My earliest memories include drawing with my Dad and making a small bow-tie quilt for my doll with my Mom. After that, I was on my own with sewing: my grandmother's love of fabric skipped over my mother and landed directly on me. By the time I took a sewing class in ninth grade, the teacher felt obligated to break me of my bad habits, but she couldn't take away the confidence earned by teaching myself to sew.
In high school, I made a raincoat out of bread wrappers, a bikini bathing suit with tablecloth vinyl, and a faux-fur coat with bound buttonholes, something my sewing teacher said would be impossible (wrong!). At age 19, I made my first quilt as an adult. I remember asking myself, 'how hard could it be?' But in 1971, there were few resources available. I started with an applique baby quilt, then drafted and constructed a king-size, corduroy quilt replicating the floor of the Taj Majal. Making a quilt was easy, but mastering skills and exploring ideas became a lifetime endeavor!
An incident in a Dansk Outlet store a few years ago made me appreciate imagination. The sales person insisted I couldn't use the steeply discounted saucers as plates for appetizers. Although the cups were long gone, this salesperson patiently explained these were indeed saucers, meant for cups- as if I lived in a cave and didn't know any better. But to us quilters, we know that saucers can be plates and a pile of fabrics can be a beautiful quilt, if we only let our imagination show us the way.
In the past few years I've gotten carried away (okay, obsessed) with Tyvec, circle patterns, zippers and new variations of the log cabin pattern. We have a wealth of products and information to draw upon, but sometimes this abundance is overwhelming. It's simple to make a quilt. We already have what we need to begin- imagination. It just takes a lifetime to learn from experience and play with ideas!
Email: wdlhill [at] gmail [dot] com