Sunday, January 11, 2009

Peace by Piece I

Over the years, as people learned that I was a quilter, I would occasionally have friends ask me to teach them to quilt. I took a couple of beginner classes with friends who wanted to learn - one with Maggie and one with Tammy. Then, a couple of years before I left Atlanta, as several friends had expressed interest in learning how to quilt, I decided to start a new group or guild with the express purpose of teaching them to quilt. I invited six young women to join me and made it clear that the membership had to be closed and limited to just us. I wanted not to be overwhelmed by the number of folks I had to teach.

Thus, Ela, Sara, Mica, Kirsten, Shelby, Marie and I became the Peace by Piece Quilters. We met once a month, usually at my house but often in other places as well.

Kirsten and Marie had already done some quilting and sewing and had started projects of their own when the group was formed. But the other four had no experience with quilting.

I suggested to the beginners that they each make a quilt - preferably a throw size one - using a very simple pattern, like a nine-patch. They looked through a lot of my books and also perused photographs of the quilts I have made. Sara and Mica decided to go with the nine-patch design. Ela opted for a four patch and Shelby for a rail fence.

I went fabric shopping with Mica, Sara, Ela and Shelby - one at a time - at Intown Quilters. Each chose a set of fabrics and then I helped each one cut her fabrics and showed them all how to get started. It was a lot of fun for me to go with them, observe their very different tastes and their very different approaches to picking out fabric. We had a lot of help from the Intown staff. I feel pretty sure that each of them ended up quite satisfied with her choices and I think each quilt is going to be quite beautiful.
Marie looking through fabric at Sara's.
Ela in the process of cutting her fabric at Marie's.
Mica and Kirsten sewing and chatting at Sara's.
Kirsten, Sara and Ela.

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