So I was born…well, how about I not go back that far.
I am not a trained artist. What I have learned, I have learned through those elementary school art classes and trial and error. I may have taken a class here and there, but mainly, it’s all trial and error.
I picked up quilting about 7 years ago when I discovered that a (then new) friend was quite an accomplished quilter herself. Quilting was something that always interested me, but I was AFRAID of it. Today if you asked me why, I couldn’t even begin to tell you, so don’t ask. She taught me the basics in our afternoon-long, once-a-month sewing sessions. My very first project was a 12×12 9-patch and the next was small evergreen tree wall hanging that still graces the wall of my mother’s house. I even hand quilted it. Badly.
At some point, I bought a sewing machine from the grandmother of another friend for $15, an old, portable Singer, that missed being a Featherweight by one or two model numbers. She served me well, she did. At the time I was also living in a tiny apartment in downtown DC and the only table I had to sew on was a breakfast bar with a tall bar stool. I would prop the foot pedal up on the sewing machine’s hard carrying case and sew whenever I could. The sewing machine spent more time in the closet than it did out on the breakfast bar.
Fast-forward a bit to where my husband (then fiance) and I moved into a house together in Rockville. SPACE, glorious SPACE! I took the smallest of the rooms to be my sewing room/office. I would close the door and turn on heavy rock and roll music really REALLY loud and together with my sewing machine, we would drown out the rest of the world for hours. There was even a time or two that, though my sewing table faced the door, my husband was able to sneak in behind me and scare me half to death. The old sewing machine was eventually replaced with a new Janome from Sears that could do things like zig-zag stitch! and drop the feed dogs! and make button holes! (these things are still very exciting to me, even though the beloved Janome has been replaced with a computerized Bernette.) The Bernette I have now does all sorts of fun things that I know nothing about…yet.
So what’s the origin of the Hasty Quilter name, you ask? I hate to do anything slow. Hand quilting? Not my forte. Binding a quilt just about kills me. (The only saving grace is that I can do it in front of the tv.) Some time after we moved to the house, I really started to experiment. I played with techniques looking for ways to get the most impact in a shorter amount of time. I researched techniques and ideas and inspiration online. I discovered that there was such a thing as “art quilting”…and the rest is (recent) history.
Last year, I had a brand new baby, bought a brand new home, and got a brand new job, all in quick succession. Except for a few challenges and swaps that I had already committed to, my sewing life pretty much stalled out. Just recently, though, I rediscovered it. With the purchase of my new machine (for my birthday *natch*) and a quilt in the works that has been weighing very heavily over my head for a while now, I’ve regained some of my former glory. The commission is almost complete and my mind is finally starting to turn to new projects and endeavors, what joy it is to be sewing again!
So far in my quilting career I’ve made lots of gifts, sold a couple of quilts, entered a local guild show, participated in some challenges that allowed my quilts to be shown as far away as Costa Rica, and been published, but I think those are all stories for a later time.