March 26, 2012 Have you ever done something that you wouldn’t in a million years have thought you would do? I have. I am writing Blog Postings! My husband and children were quite surprised when I broke the news, and thinking back, I do believe I even received a few chuckles! Can you imagine that - do they think I’m too old to learn something new? Hopefully I can prove to them that I’m not “over the hill” just yet. My name is Sharon, and I’ve been pulled into the 21st Century by LeeAnn and Doug. They asked me to assist them with their new website, QuiltAddict.com. I’m happy to join all of you in the “blogging world”, and hope to hear your ideas and comments in the future on the various topics that will be covered on this website. How do you like my "1st quilt" made out of POLYESTER maternity tops? It was a great beginner quilting project, plus I recycled my tops that I didn't think anyone would have wanted! I’m a self-taught quilter and have learned many things over the years, mainly through trial and error. I am now teaching quilt lessons and have come a long way since my first quilt (which was made with my polyester maternity tops – it might be considered “ugly” by some as you can see in the photo, but it is still cuddly and warm and will probably never wear out). How and when did you Experienced Quilters learn how to sew quilts? Do you have photos you would like to share? Do you need formal quilt lessons to learn how to sew quilts? No, but they are helpful. If you want to get into beginner quilting, I believe the best initial thing you can do is work alongside others. The best place to start to learn how to sew quilts, is working with a community or church group that makes comfort quilts. Where I live, we have a wonderful group of women who gather once a month to make comfort quilts for those in need. Our Lake Gogebic Community Quilters are awesome – we have been in existence since the Fall of 2005 and have so far distributed over 250 quilts. Our quilts are mainly given away locally, but we have also sent quilts to hurricane victims in Mississippi and flood victims in Iowa. We have had women walk through the door not knowing how to sew quilts and started to help out by ironing, but are now tackling some more complex patterns on their own for themselves or family members. It is very gratifying to know you are providing warmth and sometimes hope, to those less fortunate than you. A big “perk” in joining such a quilting group is the friendships that evolve – and we have “job security” as there will always be a need for quilts! And – it’s the best place to learn how to sew quilts. Last week, I met someone new. Sophiewas visiting our area and helped our Community Quilters throughout the day and joined us for lunch. Sophie helped some of our Quilters in checking our supply cabinets for the correct fabrics for quilting to go with some “works in progress”, or WIPs as we sometimes call them. She also helped out by ironing some of the fabrics in preparation for cutting, and watched how the quilts were machine stitched in the final step. I think we might even interest her in joining a beginner quilting class in the future. She needs to feel a little more comfortable first around all the strange items available to Quilters today. Our quilter supplies can sometimes look a little intimidating, but once a person learns how to use them, they are invaluable! Would you like to learn how to sew quilts? Next week, I’m going to talk more about what can be learned when you help out with community or church quilting groups. Have you ever worked on comfort quilts? If so, let’s hear what they were like and where they ended up. Enjoy your week!