This quilt was the beginning of my quilting career. I met Marianne at a beginner’s quilting class soon after that and our partnership began.
My love of quilts began when my grandmother gave me a quilt for my fifth birthday. Grandma passed away before I had the chance to learn about quilting from her. I was a young mother in 1977 when I decided to try my hand at quiltmaking. My first project was a twin-size quilt for my young daughter, Katie.
After choosing Sunbonnet Sue as my pattern, I studied quiltmaking techniques in the only book on quilting at the local library. I quickly decided hand appliqué was not for me—I had a perfectly fine sewing machine with a zigzag stitch.
Always the innovator, I figured I could make a twin-size quilt much more quickly if I made rectangular blocks rather than square ones. Another innovation occurred when I decided Sue’s hands looked way too small for machine stitching, so I left them off, which meant the arms had to go, too. Managing machine appliqué in the days before paper-backed fusible web was tricky!
Little did I know that making the quilt top was the easy part. The only instructions on how to actually quilt were the infamous, “Make a series of small running stitches through all three layers.” However, once I had a full-size quilting frame in the living room I was motivated to quilt well enough to finish the quilt for Katie’s third birthday.