|My Alletaire quilt - a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt from 2015 (not done)|
|I-Spy Halloween quilt (nearly done)|
I can remember when I first started quilting, I had no money. None. So I would look at quilts and try to figure out how to make the pattern. I actually made quite a few things this way. When I was divorced, my two oldest kids would visit their dad quite often and he always liked them to look nice. He would buy them cute outfits but they had to keep them at his house. I can remember one outfit that he bought our son – it was blue and black, a pair of shorts and a matching shirt. I just loved it but I didn’t have the money to buy Ryan an outfit like that so I designed and made him one. It wasn’t nearly as polished as the store bought one but it was just as cute. I did that for a lot of things that I would see at the store – I was buy the fabric and make something similar at home. Pajamas were my favorite. I think all 5 of my kids as well as me, had a pair of cow-spot pajamas.
|Windows lap quilt (half done)|
Quilting has changed so much. When I first started quilting, I used mainly calicos and solids because that is all there was available. We didn’t have rotary cutters – I wouldn’t have been able to afford one if there were. We used templates made from cereal boxes which sounds so quaint and depression-era, but really, the cardboard from cereal boxes was and still is the best cardboard for templates. If one is so inclined to make them. Traditional quilts were about the norm and there certainly was only a few quilt magazines – definitely not the plethora available today.
So now I’m back at a point in my life where I don’t have much money and it is nice that I have those penny-pitching skills that I developed years ago. While I’m not nearly in dire straits as I was back then, I would like to save as much as possible in any way I can. We still eat cereal so I have access to template material. But I’ve also a stockpile of rulers and a rotary cutter, so I’m good. If I am ever frustrated about trying to cut a certain design, I always fall back to cereal box template.
It's amazing how sewing has remained a constant in my life. The sound of the machine - whether it is my Bernina or my old treadle - is so calming to me. Making useful things is also a way that I calm myself. These days I haven't sewn so many clothes mainly because, well, I don't know why. I just prefer quilts, I guess. My mom's mission in life is to make sure that everyone is warm. I guess I just take after her.