Being nostalgic, thought I would share how I got started in this obsession. Quilting that is. And it is truly an obsession as well as a God given passion.
A member of one of my Yahoo groups posted a question to the group wondering if anyone remembered Millennium Quilts? If anyone had finished theirs? Well that set me off to thinking way back.
For those of you that don't know, Millennium Quilts were quilts made for Y2K, or the year 2,000. A quilter traded 2.5" squares and a signature square with women all around the world. Then, 2,000 squares would be sewn in to a quilt for the new Millennium. Most of the women I traded with were making postage stamp style quilts. Which basically is...as the name states...postage stamps or in other words random assortment or squares of all different colors and prints.
Click on this link to Pinterest to see some examples. Or you can click here for a link to a Google search for some wonderful images of different examples.
So...how it started. My husband was transferred to California in 2,000. The church that we joined had a quilt ministry. I have never made a quilt, not a real quilt anyway, but I did know how to sew. I have always known how to sew it seemed. But I had only made clothing. The note in the bulletin said that they would teach me and child care was provided. When we moved, my youngest was 4 years old and being a stay at home mom, in a new town, I didn't know any one so thought it would be a great way to make friends and learn something I had always wanted to do. The wonderful leader of the group started me out with the log cabin design, using cut strips. I WAS HOOKED. I then joined some Yahoo quilt groups and jumped all in to this new craft. I learned about the Y2K quilts, even though January 1, 2000 had come and gone. There were many others that were getting a late start or making a second quilt that gladly traded with me.
I knew that there was supposed to be 2,000 pieces in the quilt. I had not traded with enough people to get that many squares, only had about half of that. I had decided I would go ahead and make the quilt and knew that it would just be smaller in size. This was my first quilt all on my own. Also, since I wouldn't have that many squares...and since while I love scrappy just couldn't really get in to the postage stamp pattern. Still don't care for a quilt of just squares of the same size sewn together. Here is a photo of that first quilt.
First problem. I was so new to quilting that I had not learned yet that when you take 2.5" squares, cut them diagonally, sew them back together, then it is no longer a 2.5" square. Each of the blocks on point are in the shape of a heart so that made for some interesting sewing to make those half square triangles that form the design interesting...okay frustrating...to say the least.
Second problem. I had used approximately 980 or so of the squares to make these blocks, sewing them together in rows diagonally as I went. When I laid it out, completely covering my king size bed, I panicked at the size and whether my abilities were such that I could handle that large of a quilt. I finished it at that point, basted it, quilted it on my little brother machine, and proudly showed it off by putting it on my bed. Only months after I finished it did I come to understand that the people I swapped with had been cutting the squares in to four pieces. I figure if I had cut mine into that small of pieces, would have been 2,000 pieces or so in the finished quilt of about the same size.
That quilt is a favorite quilt now. Has seen my hubby through his battle with colon cancer, my children through minor illnesses, my grand son's laid on it for naps. It goes with us on every trip we take. It has been washed hundreds of times, is in need of a little repair, kind of like me. But we are still here and that was the start of my journey with what I have learned is a God given gift. The gift of craftsmanship. Oh how my father loved my quilts, not just the one I made for him, but all of them always looking forward to the photos I would email him. When he died, I stopped making quilts...anything. Mourning him still to this day, and now mourning the loss of my mom as well. But, time moves on. Feelings never leave completely, but they do get a little easier as the time goes. Now, I am throwing myself back in to what I received so much pleasure from. It is my therapy and I welcome it more now than ever.