Friday, October 30, 2009


The Journey!

I was chatting with a friend earlier this week about quilting - specifically about why we quilt. It was a short conversation and one we've had before but always enjoyable. :-)

After our chat I was quietly reflecting about the fact that we agreed that we're very passionate about quilting. Yes, it's definitely a true passion. And, it occurred to me that I took my first quilting class in October 1999 - has it really been 10 years?

I'd been a 'quilting wannabee' for years! During my Corporate America days there was a small quilt shop across the street from my office building. I remember strolling over there during many lunch hours looking and wishing I could quilt. I'd fondle fabric, leaf through books, stare at finished quilts - wishing I could quilt. I lacked the self confidence to try.

I learned to sew on my grandmother's treadle sewing machine when I very young; took home ec classes while in junior high (aka middle school); got my first Kenmore sewing machine in 1975 after the birth of my daughter Kris; took Stretch & Sew classes in the mid 70's making tons and tons of adorable outfits for said daughter and yet I didn't think I could quilt. Wishing I could quilt for many years and then in 1999 I decided it was time to learn - I was ready to take the plunge. LOL Little did I know it would be such an incredible journey!!!

It's definitely been a journey - one with many memories. :-)

Cabinets and baskets full of 100's of finished quilts.
The pile of over 100 flimsies (waiting to be quilted)
All the fabric I had to have stuffed in drawers and such (teehee)
Purchasing a couple of new sewing machines
Purchasing a Centennial edition Singer Featherweight
A trip with a friend to the Sister's Quilt Show
A trip with a friend to visit 21 quilt shops in Iowa, Minnesota & Wisconsin
A trip with a friend to the International Quilt Festival in Chicago
A trip to the quilt show in Paducah
Lots and lots of quilt classes
Quilting retreats with friends

Lots and lots of wonderful memories and a few not so wonderful. ;-)

I've asked myself over and over in recent months why I continue to quilt and could not come up with an answer..........................guess what? I've decided that it doesn't matter how many unfinished projects I have or how many flimsies are piled and waiting to be quilted or how much fabric I own - no it doesn't matter! I now have a very definite answer to my question

I quilt because it's my passion!
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Thank you for letting me share! I appreciate your visits and hope that you'll continue to visit and enjoy my journey with me.
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In Friendship!

38 comments:

Cara said...

That sounds like the best reason to quilt.
It's mine as well. I don't even quilt for the finished product because I so rarely finish, as I can't afford to send out and I can only do so many large quilts on my machine with very little throat space.
It's the process, the dreaming...all the parts.

Joyful Quilter said...

I think your blog says it all. Do you also get the question "who are you making that one for?" My answer is always - I'm making it for me! Like you it has become my passion too. Maybe after it's done I'll give it to someone else, but they are all mine first.

Francien said...

I don,t no what to write to you but that this is an absolute amazing sight Darlene, this cubboard is full of awesome quilts.... i hope you did made a name-tag somewhere on them because you made yourself immortel through your beautiful quilts...it looks stunning the way you have "stashed them" you can be very proud of yourself!! bravo!! I will be off now and gonna make a cup of coffee and look some more at your blog...
Greetings from Holland and have a great weekend...Francien.

Quilt Hollow said...

It's also my addiction...could be worse right? Hee
Something about needle, thread and cloth that just feeds my soul. Glad you are back in stitches!

paulette said...

Wow! You were telling MY story only I started because I met someone who quilted and she lent me a book.....and yes it is a passion!!
I often meet non-quilters and they say "well what do you do with all your quilts?" or Why do you want to keep making quilts after you have made ONE!! They just don't get it...Thanks for todays' post! You reaffirmed my love and passion for quilting!!!Paulette

Karen said...

Your thoughts are oh so right. Quilting is a passion for us that make more than one or two quilts in a life time. It is an expression of ourselves and our creativity. When given to others, the quilts express love & friendship. Quilters are generally very sharing people and our biggest cheering squads. And I wholeheartedly agree, that the number of quilts we have, the tops waiting for finishing or cherishing as they are, the fabric stash, kits stacked up, patterns and books on the shelves.....it is what we love and it makes no never mind to those who do not understand.

Pam Marshall said...

I see you've picked up some inspiration.
good for you.
pam

Sherri said...

Beautifully said! It is our passion and our creative outlet...we are artists!

Funny you mentioned "Stretch & Sew"...I took a couple of their classes as well...in the early eighties!

Robin said...

Glad to hear I'm not the only one with numerous tops waiting for the quilting. I like your answer to the question of "Who are you making that quilt for?" Or I'm asked, "What are you going to do with that quilt?" I'm going to start saying; "I'm going to savor it!!!"

Nancy in WI said...

That's exactly right! We quilt because we love everything about it, it gives us joy! Sometimes I get boggled down with too many projects, not enough time but I love it just the same. Nancy in WI

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

woo-hoo! My passion too, girl friend :-) Hey I went to Chicago in 2007 with a friend and also to Paducah in 2008 with same friend. We had a ball.

Candace said...

