“Meet a Modern Quilter” …like you?

Wanna be in Quilty magazine?

Each issue of Quilty features a full-page profile of a quilter who is alive on the planet, making quilts today. No matter what your style, if you’re a quilt maker actively making sewing, you’re modern to us. Some of our profiled quilters are famous, some are kids, some are ladies you might know from your guild, some aren’t members of any group. Quilters are all different, and the “M.A.M.Q.” feature celebrates this.

As I was slating people for the upcoming issues, I thought, “Hey, I should offer a slot to the readers of the blog!” and that’s what I’m going to do. If you’d like to be considered for a full-page picture and a (brief) interview for an upcoming issue in 2013, answer this question in the comments thread:

When did you realize you were a quilter?

I’ll take the best answers to the editorial team and we’ll select someone to feature! Depending on where you live, you’ll need to be able to get a high-resolution photo of yourself. If that seems like an insurmountable task, this might not be the challenge for you. But if you know someone who can help you or if you happen to have a quality photograph of yourself lying around already, do it! Feature or no, this question fascinates me and I look forward to the replies.

Best of luck!

Above: A screenshot from my computer featuring a PDF of the VERY FIRST “Meet a Modern Quilter” subject, Ms. Chloe Johnson. First quilter, best quilter? It may just be true, you guys. Chloe is wonderful.

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1 Linda { 12.12.12 at 12:02 am }

I didnt’ grow up with any quilters in my immediate extended family, but there was a summer vacation when my grandmother (Nana B.) told me we’d put scraps of fabric together into a quilt. That never happened (I was too interested in swimming in the lake, go figure), but that was the point at which I was hooked on the idea.

2 Anjeanette { 12.12.12 at 12:07 am }

When did you realize you were a quilter? I realized I was a quilter when my fabric dreams turned into quilting dreams. I’ve always had dreams of fabric. But over time the dreams weren’t just about the fabric, but about the quilts and the designs using them.

3 Maria Murphree { 12.12.12 at 12:10 am }

I have always been ‘crafty’. Over the years I have bounced from calico flowers and ceramics (grade school) to calligraphy and cross stitch (jr/senior high, early 20s) to scrapbooking (less than a year). The one common thread was that none of these crafts held my interest for long. Quilting, on the other hand, has become my alter-ego. I think, eat, breathe, dream about fabric and quilts. Thank goodness my husband likes video-gaming, because I can disappear for hours in my sewing room, listening to books on tape as I make big fabric into little pieces of fabric, and re-assemble into big pieces once again. The addiction probably started in my early 30s and has continued into my 40s without at waning moment. I could go on, but you get the picture….

4 Ginette Vallieres { 12.12.12 at 12:20 am }

I realized I was a quilter the moment I asked my mom to teach me how to use her rotary cutter and sewing machine. Growing up in a house full of quilts, I knew this was it, I was finally giving in and becoming the 4th generation of quilters in my family! I was 18 at the time (that was 19 years ago) and there has been no looking back!

5 Debbie-Esch House Quilts { 12.12.12 at 12:33 am }

I’d been quilting about 2 or 3 years and we were on vacation in a touristy area with my mom. She wanted to redecorate her guest bedroom and, with my encouragement, was looking at some quilts for sale. The style and colors weren’t really her, so I said something like, “I can make you a quilt for less than that that you’ll really like”. So we agreed on a price and talked about a few designs. Later that week we were in another quilt shop, when my Mom saw a beautiful 16 block applique quilt and asked “Can you do that?” With the slightest of hesitation, knowing I would hand applique the quilt and that it would take me much longer than piecing a similar sized quilt, I said “Yes, I can”. I had been interested in making a large hand appliqued quilt and was thrilled with the “excuse” to do so. My style has changed a lot since those days, but quilting still isn’t about time or logic or money, it’s about the feel of the fabric, the challenge of the design and the love of the process.

6 Nancy McNally { 12.12.12 at 12:50 am }

When did I realize I was a quilter? Well, where shall I begin? First, I need to point out that I am adopted. I found my biological family when I was 19 and in my mid 20’s. I still don’t have all the pieces to the puzzle, but I’m learning more …as of today I found out where I got my “artistic abilities”. I realized I was quilter after I took several garment sewing lessons (18 years ago)…hated it! Tried quilting and was hooked!! I used to watch Simply Quilts, didn’t we all?! That was where I really learned I was a quilter, I had to watch that show religiously!! I did not care if it was a rerun, I would pick up something new each time. My quilting supplies began taking over my house, my husband had no idea!! I’ve been quilting for over 18 years and love every minute of it! There is a lot more to my story, and I would love to share it! I did not sew as a child, had no desire, nor did anyone sew in my family….now I know where I get my love of quilting from, maybe I will get to share my story….

