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Why do you quilt? utility?frugality?Art?

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    Why do you quilt? utility?frugality?Art?

    I just watched a documentary on Kentucky heritage quilting from 1971. It got me thinking of why I quilt.
    First, Back in the 1980's, I quilted because I needed blankets. I could buy fabric from the textile mills for $2 a box and I had old blankets with holes in them that I used for batting. So, I guess utility was my first experience. And, of course , frugality played a big part in that because I didn't have any money to buy new blankets and fabric was so cheap
    Then, I wanted the quilts to look prettier and I wanted to share the wonderful warmth of these handmade quilts, so I made some that were more of a pattern and gifted them to people I loved. Plus I was a little selfish...I liked to sew and I wanted something to do that was productive and filled some of my time. I had 4 little kids that were suddenly all in school and I wasn't much for sitting around.
    Then, I thought making a house quilt would be fun in the 90's because I was in real estate and I thought it would be a good memory of that period of my life. It was so cool that I made two and gave one to my daughter . I've never used it but still have it. I was making clothing for the girls ...rayon skirts were popular and I was making them for my college bound daughter. Lots of leftovers, so I made a log cabin .. I didn't grasp the idea of light and dark, so its strange looking. Then I made graduating daughter a quilt that turned out wonderful from new purchased material. I was proud.
    I started using up left over material (frugality) that I just couldn't throw away. Made a bunch of quilts.
    Then, also in the 90's I inherited a cathedral window that my paternal grandmother had made in the 60's . It was perfect. I never aspired to be able to make anything like that. I stopped quilting.
    Lo and behold, in about 2008, I had a bunch of material sitting in tubs and I began sewing pieces together again with no real goal in mind. I was having fun. DD gave me a gift cert from M* (I'd not heard of them before this) and also gave me a quilt kit which was way above my skill level. I tried and it was not good. I ordered material from M and watched tutorials. I made the falling charms quilt, the alter ego quilt, goodnight Irene, the exploding block...on and on. Before I knew it, I had 10 quilts stacked up and so I gave them to my gc for Christmas in 2009. I am hooked on all these easy patterns. Not good enough...
    Now it is an art obscession so I NEED to make that cathedral window. And I did. It took me all my days off for months but it turned out beautiful (at least to my way of thinking) Then the double wedding ring, the grandmothers fan, the grandmothers flower garden and on and on. Then back to the easy tutorials. and making quilts for charity and making them fast.
    Well, now I have retired and I am returning to utility and art. I have made window covers with applique this winter and I am working on a double wedding ring with hopes of some fancy artistic FMQ.
    So I have evolved from Utility, frugality and art. But they are all tied together for me.
    What about you.? Are you proud when you can make a quilt from nothing? Do you plan and design your own patterns?? Do you want your quilts to tell a story of your family heritage? Or do you just want to fill time and space.?

    Re: Why do you quilt? utility?frugality?Art?

    As a child I was fastinated by my mother sewing on an old Singer. I remember sitting on a high chair watching....watching... I started to lean in and fell on the corner of the cabinet. Got a bad hash below my lower lip, still have the scar. But it didn't deter the fascination.

    Fast forward to my second job at a seat belt factory. They asked our interests, I said sewing. Started on that, but got moved around a lot.

    One day, perhaps early 80's, my DH were walking through the fabric department at a Ben Franklins, on the way to another department. DH stopped short. There was a pamphlet with a very large star on the cover. I looked...ooooo, ahhhh. He said, you can do that.....I said no I couldn't. He bought it, I never did it. But it started me thinking. Wasn't long and I was making one. DH bought me all kinds of tools, whatever I thought I'd need.

    It was a red, white, blue Martha Washington star. It was mentioned to....someone, who mentioned it to was sold before I finished. Oh my, $200. It paid for all the fabric, supplies, I was happy. It was hand quilted and just awful, but they loved it.

    So did we, so I made another, sold too. Made a different quilt, sold! I finally said, now for me, I think I know what I'm doing???s
    So began this marvelous creative adventure.

    I ended up working for 12 years and never finished the quilt I had all pieced. No time to baste. When I quit in 2012, it was the first thing I did. Well I made an uncountable number of baby and lap quilts. All machine quilted. At the time I thought I had to finish one before starting another.....ahhh, Now I have about 9 UFO's, (but I can make them faster than I can hand quilt them!)

    My DH gifted me for Christmas an iPad. First thing I looked for any apps. Found M*. Didn't even check it out (what a ditz)!!
    My father died and I was going to clean up my iPad before heading down for the funeral. Thought maybe I should look at this M* app first before deleting. I was hooked!

