October 31, 2011

It All Started So Innocently

2001 machine quilting sampler from Sue Nickels class.

I've been digging around in the quilt closet back in the sewing room area. I came across one of my very first ever machine quilting projects. It's a small sampler that consist of two colors of fabrics. Yellow and beige.

How boring now that I think about it. Light yellow and beige. I must have been afraid of color. Well, that soon passed. Thank goodness!

I remember being so excited to take a machine quilting class with Sue Nickels. One of my machine quilting idols. Still is---I remember the class room had all new Bernina sewing machines to use, and Sue was so attentive and giving of her knowledge about machine quilting with all of us newbies.

The class was Oct. 2001 according to the faint lettering I can just barely read now on the back of the stitch sampler. 6" x 6" squares that comprised our nine patch project. I'm looking at it today, 2011, and thinking, hey ---that was the start of it all. My fascination with machine quilting.

I'm also thinking how perhaps I was much more freer back then with my free motion and design work.

As I look at some of the stitches that Sue encouraged us to do, I realize she was way ahead of her time. Now there is some notoriety with certain online machine quilters that are teaching machine quilting on domestic sewing machines using small squares of fabric. Like it's a new concept. Not so. We just never heard or knew about it back in 2001.

Sue Nickels was a pioneer of sorts. Teaching sit down machine quilting back in 2000 and earlier when machine quilting was not as popular, and was just taking roots. The internet classroom and blogging were unheard of then.

One of the six inch squares with a flourish of curves and petals Sue taught us.

---and how about this curved cross hatching. Ahead of it's time for sure.

Or this triangular filler stitch. Whoa--

I think Sue called these echoing teardrops. I've since heard the term peacock feathering.
Terms and wording have certainly changed for the various quilting designs since 2001.

I can't believe I stitched out these small free motion daises and leaves back then. No intimidation. I was much more freer with my quilting then than I am now. How did that happen. Self doubt perhaps. Fear of failure. Striving for that elusive perfect quilt design and stitch.
Grapes, tendrils and leaves. Now they call this "pebbling". I haven't a clue what that middle of the block design is supposed to be. Backward, every which way feathers perhaps? Having fun.

Thank you Sue Nichols for sparking my interest in machine quilting.


Diane Perin said...

This quilting looks beautiful! I'm glad you caught the bug, too! I've learned so much from you and I know you've helped SO many others with machine quilting, too.

Bonnie said...

Wow -=- talk about bringing back old memories. I have some sample machine quilting from before 1995 -- only reason I know that date is we moved from one city to another --- I know where I lived when I did them.
That said, your quilting is fabulous and even fabulouser for a newbie. (I love to make up words!) You are absolutely right that Sue was ahead of her time. Thanks for sharing.

Your grapes and leaves were fabulous... were all the pieces free hand, no marking?