I began sewing when I was in grade school, then took home economics classes in high school and did a lot of sewing on my Mom’s Kenmore sewing machine. When I graduated from high school, I bought a new Singer sewing machine for myself for $99, which I used to make clothes for myself and my children, and also to make my first quilt. I still have that Singer sewing machine.
I’ve always been interested in quilting. One of the first quilts I made was for my son, Jon. He wanted a red, white and blue quilt. For years, I had saved jeans that he outgrew. I cut the jeans apart and used that material along with other fabric to create his quilt. I didn’t know about rotary cutters and cutting mats, so I used a pair of scissors to cut all of the blocks. I laid out the blocks and rearranged them until I liked what I saw. Later I discovered that the arrangement was actually a traditional quilt pattern called “Trip Around the World.”
I took my first quilt class in 2000 with my good friend, Chris. We learned the rail fence block, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Another early quilt that I made was a Flower Basket Quilt for my Mom. I was still sewing on my Singer (which at this point was 26 years old). Not only did I piece the quilt on the Singer, but I quilted it, too! It’s amazing what you can do with a very basic sewing machine.
Since those early quilts, I have attempted many different patterns. While most have been successful, I’ve also had my share of “flops.” But I have learned something from each quilt that I made.
The first t-shirt quilt that I made was for a friend’s friend who lost her daughter in a car accident. I had never made a t-shirt quilt before, but the opportunity to help her at this very sad time compelled me to try. I did not know the woman personally, but I cried when I cut apart the first t-shirt. As I worked on this quilt, I realized the impact of creating caring where there is pain. At the mom’s suggestion, I used a sheet from her daughter’s bed as the backing. The verse on the label was from a sympathy card that the mom had received. I have chosen not to name her here out of respect for her privacy, but the experience was special to me and always will be.
In 2006, I had the opportunity to make my first memory quilt. My mother-in-law was about to celebrate her 80th birthday. I was given a quilt that was made by my mother-in-law’s mother. The quilt had been well used and was in need of repair. Some of the seams had given way and the batting was poking through the holes. I took the quilt apart and salvaged as many of the 9-patch blocks as I could. Next I contacted my mother-in-law’s brothers, sisters and daughter to ask for pictures of their families. I printed the pictures on fabric paper and then made blocks with one block for each family. Nothing can surpass the comments that I heard when we presented the quilt to her at her 80th birthday party. Her brothers and sisters recognized the many of the fabrics as being from their own childhood, either their clothes or their mom’s. It was an event I’ll never forget!
Picking a name for my business was a challenge. Many names that I considered were already taken. My friend Al suggested ‘The Quilted Scottie’. Scottish Terriers have been part of my family for over 25 years. They are feisty little dogs with huge personalities. If you want a dog who comes when you call, don’t get a Scottie. Scotties are independent, strong-willed and courageous. They don’t realize that they’re small and are ready to take on the world. Their attitude seemed like a good business strategy. Thanks, Al, for the suggestion.
I look forward to meeting many new friends and working with you to create quilted treasures.