7 Kristin Tyson { 12.12.12 at 12:51 am }

I’ve been making simple baby blankets for sale on etsy for a while (Handmadebytoots). I realized those were “quilts” after getting hooked on Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting. I realized I was a quilter after I had my first son and wanted to make something amazing for him. I’m still impressed with what I consider my first real quilt – a scrappy blue version of the skull quilt in Boo Davis’ Dare to be Square

8 Francesca { 12.12.12 at 1:00 am }

I became a quilter when I realized that my 3 daughters no longer wanted/needed me to make clothing for them and I knew I just HAD to keep sewing. Making quilts was a way for me to continue showing my love for them – my first projects were quilts for their beds.

9 Christina Belding { 12.12.12 at 1:15 am }

I took a class to make Xmas stockings with a rented sewing machine,thought that was fun,the new machines are so easy to use..Took another class,bags, then pyjamas..
I noticed a class for a modern looking quilt,I was so not into old lady style quilts,I had no idea what 1/4 inch seam,rotary cutter,cutting mat, etc were ..fast forward 3 years,I have had an original design quilt in a national juried quilt show,and have completed 20 plus wall and bed quilts!I am hooked,addicted to buying fabric,creating fabric happiness!! I am proud to be a 44 year old quilter,!Who knew fabric could be so much fun and inspire me in so many unique and wonderful ways!!!

10 Mary Ann Crow { 12.12.12 at 1:16 am }

I have to smile when I see you sign off as ‘Mar’, because my best friends in high school always called me that :-) I knew I was a quilter when I slept under the polyester quilts from clothes my Grandpa Volker made when I was kid, the old-fashioned ‘puff’ quilts I helped make neighbor Mabel Olson make when I was eight, and when I made my own quilt at age 17 for my college dorm room with a pattern I designed myself.

11 Jinet Wright { 12.12.12 at 1:59 am }

I realized i was a quilter a little more then 4 years ago when i asked a friend to teach me how to quilt. She showed me how to put together one block, and a few days later I brought her a quilt top and pages worth of designs I had dreamed up.

12 Mandy Dowdy { 12.12.12 at 2:23 am }

When did I first realize I was a quilter?
I love all things mathematical. When I realized the immense amount of math involved in making a quilt, I fell in love with the possibilities. The yardages, the angles, the rulers, the counting, the repeating patterns, the fractions, the shapes–I love it all! And then all the colors and prints–oh, my goodness–a lifetime is not long enough to make all the quilts in my head! Teaching others to quilt brings me such joy, but then students come up with more possibilities. It never ends! What a wonderful world! Only for about the past 7 years would I consider myself a serious quilter, so I anticipate the ideas will just keep on coming!

13 Leslie Fitzgerald { 12.12.12 at 3:36 am }

I realized I was a quilter as I proudly displayed my very first quilt in my home. I stumbled across Alex Anderson’s t.v. program on HGTV a few years back, and loved the design of the quilt she was showing (simple rail-fence, one of my favorites to this day). I’d never made a quilt before, but Alex made it look fun. I wrote down the instructions she gave during the show, and, list in hand, headed off to buy some fabric. Two hours later and TONS more fabric in hand than I thought I would ever need, I found myself cutting fabric on the floor in my living room. Then I pieced the rails, assembled the blocks, borders…and the 36″ square quilt was ready for quilting: Stitch in the ditch…that I could do. By 10PM that night, I was done and absolutely in love with my little quilt. It wasn’t (isn’t) perfect, some of the blocks are a bit wonky and the quilting is…ummm…let’s just say it’s done…but the colors are yummy and gorgeous ( various shades of brick with creamy soft yellow ). I still have that quilt and will never part with it. It’s the first of 38 I’ve made in the past 9 years. And the only one I’ve kept for myself. After that first quilting experience, I was hooked. That “ton” of fabric has been used and replaced by even more luscious fabrics. My skills continue to improve with each new project, and now I am even comfortable designing my own quilts and doing all of the fun math (I am a quilt geek and proud of it!). From the moment I proudly draped that little quilt over my piano, I knew I was a quilter.

