Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Love from the Inbox!

Ohh Ohh! Do I have a great mail to share with you today!

((By permission—of course!))

Candi sent me the following words, along with a photo of her recently finished Easy Street Quilt.

She writes:

Dear Bonnie,
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!

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.

Happy Quilting
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! 

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!

Stitch On!


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

Beautiful quilt!!

Elaine Adair said...

Oh my ... her LETTER is pure gold, but the end result is even BETTER !!! Who could have known? How wonderful to discover something "new" that turns into a lovely passion!

Loris said...

This is gorgeous! Lovely interpretaion of Easy Street! Candi sure has come a long way from not knowing what quilting is! :-)

HelenMarie said...

That quilt is gorgeous!

Isn't it amazing what a small world we live in... everything is connnected!

Irene Onderweegs said...

Sigh.... what a lovely post! And the quilt is just beaming with joy, this is what makes me tick too =^}
Thank you for sharing, both Candi and Bonnie!
Love from a dark and already chilly Amsterdam,

SubeeSews said...

wow! What a beautiful story.
You are my hero too!

Allison in Plano said...

Full Circle Moment in progress . . . Wow, I'm sitting here crying and laughing at the same time. I love quilting, quilters and the stories of how it weaves in and out of their lives. What a true blessing our art is!! Quilt on Sisters!! Awesome Candi and Bonnie!!!

Debbie said...

Simply wonderful. Candi...sew happy you made this journey and shared it! Bonnie..you are the most generous. Simply wonderful!

Nanette said...

WOW what a great story, and she has only been quilting a short time, her quilt is beautiful.

Thanks for sharing!
also in Chilly Florida, that is until Sunday when it is 80

stash busting nurse said...

That is a superb story. You inspire so many of us Bonnie. Candi's quilt is yet another example of how your quilt patterns look amazing, what ever colours of fabric you use.

Katie said...

great story indeed -- reminds me of the difference a real quilt shop made in my life. I had started and stopped quilting 3 or 4 times prior to walking into my LQS and that has made all the difference to me

Jennifer Kinney said...

What a great story and a beautiful quilt to boot! Through the generosity of others she was able to learn and conquer! What a great feeling it is when you are able to complete a quilt. It was nice to see how you both received help from the same shop, too.

debi said...

how lovely was that first teacher and I'm sure if she wasn't as nice Nancy wouldn't be quilting now. I love her Easy Street!

Mary said...

I've been to that Quilt shop also. They are so friendly and helpful. Too bad the fabric that I really wanted was all cut up into a kit. All I wanted was a FQ. Reminds me of my first Block of the Month class and my Quilting Mentor- Jo Fox! Love the added borders and applique she did.

Prima Donna said...

Gorgeous quilt! I remember helping my granddaughter make a quilt wall hanging. She was 5 years old then and was fascinated by the sewing machine. She wanted to know how I had made the sewing machine. LOL Guess she had never seen one before either.

Shirley said...

Oh this story is making me cry. I so wish I had help they way she did. I learned from Georgia Bonesteals Lap Quilting book. With lots of tears. Thanks Bonnie for printing this.

Shirley said...

I also wanted to say WOW what a pretty Easy Street.

Carol B said...

Thanks for sharing Candi's quilting journey. She has came a long way in such a short time. I am envious of her ability to choose her own color way for Easy Street. Beautiful quilt.
Easy Street was my first Mystery quilt ever, so chose to use the recommended colors. Just about finished with it.
Thanks again for the inspiration you provide to all quilters in the quilting world.

Tami C said...

Moving every three months must be absolutely terrible! It's so lucky that Candi discovered a great teacher who introduced her to the wonderful world of quilting. Her Easy Street is just darling! I love the applique border that she added. I too had no relatives or friends that quilted. Growing up in southern Florida didn't give us much of a need for quilts. But I have a wonderful mother-in-law that does quilt, so I can to quilting later in my life and I just love it. Thank you for sharing your story Candi! And, thank you Bonnie for everything you do!!

pjbear said...

Candi Your quilt is beautiful and the border is stunning. Pauline Australia


what a wonderful story! thanks CANDI for sharing your quilting road/journey with Bonnie so she could share it with the rest of us.....

candi said...