    The rest, as they say, is history! I make quilts out of love and want to spread that love around. First every family member will bet one, then I want to make donation ones. I may still do donations, in between.

    I need to quilt! It keeps my mind clear (except when it's in a quilt fog) - you know what I mean. I satisfies the creative side of me. It's all warmth, comfort, joy......guess t don't get any better!
    Last edited by Star lover; January 12th, 2018, 09:51 AM.


      Re: Why do you quilt? utility?frugality?Art?


      I get frantic if I can't. It's kind of like my other addiction. If I don't have that extra book on my nightstand I can't sleep for worry of how will I go to sleep if I don't have a book to read.
      Women are Angels.
      When someone
      break's our wings
      we will continue to
      fly...usually on a
      We're flexible like that.
      - embroitique


        Re: Why do you quilt? utility?frugality?Art?

        So interesting to read your stories. I learned to sew as a child but
        it wasn't my favorite thing to do. Made pajamas for the kids in the 80's.
        The last 30 years I have tried almost every type of craft. For the last
        20 I have been selling hand painted glassware. Around 2000 I started quilting.
        Bought some books, and actually make several block of the month kits
        from Joanns. (still have one unfinished top, lol). Soon became bored, gave away my fabric
        and books. Fast forward to 2014, I renewed my passion, discovered Project Linus and
        Quilts for kids. I have found a great artistic outlet, I am rarely bored (important to me),
        and most of the quilts go to charity. This forum has been a blessing to me. I decided to retire
        from painting/selling and I am looking forward to being more creative with quilting. I might
        even make a quilt that I will keep this year.


          Re: Why do you quilt? utility?frugality?Art?

          I quilt because it makes me happy. I love fabric. I love color. I love artistic expression. I love the challenge. I love the look on peoples faces when I give them their special custom made quilt.
          Stash Treasure Acquisitions Beyond Life Expectancy. My stash keeps me STABLE, oh yeah.... and dark chocolate.


            Re: Why do you quilt? utility?frugality?Art?

            I quilt because there is nothing good on TV and my dh likes to watch sports (eww) and foreign movies with subtitles (double eww)--so it gives me something to do. I especially like scrap quilts because I love seeing unexpected color combinations and to me it is a wonderful surprise when things click. I find piecing a traditional quilt very boring making the same block with the same fabric over and over again. I love the quilting part itself and I like doing big stitch and traditional hand quilting, sometimes it is so hard deciding which one to use. My taste has certainly changed over the years. When I started about 15 years ago I would never have imagined debating from a pattern. I feel I have come a long way. My family loves my quilts but I think my dh is the only one who has a clue how much work they are to make. It really is a very fun hobby.


              Re: Why do you quilt? utility?frugality?Art?

              I love to create, from garment sewing to knitting, crocheting, tatting, naalbinding, any kind of handwork with a needle. Quilting is just an extension, as I love to hand quilt. I have even worked counted cross stitch and candlewicking into quilts.
              TRUTH is seldom appreciated, unless you happen to agree with it. When you don't agree, you just call it rude.


                Re: Why do you quilt? utility?frugality?Art?

                I started quilting, after doing cross stitch squares. Loved doing cross stitch, but what to do with all of the alphabet blocks? so I made a quilt. I tied it because that is what I thought everyone did. Used poly blend fabric, (it will last forever)! And from there I no longer did cross stitch!! Do lap quilts, baby quilts and wall hangings are my favorite. And I have enough fabric to last ten lifetimes!!!
                I quilt because I love to sew!!!


                  Re: Why do you quilt? utility?frugality?Art?

                  My sewing adventure started with my Grandmother. She was a professional seamstress. In our small town (well it was small way back then), we didn't have any department stores, so the locals only had a few choices ... 1. Drive over an hour away to the nearest "big" town to buy clothes, 2. Catalog orders, 3. Make your own, or 4. Hire my Grandma.

                  Most of what Grandma made were "Special" dresses, i.e. Party dresses, or Wedding Dresses (and Bridesmaids). I remember one particular dress Grandma made for a Bride. Her Fiancé was in Vietnam and was finally coming home after his plane was shot down - he was wounded and hospitalized for several months. He had sent his parachute home to his Bride to be, and asked that her wedding dress be made out of the parachute, because it was that parachute that made it possible for him to come home to her alive.

                  I remember watching Grandma make this lovely dress, and was there when the Bride had her final fitting, and the photographer was there to take pictures. I couldn't take my eyes off that dress or the Bride, and even though I was very young, I understood that dress meant so much more than any other dress Grandma ever made for any Bride. That was the day I knew I would learn to sew and wanted to make things that made other people happy and had so much love woven in it. It was my Mother though, that got me hooked on quilts!