14 Kristin B { 12.12.12 at 5:29 am }

When I turned 30, I took stock of my life and asked myself, “In 20 years, when I turn 50, what will I regret NOT doing?” I came up with a list and resolved to check them off sooner rather than later, so I could turn 50 with no regrets. The first thing on the list was to make a quilt, so I signed my sister, my friend, and myself up for a class. I had never sewed a single stitch. I learned a very simple block and started on my first quilt, for my oldest daughter. I made all the blocks and joined them into rows, but joining the rows made me nervous, so I put it aside for several months. One day, my grandmother said, “Pick a day next week and bring that quilt. We’re going to finish it.” I picked a day, and we finished the quilt. I look at that day as the day I became a quilter. Since then, I’ve finished five more quilts, have started on my sixth, and have plans for about five more. I am hopelessly addicted–a quilter for life!

15 Brooke moss { 12.12.12 at 1:14 pm }

I have tried learning a million different things like crochet, knit, making clothes, etc. I stumbled onto quilting at the local quilt shop where I stopped to get thread, and they had a quilt class for pretty cheap so I figured “why not?” And signed up. Loved it. My quilt blocks were always done and ready for the next class. I kept going because quilting is the means of on troll in my life. I pick the patterns, fabric, and do all the work. No one argues with me, tells me what they think, etc. everything turns out just the way I want it to. And I love it. I love my quilts. My husband makes sure I get thirty minutes each day to work, or else I am to be avoided! I have a stressful life and job, but quilting helps me process the day…..keep quilty coming!

16 Brooke moss { 12.12.12 at 1:15 pm }

I mean the means of “control” above! Darn IPad…

17 Melissah Lundeen { 12.12.12 at 3:22 pm }

I was a self taught part time “closet” quilter for the past few years. But last May 2012 my daughter was diagnosed with cancer. I needed something to keep my mind focused so I turned to my quilting. Haven’t stopped since and I don’t plan to. Its my “quilting therapy”. December 27, 2012 is our last radiation that followed six months of chemo therapy.. 2013 is going to be the start of a new life for us I can hardly wait to see what new quilting projects I will attempt.

18 Michelle W { 12.12.12 at 4:16 pm }

I realized I was a quilter only a couple of years ago. One of my coworkers explained to me how easy it was to make a quilt. She took me to the store to buy the necessary items (fabric and batting). I went home and made my first quilt with such ease I was amazed. I turned around and made a matching pillow. http://hoecakesandhemlines.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/strip-quilt-and-matching-pillow-case/. I was hooked!

19 Vicki Holloway { 12.12.12 at 4:37 pm }

I realized I was a quilter in the last two years. I have been making quilts since 1986 but I thought of myself as a “crafter” or a “hack” because I didn’t exclusively make quilts and many of the early quilts I have made wouldn’t win prizes at competitions. I made many quilts over the years with a used sewing machine and hand quilted them because that was all I had the skills to do. I have been slowly upgrading over the years in machines and fabrics. My mom has a long arm now and this has given me many opportunities to continue quilting in a new way!

I realized I was a quilter when I started making quilts for the sheer love of creating them. I have designs (both piecing and quilting designs) that come into my imagination and I need to make them. Now I love every step of the process from the design on the computer or using colored pencils to using one of my own free hand designs to binding. I find making quilts an essential part of my creative expression and keeping balance in my life. I don’t find I make an exclusive style of quilts and I try my hand at most techniques!

Thanks for considering me for MAMQ, I would be honored if chosen.

20 Francesca A. { 12.12.12 at 9:31 pm }

I realized I was a quilter when my daughters entered adolescence and no longer wanted me to make their clothes for them. I KNEW I needed a way to, not only express my love for them, but to take care of my need to create. Choosing fabrics and watching fat quarters or charm squares become a work of art is so satisfying to me. AND, to be honest, I really enjoy hearing all the compliments I receive when I show off my latest creation!

21 Alycia { 12.13.12 at 5:57 pm }

I realized that I was a quilter when my son was snuggled up next to me in a quilt that I had made for him. It was finished, it was snuggly, and we both had chosen the fabrics together.

