I've been stitching by hand since I was two-and-a-half, when my mother decided she'd teach me to embroider bleached feed sack dish towels. I still can't imagine what she was really thinking or how it was that I finally figured out which side of the hoop and fabric to put the needle in.
My dad's aunt, Mildred Shreve Dietz, pieced and quilted a nine-patch for me, and I used to wake up from my afternoon naps and follow the paths across the quilt. I began using a sewing machine when I was 8 (hemming bleached feed sacks for dishtowels) and made a skirt the following year. By the time I was in upper elementary and high school, I was making most of my clothes--and from the time I was in college I was also making my coats.
Although I had vowed I would grow up to make quilts, I was so busy with schooling that I finally began piecing the year I graduated from college. I made my first quilt a couple years later.
A couple of decades ago, I realized how much longer quilts last than clothing and that I could buy clothing for a lot less than I could buy fabric to make them.
Since I started quilting in the '70s when 100% cotton was hard to find, every piece of 100% cotton fabric I saw was a temptation. Yes, I gave in to temptation too often.
Over the course of my lifetime I have taught others to do a wide variety of needlecraft techniques, including tatting. Besides teaching special education and elementary school, I've taught for a needlecraft manufacturer and a chain of fabric shops in the Southeastern U.S. I've been fortunate to grow up in Central Illinois (El Paso), and to live in Tennessee, Arizona, and New Mexico.
Quiltmaking is my sanctuary. And yes, the quilting is my favorite part of the process, although designing runs a close second.