Sunday, May 11, 2008

There Once Was A Lonely Quilter

named Melissa. And all she ever wanted to have quilter friends.

Yup, that's me, a lonely crafter looking for friends. I come from a long line of very creative and crafty women so I spent a good part of my childhood sewing and making things with my mother and grandmothers. And using their fabric scissors to cut paper - oh the forbidden joy! But as I got a little older, I was distracted and stopped crafting for many years.

Fast forward to 2003, where on that fateful lunch break, my co-worker taught me how to knit and the creative switch was turned on. Soon enough, knitting wasn't enough and I signed myself up for a sewing class. Within a day, I ordered my first machine and haven't stopped sewing since. I started with handbags and travel accessories and have since moved onto clothing and quilts.

The quilting started when I bored myself with knitting baby blankets. I wandered into a cute fabric store, picked up a set of fat corners and decided that I was going to make a quilt, and just flew by the seat of my pants. I put together this patchwork baby quilt and made little matching stuffed blocks with the extra squares. I hand tied it together because my machine at the time didn't have a walking foot. I used my regular sewing foot for the binding and luckily avoided the dreaded puckering.

It was the beginning an addiction. I was hooked, which also meant immediately buying a new machine with a walking foot. And buying fabric, a lot of fabric. Luckily for me, the babies kept coming so I could just keep on making baby quilts, like this pear quilt. It is still one of my all time favorites.

One of my best friends started loudly hinting that she wanted a quilt and it was really the motivation I needed to get past my fear of working with a bigger quilt. All that fabric is scary. And my husband suspiciously leaves the house whenever I start sewing to avoid being recruited to help me with the quilting. I suckered him into helping a couple of times but now he is on to my tricks.

This is the final product and I am so happy with how it turned out. It still amazes me that I could actually make something like this.

This is a recent baby quilt. It is the first quilt where I played around with the quilting lines. I had been stuck in quilting in the ditch and finally pushed through and freestyled the wiggly lines.

This is my latest quilt. It was commissioned by my co-worker for a Mother's Day present. He picked out the backing and and I came up with the quilt top. The quilt top came out way more modern than I expected but it seems to work.

Through all of this sewing, I didn't really have a lot of friends that were also sewers, which I found frustrating. It was something that I am so passionate about and didn't really have anyone to share it with. At the same time, I was checking out sewing blogs and seeing all these amazing, talented women out there in cyberworld. I decided to do what I best, and I picked up Rebekah as my internet crafting friend. (For other examples of this, feel free to ask Lisa and Nadia.)

I am over the moon with excitement that this quilting bee is coming together so well. I love that everyone is as excited about it too. Thank you to everyone who has helped put this together and I really want to give Rebekah a big shout out for being such an amazing organizer. Not only can she sew a mean quilt, she's got great friends.


Jacquie said...

Ditto on Rebekah! LOVE your work. I want to know all about that pears quilt. That is so wonderful. I'm with you on the none of my friends sew. It's hard for me to believe that only one of my close friends even has a sewing machine. She's makes fabulous bags, but won't venture into quilting. The blog world has been so great to find like minded folks who share a love for making quilts.

Rebekah said...

thanks so much for finding me online and dreaming up this swap! I'm so excited for all the quilts that will be made in the next year!

Your pear quilt is so pretty and I really love the quilt that you made for your mother in law...I'm going to be breaking the bank this year trying to duplicate all these great quilts that I'm seeing here : )

Oh, and Jon's new position is quilt taper downer. I always have to beg him to help me straighten the layers whenever I baste a quilt. I know he loves helping me out! : )

nasancheyev said...

melissa is my sewing hero.

Lynn said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE your pear quilt. I may have to go find the fabric and make one for myself!