I call myself an accidental quilter.
Let me explain….I am the middle of three girls and come from a distinctly non crafty family. I have no memory of my mother or grandmothers doing anything crafty whatsoever and both of my sisters have showed no interest in craft. Yet curiously I have always been crafty minded. From a young age I dressed my dolls using handkerchiefs or whatever I could lay my hands on. In school I took home economic classes and started to make some clothing. My beautiful (now departed) mother did not sew but she bought me a sewing machine so that I could continue to sew. As well as sewing I enjoyed knitting, cross-stitch and cooking. I continued to dabble making clothes throughout my late teens and early twenties and when I was pregnant with my first child I decided to make a blanket for his cot.
I sewed some squares of different fabrics together and thought that in order to keep my new baby warm the blanket needed to be thicker. I found some fluffy stuff at my local craft store (I later came to learn that this fluffy stuff is called wadding/batting) and then backed my new creation with more fabric. To hold all the layers together I sewed along the joins of the fabric. Unbeknown to me I just made my first quilt!
I had no idea what I was doing; I was just ‘winging’ it. Of course the quilt wasn’t great - the squares were cut with scissors and were not perfectly straight or square, the joins didn’t always meet and I finished the edge by folding the two fabrics in on themselves and hand stitched together. But I loved it and it kept my son warm.
A couple of years later my husband (a serviceman in the Australian Army) was posted to the tiny Pacific Island of Tonga. We packed up and went with toddler and baby in toe and it is there my quilting journey really began. I was fortunate enough to meet a wonderful woman (also from Australia) who just happened to be a quilt teacher back home and she showed me the ropes. I learned so much from her and although quality fabric was scarce in Tonga, with the guidance and patience of my new teacher I muddled through and started to make a small sampler quilt. I must admit I cringe a bit when I look at that flimsy now (yes it is still a flimsy – must get around to finishing it one day) but it was a great learning tool.
I will always treasure that time in Tonga but when we returned to Australia I had a full life that didn’t allow time to indulge this new found love. I took a few classes and made a couple more samplers but that was about it. Fast forward several years my boys are teenagers and suddenly I have more time for me. To date I have made about 10 large and numerous small quilts. I still do not to call myself a quilter though. I am not sure what it is…I still have so much to learn and I am a bit of a perfectionist (although I am slowly coming to the realisation that it doesn’t have to be perfect).
Last year I discovered the big wide quilting community on the Internet (that too was an accident as I stumbled across a blog when I was searching for an answer to a quilting question I had). I know l am a bit late to the online party but I plan to make the most of it herein. I find it both inspirational and intimidating looking at all of the beautiful work and reading all the wonderful stories online. I am totally in love with the generosity, kinship and the beautiful spirit of quilters from all over the world. I aspire to being half as talented and giving as these women (and men).
After a year of following quilter’s blogs worldwide I decided it was time I started one so that I too can share my experiences.
Let the adventures begin!