How I Started Sewing/Quilting Blog Hop

This is the third stop on a 10-stop blog hop exploring how quilters and sewists got started quilting and sewing. The complete list of blogs with links is at the end of this post.

When my sister Cory was born (1983, I was 10), my mom made a crib bunting set for the baby’s room, and I used the patterns for an accompanying mobile and made some stuffed ornaments out of the fabric.

My very first machine sewing project was a tote bag and a chef’s cap in my 6th grade art class, by Mrs. Fisher at Burr Oak Elementary School in Calumet Park IL. In 8th grade, where I transferred to Central Park Middle School halfway through the year and in Home Ec our project was to make a pair of hideous Bermuda shorts (it was 1987).  I sewed SUPER FAST, and I had already learned how to sew in 6th grade. I was done before anyone else, and the poor teacher had nothing to give me to do for the next 2 weeks, so she gave me little embroidery kits to do for extra credit. Sadly, these projects are also lost to time, but that’s not so bad considering the Bermuda shorts. At this point, my grandmother gave me a sewing machine for Christmas, and I used it to start a costuming side business and I thought that theatre was going to be my college major.

One of the quilts finished at my in-laws.

One of the quilts finished at my in-laws. Me with awful hair.

In 1996, I moved to Baltimore to move in with a guy I met on that thing called “the internet”. We were going to get married, but I moved to the area without any family ties or employment. Everyday, I walked to stores, banks, businesses, etc to look for a job, but each day I walked back home and sat in a clean apartment with nothing to do but watch Rikki Lake. So, I asked to be driven to a JoAnn’s so I could find a hobby project to keep my hands busy, and I came upon the Jo-Anns Block of the month kits. Add Grandma’s sewing machine and the rest was history, but sadly this quilt is not finished yet. I’m still quilting it.

Those sewing skills came in handy as I made my wedding dress and my husband’s wedding clothes for our Halloween/Rennaisance wedding. I found out that quilting was something my husband’s family did, and I was heavily encouraged to keep quilting by my mother in law and grandmother in law. We had a couple of quilt bees at their house with tops made by me, on quilt rails that were handed down from great great grandmothers. I was/am thrilled to be part of their history.

My first quilt.

My first quilt.

My first finished quilt project is this Ugly Fabric Challenge from the Baltimore Heritage Quilt Guild which I had joined just a few months prior to get out and meet people in Baltimore. This hideous thing was also my first attempt at machine quilting. That echo quilting in the center nearly broke Grandma’s old machine to do. It didn’t have feed dogs that dropped or anything. This quilt is my cats’ favorite, and it’s laid out each day on the kitchen table for them to nap on.

The ladies of the Baltimore Heritage Quilter’s Guild inspired me to become an art quilter, and art quilters like Cathy Kleeman, Martha Gilbert, Amy Selmanoff, Joan Levin, and countless others became who I wanted to emulate. I made lots of art pieces, and Journal quilting was popular. In 2007, my last year in Baltimore, I started my weekly quilt series, and well, my whole art career started at that point. You know the rest! My latest quilt, Geschwindigkeit (Speed), is currently at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach, CA and will be going to Houston.


Follow along on the Blog Hop to the next stop or to the stops already posted!  Be sure to leave comments!
Aug 1. Cyndi Zacheis Souder –
Aug 2. Becky Glasby –
Aug 3. Cheryl Sleboda –
Aug 4. Barb Forrister –
Aug 5. Jackie White –
Aug 6. Tracy Mooney –
Aug 7. Lisa Chin –
Aug 8. Laura Krasinski –
Aug 9. Catherine Redford –
Aug 10. Sylvia Lewis –