Thursday, December 8, 2011

In the Beginning

Inspired by Nicky's post I thought I'd tell you about my first encounter with quilts.

Back in 1994 I had 4 children ranging from 7 to 3 years old.     Early morning band practice meant getting all the kids ready for the day, hiking up the highway, depositing a son by 7am. and then treating the other children in tow.


Bribery was the order of the day and (I'm not proud to reveal)  the other children  became weekly breakfasters at the golden arches.  Close by was a quilt shop.  "The Quilting Bee" may sound like a cliche to you, but to me it was a revelation.  I stared through the windows every Wednesday morning, taking in the details of the beautiful quilts that I could see hanging.


Finally, in 1995, when the youngest spent 2 days at pre-school,  I returned during business hours and asked innocently "Given my circumstances, do you think I would have enough time to quilt?"  The owners, Pam and Noni, looked at each other and replied "Of course".

The world, for my family up until then was BQE - before the quilting era. 

Noni proved to be a marvellous teacher.  She took us through an 8 lesson course that included drafting patterns, quilting,


applique, curved piecing (sorry, I fail at that still)


and many more lessons and tips.   Noni moved to Melbourne (lucky them) but I recently bumped into her in Sydney.  It felt like running into my kindergarten teacher.  I was so excited.

Now we are in the QE - the quilting era.  Long may it last!  I'd love to hear how you came to patchwork and quilting.

11 comments:

Nicky said...

Well done Liz and no looking back ! Yeah! I agree wholeheartedly on QE but also have to add in the Blogging Era - long may that one last too! It's how I made friends with you and many other people I wouldn't want to loose touch with!

Maureen said...

Band practice for a young child at 7AM? No offense, my first thought was - I guess Americans aren't the only ones doing crazy things for/to their kids! LOL
My quilting life has been in phases. I took a class with a coworker in the mid 80's but it was more like a demonstration. I took good notes and made a couple of quilts but couldn't tell you if they were made before or after my first child was born in '88. When my youngest was 2 in 1996 I spotted one of these quilts on the wall while taking laundry to the basement. It was a shocking moment - I hadn't noticed the thing in years and thought "oh, I made that!". It was the beginning of my trying to slow things down. At the time I had 3 kids and was working 32 hours a week.

Carol G said...

Wow, you had some real training when you got started. I'm glad you found that quilt shop near the kiddie breakfast stop.

Janet O. said...

My mom is a quilter. Watching her, I always swore I'd never be one. : )

regan said...

Back in 1983ish, my MIL and I took a quilting class from Elenore Burns. She was just an hour away from us, and we thought it might be a nice bonding experience for us (I was the newest of the DILs at that time). It was a Quilt in a Day, and it took us about 3 weekends to make them. I worked full time, and could only get over to my MILS's house on weekends, while hubby took the kids to little league! We managed to make two queen sized quilts, her's in blues and mine in peaches. They were tied, and actually held up for several years use on the bed. And it really WAS a good bonding experience for us..... and we both still quilt!

Thanks for reminding me of this.....that seems so long ago now. Fun memories!

Julie Fukuda said...

I love those stories. I grew up making things for my dolls. I guess the first bed cover was out of necessity, living in an unheated house. Wool scraps from a clothing altering place and tied but it lasted until we got a place with heat. Because I was living in Japan, all my grandmother's beautiful quilts and my mother's beautiful quilts went to my siblings. I decided that if I wanted a quilt on every bed, I would have to make them myself. No lessons ... just determination and learn by experience!

Dawn said...

I love your quilting story. I think it is great you ran into your first teacher. I recently reconnected with mine ;-)
Thanks for sharing!

Lori said...

It is so nice when your first quilt teacher is good. We have fond memories of our classes for a long time.

Lynne said...

In the UK we have a TV presenter called Kirstie Allsopp and she did a show about all sorts of crafts. I saw the "quilt lady" episode and that was it. Enrolled in nearest quilt group the next week and have never looked back. Now help to run my own quilt group and all within 2 years! Husband now a quilt widow....

audrey said...

So jealous that you had a quilt teacher! I started out making very basic baby quilts for my kids and I do mean basic!! Then years later when I moved back around my mom, she and I and some gals at our church got together and decided to teach ourselves how to quilt. It's been a long interesting road getting to where I am at now, but it's been great fun.:)

Belinda said...

Great quilty story!!! hhhmmm, I had NO teacher...NO classes....I just jumped right into quilting on my own!
I had been sewing since I was around 9 thought. I had always sewn garments, curtains dust ruffles and duvet covers for years and years before I caught the quilt bug!