I was born to quilt, but I didn’t know that until I was 50. Way back when, kids had a lot of freedom to go places alone. My favorite destination was the JoAnn Fabric store about a mile away. Can you imagine a 13 year old girl riding her bike or walking a mile alone, to shop alone, at the Red Owl grocery store and mall? I would wander the aisles, look at the pattern books, and then lay my meager allowance money down for whatever remnant I could afford. There I was, a future quilter, buying fabric that I didn’t have any idea how to use.
Even before that, I have an early memory of sitting on Grandma’s couch with a quilt, turning it over, and tracing the quilting lines with my fingers. I may have untied some knots in a yarn-tied quilt too, but we don’t need to remind anyone of that!
Of course, I grew up and got on with life. I got married (34 years and counting), had two children, started a career and got an education (in that order, aka the hard way). I never did anything really crafty except hand sew a few Halloween costumes.
Many years later, I found myself in a dressing room, contemplating a pair of pants that were clearly meant for a much taller woman! I had a wild thought to take out my grandma’s old Singer sewing machine, watch some You Tube videos, and hem the pants myself.
Grandma’s machine wouldn’t sew, but after years of wanting a sewing machine and not being able to afford one, I found one at Wal-Mart for around $100. Sold! And I hemmed the pants. But then I thought I should do more with the sewing machine, so I found a fabric shop and learned that it was actually an LQS—local quilt store. I bought some fabric to make a cover for my mixer, and signed up for a beginning quilt class.
Very early in the class I discovered that we were only going to have enough class sessions to finish the TOP! That wasn’t what I was after, so I asked the teacher about the quilting and she told me that it is possible to quilt yourself on a domestic (home) sewing machine, but most quilters send their quilts out to the longarmer. That was a new word, and concept, for me. I resolved to learn how to do the quilting myself, and spent the next three years doing just that.
Fast forward to today, and I myself am a longarmer! I always say I make quilt tops just to give myself something to quilt. Take a look at my gallery to see some of my work. Now that I have the longarm, I am branching out of quilting for myself and offering to quilt for others, so that we can all do the part we love the best.
My other hobbies include traveling with my husband Karl, hiking, and fostering rescue dogs. In the photo above, you see Boone, my English Pointer mix, as he graduated from basic obedience school.