Darlene, such a wonderful post and how true of so many of us! Sounds like your mo-jo returned and I couldn't be happier! It also sounds like we have a lot of the same sewing/quilting history - and look where it's brought us - and a wonderful journey that I never want to end!
Cheers!

Kim said...

From the moment I discover a pattern and fabric, through the cutting and piecing, I love seeing a quilt top come to life. Better yet when it is quilted, bound, washed and dried to happy snuggly softness. Quilt making is satisfying for many reasons, on so many levels. Quilt making speaks to me in the sweetest voice, one which I can't deny. The urge to cut, sew and quilt is too strong, it is my passion, too.
Happy Quilting Darlene!

Janet said...

We're quilters and we get it. It's a journey not the destination that matters. I think we all get that question, what do you do with them all? Would you expect someone who paints to finish after they have done x number of paintings?

Carol said...

What an awesome post today Darlene! You are so very right...a passion! Perfect! Your cupboard of quilts is absolutely beautiful!

Kaaren said...

I actually consider those of us who have a passion for anything to be the luckiest people in the world. We happen to be quilters or fabric artists or whatever title one deems appropriate.

Janet summed it all up...it's the journey, not the destination. Amen to that.

Stina said...

You couldn´t have said it better!!!! :o)
BIG HUG!!!

onlymehere said...

I started sewing the same as you. I wanted to learn to quilt for years also but finally a couple of years ago took my first class. I love it but with holding down a full-time job still I don't have much time. It relieves stress for me and is an artistic outlet for me. Thanks for sharing. I love the cabinet that you have your quilts/fabrics in! Cindy

Lindah said...

Passion. Precisely! Many years ago, DH would see me sewing and immediately the question came, "Who is it for?" Always. Always it needed to be FOR someone or something. He could not understand quilting just to be quilting. He couldn't understand the creative juices. Wow! has he ever changed in those 20 years or so. Now EVEN HE has creative juices that need expression. (big smile)

Shiree said...

sometimes it is ok to do things "just 'cos!" no rhyme, reason or other rationale needed at all. And so long as you are having fun doing it...ENJOY

Beth Karese said...

I'm smiling because passion has been on my mind too! (Was my last post :-) It's been a joy to tag along on your journey, as you share your passion with us. I'm about 10 years behind you... this is the year I stopped being a 'quilting wannabe' and it's been wonderful! So happy your mojo's back!

Shakerwood Primitives said...

Passion.......what a wonderful word. I agree with Mary, there could be a LOT of other less favorable things you could be passionate about. Glad you found your word!

Pam said...

Oh -- I took stretch and sew classes in the 70's as well. Quilting is certainly more fun than stretch and sew. I think it is a great way to express ourselves creatively. Some people paint - and probably have stacks and stacks of painting lined up in their garage. Some people bead - which takes up far less room than stacks of quilts. It is all in the creative process and the joy it brings - not necessarily the ending but like you say - the journey.

Wendy said...

Quilters are definitely a breed of their own, only another quilter can truly understand. I love this post, so well stated. It's the Journey and all the fabric and friends to support us along the way.

Micki said...

You definitely have a passion for quilting! I loved your post and your telling your story. It was lovely to read!
Micki

Carrie P. said...

Well, Darlene you hit the nail on the head. I have been quilting the same amount of time as you but I don't have that many quilts but I have learned it is not a race and we do what we enjoy and it is our passion, so have fun with it. I love seeing all those quilts in one place. Thanks for sharing.

Michelle said...

You are right! It is a passion. Many times with young kids I think I should give up quilting until they are older, but I just can't stop. I am glad you still have your passion. We would miss you.

anareis said...
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anareis said...
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Allie said...

You're so right, it just doesn't matter, you have to follow your passion - I started my first quilt when I was 20, finished it 20 years later, and THEN I was hooked, lol!

Quilter Kathy said...

What an inspiring post today! I'm so happy to read that you are rediscovering your passion...woohoo!
Great news!
What I wouldn't give for a gorgeous cabinet full of quilts like this one....WOW!

julieQ said...

I love this story about your passion, a shared one with many of us. Your quilt cupboard is inspirational!!

Millie said...

I quilt too because it is my passion, which also became my job.

Jackie said...

I love your quilt cabinet! What a wonderful way to have them nearby but not tucked out of sight.

I was a quilting wannabe too for many, many years. I took my first quilt class about a year ago. I've not completed much but that's ok. I get a chance about once a week to sew for an hour or 2. I treasure every minute!

Vicky said...

Never a truer statement for a lot of us!! You are such an inspiration to me, Darlene! I hope you never lose that passion! (And I want that red cabinet!!)

Meredith said...

Would you mind letting me know where you bought your cabinet. I would like to get one for my home. I don ot have any unfinished tops, but I think it is up to each individual. From that photo you have finished a bunch anyway

That Girl said...

I used to be a wannabe quilter too until a few years ago. I was so nice to read about your 10 years of quilting. You do beautiful work and I have enjoyed reading your blog today!

Jennifer :)

Kathie said...

WELL SAID!

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