Do you ever think, “How did I become a quilter?” Or a baker? Or a crafter? Or whatever? I do, and often. I think about how before I was a quilter, I sewed. As a little girl, I liked to stitch together little doll clothes by hand. I’m not sure who showed me that I could. I remember knitting (yes!) little sweaters for my dolls. Mom must have taught me that. And in Girl Scouts, I somehow managed to make an apron, in order to earn the sewing badge. By middle school, my grandma was living with us, and she introduced me to the reality of having a sewing machine in our very own house! It was a Singer, that she bought with her own money as a young, single woman. She taught me how to use it, and encouraged me to use it whenever I wanted! She taught me how to wind bobbins, thread needles, sew straight, carefully measured, seams – all the details of clothing construction. Crazy as it sounds now, I made clothes for myself, for my mom and her friends, and even for my dad!
Fast forward several years, past the degree in Home Economics, past the days of sewing teddy bears and little Easter coats for my children, to a day in 1987. A friend, a quilter, said, “You should learn to quilt, and then we could do it together.” So I took a beginner’s class. Every stitch was by hand. And I loved the fabric – the texture and patterns and colors. I loved the needle between my fingers – something familiar, used in a new way. I loved the process. I loved creating something beautiful. And I still do.