22 Beth { 12.14.12 at 4:52 pm }

Is there ever a doubt, the second you see a your first quilt pattern in a magazine, book, or shop and say “OMG, I am SO going to make that even though I have no idea what I am doing and it is likely to be one hot mess in the end but I MUST SEW THAT – NOW!” that you are a quilter? For me there was not. I was 25, all I knew of sewing was a lovely corduroy duffle bag from 8th grade Home Ec and a few garments my mom, a clothing sewist, helped me make through my teens, but I saw a Christmas tree wall hanging in a Christmas craft magazine and come hell or high water, I was going to make it. And make it I did, complete with poly blend fabrics, 5/8″ seams throughout (can you imagine how much bigger it would be if I ever redid it properly?? I’d need a bigger wall.), and the worst machine quilting ever created by human hands. But I finished that thing (1″ wide on the front binding and all) and I was a quilter, no question. Seventeen years later all that has changed is that I am a better quilter, but I’m still that “OMG I MUST MAKE THAT – NOW” enthused young thing who saw a picture and decided to be a quilter.

23 Heather { 12.18.12 at 6:54 pm }

I never had an “aha!” moment in which I realized I was a quilter. For me, it has been more of an evolution, or maybe better put, a metamorphosis. One thing led to another. One more project, one more ruler, a tip from an aunt, friend, random nice lady in the quilt shop. My visits to the quilt shop became more frequent. Then I discovered other quilt shops. (I must admit I feel guilty when I visit new quilt shops. Is there such a thing as quilt shop infidelity?)
Where would I be without the Internet? One day while searching YouTube, I stumbled upon Quilty. I couldn’t get enough. I hungrily devoured all the quilt tips I could find and longed for someone with which to share my newfound passion. It is so disappointing to want to share something so wonderful with the world and realize not everyone shares my sentiments.
My scrap pile continues to grow, right along with my future project list. I try out new blocks at least every other week. I still lose sleep over a project I can’t wait to start or am anxious to finish. Always planning, thinking, quilts.
And if I can’t get everyone I know to catch this contagious “quilting bug,” I can at least die trying to wrap them in a quilt I’ve thoroughly enjoyed creating with love.

24 Patty C { 12.18.12 at 11:45 pm }

I realized I am a quilter this year! This year I had the honor and pleasure of sewing my first quilt for commission. Then two more quilts for commission. This year I sewed (in a week) a stunning lonestar quilt for my sister, who lost her husband in May. This year I learned how to quilt on a long arm machine enabling me to finish many quilt tops. This year my fabric stash grew a little more. This year I spent more time (before and after work) in my sewing room where at least two quilt projects are in the works. In the past, I have sewed clothing, drapes, crafty items, you-name-it, I have never gotten so much joy, been continually challenged or felt so creative as when I sew quilts.

25 Olabodey { 12.19.12 at 9:33 am }

I LOVE IT!!!!!! LOVE IT! The colors on the cover are so joufyl, and that jelly roll o is nifty. I couldn’t help think about Birgit’s comment about creating a car using jelly roll wheels (grin). I am glad you included alternate yardage. Leave it to you to think like a student as well as like an instructor. I’ve had my eye on one of those nifty electic strip cutters, and just might add it to my Christmas wish list. And a jelly roll retreat? What a cool idea.Now you’ve got two(2!) books. Are your kids going to take you into school for show and tell? I am soooooo proud of you. You must be dancing around like a crazy woman (try not to step on the cats).

26 Jesse cottrell { 12.19.12 at 2:24 pm }

When did I know I was a quilter? Was it when I was 5 and cutting my grandmothers scraps till they were nearly threads, or was it when I was 11 and she finally let me have a whack at the sewin machine? I competed my first quilt when I was 12 and since then have had the thought it my head since. I now create beautiful heirlooms for peoria to enjoy and cuddle with on cold nights. It started with a dream and turned into a dream come true.

27 Rebecca Roach { 12.21.12 at 6:33 pm }

I realized I was a quilter when I was looking at at the geometric design on my Starbucks cup & automatically thought, “That would be tough to piece… It’s like y-seam city.” My brain turns everything I see into a quilt! :-)

28 QuiltMan { 12.23.12 at 8:38 pm }

I first realized that I was a quilter when a friend of the family made a quilt for my daughter and when I saw it, I wanted to make one too. When my wife and I received the quilt, I was fascinated by it. I examined it with the precision of a surgeon. I studied the quilting, the layout, the binding, and the backing. A few days later, I searched the web and read every article or tutorial out there. I was hooked. My son was about five years old at the time and I wanted this quilt to be for him. My wife and I went out and shopped for fabric (she was my moral support) and I came back home and made my first quilt by hand. My son is 15 now and still has the quilt (albeit tattered, but still functional). After I completed this first quilt by hand, I bought a sewing machine and I have been making quilts and have not looked back. I am hooked for life.

