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Alys – the Backstory

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Today’s story is from Ayls-  (she is a member of

I came to quilting in the 70s when the parent group for the school in which I taught decided to make a raffle quilt to raise money for the school. I worked on two blocks for that quilt and decided that I would like to do more quilting.

Books were purchased and I took a class with a wonderful instructor at Tumbleweeds in Pembroke, MA. (Unfortunately the shop is no longer there.) I made a few quilts as my nieces and nephews came along. I cannot remember why, but I stopped quilting for a while.

When my parents 50th anniversary came along, I made took a class the used the snowball pattern and made each of them a lap quilt – one primarily in blues and the other in tans. Again as life went on and I picked up other crafts and duties, quilting took a back seat. Although I wasn’t making quilts, I still frequented fabric shops adding to my stash and also went to quilt shows, local and state. Last year there were four new babies in the family and extended family.

My piecing and quilting had always been done by hand, but I came across a wonderful patter by Elizabeth Hartman-“Hazel Hedgehog”. I made tow of the small size and then purchased the pattern for the larger one and have now completed three of the tops. Two are basted and ready for quilting. The third just need the baby ‘s birth detailed embroidered on the top and it will be ready for quilting.

My hand quilting days are over due to a nerve issue in my left hand.

This pushed me to purchasing the Handi Quilt Sweet 12 sit-down long arm machine last fall. I’ve been hesitant to use it without some instruction and was finally able to take a class nearby – two hours away! Nothing is close when you live the east central NH. I am going to do the quilting on these three quilts before progressing onto the fourth baby quilt that will be 3D Flying Geese.

I have joined a number of quilt “guilds”/groups on line and am collecting their patterns – BOW, BOM, Splendid Sampler, Beguiling, etc. For some, I have selected fabrics from my stash, and it sits in stacks on one of the guest bed waiting for me to catch up on the things that need to get done before the baby is no longer a baby.

My sewing/quilting space is on one side to a guest room area – three beds take up one wall, and my space is on the opposite wall. One bed is going so that I will be able to keep my cutting table set up at its full size. There never seems to be enough time to get it all in – checking emails, cleaning house, grocery shopping, quilting, gardening, reading, and selectively watching some television. At 71, pushing 72, that is my story.

A little bit about Ayls –

I am one of four children. My mother sewed many of the clothes for my sister and me. She encouraged us to learn to sew, knit, and crochet. I learned them all and wanted to learn to tat; but even after a two day intensive class, I could not make the knot that you need to start. needless to say, I gave up on that.

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Until next time.

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