Quilting from the Beginning

I somehow lucked out in the genetic lottery. I inherited my grandmother’s love of sewing and textiles. I inherited my mother’s love of mathematical problem solving. This makes me a potentially inspired and exacting quilter. 

I’ve learned a thing or two quilting alongside my grandmother. The grandmother that enters her creations in quilt shows. She has said, after teaching me any technique, “But not everyone does it this way. You should learn from someone else and see how you like to do it. They may have a way you like better.” 

 

So taking her advice, I joined up with the local library quilt group. I’m sure they thought I was lost, the first time I joined their ranks. I was so new at this. Some of the ladies have been quilting longer than I’ve been alive! And they have expertise and amazing beautiful quilts to show for it. But somehow I convinced them to keep me on, and I’ve learned so much. And as we grow together in our little community, I like to think I’m inheriting their creative genetics, as well.  

I’m having to take a break from quilt group because of a new full time job. Which means: Yay! I can afford more fabric! But boo! I’m at work every Thursday afternoon instead of quilt group. Maybe this is a good place to start. A good time to start sharing here. 

So where am I? I’ve kinda stumbled along, taking on projects because they look wonderfully beautiful in a magazine or on pinterest. But I didn’t have the skills I need to get the results I am looking for. I can follow a well written pattern, but cannot tell a well written one from an ill written one. Things don’t end up like they’re supposed to. 

 

 So I took advice from a wonderful library quilter who has taken me under her wing. She introduced me to the books of Harriet Hargrave. The great thing about Harriet’s books are that they go into extreme detail, down to the thread and all the other teeny tiny details. 

 The book is setup like no other quilt book. It’s actually setup more like a math textbook. Harriet will introduce you to a concept, walk you through a short example, and then give you a project where you practice your new skill. And then on to the next lesson that introduces a slightly more complicated skill and builds off of what you just learned. 

It’s an engaging way of learning, and I have already seen amazing progress in my quilts! My quilt tops are turning out exactly like they’re supposed to. I haven’t got into complicated techniques yet, but any quilter knows how thrilling it is to see the simplest of seams lined up in steady straight rows!  

 

From the beginning, starting again. I’m learning the basics of materials and technique. I’m piecing simple quilt tops with the exactness needed for complex patterns. I’m making fun baby quilts and simple holiday quilts. I’m being inspired by fabrics and colors, and methodically building my skill set. 

I’m loving this process and hope to be able share more with you along the journey!

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