((By permission—of course!))
Candi sent me the following words, along with a photo of her recently finished Easy Street Quilt.
I finally washed my Easy Street quilt yesterday and took some photos that I shared with friends and have been encouraged to share them with you!
Lynn, from the Country Crossroads Quilt Shop in Orange Park, FL -where we CANNOT wait for 2015 and your visit, have been encouraging me to share my quilting experience story with you and knowing that as an awesome quilter you'd understand lol!
And here is something that Candi does not know! The Quilt Crossing in Boise, Idaho was the first shop that carried my doll patterns back in the 1990s. They gave me my first leg up. From there, I was caught by one of the distributors that visited their shop, found myself being carried by Checker, United Notions, Brewer Supply and finally by the Butterick Pattern Company and my Needle in a Haystack doll pattern company took off. GREAT MEMORIES!
Unlike most of the quilters I know, I didn't have a grandma, neighbor, mother,sister or anyone really that quilted. My mom did a lot of cross stitch to be fair, but I don't think that I even knew that "quilting" existed lol, a sheltered life I know. Forward to my adult life,-and me and wonderful spouse traveling a lot for our careers, and hopping from a place to place every three months- to Boise, ID in summer of 2007! Driving around town one day, we pass a "shop" advertising beginning quilting classes. Conversation went something like this.
Me: what is quilting?
Hubby: Guess you make quilts.
Me: like blankets?
Hubby: they are different, made from old clothes and recycling things.
Me: I love recycling! You think I should quilt?
Hubby: do you want to stop and ask?
Me: yes please!
OK, these probably weren't the exact words uttered in that car that day, but you get the picture lol. And so I walk into that quilt shop and now I am not sure what that feeling was? Fear? Excitement? Hesitation? OMG where am I?
Ladies at the shop must have seen that because they were all smiles when they asked me if they can help me! I told them that I have no clue what quilting is, but thinking I'd like to get information on the beginning quilting class. They smiled more, actually one of them laughed lol. And they asked me if I have a sewing machine.
Didn't realize one needs one, although I am not even sure that I realized that sewing was involved period lol.
Of course I didn't have a sewing machine, not even sure at that point if I had even seen one up close.
"No problem, you can use one at the shop". Ok, what else do I need?"
Well, first class goes over supplies, so come to first class with a notebook and a pen and teacher will explain it all to you." Ok! paid the fee and put the class on my calendar!
OK, first class!
Teacher is super nice, other ladies at class introduced themselves, they all have dabbled with quilting and want to learn more, I was the lonesome one that at that point wasn't even sure what quilting even meant! Did I feel lost? Yes!
Supplies. Teacher might as well have been speaking Chinese, I wrote the words down but had no clue.
Of course when I introduced myself, I was honest and I said I haven't a clue here. So she was watching and surely saw my confusion haha. Armed with my list and notes, I talked to teacher after class, and she explained things more to me and we walked around the shop with her showing me things and letting me touch them. And I started acquiring supplies for that first million dollar quilt lol!
Cutting mat, rotary cutter, ruler, seam ripper, fabric, thread and oh my! And so my journey began!
Next class we were cutting! The one after sewing HSTs! The one after making blocks and then putting blocks together! Meanwhile, me with no sewing machine, the teacher with her great generosity loaned me one of her sewing machines so I can stitch at home!
I still remember the frantic mess I was the first time I ran out of bobbin thread! What to do what to do? I am trying to look up things online. Husband is trying to help me! Hours later we got it! and I was stitching my crooked seams again! Did I cry that day? Maybe-- not sure, but I know I cried when I realized that I cut some things wrong and I didn't have more of that gold fabric, hehe.
Anyway, a six week journey filled with tears, frustration, joy and pride, I had a little quilt top with four Ohio Stars sashed and bordered in Christmas colors and I was hooked!
I often think of Nancy, the teacher, with much fondness and gratitude. Oh how helpful, patient, generous and encouraging she was! I often think, had it been some other teacher who wasn't like Nancy, would I be quilting today? Maybe, but probably not! She encouraged me and helped me find this great passion I have for quilting.
Unfortunately, our time in Boise was up and we were heading to Hawaii, so I put quilting pursuit plans on hold for a few months.
And when we got to Spokane, WA, I decided, I need to finish the Ohio star quilt! Nancy had given me instructions and explained the process to me, and there was a LQS that would help me if I got stuck! So I took the plunge, and bought my first sewing machine! And struggled my way through quilting that first top a year after it was made! And binding it!
You should see that binding, what was I doing? I have raw edges showing, don't think I understood the joining ends part correctly lol. But I was eager to start a new quilt, and so I did. And more, and more, and more..and well you get the picture! Challenged myself and learned something new with every quilt!
Last year, I discovered your blog and site just before the Orca Bay mystery and was reminded that although my initial attractions to quilting was recycling, I haven't done much of that yet, and that it was about time to dive into scrappy quilting! And loved, loved it!
And this year, East Street, pure delight, and I was so relieved that it didn't have gazillion pieces like Orca bay lol. I had a great time piecing it! I went with oranges and yellows because I have LOTS of these -favorite colors for me, and then had blues that needed to go, and so my Spring Melody was born.
I wanted to make it a throw size, which I guess is twin size but we are tall people who are always cold. I also wanted to make it rectangle to accommodate our shape lol so decided on a three by three layout with top and bottom borders and envisioned a whimsical applique border!
Love, love, LOVE how it turned out! Favorite quilt to date! And I am sitting here covered up with this 65x80 goodness as I type this on this chilly morning in the Sunshine State. I want to thank you for your generosity and wonderfulness! It is because of teachers like you, and Nancy at the Quilt Crossing in Boise, that people like me are encouraged to pursue a passion they didn't realize they had and inspired to always learn more.
I used to wander in there – just to pet the fabric and look at the samples ((And buy remnants and FQs when The Hubster was a student at Boise State and money was so tight.))
Thanks for the memories, Candi! And thanks for including me along on your Quilt Journey!