How I started quilting

My quilting life began in my late 40's after visiting a Cambridge Quilters exhibition at Grantchester, and being persuaded to join the group. I had made a couple of quilts before, a baby quilt and the obligatory hexagon quilt. My main hobbies before this were knitting, having been taught by my mother at a young age, and cross stitch, with a bit of bobbin lace as well.


The first quilt I made on becoming a member of the group, was the result of a Chairman’s challenge. We were given two fat quarters and told to make something with them. One was covered in ivy and the other grapes. I made the centrepiece of a medallion quilt with these, but then added other borders to make a bed quilt. I called it 'Just like Topsy' as it didn't seem to know when to stop growing. I think this was the start of my fascination with making bed quilts, but I really need to stop as all my family have at least one quilt and most of my beds seem to have at least two. Unfortunately for me, there is always that new pattern you see that just says, please make me.


Although the majority of my quilts are hand quilted, because I love the process of this, I have machine quilted some of them.. After a lot of practice, I think I have finally learnt how to get a good free machine stitch on my machine. 


Since retirement, I have been able to spend a lot of time in my sewing room and usually have at least a couple of projects on the go. One of these has to be a hand sewing project, so that I can sit and sew in the evenings and be sociable. The project I am working on at the moment combines appliqué and embroidery which I am really enjoying. It is a BOM, which is not something I have done before.


 I do enjoy most types of patchwork, but particularly love foundation piecing. I think this is because of the precision of it. All those lovely points!


I cannot imagine my life now without sewing. It gives me so much pleasure, has given me some wonderful friends and taken me to places in the world I would never have visited without this interest. I hope to be able to continue for many more years. 


The quilt in the photograph was made for a competition, organised by region 9 of the Quilters’ Guild, to celebrate 40 years of the guild. The title of the competition was “ a little bit of red in a 40” square. It was based on the design of an antique quilt which I played around with on my computer. The hardest part was making sure it measured 40” exactly. I’m very happy to say it won 1st prize, and apparently the judge did measure it!


Happy Sewing

Elaine Blundell


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