As I’ve said elsewhere on the blog, I have been quilting for a long time. Over 40 years as a matter of fact. It sure is strange to think that it has been that long since I first began.
My grandmother always used to quilt. Quilting and knitting. Those were her two favorite hobbies. Even thought she would eventually teach me how to do both, it was her quilting that always captivated me. The detail of the designs that she worked into each piece of fabric was just amazing. And she never used a sewing machine. Everything was to be hand-stitched. That was the only way that you can be sure of its quality. She was such an incredible woman, and her quilts were nothing short of pieces of art. She could have had an entire exhibit dedicated to her quilts alone.
So as I grew up watching her create this majestic artwork day in and day out, I eventually got a bit curious. I started asking questions about it, asking why she was doing this or that. Grandma even started asking me for my opinion on some of her designs. This obviously furthered my interest and she eventually showed me exactly how she was doing it. She taught me the basics and bought me a beginner’s kit, so I could start some projects of my own.
My mom never had much interest in quilting. She doesn’t have the patience for it—she even admits it! Quilting is a slow, calm activity. Now that I am older I quilt to relax myself. It is a way that I can leave all the troubles of the world behind me and focus on the project that I’m working on. There is a very soothing element to it. This wasn’t what attracted me to it when I was younger, however.
As I said above the creative element greatly attracted me. My grandmother used her fabric as if it were a canvas and he thread as the brush. I was mesmerized by her work and all of the creative enzymes in my body wanted to make something just half as good as her work. It’s interesting to me that I first became interested in quilting because I saw it as a new frontier that I could explore and I could use it to express my inner creativity. Now I use it to silence the ever-buzzing world around me and focus on my inner thoughts.
I supposed these aren’t too different, however, and maybe one leads to another. Maybe in order to completely focus on your creative thoughts you need to silence the world around you. Either way, Grandma always did a pretty good job of both, and she sure did do a good job teaching me her ways. There are tricks that she told me almost 40 years ago now that many of my quilting friends have never even thought to do. She was a great inspiration to me, and I thank her every day for the knowledge that she gave me.
After all, where on Earth would I be today without quilting?