Sunday, 7 August 2016

A Quilter's journey

Its been a while since I have written on my blog.  The shop where I currently work has been sold and I have been putting all my energy and extra time into helping Joanne (the new owner) make changes.  She has owned Wellington Sewing Center for four months and I would say we are two thirds of the way into revamping. 

Change or something new always makes everything very exciting.  Just like learning to quilt.
When you hear your students talking about their next quilts - they are hooked.
It reminds me of the excitement I felt making my first quilts.  Yes quilts - plural.

Erica Lineman was a great tutor.  The class was for a year (1997) during the school term every Friday morning for 2 hours.  My boys would attend a crèche for $1 each (so cheap - more $$$ for fabric).  Expectation was by the end of the year we would have completed a quilt. 

Hmmm not me.  The class was kept at the same pace so I was always finished ahead of my class mates so while I waited, I made another four quilts that year.

This was my years project.  Andrew my youngest was only a baby.  The quilt was a sampler.  Like all beginners I struggled with my fabric choices and had to unlearn the drill my school sewing teachers had instilled in me - you don't put dots or stripes together etc.  The boat block was my own design.

At the same time I was making Andrew's quilt, I had started another for my Daughter. 
"Hearty Pink"

Catherine was 4 years old and chose her own fabrics and selected which blocks she wanted me to include in her quilt.  How their tastes change - by the time she was 10 she didn't like it any more.

Again - waiting for my class mates to catch up I started a quilt for my son Steven who was 3 at the time.
Not wanting to make another sampler, I borrowed some quilt magazines from a friend and Steven chose the design, fabrics and colours.  I was fascinated as to why he selected green and yellow fabrics. When I asked, he told me his favourite song was about a Monkey eating yellow and green bananas.
All these quilts were hand quilted.

Erica invited me to attend her local quilting club - Capital Quilters in Lower Hutt (New Zealand) where I have been a member since.
Also that year I purchased my first New Zealand Quilter magazine which just happened to have Erica's quilt on the front cover.  "Lust in a Log Cabin".  Winner of the Wellington Quilters Quilt Challenge 1996 and selected for the Suitcase Exhibition 1997.

That's the start of my quilting journey.   Every quilt or craft item we create has a story and so I have diarised the first 10 years of my quilting journey.  Have you thought about writing yours?

These quilts below are from my beginners class held at the end of last month at Wellington Sewing Center.  They each have their own story and these ladies are now on their own quilting journey.

Abby's completed quilt top for her niece.

Janet's baby quilt for new Grandchild

Cathy has used her husband's ties to make a lap quilt.
A quilt made out of ties is a great idea.  Cathy stabilised her tie fabrics strips by sewing them onto a backing fabric first.  She then used starch to help firm the fabrics when ironing.  These two techniques work well when using different types light weight fabrics.

Till next time
happy stitching


  1. Great to hear about your first quilts! And I love your student's tie quilt!

  2. How interesting to read about how you started out. I made a year long sampler quilt too, and like you, I sourced a few extra patterns and made some extra blocks for mine.


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