Oh Ms Bonnie, I am feeling quite famous today being featured on your blog :) thank you. I had to have my husband read it too, and he said "yes, I remember:)"

Anne said...

What a beautiful quilt!! Gives me inspiration to finish mine.

AJ (The Quilting Pot Podcast) said...

Beautiful. Love the added applique!

Reader Owl said...

Beautiful quilt and story. And a surprise - I consider Quilt Crossing my local quilt shop and stop there now and then! Wonderful place.

Janet O. said...

Delightful story. And what a whimsical touch her border gives to your pattern. Isn't that fun?

Michele said...

What a fun story! Quilters are the best people.

Gale, Ky quilter said...

What a beautiful beginning to quilting. I cannot imagine growing up and not knowing what a homemade quilt was thanks to my Mamma. Quilters everywhere are so nice and the fact that she was so encouraged does not surprise me. Thank you Bonnie for all you do for the love of quilting. I have yet to meet you and take a class but is definitely on my list of things to do! Beautiful, beautiful quilt!

Mary said...

I simply adore that story and LOVE her Easy Street! It's stunning!

We are so lucky to have Bonnie too! It's my favorite site!

Bob said...

What a great lesson this is for shopkeepers and clerks everywhere. A huge thumbs up for the folks in Boise and Nancy. They helped an absolute beginner find her way and boy has she taken off. Candi, your quilt is gorgeous. This should be a wake up call for the clerks that can't find the time to answer questions or encourage new quilters. Luckily the quilting world seems to be made up of more folks like Bonnie and Nancy, willing and happy to share their knowledge and encouragement. Thank you ladies.

quiltygal said...

Beautiful story, beautiful Quilt :)

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

Wow that story gave me goosebumps! Candi, glad you hung in there. Your quilt is wonderful and I think the best part of quilting is the sharing and caring that goes on in guilds, and online. A great bunch of people, and Bonnie you are one of the best!

Cheryl Fogg said...

What a great story!

miss jamee said...

candi, your quilt is delicious, and you have a real talent for writing...would love to follow your BLOG. lol. thx for sharing bonnie!

~~Sew Happy Designs~~ said...

LOVE LOVE the story..it's a story that I'm sure can be told by many, many a quilter. Candi's quilt is awesome, really love the applique and she did a fabulous job with the colors. Very happy that there are teachers like Nancy out there and people like Bonnie who share of their time, talent and expertise. Your patterns are wonderful, Bonnie and we are sew happy that you share them.
Cindy in northern, NY

The Thimblemouse of Country Crossroads said...

Candi I am SO GLAD you told your story!!!!!!!!!! I loved hearing it in person the first time...it was even better the second time around! xoxox Lynn

The Thimblemouse of Country Crossroads said...

I'm SO GLAD Candi told her story and even more THRILLED that you shared it here Bonnie! Thank You! I feel especially tickled, because I've seen this wonderful quilt 'up close & personal' - in fact, I pretty much witnessed the first stitches :)
And the really GREAT thing is...Candi is TRULY a very sweet, generous, awesome, and very funny gal - a real delight to be around...her enthusiasm is contagious...and when she discovers something new...oh my, it's like Christmas morning and she's found a new gift! I just love her to pieces!
This whole blog post today was JUST what I needed to put a smile on my face...it's been an extremely long, unexpected day at the ER with my Mom (who has been admitted to the hosp...we pray it's only for a few days). Thank You Lovely Ladies both!!!!

JaneB said...

Bonnie thanks for sharing that story! Wonderful. Its a beautiful quilt and a wonderful life.

Beth said...

What a great journey! Thanks for sharing. It is so much fun to 'hook' a new quilter.

Me and My Stitches said...

What a great story! I hope Nancy reads this too!

Luann said...

Very humbling to me, a life long quilter. Thank- you for such a gracious story.

Nann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nann said...

Candi, thank you for telling your story. Bonnie, thank you for sharing it with all of us. The applique on Spring Morning adds a beautiful touch!

scrapsgalore said...

My sentiments, exactly! Loved the story and the quilt and the connection was inspiring.

Carla said...

Thanks for sharing your story Candi and Bonnie