Friday, October 2, 2009

How did you start quilting?

How did you get started with quilting?

This was the question that was asked in one of our recent chats. This is something that I am also very curious about. I often wonder what inspires a person to take on the challenges of making a quilt. I mean with all the lovely quilts available in stores today; you could buy one without all the hassles of making one, right?

The sky is the limit when it comes to the investments involved with quilting. You could get started for very little money, or you can spend thousands in machines, fabric and tools. Quilting today is much more than the recycling of fabric scraps sewn together to form a blanket strictly for the purpose of staying warm. It has developed into an art form all its own.

There are traditional functional quilts, abstract art quilts, picture quilts and even 3-D quilts! There are as many styles of quilts as there are quilters. Each quilter brings their individual personality and style to their textile work. The freedom to create your own unique style and ignore all the rules of traditional quilting attracts many fiber artists to this craft, but what about the rest of you? When we speak of fiber artists, we think of the art quilters, but there are many who still love the traditional style of quilting, like the quilts our ancestors created. What about you, what attracts so many of you to struggle through the challenges of all that exact cutting and piecing?

"How did you get started with quilting?" This was the question presented in our chat room recently, along with "what inspires you to continue quilting?" I have my own reasons for starting, but I was curious to see what others have to say about what attracted them and what keeps them going.

Let's see what you had to say

These are the responses found during our live chat. Many of you had similar stories so you may see some repeat answers. But even if they are similar, I still think each person had something to add to the discussion and did not want to exclude anyone.

I broke this into 2 sections. The first one is "how you got started" and the second one is "what inspires you" I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoyed typing them.

How did you get started quilting?

  • I started quilting because I have always loved quilts. My grandmother made quilts and gave me a couple. And then I realized my Mom quilted when the kids were out of the way. And now I own 5 generations of quilts. We are all still learning, too many kinds of quilting to know them all. I started teaching myself, and asking Mom on the phone, then I took 8 classes at a quilt store then I joined the quilt guild where there is always someone to ask, then I joined Creative Quilting and Quilting Weekly where there is always someone to ask online.

  • When I lived out west I had a friend who quilted and she got me started on star quilts.
    • Did she teach you how to quilt then?

  • No, just got me interested and then I moved back home. Mostly I learned from books trial and error (mostly error). I am still learning today. I have never taken lessons but need to for binding, which I have trouble with. Books and the internet is how I learned mostly.
  • I had a grandmother who quilted, but I didn't actually make any quilts, except for a small baby quilt while she was alive. I learned some things from what my daughter was taught. Most of what I have learned was from books and then through the internet.
  • I began quilting years ago. I wanted to make a baby quilt for my son. He's now 19. I was self taught at first. I've taken some classes since then. And I have invested in many books.
  • I began quilting as a natural progression to all the other sewing skills I had been taught by my mother
  • My friend and I began quilting as a lark 2 years ago we have a few quilts finished and I became hooked on it. We both enjoyed sewing.
  • I started myself off I think. Just liked the look of it and always like to try different things. This one has stuck. I was going to a craft group that made lots of different things and the leader did quilting which I liked the look of. So I found a magazine and went for it.
  • I was going to a craft group that made lots of different things and the leader did quilting which I liked the look of. So I found a magazine and went for it.
  • For me the challenge of being able to cut fabric up and then put it back together again to make something nice.

  • A co-worker invited 3-4 people to come and learn to quilt. I said I'd come to socialize but I wasn't interested in doing anything with a sewing machine. Then I got hooked.

Who/what inspires you?

  • What inspires me is fabric, other quilts, pictures, people talking, quilt guild, everything inspires me. My ancestors all quilted, but I would say interested me rather than inspired. Inspired makes me think of fancy quilts and these were just beautiful appliqué or scrap quilts. But I always loved them. Only information book I use is" Better Homes and Gardens Complete Guide to Quilting", but I have a lot of magazines for inspiration, and quilt shows. But what inspires you the most. To me it is the fabric!
  • Seeing some of the quilts in those shops on the week-end was inspiring. They were beautiful. I was at a grist mill on Sunday and they had little grain bags made into wall hangings. They were really neat. I bought a bunch of them to make my own.
  • I was at a friend's house today and I saw her pillows on the couch with leaves and flowers. I took out my cell phone and took a picture of them. Now I want to use that for a quilting design someday soon.
  • I was more inspired when my daughter made a quilt in the 4th grade!
  • I loved watching some of the local cable shows here in the states. There a number of shows dedicated to quilting that can be very inspiring and they give you tips and instructions for many of their projects.
  • The most inspiring book is probably "Pieced Flowers, by Ruth B. McDowell". I have never gotten beyond piecing with the straight seams.
  • I didn't have anyone in my family that I can say inspired me to quilt. Although I found out one of my aunts used to make quilts. I never say any of them though, too bad.
  • Fabric is one of my inspirations, but I get inspired by many things including books, photos, nature, quilt shows, websites and well just about everything I see could be a quilt idea!
  • I really like The Quilt Show with Alex and Ricky, but I'm going to take all the classes I can on quilting weekly. I like Alex's quilting by hand book. I also like watching Matt Sparrow do his live long arming online
  • I like Alex's web site too, and Ricky's, but I also like fabric and other's quilts, lots of ideas at different shows and flowers
  • I must admit I love looking at other peoples work as well
  • What inspired me? Was I took it up as a challenge; I needed something to do after my back surgery.
  • We saw a Christmas wall hanging in a book and decided to try and make on for a present but instead we ended up having such a good time that one turned into 12. Neither of us knew anything about quilting and it was all trial and error.
  • To me it is usually the fabric first, and then I have to find a pattern to do it justice. If I have an order for a quilt, or course I start with the pattern, but for myself I start with my fabric. I see pictures in magazines and then say to myself, "I have the perfect fabric for that one, I think I will make it, if I have enough fabric of course"
  • I love the fabric, but sometimes I start with the pattern and colors that the person receiving the quilt like. For the quilts for family I'm inspired by whatever theme they want for their quilt.

  • As for inspiration I think probably it all (fabric, patterns and things I see around me). And my imagination takes over. I am very naughty about following patterns. – have to do my own thing somewhere along the process.

If you have your own personal story that you would like to share with our readers here, please feel free to leave it in the comments section. Your story just might inspire someone else to get started with quilting.

If you want to get involved in our live chats be sure to head over to Quilting Weekly, register to get on our mailing list. (Or simply fill in the form at the top of this page).

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