29 Bridget Beal { 12.24.12 at 8:58 pm }

We were already on mile three when he told me about the old quilt in the garbage bin. Don, my running buddy, recently did some housecleaning. His son visited him about two months ago, and together they tossed old plush animals, games, and clothes. “Jack and I hauled a lot of stuff into the trash,” Don explained. “We even tossed the quilt my mother made him before she died.”
I had a need to save this quilt, yet I wasn’t a quilter. I could reattach a popped button, but designing and putting together a quilt seemed really out of my means. This is coming from a woman who’s been part of a sewing group for four years.
I’m a sewer wannabe, the forever newbie. One of the members of the sewing group took me to a Level-1-super-easy-felt-project workshop a year ago. The other ladies flew through their button stitches as I was still threading the needle. “What are they doing here?” I thought. “Where are the people who are like me?” And then I looked at that the time and realized that they were waiting for the mid-morning recess bell to ring. In any case, I was glad to have an unfinished project to bring to the next monthly sewing meeting, where I later sat in awe while the other ladies pulled out their intricate knitting, crafted jewelry, and colorful quilts. I looked down at my uneven button stitches that were connecting colored circles on top of a black square. I have a long way to go.
I asked Don to pull the quilt out of the trash bin so that I can make a new quilt out of it. It was a mess. Jack used this quilt throughout his childhood. After washing and cutting the old quilt, I powered-up my sewing machine. The top is finished. Don and I ran this morning. I gave him an update on the quilt: “Today, I will be tying this puppy together.” He smiled. Jack is visiting his father for the holidays. Tomorrow is Christmas. He will be opening a box and seeing something old sewn to something new. It will bring back childhood memories and smiles. My work will be part of these good feelings. How rewarding. I already have plans for my second quilt. I’m hooked.

30 Moni Armstrong { 12.26.12 at 1:44 pm }

Hmm…I realized I was a quilter the summer I was bedridden. Couldn’t stand to watch all the soaps so I started flipping channels. There she was, Alex Anderson. It was then the bug really BIT me. I’d been crocheting since I was 13, but this just looked much better. It took me several more years to get my first sewing machine and fabrics, but I did it…If you’d like to know more, I’m available!

31 Martha Barton Betts { 01.03.13 at 4:53 am }

I was asked by a friend (avid quilter) to come to her quilt guild meetings. My answer to her many requests was, I am too busy to get into another hobby and quilting, in my mind, was hand stitching a white thread to make a design on a vest or blanket. NO THANKS. When I finally said yes, it was to hear the program speaker tell how she designed fabrics. The program was very interesting, but the show and share was eye poping beauty! The piecing, the hand quilting, the machine quilting, the fabric colors, and the thread choices were spectacular. I had to be a part of this “quilting community”. Everyone said “glad to have you as as a new guild member”…. they must have seen my jaw on the floor and daze in my eyes. That’s when I realized I was going to be a quilter. I jumped in head first, going on rode trips for fabric, a new sewing machine, retreats, and quilt shows that turned into mini vacations. After seeing what a longarm could do, I just had to have one of those too. The old hobby supplies have gathered dust for the past 10 years now. I have gone from simple quilts to art quilts. I do guild programs, I have been our guilds president, and have taught childrens classes. I just love sewing and quilting.
I think I can say I am an avid quilter.
Avid: adjective; Characterized by enthusiasm and vigorous pursuit.

PS: You may have seen my quilts at Chautauqua.

32 Alethia Geisler { 01.03.13 at 8:36 pm }

I became a quilter after I adopted an abused, half starved Thouroghbred ex-racehorse. After taking him to my riding instructor, she gave him plenty of grocerys and he gained about 500 Lb.s! I purchased a quilted padded saddle pad from a catalog which after one use it raised bumps where it touched his skin under the saddle. I ended up layering a large bath towel, two layers of poly batting and heavy poplin, which I quilted together. I bound the edges with pre-folded binding and off I went to the boarding stable to try out my creation. My home made saddle pad was so nice looking that other boarders at the stable kept asking me where I bought my saddle pad. Not bad for my first go at quilting!
My family used to live in Japan and I have a big box of Kimono’s … I wonder what kind of quilt I can make with them.

