When I graduated from college years ago, I was hired to work at a regional theater’s costume shop as their resident assistant. Many of the women who worked there quilted; it was only a matter of time before I joined in and got their advice and feedback on the few projects I started and finished. It was a way to pass the time, have some activity in common with my female co-workers, and taught me some very basic sewing and patterning skills. After two years of work, however, I left that theater to go to grad school for costume design.
Fast forward years later, more specifically to January 2012, when I had a few slow weeks in between projects in New York. I needed something to kill time while I waited for my next gig to heat up; quilting randomly popped back in my head as something I could do that seemed relatively low-key, stress-free, inexpensive (sadly mistaken), and creative. I hemmed and hawed over how to start, procrastinating by working out sketches, not knowing how- or even if- I should give it a try.
I was also casually seeing someone at the time. A man who fancied himself a casual artist, he leapt at my first mention of wanting to quilt again. Since he was unfamiliar with both it and sewing, he became fascinated by it. On one date, I found myself taking him to a fabric store and showing him materials and explaining what some necessary supplies were. Before I knew it, with only a little egging on by him, I had purchased over $100 in fabric.
That relationship sadly didn’t last, but the hobby was back. In 2012, I managed to make 4 quilts. I’ve already started another last month for a friend. She’s actually paying me for it, so I feel like this hobby could pay for itself… at some point.
So, I quilt. I’ve never really taken a class or received any “training.” I design and create quilts because, in a city like New York, I’ve started to see many patterns just as I walk around. It’s something I still do to pass the time, keep myself entertained and/or creatively thinking, and distract myself from my day job… designing for theater.
So that’s my quilting story in a nutshell. Not too deep.