quilters and am a beginner to boot. I have worked on charity projects and small practice pieces over the past 10 years, but life just kept getting in the way of finishing my own quilt. I finally finished my first quilt just this week! Kudos for your 20 minute rule and finding the time to quilt while raising a family! Quilting does give such a feeling of satisfaction. Its like therapy. I love traditional and love the more modern looks that the younger quilters are doing. Since I don’t have a mentor I find reading blogs like yours to be an valuable resource.

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:20 am

    I loved your story. I also started quilting at a young age (I wanted to learn everything my grandmother did and she did it all) but unlike you I couldn’t always find that 20 minutes a day. I started and stopped many times during the years that I had 5 kids at home and was working full time. My machine and stash of fabric was always close at hand but my focus changed to home dec and prom dresses. Now I am retired and have many quilting friends. With 13 grandchildren, I am working on full size quilts for each. It keeps me busy and happy. Thanks for sharing with us. I love your patterns and laughed when I thought of my first split rail fence and the circle dance quilt now on my design wall. What an evolution.

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:21 am

    After looking at the Scrappapalosa quilt I feel I could dedicate 20 minutes a day toward making something that beautiful. While I was working, I would take my clothes to a dry cleaner whose business was next door to a quilt shop. Each Saturday I would spend time looking at the gorgeous quilts and tell myself that some day I would be taking classes and making quilts for family and friends. In 2002,I retired with a young attitude and find my new hobby to be very enjoyable.

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I made my first quilt when I was pregnant with my first child…40 years ago. Quilting/sewing is a great way to relax and forget the cares of the world.

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Dear Beth,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I was encouraged by how much 20 mins a day will get you!

    I am just learning to quilt at the ripe age of 47! A dear friend that I met at church is teaching me! I started in the fall and finished my first quilt “Christmas Presents” in February! I know a little late but it is done and I was so excited to finish something I always dreamed about doing!

    Well, surgery in February followed by kid’s spring schedules of soccer, field trips, etc., has left very little time on my calander! I started a flip-flop quilt (three actually) when I was recovering but I have hit a halt in the production! :) Scheduling 20 minutes a day may not seem like alot, but it certainly is more than I am doing now and gives me hope of getting those quilts done by the summer!

    I have started taking my 6 year old daughter to the quilting nights at my friends house. There she is able to meet other women who have been quilting for years and see what they are making! She loves to go and I am hopeful that a desire will be sparked in her to learn this beautiful art! Allowing her to be apart of the process (she helped pick out material for her flip-flop quilt) and helping the other woman with theirs is great exposure!

    I think one of the greatest joys I have in all of this is when my family goes with me to pick out material! Yes, even my husband enjoys going with me to the craft store to pick out fabric! I am blessed!


  • May 27, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I am a semi beginner quilter and I only say that because I like the piecing and planning part of quilting. I made my first quilt 30 years ago from a pamphlet . It had over a thousand pieces. I had to make the templates myself. I wish that there were quilting classes available then, I would not have been so overwhelmed and would have made a better finished project (and easier.) Thank you for your blog post.

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Ive always liked to sew now that Im older Ive been trying my hand at making a quilt my first I bought the material to Walmart and got one of there monthly patterns and made the quilt…then my oldest granddaughter who is 7 saw it and she says grama is that mine well I quess if you really like it so now I cant let one have something with out makeing one for her sister who is 4 and she like watching as I sew on hers then III have to make one for baby brother who now is 1 so I quess Im off to a start in making them all a quilt… But then grama would do anything for them but loving it all the way

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I retired 4 years ago and the next day bought my first sewing machine. Have been quilting ever since. I still need people to stand 10 feet away when they look at my quilts but that’s an improvement. I use to hold them out the window of my car as I drove by. I am sure in just 4 more years I think it will let people take an even closer look at my quilts.

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Hi, great story, very inspiring!
    I live in Wales in the UK and I started quilting 4 years ago when I was 30 and pregnant with my first baby, I produced a very cute playmat/blanket for her, then one for my friend, then one for her nephew, then another for my daughter after she was born…..
    I had no idea of the rules of patchwork I just knew I HAD to do it! I also made a quilt from one of those ‘Quilt block a day’ calendars and a big quilt to celebrate my brother-in-law’s marriage, which I am rather proud of. I have since taken a few classes and almost finished a sampler quilt for my daughter’s bedroom, I have made the top of a sampler medallion quilt but don’t have the floor space at the moment to layer it up with it’s wadding and backing fabric – heh.
    I am the youngest quilter I know, so far and am in discussion’s with my local fabric shop (and all round wonderful place!) regarding setting up a ‘young women’s’ quilting group.
    It is definately hard finding the time – and space – to quilt when you have small children but I am determined to keep it up. It is a little bit of me time that will turn into a little bit of history for my family and my children’s families. ‘My Mum, Granny, Great Granny made that you know!’ they will be able to say and all those little ‘me times’ that saved my sanity will have really mean’t something :)

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I started sewing when I was 12 yrs old. My mother and aunt are avid sewers! When I was 21 I attained my second College Diploma-Fashion Design. For a few years I was fascinated with designing my own dresses.
    Once married I took up quilting 13yrs ago and am still going strong. I LOVE to quilt. I have never used a pattern per say. I create my own. I love crazy, wonky and colourful. I like to add different textures especially applique with fabrics of all kinds. I also change it up sometimes and do a ‘ragged binding’ (my unique idea) instead of the regular binding.
    To me quilting is an amazing hobby that allows one to let their creative juices flow.

