I was doing all different types of needlework so got an ad for a quilting book in the mail. I dreamed and drooled over the pictures in it and finally bought a book several months later.
I pored through it to learn the process before I finally dove in, while pregnant with our 3rd (who just turned 19.)
I was hooked and all my other needle interests went out the door since. I do very occasional knitting or other needle projects, but quilting is my passion.
I just recently got onto this particular "blog" from Connecting Threads--I usually go to the "Around The Frame" for hand quilters. Anyway, let me introduce myself; my name is Sandy Larkey, and I live in South Podunk, Nebraska--not really, but with less than 200 people in town, no businesses except two grain elevators and the post office, might as well be. I grew up in this area, and my father's family just across the border into Kansas. My mother, her mother, Dad's mother and three sisters all quilted, there was nearly always a quilt frame set up in either, sometimes both houses. I joined 4-H in 4th grade and learned a lot about sewing due to that--not always from the 4-H group leader Mom and Granma taught me more. Anyway, like I said, there was nearly always a quilt frame set up somewhere and I usually wound up "poking" at it a bit. One day the Aunts (father's sisters) went to the Ladies Aid meeting at their church and I tagged along. About half an hour into it, getting bored by all the "kiddie" books and magazines sitting around in the church, I took out my thimble and sat down at the quilt frame, too. After I had stitched a fair amount, one of the women leaned over and looked at my work, said, "I thought we'd have to rip out Sandy's stitches and redo them. But she's doing pretty good." My Aunt Hazel replied, "I knew she could do it--her mother's a better quilter than I am." Major compliment, since Aunt Hazel did quilting professionally. Remember Capper's Weekly and The Workbasket? Aunt Hazel advertised in them. Anyway, after I grew up, moved away, got a job, started wearing "good" clothes all the time, I was dismayed when a co-worker and I showed up with the same dress on the same day. So I started sewing my own clothes, again. Kept that up for umpty-skillion years until retiring, then discovered I wasn't really happy without a sewing project going. So I took up quilting, again. I'd promised another co-worker, who'd recently married, that I'd make her a quilt for her first baby. Used my sewing machine to do the applique on a pattern called "Gingham Dogs and Calico Cats", and was going to hand quilt it. While I was sitting in an auto shop waiting room, and quilting, another lady was watching me and finally asked, "Grandbaby?" I told her, no, just a friend. She came over and sat down beside me to get a good look at the quilt then looked up at me and said, "Pretty good friend!" What with two more quilts for that friend's babies, and two for niece-in-law's kids, and at least one other, I think that's my signature quilt pattern now. I still use my sewing machine to piece quilts, and have hand-quilted several, but usually use the services of a long-armer, because most of my quilts nowdays go as Quilts of Valor, so I want to get them done fast. But I have joined a group at a nearby town that handquilts as a fund raiser for the local Community Center. We have such fun as a group that my Monday afternoons are "spoke for" for the foreseeable future. We call ourselves the "Lost Needles Quilters" because someone is usually crawling around on the floor, looking for a dropped needle , at every meeting. When we had a new member, who'd never quilted in her life, come in and want to join, she was told to "Sit here by Sandy, she's our expert." And whenever someone runs into a problem, "Sandy, we need you here." Anyway, that's my story, and you've probably been bored by it, if you've read all the way through. So ... 'bye