I believe that my quilting journey started with my maternal grandmother – Nevada Smith. That’s right, her name was Nevada – but most called her Neva. She taught me how to sew at a very young age. I learned on a 1946 Singer, and sew on it to this day. She quilted with the local Baptist church and had a quilt frame that took up the majority of her SMALL apartment. I paid no mind to her quilting in those days. Boy, what I would give to have just one more day with her!
My first quilt was a log cabin pattern, before rotary cutters, and before premade templates for each row. It was a baby quilt for my oldest son, made in the early ‘70’s. I was bitten with the completion of this quilt, and forever it has become a lifetime obsession. From there I have been the eternal student, a sponge absorbing many classes at quilting events.
I have moved a lot with my professional career in accounting and finance. With every move from Downers Grove (a suburb of Chicago), to St. Louis, to San Antonio, to Los Angeles and landing in Williamsburg, VA – I have been involved in quilting. I have been the President of local guilds in Missouri, Texas, and California. I organized and ran a charity quilting group in California, where I taught quilting techniques and patterns. The group produced approximately 200 finished quilts each year that were donated to the local police to be given to at-risk children.
I took my first appliqué class in the late ‘80’s. I must admit that it was a dismal failure. I was drawn to antique appliqué quilts, so I found a local teacher and signed up for a class. Her work was spectacular! The problem was that she had a stitch that I could not see nor understand. Her stitches were a running stitch that caught the background and the “seam allowance” of the piece. I put this on the backburner until 1990. My New Year’s resolution that year was to “love and conquer the dreaded ‘A’ word!” Then I found Nancy Kerns. I consider her my first REAL appliqué teacher. She was SO encouraging, and easy to understand . . . the rest is history. That’s why she was my first choice to bring to the new Academy of Appliqué in historic Williamsburg.
I still piece some, but my love of appliqué has spirited me to complete, on average, (3) quilts per year,
Remember, every journey starts with a single step. No matter where you are in your appliqué journey – from barely knowing how to spell the word, to an experience appliqué – won’t you consider joining us at the 2015 Academy of Appliqué?