I grew up in a household that sewed. My mom made a lot of our clothes growing up and almost all of the drapes and curtains in our home. My grandmother used to make THE most amazing doll clothes for my beloved Skipper doll in additon to the obligatory sewing, so sewing has just been a part of my life as long as I can remember.
As a child I was frequently sick with bouts of tonsillitis until I finally had them out in the second grade, but before they came out, my mother would set me up in my bed with some fabric, thread and a needle and she taught me how to sew. When I was in the 4th grade she sent me off to sewing school at the Girls Club, then it was home-ec in junior high when they still made girls take sewing classes.(so sad this is not mandatory any longer...booo) I made my older girls dresses when they were young and the same drapes in my own home, etc. etc. ...then....then..... the time came that I didn't "have" to sew any longer so I didn't, other than I took some hand quilting classes when I was pregnant with Ashley. I took a very long hiatus from sewing...
A number of years ago however I got the bug again. I started sewing my little "wee bunny bags" about 5 years ago at SPA. You see, fabric can be every bit as addictive as fiber can be. SO many pretty colors and patterns! Making bags gave me an excuse to play with those palates....and now that I didn't have to sew because I couldn't afford to buy clothes, it was a whole new adventure.
About 2 years ago I stumbled into the world of quilting blogs. Seriously....there are other worlds out in blog land besides fiber blogs....who knew? Well that was that....I jumped in with both feet. Heck, these blogs just gave me permission to buy beautiful fabric and lovely quilt kits. They gave me permission to get a new machine that was not older than Stacey (although I have fallen in love with certain older machines, but that is another post)....and they brought me full circle back to a craft that has been with me as long as I can remember, but now I sew because I want to, not because I have too. :-) I'm not so sure that Ken is happy I found those blogs though...LOL
Last year, actually almost 2 years ago, when I took a ride over to Freeport, Maine, where SPA is held, I ran into a quilt show that was being held at the same hotel as SPA. Sanford Sewing Machine Center had a long arm sewing machine there for people to try.....I LOVED it! I had previously done some free motion quilting on my sewing machine and enjoyed it, but this machine brought machine quilting to whole new level for me. It took me a while to squirrel enough money away, but this year when Babylock was running a super special, I bit the bullet and brought one here. (as a side note...Sanford is an amazing company to do business with....fabulous customer support)
You might remember seeing parts of this quilt being worked on about 2 years ago, when I was working on Ashley's quilt at the same time. This was a kit that I had purchased from Fat Quarters...designed by Rachel Griffiths for Moda. I so enjoyed piecing this top. The fabric is one from the Fig Tree Line that I love, so watching the colors come together just made me smile....but then, that top just sat and sat waiting for the backing to get done, which scared me a wee bit. All that math stuff...measuring, making sure it's square....Yikes...it feels like a word problem...eek!
Part of the problem was the kit did not really include enough fabric for the back so a portion of it had to be pieced, which caused me to set it aside and you know how that goes....UFO in a bag somewhere...ouch.
Now, because I love Fig Tree fabrics, I did have a few choices. Even though the patterns change with this line, the color palette is pretty much the same, so I dug into my stash and found a charm pack that would work. While I was anxious to have this finished, in the end, I love the extra little splash of color on the back.
This little table topper/lap quilt is the very first big quilt that I have machine sewn from beginning to end. Is it perfect...absolutely not...you can see some of the puckers on the back, but it's finished, on my sofa and makes me smile, so that counts for something right? Years ago I used to think that machine piecing was cheating and didn't really count, but after doing this....not so!
I am going to spend some time with my granddaughter this summer teaching her how to sew.....paying it forward to the next generation and it makes me so happy. :-)