33 Jennifer and Megan Burns { 01.03.13 at 10:44 pm }

Megan ( my twin sister) and I first experienced quilting at the belligerent age if 12, while being forced into a child labor camp the teachers liked to call ” home economics” – we each had to hand sew quilt squares, that the teacher then quilted and gave to our principal. This only added to the bitterness. :D All of the girls in the class said things like ” Swear that you’ll never evereverever quilt AGAIN.”

We took all of that swearing very seriously. More or less.

Anyway, about 5 years ago, twin sis and I had a pronounced resurgence of an auto-immune disorder we both inherited, and after being in the hospital, we were both really run down and were stuck in bed for awhile. I HAD to find something else to do besides watch TV, so I began knitting again after a 20 year hiatus. Which led to crocheting, and then hand sewing. And then, as we got better, to sitting at the sewing machine ( I began making stuffed animals ). The love of all things fabric kept causing my eyes to wander over to the quilting books, and though I fought the urge for several months, I finally gave in. Now, sis and I are embarking on our first quilt together, and we’re so excited. We stayed up until 4 am, cutting and piecing. It’s definitely addicting.

34 elise { 01.08.13 at 3:23 pm }

After college, I moved from Ohio to PA to live with my very best friend. In that first year living together she found a boyfriend and right before we were due to renew our lease for the next year she announced that she was gonna marry the guy and I was on my own. I was heartbroken (and at that time, honestly, not all that happy for her!!) We went our separate ways and I was so angry and heartbroken that we did not speak for a year. After that, she called me out of the blue with offerings of peace: Wanna go to a beginning quilt class with me? I said yes and to this day she remains my very best friend. We both quilted together in the class and beyond. My first sampler made in the class was simply 4 pinwheel blocks with the same 3 fabrics, sashing in between and hand quilted. When you look at it, you can tell where I started my hand quilting and where I had finished; the stitches in the beginning were large and uneven, yet they settled down to relatively small and even fairly quickly. I knew then, I had some ability worth pursuing. Though not prolific and with a long break (due to raising kids) I am back in quilting action and jazzed and juiced on a regular basis!

35 Barbie { 01.11.13 at 7:26 am }

I started watching Simply Quilts on HGTV with my mom when I was in junior high or high school. We would drool over all of the beautiful things we saw. My mom had always wanted to make quilts, but due to her health, she never has. Lucky for me, she bought some rotary cutting supplies, and I finished my first quilt when I was 16. I made a few more here and there after I got married, including a king size one for our bed (which is a queen, but we’re really tall and going to upgrade….someday…). I quilted that one myself on my sewing machine and it was a nightmare, so I decided that I’d hire a longarm quilter after that. A couple of years later I discovered quilt blog land, and saw that so many of the bloggers I liked to read successfully quilted their own quilts on their own machines. I read some tutorials on how to do it properly (I’d done straight line stitch-in-the-ditch with a FMQ foot before, yuck!) and gave it a go on my 2nd child’s baby quilt. It went fine, and I decided that was a good way to save money. It was also SO satisfying to complete a quilt myself from start to finish. In November of 2011 I met a woman who had a Grace frame that she was selling as she had just purchased a longarm to replace it. I’d never heard of quilting frames you could put a domestic machine on and move around like a longarm, and I practically bought it from her on the spot. A few months later I decided to start a small home business doing machine quilting. I think it was about that time that I realized I was a quilter, when I’d actually been one for quite a while. Before it was a hobby, now it’s a much larger part of who I am. I’ve made almost as many quilts in the last year than I’d made before that, as well as quilted about 30 customer quilts. I’m now a member of the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild, and I’m planning to buy a real longarm machine in a few weeks, which I’m a little too excited about. I love to design my own quilts, and I’m getting better at the actual quilting part of all of it. I hope to be not only a quilter, but a “Longarm Quilter Extraordinaire” someday, as well as develop a few modern quilt patterns. I’ve got a quilt/pattern in the upcoming February issue of Fat Quarterly which I’m pretty stoked about! I can’t wait to share pictures of it. I love being a quilter. I’m sure that I will be a quilter for the rest of my life.