                  So that's why I quilt, a connection to the Women that came before me, a joy when creating pretty things, and a Love for my family and friends.


                    Re: Why do you quilt? utility?frugality?Art?

                    My sewing started when I was about 5 years old. I wanted clothes for my dollies. Asan only child from a single parentvmoney was tight. My mom would use clothing Ihad outgrown for doll clothes, making her own patterns incorporating the button or zipper closings in the design since our maxhine was basic no buttonholer. Soon she would cut and pin and let me sew. When she seen I had the interest we took the old machine to sears ans traded it in for one with a buttonholer and a few stitches. I remember Mom, my aunt and myself trying to figure how to fold the fabric to get a blind hem stitch. I advanced to making most of my own clothes through high school. I was tall and thin then znd the legs and sleeves were always short. This solved that problem. I would do flannel shirts for my cousin and robes vor his mom for Christmas gifts. I made most of my moms wardrobe when zhe could no longer work. I made my wedding dress. I made hubby a 3 piece suit to prove I could before we were married. After I got married and had babies I made most of thier clothes and mine. Then I got a job in The Rag Shop ( fabric / craft store). Now I had a real means to support my habit. I worked my way to fabric/ acting assistant. I made all my wardrobe for work as it showcased what could be done. After 20 years there the owner had a disagreement with his son and decided to sell the business. My manager made me buy all the quilting supplies, mat, cutters, rulers etc when they went 90% off and told me I would quilt one day. Fast forward to about 5 years ago and here I am quilting. I still sew clothes but not my entire wardrobe, shorts, nightgowns , robes, sons fleece pullovers, hubby pj's, jams for my son etc. Thats my story.
                    sigpic:icon_hug: Iris Girl = April = fabric, Fabric FABRIC!!
                    Time spent with cats is never wasted.
                    Sigmund Freud


                      Re: Why do you quilt? utility?frugality?Art?

                      Can I ditto what Denise said?

                      I started quilting when I retired. Mom was slipping down that long slope and getting out wasn't easy, so turning her office into an office sewing room worked for us. Her quilt was the first quilt I made. Leave it to me to not be satisfied with the way it was designed. I added borders (so what if they didn't end quite right... it was less than 1/2'' off). Anyway she loved it, had enough left overs to make DS#1's quilt. They said they loved it. It was better than mom's as far as the finished borders go. From there it's been a joy to make quilts for the one's I love.

                      I quilt to keep me sane!

                      “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”
                      ― Maya Angelou


                        Re: Why do you quilt? utility?frugality?Art?

                        What interesting stories you have told, I have found it fascinating!!

                        My first introduction to sewing was at school, my teacher's sister would come in to lead the class in art but I couldn't draw (still can't) so she taught me to embroider but that fizzled out as there was no spare home at home for silks etc. The next time I sewed was again at school but this was senior school and we had to make an apron for cookery class, that was ok but then we moved to garment sewing - hated it!!

                        Fast forward and my Mum has a Singer manual with a handle she used for repairs (5 boys often rip their clothes). My SIL made my wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses and I got interested in making clothes. My Mum gave me her machine and I started from there. I've made clothes, soft furnishings and curtains. Then I discovered cross stitch, tapestry and later was taught to crochet by a neighbour so the machine went away. About 5 years later the machine was changed for an electric machine and I went back to sewing clothes etc but kept up with cross stitch. Then added card making, scrapbooking and anything else I could make with my hands.

                        I had once seen a quilt over 40 years ago and wanted to make one but had no one to show me and there were no computers as such, let alone the internet so it was always a dream!! About 4-5 years ago DH bought me a new Singer and I discovered the internet and M*. The rest as they say is history! I have made (finished) 6 quilts for family, the ones for me are UFO's and umpteen Linus quilts. I have made bags of various descriptions for charity fundraising and placemats etc.

                        I suppose what I am saying is that I sew, knit, cross stitch and paper craft because I have to - I need to make things, it is part of who I am!! Yes in the past it has been out of necessity but now it is very much for pleasure!!


                          Re: Why do you quilt? utility?frugality?Art?

                          Started sewing in the 60s in 4H. Primarily sewed clothing. My mom sewed all of our clothes, until I started sewing my own. Got my own 2nd hand machine for graduation, and continued. Later sewed draperies for my home, because I couldn't afford to buy custom drapes. Always dreamed of making a quilt. Went to quilt show with my DH and was so amazed at what people could do. Saw a long arm and he really was amazed by it, and wanted me to buy one. Crazy me said no, we can't afford it. We would visit the Amish shops anytime wee went back to PA (Lancaster area) to visit his parents. Wouldn't pay the price for their quilts, because I could do that (although I never would). Fast forward to 5-6 years ago, DS is moving away and hands me a stack of T shirts and says "Mom, can you make something with this for me?". The rest is history. pieced the top, took a class to learn how to quilt it. Retired in 2017, and am trying to get fabric moved out of house. On quilt # 5 for 2018. Let's hope I can keep the momentum.