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Love your designs!! I started quiting many years ago while working part time….it gave me a great thing to relax after 3 hours with kids from ages 5-12, andhaving to regroup about every 1/2 hour to that particular age group. My favorite quilting is traditonal, though at this time I am experimenting in Civil War reproduction quilts. All of my quilting is a great comfort to me and in the later years when my parents were not well, it helped me deal with and get thru many situations with them…and I just plain LOVE doing it:)

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:44 am

    After many years of “doing my own thing” with quilts, I finally joined the “Ewenique Quilt Guild” in St. Peter, Minnesota. I am inspired by the beautiful “perfect points” and amazing work done by the other members. But thru every quilt I have made, I am finding that I prefer what I call my “art quilts”. So after seeing the wonderful quilts made by others during “show and tell” time at our meetings, I put on a smile, and open up the latest “something entirely different” that I just finished. The membes inspire and encourage me, but in the end, it is myself who pushes me to go further, and try harder and do something better than I did in the last quilt. Your tree pattern is something that would definitely fit in my category! Thank you for sharing, and look forward to checking back with you frequently.

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:45 am

    though i grew up with quilters, i didn’t start until i was 47. i am at least a 4th generation quilter. my only regret is that i didn’t start sooner, so i culd have quilted with my mother.
    love the trees.

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:46 am

    My girlfriend started me sewing, then she got me quilting! She has made beautiful quilts for all three of my boys & gave me an I spy pack for Christmas 17 months ago! I love it and am so glad I rang to ask her how to thread the “bobbin thingy”.

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I’ve always admired quilts, but never owned one. We have 12 children, 4 boys and 8 girls. Our son, Tony, died in 1996 and I wanted to do something for all his siblings with his shirts. Make a quilt for each. I had no idea how, so I cut squares and sewed them together. I taught myself to piece, tie, then quilt. By the time I made 11 quilts, I was hooked! I had no idea there were still quarters out there, let alone guilds, quilt shows and contests! Grandchildren started coming, so that just meant more quilts to make. 10 grandkids and counting. I’ll be piercing as long as my hands and eyes allow me. I now have a room all to my sewing and fabric and with only three kids left at home, I’m finding much more time to sew! I love you site, your quilts, and your humor. My most recent completed quilt was in blues and lime like your syncopated ribbons. I had a hard time finding lime green fabric, now it’s an in color and everywhere. I too have practiced the block a day to get tops completed and maintain my sanity. I hope the person that gets your pattern is a young quilter and I don’t mean agewise.

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I started quilting after becoming a widow at 47. Quilting was always a goal of mine, but I thought I would start it when the boys were gone, and I was alone in the house all day. I took a sampler class and followed the rules. Then I took a class to make a Blooming Nine Patch, and followed the rules. Now I teach myself as I go and very seldom follow the pattern or the rules. I have given away almost every quilt I have made in the last five years. I am proudest of a queen size quilt I designed for my son and then hand quilted over the course of two years. Quilting gives me the creative outlook I was always seeking.

  • May 27, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I too am a “young” quilter. But at 47 now, it’s the only thing I am still “young” at. I started at my granny’s knee when I was 15, and have never stopped. Being unconventional, I am rarely comfortable in a guild. I find them overbearing and condescending. My family calls me the “lone quilter” because i change all the patterns and use mostly “memory” fabrics…. Good luck in your long lived youngness! may it last forever!!

  • May 27, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I love all us “youngish” quilters. I’ve also been quilting (and garment sewing) for about 16 years… but I’m only 33 now. My first sewing machine (other than mom’s) was bought with graduation present money – and I’d ASKED for it to be that way!!
    I love the traditional & the abstract, but have not got a clue about most “art” quilts.
    Little people that want to steal my stash is one of my proudest accomplishments. My 9yo has been on about FIVE hops… the first when she was about 6 months old. She will be sewing a quilt for MY MOM out of fabrics she picked totally on her own last year on the WWQSH 2010. My youngest got to do that as her first hop last year, about a month after her third birthday. We did almost 40 stores over 4 days just me & the two kids in our mini van – I am raising FUTURE QUILTERS! (Well, at least future stash builders.)

  • May 27, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Hi! I was diagnosed 4 years ago with pancreatic cancer. Quilting helped me recover from the surgeries and gave me a reason to get going some days. It helped free up my mind and I ended up doing alot of charity sewing. Helping others who were going through tough times helped me to stop feeling sorry for myself and to get on with living.

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