36 Greg { 01.17.13 at 7:06 am }

I think you need to feature a male quilter! I purchased a simple sewing machine 13 years ago to make some quick curtains for my new house with lots of windows. Once that was done, the machine to always be in the way. Then something struck me, I wanted to make something so I threw together a quilt without any idea how or what I was doing. But then I was hooked. Since then I’ve come along way. Not only have I upgraded to a bigger better machine, I’ve also invested in a quilting machine, frame and robotic quilter! And a fabric stash my great grandma (the only quilter in my family I ever knew) would have been proud of! While all my quilts have been for personal use or gifts, I would really like to teach and share the love of quilting with others!

37 mfons { 01.22.13 at 4:40 pm }

It’s a very good idea, Greg. You men aren’t often represented because it is largely a craft/art that draws in women. We would LOVE to see your stuff. If you want to submit an original design to Quilty, do it! You can send submissions to mandy @ fons and porter dot com. Anyone who wishes to submit is encouraged to do so. (Also: check your email…)

38 mfons { 01.22.13 at 4:43 pm }

Also: Matt McShan was our first “rookie” to write “A Rookie Speaks” in our first issue of Quilty Magazine, and he was also featured on the show. We’ve had guys on the show and in the magazine several times — more is fine by us. Quilty pretty much loves everyone with a sewing machine. :)

39 Jane McKay { 01.24.13 at 12:53 am }

“I’ll NEVER be a quilter”, said I, after sewing all my clothes, my Mom’s work clothes, my sister’s clothes, and my children’s clothes for 40 years! Georgia Bonesteel hired me to sell sewing machines to “sewers”, all the while teaching quilting to everyone else. Soon, my pores soaked up the wonderful craft and I made my first quilt for my “miracle” granddaughter. Since then, I have gone through the calico phase, the muted vintage phase, and now, teaching modern quilting. I love bright colors and find the modern ideas more to my liking than intricate piecing or applique. I teach teens and adults beginning quilting weekly, and have a large group of now independent quilters that I love. I don’t have any idea how many quilts, table toppers, placemats, wall hangings, and tree skirts I have made since 1980. Can you feature an “old lady” in your magazine?
P.S. I have followed “Quilty” since the beginning and have gotten lots of tips for making my beginner class better. Thanks

40 Alex { 02.22.13 at 1:01 pm }

How about a “newbee” Quilter from over the sea? I’m from Germany and havent even sewn before March 2012 and just finished my first Queen-Size Quilt. You hardly find Quilt-Shops or Longarmers over here so I do all my quilting on my home sewing machine! So here the Answer to your question: I knew I was a quilter when I did my first freemotion-quilting session and was in so much joy doing this, I never wanted to stop! unfortunately the bobbin runs out terribly quick LOL. Well, since then I’m hocked up! I think in Blocks now and saw all of your Quilty Shows! They kinda taught me everything I know! I LOVE it! Thank you so much for your support!

41 Denise { 02.25.13 at 5:24 pm }

I made my first quilt in 2011 and to best answer your question, added a few more to determine if I could consider myself a modern quilter. Am I an expert quilter? No. Do I make money selling quilts or pattern designs? No. Have I entered contests and won awards? No. Am I a guild member? Not yet. Do I rely on the internet, magazines, books, and quilt shop employees for education, suggestions, and ideas? YES. Do I lay awake at night designing patterns and thinking about color choices? YES. Do the friends and family I gift quilts to wrap themselves up in them and somehow are blind to the mistakes? YES. Do I spend hours wandering through fabric stores “just looking”, touching the fabric and pulling out bolts then walk out with yards of fabric and no plan? YES. When I’ve completed a quilt do I look at it as if some kind of magic just took place because the color, pattern, feel of the fabric, and workmanship happened to come together just the way I wanted this time? YES. Am I open to trying lots of different styles of blocks, color combinations, and techniques? Absolutely! So I think I am a modern quilter!

