Giveaway Week!!!! What would Grandpa say?

Oh my, oh my, oh my……I never imagined that the response to my giveaway would be so great. So many nice comments! Best of luck to all of you, there will be some very happy winners for sure!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway if you haven’t yet, winners picked on Saturday!


One question that I get asked a lot is why I started machine quilting.

Let me introduce you to the man that started my journey:


When I met my hubby, I barely knew what a quilt was, but i sure learned quickly. My husband’s grandpa, who I quickly claimed as my own, loved to make quilts and handquilt them. He recounted many stories of his mom making quilts for him and his 12 siblings (!).

After watching this process, I asked him to teach me to make a quilt. I didn’t know how to work a sewing machine and had no clue what I was doing. Thankfully he was so patient with me and helped me every step of the way. Some of the fondest memories I have are taking my quilts to show him and grandma. No matter how badly they were pieced, he would always praise them.

One day he told me that I should get a quilting machine. He had seen one at a quilt show, he explained, and they looked like a lot of fun.

“Why, I even ordered some information from a quilting machine manufacturer,” he casually mentioned with a gleam in his eye. My husband was helpless against grandpas insistence and my not-so-subtle begging. He relented, and I bought a used quilting machine, never have seen or used one before in my life.

To this day, I am so thankful that he took the time to share his passion with me. He has since passed away but I know that he’s in heaven, proud as a grandpa can be.

Some of my favorite sayings of his are:

“I match colors by sewing them togetherSo true, it didn’t matter what shade it was, a green was a green was a green. In fact, I think he must have been colorblind.

“I have never seen an ugly quilt It didn’t matter if it was the ugliest, nastiest fabric, if it resembled a quilt he would buy it. If you got between him and a quilt top at a garage sale, he just might run you over with his scooter!

“Well, that’s not how I would do it” He would always say this if I was doing something wrong. At least it sounded nice.

“Let me show you the easy way.” When I first started quilting, he insisted that I piece at least one block the “old fashioned” way. No rotary cutters or strip piecing for me. Then he would grin and say, let me show you the easy way to do it.

I wonder sometimes what I would be doing if my grandpa hadn’t help me discover my passion for quilting, I doubt that I would have found it on my own. I am so incredibly thankful for him and his influence on my life!

So my question is, who are you investing your time in? Who can you thank for inspiring you to try quilting?



  1. What a GREAT story! I came to quilting via Fons & Porter and a lovely local shop, Prairie Point. But my love of all types of needlework started with my Granny. I’ve taught many knitters and am starting to teach some people how to piece. I’ll keep watching for someone to pass along the bug. Quilting is the best kind of contagion.

  2. Laura Lee Tawney says:

    I loved your story! My inspiration was my grandmother. However she didn’t really quilt but was more a seamstress, knitter and loved to crochet. I was very inspired by her and she passed away in 1998 and I miss her to this very day. So I’ve sewn for years and then took up quilting in about 1995 and then bought a HQ Fusion last year and I’m still learning:) I also taught my daughter-in-law to quilt most recently. I love sharing the passion!
    Laura T

  3. I would love to win. I enjoy this blog very much!

  4. oh my gosh, what a great story! Thanks for sharing. I wish we all could have someone in our lives like that to inspire us!

  5. What a beautiful story, Angela! You have been blessed to have such an influence in your life. While my mother (gone, and desperately missed) taught me to sew at a tender age, I found quilting on my own. But, I am investing time in teaching others through “Stitchin’ Mission.” I teach a series of five, free, beginner quiltmaking lessons, and ask students to donate their quilts. Right now I have 30 newbies in my class; this is the 24th time I’ve taught this series. I’ve received a grant to make a DVD of lessons, and will be videotaping in March. My hope is that the 600-plus people who’ve participated in my classes, have taken up quilting, or at the very least, have a greater appreciation for it.

  6. What a wonderful story. I’ve been thinking about spending the year of 2011 sharing stories about my family members who quilt/craft/do-something as their birthday passes this year (since so many have gone before) and you have sold me on doing so.

    My momma basically started me on my way. She is an amazing artisan and comes from other amazing artisans. I’m fortunate enough that -as my husband says- “We have more blankets/quilts/afghans then we know what to do with”; all because I have items from not only my momma, but her mother, one of my grandmother’s sisters, three of the four great-grandmother’s, and a great-great grandmother, and those are the ones we know.

  7. I just love it when someone gives credit for their passion the way you did here. We are all inspired by someone or something! I get inspiration mostly from the other websites that I read and the things that other people are doing. I don’t often have an original idea, but when I do, it’s because it was inspired by what I saw out there!


