I have to be perfectly honest: I am no quilter. But I would like to be.
I come from a long line of quilters. My ancestors were Scotch-Irish stock who settled in the Ozarks in the 19th century and then "mingled" with German, French, and Cherokee. You needed to stay warm on those chilly mountain nights and quilts fit the bill.
I remember as a child, lying dreamily on my grandmother's four poster bed in the front bedroom of her Missouri farmhouse, endless tracing the interlocking circles of her blue-and-white wedding quilt. It was hand-quilted by my great-grandmother, Jessie Emeraldine, in perfect, tiny stitches.
I loved that quilt, as well as the one in the second bedroom, which was painted a deep shell pink and had a picture of Blue Boy, Pinkie, and A Young Girl Reading on the wall. And inside my grandmother's cedar chest (where I was permitted to look only in her presence, but I sometimes snuck a surreptitious peek alone), were countless other quilts, all neatly folded. I remember taking a deep breath, inhaling the spicy scent of cedar as I admired my forbearers' handiwork.
I didn't inherit any of those quilts (yet), and Pinkie and Blue Boy disappeared in some estate sale. But when I unpacked my sewing room in my new home on Long Island, I also hung my grandmother's picture of A Young Girl Reading above my sewing machine space on a wall that is painted the lightest of shell-pinks. It's there as a reminder of the grandmother who first taught me to sew, among so many other things, and also her home where I learned to love hand-sewing by tracing stitching lines on my great-grandmother's quilt.
My sewing has taken me in the direction of garments and couture, but I have always had it in the back of my mind that I will turn to quilting someday. And now that I am surrounded by quilters (Stitch and Quilting Arts are sister publications), it seems unavoidable.
If you are also a lover of quilts, I would suggest you look at Quilting Arts magazine.
Are you a quilter? Or do you just want to be one, like me? I would love to know.