Saturday, January 1, 2011

My 2010 Quilts and The Story of How I Started Quilting

What a fabulous quilty year 2010 was. But before I show all my 2010 quilts, I thought I should briefly tell the story of how I started quilting. Here goes ...
Spring, 2009. I am at a yard sale. It is the estate sale of a quilter. There is fabric everywhere. I am looking at the fabric and a lady asks me "Are you a quilter?" I say something along the lines of no, but that I really like to look at all the bright fabric. She says well go ahead and fill a box for $5.00. She brings me a box. I fill it.
This is about a month before my daughter's second birthday. I decide to make a quilt for her. I am kind of an artsy sort (although a totally-untrained-just-for-fun-artsy-sort) and I had painted a colourful series of paintings for each of my children's rooms. I figure that a quilt will be a nice compliment to the deco. And I have a sewing machine packed away in a closet that was a gift from my mother-in-law. I can try a quilt. Why not? I mean I took Home Ec back in Grade 9 a few eons ago.
Please don't laugh too much at this next part. I cut a square out of cardboard, probably about 3 inches in size -- of course I don't measure. I trace this square onto the back of the fabric in pen over and over, and cut each square out individually with fingernail scissors. My fingers and thumb hurt. I think of abandoning the idea, but the possibility of a birthday gift is a powerful motivator. I get out the sewing machine. I make nine-patches. There is a lot of frustration. I eventually complete the quilt and even quilt it myself. I am happy to have it finished by her birthday but have no interest in EVER making a quilt again. The quilting was a nightmare. I have no idea how I didn't throw my sewing machine out the window in the process.
The sewing machine gets put away. But then, horror of horrors, my son wants a quilt too. You Moms understand that of course I have to make him one. I use the same cardboard square again to trace the shape. I piece the quilt together. I don't even bother to try quilting it this time, I just tie it. It gets finished. I don't enjoy it. This is maybe July. To my quilting attempts: Goodbye and Good Riddance.
Then, about October a bunch of things happen at once. On Facebook I reconnect with a cousin and an acquaintance from high school who both quilt. They have lots of pictures of their quilts online. It is pretty inspiring to see the great stuff they've made. I meet a new Mom friend whose son starts attending preschool with my son. She quilts and is very enthusiastic about it. Also about this time my agent phones to tell me that my first novel has been accepted for publication and I feel a real boost in my creative confidence.
All this mixes in my mind and I ask for a rotary cutter, cutting board and ruler for Christmas 2009. By January, 2010, I attempt quilting again using proper tools. I read a ton of info online for basic tips. This time it is fun. I almost instantly feel I have found the perfect hobby for me. By March, I start this blog.
And now, here I am a year later. Blogging has added SO much fun to this hobby for me. Thank you to everyone who has stopped by the blog.
So anyway, here's what I made in 2010. I completed 13 quilts. All are my own designs.
The Lighthouse Quilt
My favourite block: Red sky at night, Sailor's delight.
Princess Castle in progress.
Royal-T: Tess's Princess Castle Quilt
At the KVQG show.
Eli's Log Castle

Attack of the Scraps
Attack of the Scraps and Pretty in Pink
2010 Selvage Sampler
Les Iles Inspired Quilt
Halloween I-Spy Quilt
In use.
Halloween Spidey String Quilt in progress.

Halloween Patchwork Quilt.
Selvage O'Lantern in progress.
Selvage O'Lantern
Pretty in Pink
Selvage Snowman in progress. I don't have a design wall.
Hi there!
Selvage Snowman. He will be a 2011 finish as he isn't quilted yet.
No Rhyme Nor Reason Quilt
Happy, Happy, Happy 2011!


Amy said...

very nice quilts!!I am so glad you picked up quilting again.I started sewing and cutting by hand,, I thought what fun is this? cut it apart to sew back together.happy new year to you

Kristie said...

Awesome! Love your story, and your quilts. Looking forward to 2011!

Lesly said...

That's a wonderful story - thanks for sharing it! And what about that spectacular gallery of quilts! Fantastic!

