My quilting journey began in 2002 just after my daughter was born. I belonged to a mom and tot group and one Wednesday morning we were treated to a trunk show by a very talented lady. Karen had been a teacher at the high school I attended and although I never had her as a teach in school, I knew who she was.
Karen is the reason I began quilting. There she was, throwing down quilt after quilt discussing each one, as well as some pretty cool wearable art and for the very first time in my life, fabric grabbed my interest! Karen is a wonderful artist and quite well known for her work, can you imagine my amazement (and fear) the first time she actually asked ME to quilt a quilt for her? I was, quite frankly scared to death but I did it and I’ve been quilting for her ever since.
That very afternoon after leaving the group I went home and started my first quilt. I made it for my daughter. It was cut out with kitchen scissors using a triangle template I drew out on the lid of a pizza box. Pieced on an old Viking sewing machine my mother in law had given me, without a 1/4” foot, knowledge or skill, quilted without a walking foot and finished with lace stitched around the edge on the top (I had no clue what binding was let alone how to do it), my first little quilt was born and I was instantly hooked.
From the very beginning, I was fascinated by the quilting. The piecing was fun to learn and I am very tactile and love colour so there is always that aspect but the act of ‘quilting’…watching the stitches sink into the layers and create texture was just magical for me. It is still my favourite thing to do. I must say, back then, it always frustrated me that quilting patterns would give exact, detailed instructions for the construction for the top and finish with “quilt as desired”.
What the heck does that even mean?
The very first time I saw a longarm machine I knew, without a doubt, that I HAD to have one. I was literally covered in goosebumps and I swear I heard angels singing ( I am being totally serious here!)
I didn’t know what it was called or how it worked but I knew what it did and I wanted it. BAD… Then of course, I found out how much they cost and that literally brought tears.
“I will find a way to get one of those.” I said to myself.
Took me 4 years to get my first machine and I had that machine for 5 years.
I bought my first APQS machine in the summer 2012, a Millie with all the bells and whistles without even so much as a test drive beforehand. I sold my first machine and never looked back.
I started the 100 designs in 100 days series of freehand designs on Facebook and YouTube in 2015 and began travelling around Ontario doing pop up classes, then came the second set of 100 designs and the opening of my studio and APQS Showroom/Rental Studio.
I now have nearly 400, yes 400, freehand designs out there to give quilters inspiration and have written 2 books, so far, based on the designs.
I am very passionate about teaching and helping quilters ‘flatline the learning curve’. It was very different back when I started than it is now. I had to learn everything on my own, by trial and error. That may be why I am so in love with sharing what I know and helping others. I can remember sitting on the basement floor in tears, trying to figure out that first machine by myself. I teach classes in my studio and also producing online classes as well so that I can share my love of quilting with everyone regardless where they live.
Who ever would have thought 15 years ago, when I made that little flannel quilt for my daughters doll (we still have it, it sits in the studio to remind me where I began), that it would have turned into what I’m doing now?
Welcome to my world. :)