42 Jane Ziemons { 03.11.13 at 11:37 am }

Monday Mornings in Sun-drenched Jamaica’s Montego Bay
A beautiful mother of two took me under her wing and for 3 hours every week I didn’t feel home sick, I didn’t miss my life before kids and I knew that getting older than 30 could still be really rather wonderful…

43 MandyMandalei { 03.18.13 at 4:10 pm }

I visited my grandparents in 2003, and while my fella was off working, my grandparents and I hung out. My grandfather is the one who had a great love for quilts and fabrics (and was quite the dapper gentleman in his day), and my grandmother had the same Singer sewing machine from 1948 that every one of my parents and aunts and uncles had all used. The two went together, in m y mind, and I immediately went to the only local quilt store in their small town and got my first fabrics, book, rotary cutter and mat, and pieced my first quilt. Since then, I’ve gone on to begin designing my own modern patterns and playing with all sorts of ideas and fabrics, but I will never forget that quilts, for me, are first and foremost about the stories they tell about the things in your life. I was trained as a Classical archaeologist, so I see pattern and design in a larger historical context: we all speak a language of pattern and pattern recognition. My version of a flying geese pattern may be different than a traditional one, but the underlying principle is still the same.

44 Karen Christensen { 03.20.13 at 2:44 pm }

When did I become a quilter? Too late in life, that’s for sure. Since I was a teen, I’ve continually had my hand in a craft — crewel, knitting, crocheting, counted cross stitch, macramé, and/or sewing – all self-taught. I have spent the last 26 years creating counted cross stitch projects and loving it. I didn’t think another hobby could take its place. WRONG!!!

I began quilting about five years ago and was immediately hooked. After the first couple of small quilts, I decided to take some classes to make sure I was doing things correctly. I didn’t want anyone else to quilt it for me – I wanted to be a quilter! With 10 grandchildren, each with their own quilt(s), I have had plenty of quilts to practice on. I live, breathe and go to sleep with quilting on the mind. As much as I hate shopping, I just LOVE shopping for material – especially batiks! My quilting books and magazines are read cover to cover. I watch as many quilt shows, videos, etc. as I possibly can with my limited time (I still work full time and commute 4 hours a day). My husband records the quilting shows and we watch them together. Thanks to him, I have a wonderful dedicated space for my patterns, books, notions and material, tables for my Baby-Lock machines, a design wall and a long arm. I spend as much time as possible in my room, either alone or with my quilting buddy. Wait! There are other rooms in the house?? I have to stop to eat??

When I purchased my long-arm in 2011, friends let me “practice” on their quilt tops. They were thrilled, but in my mind, I wasn’t there yet. Recently, my former quilt instructor asked me to quilt a wall hanging for her to give as a gift. (Can you say nervous?) She and the recipient loved it, which was a real turning point for me. I’m gaining confidence — I’m on the road to being a quilter!! Now I find myself looking at nature and architecture for those hidden quilting motifs. Earlier this year a quilt actually “spoke to me” with quilting designs. Isn’t that what a quilter is supposed to feel? So, while I’ve been “quilting” for the last five years, I feel I can now say, today, that I am a quilter. I can’t get enough!!

45 Dianne Vita { 04.12.13 at 1:29 am }

I became an accidental quilter 19 years ago. I have been sewing since I was 9 years old. I even went to school for Fashion Design. When I became pregnant with my daughter, I wanted to make her crib bedding to coordinate with the design scheme of her nursery. It was a lovely cabbage rose main fabric,in pinks, reds and deep burgundy on a white ground. I had some fabric left over, so I decided to make a quilted wall hanging behind her crib. I started searching for quilt patterns in books in the library, and found one that I loved- Card Trick. It looked so intricate, but I could see it was just a modified nine patch. I took some graph paper, drew out the pattern, added my 1/4″ seam allowance and off I went. I made 4 blocks that I framed with 1″, 2″, then 3″ sashings. I put the backing on, then did a simple stitch in the ditch. I had no idea how to bind a quilt, so I wrapped each edge with straight cut strips that I am ashamed to say now, I zig zagged at the ends to finish them. Still very pregnant, I hung the little quilt behind the crib with pride. I love that quilt still. I have now perfected my quilting, and teach others how to quilt. Just last month, I took my little Card Trick quilt out, and taught how to make it. My students also love it.

46 emma bryan (UK) { 04.14.13 at 9:29 pm }

I realised I was a quilter when I had my children. Such precious moments, surrounded by love and generosity, and beautiful, beautiful baby clothes. I couldn’t bear to throw them away, and without ever having considered it before, I just knew I was going to quilt them. 12 years on, each of my children still has that quilt on their bed, and still love the stories they evoke.

47 bob yorkshire { 06.25.13 at 8:23 pm }

Greetings, I merely thought to tell you, you’re dead wrong about it. It does not add up.

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