I was asked a while back (and forgot about it until just now) how I got into this whole quilting thing. So, here it is:
I spent a lot of time in fabric stores in my early twenties. I remember seeing, for the first time, the huge wall of quilting cottons, arranged by color, lit by spotlights like a painting in a museum. I desperately wanted an excuse to buy some…I needed to buy some. I didn’t even think about quilts but if I had, I would have dismissed the idea just as quickly as I had dismissed the idea of making bags or clothes. At the time I was only into making historical costumes and could not justify buying fabric that couldn't be used for that purpose. Quilting cotton cost nearly as much as velvet which helped put things into perspective.
In 2006, my very best friend started making quilts. I thought “that’s dumb…why buy fabric just to cut it up and sew it back together?” I thought it sounded like a lot of work and besides, I hated quilts. They were all “old lady” and boring, not to mention the cost in dollars and in time.
Then I went to her house and saw the quilt she made. It was a simple baby quilt, squares and tied at the corners. I hate to admit it but my first thought was “I can do way better than that.” Because, yes, I’m a jerk and a perfectionist and I really knew I could do better. And so, the challenge was set…I was going to make a quilt, even though I didn’t like quilts.
I made this quilt for my boyfriend and did all I could to keep it as far from “old lady” as possible. I made sure to use lots of black, red, gray and, of course, skulls.
I was going to quit there. I had fun making the quilt but it was a lot of work. And I still didn’t really like quilts. But then the fabric called to me. Finally, I’d found an excuse to buy all the bright beautiful fabrics I’d seen on that fateful day in the fabric store.
So now, I quilt. I quilt because I love fabric. I quilt because I love color. I quilt because I love designing my own patterns and blocks and layouts. I quilt because it improves my sewing skills. I quilt because I love snuggling up with a blanket and a good book on a cold night. I quilt because quilts get all crinkly when you put them in the dryer.
There are things about quilting that I don’t like. On bad days I sometimes hate everything about it. But in the end, the good outweighs the bad. In the end, I feel like I’ve accomplished something important, like there will be something of me left to comfort my friends and family when I’m gone.
So for now, this is why I quilt.