I started patchwork in 1994 and developed a love 1800s reproduction fabrics. Late 1994 was also when RJR released their Smithsonian ‘Rising Sun’ collection and I truly became a ‘Repro Girl’. Hard to believe with those bright fabrics in the image above, I know.
At the time I only bought the purple colour-way. Various fabrics from other colour-ways and Smithsonian collections made their way into my stash, but those rich purples had me hooked.
My first quilt, a sampler, was made for my first child, which he received on his 15th birthday, he was two when I started. A neighbour at the time persuaded me to join her in a 12 week beginner’s course at Primarily Patchwork. So unbeknownst to me I had signed up at one of the best shops in Melbourne, a happy accident.
Signing up to do that course was crazy as I was studying two full-time courses, Diploma of Aromatherapy & a Certificate in Remedial & Sports Massage, working two part-time jobs, had a two year old and was pregnant with my second son!
Said son was born during the course, but that’s okay because I was prepared, I had ensured I would have sewing to do in the hospital and my neighbour came and picked me up from the hospital to take me to class.
I still remember the afternoon I went to the shop and signed up to the class and bought my first real quilt fabrics. I didn’t drive in those days so my day went something like this:
Up at 6.00am so that I could get to work early, worked that morning, caught a tram to class for the afternoon, then hopped on a train after class to get to the shop to sign up and buy fabrics, then back on the train to go all the way back into the city and catch a train home all the way out the beach side suburb I lived in. Shear madness! I don’t think I’d do that now with a car, of course I’m older and apparently wiser.
I know the very first fabric I bought for that quilt (that dark blue floral below), and I’ve still not used it in a quilt to this day. It wasn’t a bad fabric by any means, it just wasn’t meant for that quilt.
Is everyone’s very first block an Ohio Star? Is that why they’re so loved.
That beginners course covered needle-turn applique as well, but I didn’t want an appliqué block in my quilt. Applique just didn’t appeal to me then. How we change.
Normally I’d say I usually have 3 or 4 appliqué medallion quilts on the go, but I only have two at the moment, both my own designs.
I’m a very slow quiltmaker, but I’m getting faster. It takes me ages to finish a project and I’m usually amazed at how many quilters I know start and finish the most amazing quilts so quickly.