Sunday, March 18, 2007

Quilting excitement doubled

My Sunday afternoon plans have just been wrecked in the nicest possible way ever.

Pam, who has worked for us as an amazing cleaner and who can find anything I have lost around the house has been showing an increasing interest in all things quilting. This may be because she spends so much of her time hoovering up threads and taking stray fat quarters out of the bathroom and putting then back where they belong. On Friday she was dusting and pointed out to be a fabric tucked away in a basket that she liked, so I invited her to take all the baskets out of the cupboard and have a good look. When I saw her stroking the african fabrics I suspected she might be suseptible to the charms of quilting. She asked how seams worked and so I acquired my first student.

She wanted to start with a simple quilt just with squares and so we learned how to do a fourpatch and she was dispatched home with some precut sqaures to try handstitching and my rotary cutter etc to have a play with. She arrived unannounced about three hours ago, bag in hand asking for lesson number two.

It was such a delight. She used my design wall and designed her own quilt. OK Its a very small one for her dog to lie on but it was fascinating to see her design using sashing and cornerposts when she had never actually heard those words. She just wanted to know if she could 'put a strip there' or 'move that square there'. When she realised she could do whatever she wanted and if she didn't know how I could show her, she was away!

Once all the pieces were cut we took mugs of tea up to the room where I keep my fabric and books and she immediately spotted things she wanted to make. She loves the African ladies I did and a quilt with houses on. So I suggested we make a one with African ladies outside their huts to her own design. (Which is a really good idea I should have thought of on my own but didn't)Then she spotted a bag with seams on the outside and frayed and a clutch bag to make. I left her with the books to make more tea and came back and she was poring over African American art quilts, and said

" Its so exciting. I've got about 20 ideas already!And the colours...."

I don't know who is the most excited - me or her! I love teaching trainee solictors law but teaching quilting - well how much better is that?! I do hope she stays excited. I am pretty sure she is hooked though as already in just three days she is taking ideas for several pictured quilts and combining them into new ideas. I can see her moving as I did from wanting to replicate Amish fourpatch quilts through to what is my own instinctive style but she seems to be doing it even quicker.

Plus she is going to the US in May and has decided to shop for fabric there. Now that is SO unfair that she gets to do that and I can't!!

Dennis having surveyed the fabric and books spread out around us is a litle concerned that she will be making more mess than she cleans in the future and when he made some good natured crack about that she replied that she will be requiring a pay rise to cover her quilting costs..... I may be needing to make this one of those blogs that asks for donations for its upkeep. You'd all understand wouldn't you?!


Susan D said...

It's great when someone takes an interest in what you are doing isn't it and wants to learn. You must be so excited. My nephew wanted to learn how to use my sewing machine when he was here for a visit before Christmas and made 2 silk paper postcards, not bad for a first try either.

Purple Missus said...

How about a complete turnaround here Helen. Make quilting, teaching & writing your full time employment and all that other stuff your hobby :)

Diana said...

It sounds as if you have got Pam started out right! How wonderful to be able to share with someone who is so interested.

Nellie Bass Durand said...

I believe you are what's called a mentor. How exciting for both of you. Please post photos of your protoge's progress.

Lisa Walton said...

How wonderful to have inspired another addict