                            Re: Why do you quilt? utility?frugality?Art?

                            I started sewing at age 13, first in home ec, then lessons with my neighbor who was a professional seamstress. She wouldn't take the money for the lessons; she told me to give it back to my folks to save for a machine. I did get a heavy duty Kenmore in 1967 and it's still with me. So I did garment sewing through high school, didn't sew in college and when we got married I sewed more home dec. Then I got into cross-stitch because my neighbor on the Army post where we lived made such pretty things. Quilting was always in the back of my mind but I had no clue where to start. In 2000, while working in an office one of the girls started a quilt group one night a week after work. We started with a log cabin, she took us shopping to the fabric store to help choose fabric and supplies. I was hooked and went on to make several log cabins. Then we did a couple of samplers. Then I stumbled with a block of the month, lost interest and put it down for about 8 years. What got me going again in 2008 was our first grandkid on the way so it was a mad scramble to find a pattern/book and good fabric. Happened to find Jenny's daily deal and tutorials and the rest is history!
                            I quilt mainly for my family and friends which brings me such joy. Sewing is relaxing, I enjoy interacting with the various quilt communities and constantly learning new things. I just can't imagine my life without quilting.
                            Last edited by chelea; January 12th, 2018, 11:01 PM.

                            to the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world...


                              Re: Why do you quilt? utility?frugality?Art?

                              My grandmom was a seamstress and made everything me and my 4 sisters wore. Once we became teenagers we really didn't want to wear Homemade stuff, we wanted to wear what the other girls at school were wearing.......pretty dresses and skirts from Robert Halls - LOL. Grandmom wanted to teach us to sew but none of us were interested. Oh how I wish I had taken her up on that offer.

                              Fast forward, I'm out of High School, working as an apprentice in a beauty salon, and living in my own little apartment. DH (then my fiancé) and I were at the local carnival and I took a chance on a singer sewing machine, why I'll never know. And I won that baby. Sooooo, I immediately started to make some of my own that time shift dresses were all the rage - and oh so easy to make. I discovered that I really liked sewing, but I only dabbled in it on and off for many years. I made John John suits for my boys when they came along, did lots of mending and made lots of curtains, pillow covers, and still some clothes for me. And I would go for long periods where the machine never saw the light of day.

                              Several years ago for some unknown reason I got a hankering to sew....I had given my machine to my DIL to make clothes for DGD#1. So I bought a cheap Brother from Amazon and started making pillow covers and totes. I just wanted to sew. Got hooked on the totes and made a bazillion of them. I made a boxy bag for something and DH asked if I could make it big enough for him to carry his dance shoes in......and that evolved into a little business for me with our dance club......most of the ladies and some of the men now carry my shoe bags....I no longer make my own clothes, but I love to sew ...I make all kinds of crafty things, shoe bags, totes, potato bags, microwave cozies, table runners, wine totes.....well you get the picture.

                              I always thought I'd like to make a quilt, but felt that that was way above my skill level. I get many of my ideas from You Tube and low and behold one day I came across M* and Jenny Doan.....and I was hooked on watching her tuts. But again, I made her table runners, boarderless baby blankets.....never a quilt. AND then 2 years ago my niece from Colorado came for a visit. Oh and she is an awesome quilter. We had just moved into our condo and had a rather large blank wall between the dining and living areas. Well Carrie Lynn immediately started pressuring me to make a quilt to hang there......So we went online to M*....studied the tutorials looking for one that Carrie thought I could make. We selected the disappearing hour glass and headed off to the quilt store for fabric. Carrie helped me get everything cut out and together we made 2 blocks.....and then she went back to Colorado!!!! HELP!!!! I now know I should have picked a pattern that didn't have points - but I struggled along got it done. I sent it out to have it quilted and my dear neighbor helped me get the binding on. And you know what - it looks pretty darned good hanging on my wall. And I'm hooked.
                              I still love making crafty items.....but I'm no longer afraid to make a quilt - so far I've only made baby quilts, but I'm having a blast with it.

                              I guess you could say I'm hooked.....but truth be known....I'm ADDICTED to sewing anything and everything. Oh and I'm also ADDICTED to fabric.....I just love to touch it and feel it. A good day for me is when I can just stroll up and down the isles of a fabric shop.....oooooh....I think I know what I'm gonna do today!!!!!!
                              Last edited by Carol336; January 13th, 2018, 04:00 AM.