the quilting saga.

i am not exactly sure what originally caused my quilt obsession, but some time in my childhood i came up with the notion that i wanted to make a quilt and that idea never left me. i started many a quilt during the years, but at some point in the process i always stopped. it was not until i joined the peace corps that i actually managed to piece together enough little bits of fabric to get past the inevitable hump that tries to block you from finishing a quilt. i have always been fascinated by crazy quilts. "crazy" meaning that instead of a structured repeating design, every square is a mish-mash of fabric. sounds simple. no problem. i thought "crazy" was just the design. oh no. crazy is how you feel when you are putting one of these together. every single little piece of fabric is stitched onto a backing fabric and then every edge of these itty-bitty pieces is embroidered, so it will not unravel. and that is just making the squares. right.

anyhow, my stint in the peace corps exposed me to lots of gorgeous fabric. i sewed and sewed and resewed. and i saved every single scrap, no matter how small. being enamored with quilts, i of course was once again planning a quilt. i started the quilt in 2004, sewing by hand in my little hut. then in 2005 i moved to a "modern" house with electricity for a few months and used an electric sewing machine. wahoo! after relentless periods of sewing like mad, i returned from africa with one hundred pieced together squares. although these still needed a LOT of work, somehow that hurdle of creating 100 squares was enough motivation to get me through the entire quilting process. and it was a HUGE process. holy bananas.  after i moved back to the states, i settled in seattle, where i diligently embroidered edges with a hand-me-down sewing machine. the sewing machine did not fit in my little car when i moved across the country, so i bought a new machine in 2006 and continued the mammoth task of embroidering edges. 2007 was the year of cutting all the squares to size and piecing them together. finally in 2008 i put together all the layers, quilted them together, and finished off the quilt. 4 homes, 3 sewing machines, 2 continents, 1 quilt. the finished product is large enough to comfortably cover a queen-size mattress. 

 the african crazy quilt.

so, having cut my quilting teeth on such a massive project, i have since found smaller quilts to be a "simple" process. okay fine, they are not exactly simple, but they are sure a whole bunch easier than monster-sized bedspreads. plus i now know what i am doing, which helps.

wowsa, wowsa, wedding quilts.

after the peace corps quilt, i came up with the brilliant plan to create a quilt for each of my best friends' wedding gifts. three quilts. fantastic. and then they all got married within 12 months of each other. gasp. let us just say that i did a whole bunch of quilting in a short amount of time. naturally when my brother informed me that he was going to be a daddy, my brain went into instant hyper-drive planning the perfect baby quilt.

the baby quilt bonanza.

and then i opened an etsy shop and realized that maybe, just maybe, i could convince people to BUY my quilts. this added a whole new dimension to my quilting, because i discovered that perhaps i could feed my quilting habit without sending the mister and i into financial ruin. fancy. i have not actually yet sold one to someone outside of my family, but i am hopeful. the only thing i did not calculate was how much this quilting obsession would take over my life. let us just say that i am putting together fabric combinations in my sleep. two years ago i had never before finished a quilt and now i have completed seven and have more in production. egads!!!

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