Pinkadot Quilts said...

i really enjoyed hearing how you started out....I think you got the hang of it!
Happy New Year

Marty G said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful story! I always enjoy the story behind the quilter, there is always one. Your work if beautiful and creative! Please keep sharing.

Vesuviusmama said...

What a beautiful and productive year! I look forward to seeing what 2011 draws out of your creative mind and hands.

Colleen said...

Great quilts! When I started quilting in the early 90's I started the same way-scraps from my Grandmas house, a handme down sewing macing and an idea. BTW design walls are easy my first was black felt put up with lots of thumb tacks. My current is pretty lt green fleece put up with lots of decorative thumb tacks I had lying around.

Barbara said...

Love your story - it has a happy ending. Glad you didn't give up because your quilts are wonderful.

Sarcastic Quilter said...

Fantastic that this came back to you and you've given the third time a charm try! You most certainly have talent as a designer and quilter. I love them all and appreciate your story.

(Frankly, I'm a little jealous you can design so well! My "designs" are half formed ideas that I don't know how to draw out and therefore question who well it would all look together anyway. lol I'm not good inspiration for myself. :D)

Happy New Year and looking forward to watching your other creations bloom to life through your blog!

Cheers, Beck

Canadian Kristin said...

Wish you could go back to that estate sale and fill up more and more and more boxes for $5 now that you've found your quilty groove?!?!?! Thanks for sharing your story! I'm gearing up to just let go and make quilty stuff up! Your blog always de-stresses me about follow the amazing patterns and rules on the many other blogs I follow. You just wing it and your results are crazy-awesome!!!!!


Hands Sew Full said...

What a great story! I wish I had been at that estate sale with you! Your quilts are beautiful and I love that they are so unique! Happy New Year!

Plum Cox said...

You've had a busy year - love your story and your quilts!

Happy New Quilting 2011!

quiltmom said...

You make beautiful quilts- it is wonderful that you persisted and found a passion for quilting given your unusual beginning. It is a wonderful story that has a terrific ending or beginning depending on your viewpoint.
I am sure that 2011 will bring even more fabulous quilts from your creative energies.
Warmest regards,

Connie said...

Beautiful quilts! It is hard to believe you haven't been quilting for that long! You're a natural!

Mama Spark said...

Your story literally, had me laughing out loud! Poor you and lucky us now that you have "the proper tools". Your quilts are fabulous. You should make patterns for us or at least some tutorials. I have a BFF that is Canadian too and I will be forwarding your blog address to you as she loves to meet fellow Canadians. Happy New Year!!

Rachel's Quilts said...

Wow, what beautiful quilts! Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to see what you make this year. I love your selvage snowman.

Annie said...

I just found you via your mom's blog. Your quilts take my breath away. I'm following now. I don't want to miss out on 2011.

suesueb said...

Your quilts are absolutely fantastic and really inspiring!! Makes me want to do more quilting! Thanks for sharing your story too!

Anonymous said...

Your quilts are absolutely great and your story has inspired me. I have been looking (lurking) and dreaming for way too long. It's time for me to just start.

Shannon said...

What a nice journey you have been on. I am sure that you are glad that you figured out quilting. You have done wonderful work.

Riel said...

Thanks SO much everyone! Your kind words mean so much and are really appreciated! Here's to a fabulous creative and quilty 2011! Cheers, Riel

HollyM said...

What an amazing array of quilts. I don't think I've done that many in five years! I love the colors.

Barb said...

what an amazing start!
Thanks for sharing your quilts of 2010, amazing.

jmbmommy said...

I think that I might be your new fan! Your quilts are GORGEOUS! The fact that you designed them yourself is even better and that you are a new quilter and finished THAT many in your first year quilting is PHENOMENAL! Way to go, Happy New Year!!

Bree said...

I love all your orange quilts & use of selvages. I've only discovered recently that I should have been saving mine all along!

Gmama Jane said...

You didn't tell us the name of your novel?? How wonderful!! It's a BIG DEAL to have a novel accepted and published. I'm very impressed by your quilts. You go full steam ahead when you get involved in something, don't you?
Gmama Jane