This quilting addiction started in July 2014 when my husband asked if I would like to go with him on one of his flying events – they would be camping in a field. The only facility would be a portaloo!

At first this did not seem very appealing and I thought I needed to take something to occupy me for a (very) long weekend with no electricity available, in the middle of nowhere in a field full of men. I have always sewed as I am of the generation where it was taught at school and my mother used to make all our clothes (I still have nightmares about those crimpalene dresses) and I had an old hand crank machine. So I thought I could do some sewing – but what could I make? I happened to see on you-tube a video on a jelly roll race quilt so off I trotted to the local quilt shop and bought some material. I then had to buy a cutting mat, rotary cutter, ruler – this was starting to get expensive….little did I know where it would lead.

So off we went to his flying event and I sat outside the tent, in the sunshine, joining never ending strips of material together, then cutting them in half, and joining them together, then cutting in half – I am sure that you get the picture. Eventually I had a piece long enough to cover 2 beds but not quite wide enough to cover 1. Still you live and learn on getting sizing correct, and my first quilt was made, and I was hooked. If only I had known then how much this quilting hobby would cost me.

I then used my domestic machine to make tops and then quilt them (Leah Day has some very good videos) and then I had heard whispers about quilting with mention of machines I had never heard of and I thought “long arm” was someone who had mystical long arms that could quilt magnificently. That was until I saw one at one of the shows. I love choosing patterns and colours and quilting – joining the bits together is the boring part for me so it seemed obvious to me that I needed a long arm quilting machine. It took a long time to decide, and save up for the one I wanted, and luckily for me all the children have moved out and I can put sewing stuff in what were their bedrooms as a long arm machine takes up a lot of space.

Since getting the machine last summer I have quilted 20+ quilts for Maggie Lloyd-Jones and her charity “Quilts for Care Leavers” together with quilts of my own. The latest one in progress is the Labyrinth Quilt done with rulers and free machine quilting:

I still sew in a field at his flying events but my husband has wired up a solar panel and inverter so I can now use an electric sewing machine. I now just have to work out how to make an iron work without blowing the inverter – maybe next year!

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