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Quilting Lessons

Updated on May 11, 2014

Quilting Lessons ~ Jenga 2 Tower Block #22

This lens is part of the Jenga Tower 2 challenge! I am the 22nd block! My challenge? BuckHawk wanted me to write about lens about how quilting has made a difference in my life.

Quilting *is* my life! Something about the process of quilting just seems to seep into every part of my life. There are memories attached to every piece of fabric, (and boy, is there a lot of fabric!) I have learned, and taught, so much through quilting, that I hardly know where to start. So, I'll start with my heart...

type=Quilting Lessons family in frame
type=Quilting Lessons family in frame

Quilting Warms My Family

Nothing draws a family closer together than time spent working side by side on a project. As every quilter knows, fabric multiplies faster than coat hangers in a dark closet. In no time at all my quilting "corner" spread to the family room, where everyone gravitated.

While I ran the "grown-up" machine, little hands were busy sorting quilt blocks and picking out colors for their very own keepsake quilts. I remember so many days and evenings that we sat together, bonding as a family, before I tucked the kids in bed under quilts I'd made for them.

But we'd roast if we used *all* the quilts we made! Quilting is an addiction. You can't stop quilting just because every bed in the house already has a quilt on it! The extras went up for sale, and the money bought more fabric, (to keep the addiction going!), as well as paid bills and bought extra treats for us.

type=Quilting Lessons studying
type=Quilting Lessons studying

Quilting Teaches Me

Quilting is an art form with tools and rules. Creativity with boundaries, which is how I learn best! Every quilt is a permutation of factors such as length and width, colors, pattern of blocks, pattern of stitching, thickness of batting, and binding type. Change any one factor, and you'll have an entirely different quilt in the end.

One of my favorite parts of a quilting group I was in, was when we would all be assigned the exact same pattern, but choose our own colors of fabric. We would be told, for example, to choose one "light", two "mediums", one "dark", and one "tone-on-tone". Weeks later, we would all get together and display the finished quilts, marveling at the complete originality of quilts that started with identical instructions.

In learning to quilt, I had to learn to read those patterns. Then I gradually learned to use specialized tools for quilters. My first quilt was marked with a standard grade-school plastic ruler, and each square was cut out painstakingly with scissors, one at a time. That simple "Around the World" twin-size quilt took months to finish! I was so pleased with myself for managing it at last. Nowadays, using a rotary cutter and strip-piecing technique, I could make that same quilt in a day.

My First Machine

This is the very first sewing machine I ever bought! It's a workhorse of a machine that lasted through many years, and many memories, before I traded it for one that had more speciality stitches and a computer brain.

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type=Quilting Lessons

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type=Quilting Lessons quilt
type=Quilting Lessons quilt

Quilting Helps Me Teach Others

Patience. So much patience.

Quilting is one of those things that draws onlookers. Some of them sincerely want to learn to quilt, and I can never turn away from a kindred spirit. Over the years I have passed on what I learned to countless others. By the time my kids were born, I was much more prepared to homeschool, because I had interacted with so many learning styles.

And quilting itself requires patience. Like a jig-saw puzzle, the pieces must match up exactly, in order for it to look right. That patience has served me well, not only in raising my own children, but in all sorts of everyday interactions.


Make Great Comforters.

type=Quilting Lessons church
type=Quilting Lessons church

Quilting Helps My Faith

Churches seem to draw in quilters. Whenever I've had to move, I've been able to find a new quilting group through church. So, not only do I find 'fabric buddies'; I find strong women of faith. I've been blessed with a great community of crafters everywhere I've gone.

My Next Toy...

This is the machine I want next! 60 fancy stitches to jazz up my projects. Woo hoo!

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If you JOIN SQUIDOO you can start making great menses like the ones in the Jenga 2 Tower!

We're having fun and making new friends.

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Don't Forget!

Please give this page a "Thumbs-up" if you enjoyed it. Please tell your friends about this lens, and the Squidoo Virtual Jenga Tower Challenges!

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This is the place to tell me about quits you've made, quilts you've received, quilt projects you're planning, or just say "Hi!"

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    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 6 years ago from Detroit

      Quilting is an art with an amazing history.

    • Laniann profile image

      Laniann 6 years ago

      Quilts are a wonderful way of creating happy memories for yourself and loved ones.

    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      I have very sweet memories of my grandmother and I quilting the old fashioned way on my all hand made quilt :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I would love to learn to quilt! It's definitely on my craft wish list :).

    • Geekgurl profile image

      Kimberly Hiller 7 years ago from Chicago

      I never thought about how quilting could be an art form. A lot of these Jenga lenses is motivating me to learn. Great information!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 7 years ago from Colorado

      I found you in the forum and wanted to stop by. I really love how you approached the presentation of quilting as life form and life essence. Sharing the lessons learned was a very nice touch. Congrats on achieving an important milestone with this lens. Very nicely done!

    • profile image

      resabi 7 years ago

      This is a wonderful lens. I love having the insights into the ways quilting affects your life far beyond the basic making and using. Blessed.

    • JeremiahStanghini profile image

      JeremiahStanghini 7 years ago

      Great addition to the challenge! :-)

      With Love and Gratitude,


    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 7 years ago

      I've always loved quilts and would want to learn quilting, this would allow me to create (ok, try to copy, lol) those wonderful quilts I've seen! I know that Amish people are known for their marvelous quilting skills but I'd definitely would enjoy learning how to quilt like any other individual.

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image

      Missmerfaery444 7 years ago

      I would love to learn quilting! One day, when I have more time!! Enjoyed your quilting story.

    • profile image

      blanckj 7 years ago

      I've only made 1 quilt and it was for my daughter before she was born. Many other people made her quilts as well and now that she is 2 1/2, my quilt is still her favorite. I feel privileged!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 7 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      quilting is some thing new to me. thanks for the information. ~blessed by a squid angel~

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 7 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm a quilter too and I have all the same sentiments. Great about me topic. Added to the Squidoo Quilting Angel Lens.

    • ChemKnitsBlog2 profile image

      ChemKnitsBlog2 7 years ago

      Great addition to the Jenga stack!

    • profile image

      tssfacts 7 years ago

      This is amazing. Three stories on quilters. We are all alike yet different. I really enjoyed reading about your story as a quilter and getting to know you better. Always remember quilters are NOT hoarders lol.

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 7 years ago

      Well done Susan. Quilting is something you never get out of your system once you start. I long for the day I can return to quilting and fulfill my many plans for quilts filed in my head and heart.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I love your enthusiasm for quilting! So much of life can be compared to a patchwork quilt. Each of us an integral part of the whole which forms a lovely pattern.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 7 years ago

      Ah, Susan, you certainly carried on a great new tradition for Jenga 2! This is a marvelous lens and the one I hoped you would do when I issued the challenge. From one quilter to another, congratulations on a nicely done lens!

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 7 years ago

      You certainly do seem to have a passion for quilting. I can just picture all the fabric taking over your family room.

    • profile image

      gods_grace_notes 7 years ago

      I too, have learned many life lessons from the process of quilting. I don't get to sew as much as I would like, but my love for fabric never fades. Quilts are definitely made for comfort.. you are obviously an expert on quilts AND comfort! Congratulations on a lens well done. Connie