My name is Allyson. I am a quilter and I have no idea what I am doing starting a blog. This should be interesting.
I live in beautiful Southeast Alaska by way of California. I came here nearly thirteen years ago just to work for the summer....and stayed. My life has never been the same since.
This is where I live. Wouldn't you stay too?
We live in a cruise port. Every year, from May to September, we host anywhere from 2-6 cruise ships a day. During the summer, I work in tourism. During the winter, I quilt. Essentially, my life is divided into two distinct parts. Summer, where all I do is work, work, work. And Winter, where I do everything else I don't have time to do in the summer. More on both of those later.
I started quilting in 1999. I had a roomate named Billi Kay. She was a professional seamstress of other-wordly proportions. This woman was the MacGyver of the sewing world. You give her a popcicle stick and a ball of string, and she'd sew you a Braveheart costume. She could make anything out of anything, and it was an amazing process to watch. Among her many talents was quilting. She had a little black Featherweight that she would set up on a TV tray in her room and sew all night long. When I first met her, she was working on a scrappy Wedding Ring quilt using templates. I was terrified. I knew right then and there that I needed to learn how.
I don't remember how it came about exactly that she should teach me to quilt. All I know is that I had an affinity for stars and that would be the basis for any and all fabric I collected....until I knew better. I love stars (the shapes, not the planets) and my favorite colors are red and blue. I sat down and drew out my master plan. A giant flag. I was certain it had never been done before. (hah!) And with Master Plan in hand, off to the quilt shop we went. Hours later, I came home loaded down with every single red or blue star print we could find in the quilt shop. It never even occurred to me that I might have gone overboard on my "theme". And that summer, I learned to quilt. I believe I might have even pre-washed that fabric. That sounds like something Billi Kay would have made me do. I learned all about measuring twice and cutting once. I learned all about matching up seams and squaring up. It wasn't until years later that I learned that I had spent five months making the ugliest quilt in the world. Seriously, I cringe when I look at it. But I can't quite give it up. It was my first! Maybe we'll make it the picnic blanket or something. The emergancy blanket in the trunk of the car. I even TIED it! Does it get any better than that?
For fear of losing fans right off the bat, I won't leave you hanging with the World's Ugliest Quilt. I've come a long way since the Wide World of Squares, and I'll show you one of my later quilts to prove it. Ha ha. This is one of my favorite quilts of all time. I made it for a Brown Bag Challenge that our quilt group has every December and took First Place. That same winter, my dad commented on the fact that I have made quilts for so many people, but never one for him. So I decided to make this one for him, and very carefully stuck to colors that were bright and not at all girly. But when I had finished, I was so in love with the quilt, that I couldn't possibly give it away, even to someone in the family. So I selfishly kept it and gave my dad a tie or something for Christmas instead. (I never was in the running for Daughter of the Year.) My dad passed away shortly after and I never did get around to making him a quilt. I felt incredibly guilty for keeping it and resented it everytime I looked at it. It wasn't until a friend put it into a different perspective that I was able to fall back in love with it. While making this quilt, all my intentions were to give it to my dad. It wasn't until I saw the finished result that I got selfish and decided to keep it. But more importantly, I made it with love and extra special care, all along, intending it to be his. I MADE it for my dad. I just never actually gave it to him. And now, when we curl up with it on the couch, I remember how much care I put into it, wanting nothing but a perfect quilt for my dad. He would have loved it. He would have also understood me and why I kept it.
Thanks for visiting me on day one! I hope you enjoy your visits here at Fat Cat Quilts. Have a good week.