I have been sewing and crafting ever since I can remember. Back in the 1960’s a 3ft tall doll named Patty Playpal was very popular, and I received one for Christmas. I frequented the Salvation Army store to buy clothes for her but decided to make her clothes. That’s when I enlisted my grandmother, Hattie, to help me sew. She worked during the day so she sent me to the local Singer sewing center to take classes. My grandmother was always sewing, quilting, painting, crocheting, and playing softball well into her 70’s, and riding her lawn tractor until she passed away at 79 years old. She was my creative inspiration and taught me to love all things creative.
Although I never quilted with my grandmother I watched her make quilts and stuff cotton between the quilt top and backing layers. She sewed and quilted all her quilts. Each child in the family received a homemade quilt. Obviously my quilt being utilitarian underwent numerous washings and by the time I became an adult, was very worn. I decided after my grandmother passed away that I would learn to quilt so I could continue the tradition of gifting a quilt to my children and grandchildren.
While attempting to make a king-size t-shirt quilt for my nephew, I created a design wall that went from floor to ceiling. I stepped back on a two step ladder thinking I was on the lower step (but wasn’t) and sprang my ankle. Still waiting for the swelling to go down in my ankle I tried to wrestle the quilt sandwich under my domestic sewing machine for quilting. That was the turning point for me to start looking for a longarm quilting machine. My family already had a reputation for being geeky so I knew I wanted automation software to direct my quilting efforts.
The day I purchased my longarm and software, there was a representative in my local quilt store giving training on the longarm and the software. Lucky for me, I got to receive training immediately. Not so lucky for many of the people in the class, the automation training went way over their heads. After the training, I asked if several of the women would be interested in getting together in each other’s homes to better learn the software. Our in-home software and longarm class was born. During this time, I discovered I loved taking the lead in helping others learn the software so they could complete their own quilts. Eight months later I approached my local quilt store and asked if I could hold the training sessions in the store, and they agreed. My love for Quilters Creative Touch software grew out of exploring the potential of the software and seeing the wonderful results on our quilts.
I am now the founder of The Quilted Poodle longarm quilting and training company. I attempt to use social media and the Zoom platform to recreate the in-home “No Judgment” atmosphere for sharing quilting and software demos, tips, and tricks.
I haven’t won any awards for my quilting, but my greatest reward is when a student tells me that they learned how to do something because of something I taught them.