My style of quilting is still developing. I haven't been quilting for very long, and there is still so much to this craft to explore. The only thing I'm certain of is that I love to embellish my quilts. Once the quilting is completed the process of elaborating on them is just beginning for me.
I usually spend almost as much time embellishing my quilts I do in making the top. The more I learn I can do, the longer it seems to take me to finish them.
I have done a lot of things creatively, like cooking, gardening,
etc., but none of them was what I wanted my family to remember me for. I
was searching for that something. On a visit home (Morrilton, AR) I
stopped by to visit my junior high/high school art teacher. His name is
Jim Gatling, and he and I have been friends for years. He started
teaching when I was in the 7th grade and somehow in spite of my teenage
years our friendship has lasted.
On that visit he told me that he had a tape of a program featuring him and the quilts created by the students in his classes over the last 30 years. I was one of those students and remembered him making me do a quilt block. I thought it was kind of fun to do, but nothing special. That was the last experience I had with quilts, other than appreciating them, until now.
Though my relationship with Jim I knew he made students create quilts all these years, but didn't think anything beyond that. Jim is a very accomplished quilter, and I always enjoyed seeing his work, but only looked at it as something he did, not something I would do.
As I watched the tape I realized that Jim had, intentionally or unknowingly, chronicled a part of history in my small town through these quilts. I realized as I watched the tape that through Jim's efforts he had captured a period of time in all these kids' lives-mine included.
None of us would ever be that age again, or look at life the same way we did back then. I also realized that some of those kids may have never picked up a needle and thread again after that project. It was an eye opening experience.
When the tape was through, I realized I had found the thing I had been searching for. The thing that I wanted to be remembered for...I would create quilts as my legacy.
I decided when I got back home I would learn to quilt. I realized that if I was going to really do this I needed to make the time to learn how to do it right. So I went to a continuing education class in my area to sign up for a quilting class. When it came time to register for class they said I couldn't take it. I was shocked. I wanted to learn to quilt. They told me I first needed to learn how to use a sewing machine first. Well, one grudgingly made vest later, andI was ready to take my first quilting class.