  8. SewLindaAnn says:

    Oh my, that was a touching and beautiful story. Thank you for sharing, I’m moved to tears. My friend introduced me to quilting about 6 years ago. She actually started me on cross stitch and then fabric, well after that it was all over but the fighting! I had a huge fabric stash before I even knew what I was about to do, and I’m so very grateful.

  9. How neat that you had someone like that in your life! I had a Sunday school teacher teach me to hand quilt when I was around 12 year old. My mom really didn’t like to sew, although my grandma did. I don’t remember my grandma teaching me anything about sewing, though, and I don’t think she ever quilted anything. I just wanted to quilt. Then I learned a bit in junior high home ec class. But there was really no on person. It’s more the fabrics calling out to be made into a quilt that does it for me.

  10. What a great story! Thank you for giving me another smile today.

  11. I remember growing up playing under a quilt frame! I would play under the quilt as my grandmother and mother quilted. Now my own children play under my quilt as I stitch. I also teach ladies from my church to piece and sew quilts.

  12. I haven’t paid it forward yet as far as investing my time in a person, but I have to thank my friend Melissa for urging me to jump in.
    If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have even tried it.

  13. I am finally taking time to invest in myself, selfish as it may sound. I was curious about quilting in my teens when my Grandma showed me some old quilts from generations past and present. She could tell me a story about each piece of fabric in each quilt, scraps from dresses, shirts or other quilts. I wanted to tell a story with a quilt too. So I rummaged through my moms pile of remnant fabric from clothes she made me and began hand piecing. My, I was ambitious. Now 13 years later that quilt is still in a bin, unfinished. Maybe 13 will be the lucky number for me to finish it this year!

  14. What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing!

  15. What a great story! My Mom taught me and I think she would be astounded to see what I do now!!

  16. gina pina says:

    “I match colors by sewing them together” That is the best. I wish I had such a sweet heart warming story to tell. My quilting grandmother’s only comment on my recent quilt that I showed her was that it needed to be bigger. 80″x80″ seemed Ok to me especially since I am the only grandkid who even has an interest in sewing. Come on, Granny! I was totally deflated. I didn’t tell her that. At least she taught me a lesson to always say something positive no matter what when someone is sharing something they are passionate about with you.

    I would give most of the credit for me sewing today to my mom, even though she is not much of a sewer she always had a machine kicking around and is the first one to show me how to thread it.

    Thanks for sharing the old photos. I love the teal and yellow quilt your Grandpa has there. Those are two of my favorite colors to match together.

  17. What an inspiration. I am always pointing out to my son that many men ARE QUILTERS! Thanks for sharing your Grampa with us!

  18. I love this post. πŸ™‚

    I decided to start quilting when I looked at some quilts my mom did from a geometric standpoint. Instead of thinking of it as sewing (something I did NOT enjoy in high school home economics class), I looked at it from a construction standpoint. I broke down the blocks and decided that it was something I could do.

    My friends/family laughed at me. Said it was for old people.

    I’ve shown them that their assumptions weren’t accurate. They’ve all asked for and received quilts from me since. πŸ˜‰

  19. Love Grandpa!!!

  20. Wow…what a great story. I only knew one of my grandparents, but my Dad’s mom, who died just a few weeks before I was born, was a quilter. She made a quilt for me, but never got to see me. I have looked at that quilt for 50 years. I think it inspired me to become a quilter.

    I invest time in my children and my new grandson. It seems they never get too old to seek wisdom and grounding from Mom, and Max (my grandson) is the future! Both his grandmas quilt. My guess he will get a little of the passion.

  21. Toni Anne Potter says:

    What a heartwarming story. You were lucky to have such a thoughtful, loving, inspirational man in your life. You put a smile on my face this morning with this story. I miss my wonderful Grampa also. Thanks πŸ˜‰

  22. So nice of you to share the wisdom! My love for sewing comes from my grandma, who always was found by her sewingmachine! I have lots and lots of clothes from my girl-years that she sewed for me. Unfortunately we lost her before I was even 7 years old, but I remember her as the relative I loved most of them all!

  23. Sweet story! πŸ™‚

  24. GREAT story !
    thx for sharing “)

  25. I’ve just discovered your blog through Jaybird Quilts (the button works great :))
    This is such a great story, thanks for sharing. It’s heartwarming, touching and funny at the same time.
    I’m sure your grandpa is proud of you.
    (and is this a Metallica sweatshirt you’re wearing in the photo? :D)
    I’m just a beginner really, not only in quilting but in machine sewing (started using my sewing machine last October or November), but I love it.
    Quilting is not so well known in Poland, but my quilting Australian cousins as well as the great quilting online community were a great inspiration to me.


  1. […] by now, most of us know that I learned how to quilt from my husband’s grandparents. My mom wasn’t the “sewing type”, she was the […]

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