Depending on when you read this, Mother's Day is approaching or already here and what better way to honor the women who are a part of and influenced our quilting journey than by telling their stories. We created a Mother's Day Facebook event page where we asked quilters and quilt-lovers to tell us about their introduction to the art of sewing/making and how they are passing their passion on. We received so many amazing pictures and anecdotes of quilt histories and quilting experiences. Warm your heart with these anecdotes while we're safely social distancing.
"When my father died, I was cleaning out his storage unit. I found two hand pieces in 1939 quilt tops made by my great grandmother. Such an amazing gift to me, since I was the first girl in many generations and my grandmother was my favorite person! I never knew my great grandmother she died when my grandma was a teen. But knowing I inherited my quilting gene makes my heart swoon! Oh and I found an article that had my great grandFather won a ribbon at the fair for HIS quilt! This family history is very special to me!!
"I have spoken with a long arm quilter who is willing to quilt these for me! I’m so excited!"
"My mother only learned how to read a pattern before she moved away from the gal who taught her. However, she did have some tips along the way and eventually sewed a number of things for my sister and me. I have memories of one dress that was red and white and when I think about it, I realize that she was really talented even though she never quilted. However, she had an aunt who did but she died before I was born. Over the years, I have acquired some of the quilts that Aunt Susie made or at least pieced. I have some to finish and have recently had ideas of how to finish some 16 inch squares that hang on a hanger in my sewing room. The quarantine may be giving me some time to finish this one. I may even quilt it myself."
"My mother doesn't have any ability to sew. I was self taught as a 10 year old and mom recognized I had a natural talent so she had a lady from church teach my sister and me how to sew. By the time I was 13 I was making all my own clothes. I sewed for years, including my oldest child's youngest years. But life got in the way and raising children and working took up all my time. Now that I'm retired, I'm sewing again. I made my mom & dad a memory quilt for their 50th anniversary which my mom proudly displays on her bed.
"And I have a daughter now that loves to sew. She made the quilt in the picture for her heart throb and I quilted it on the longarm."
"My mother made me a Sun Bonnet Sue quilt when I was small. Then one year when my stepfather was laid off during Christmas time, my mother made quilts for my children because she had no money for presents. I inherited a quilt that three generations of my husband's family members worked on. But my mother and my husband's mother have passed away. I have passed down the love of quilts to my daughter Candice U. A few years ago for Mother's Day she bought me a Janome treadle sewing machine. I make all my quilts on my treadle machine. I have it by a window with several bird feeders within sight. My goal it to make a Sun Bonnet Sue quilt myself. I don't know what ever happened to my Sun Bonnet Sue quilt that I had as a child but I loved looking at all the different fabrics my mother used."
"I learned sewing and quilting from my mom Kathy B. who has sewn and quilted for as long as I can remember. I started by hand sewing doll clothes. Then I moved up to a vintage White treadle machine. I have a wide range of machines now, and I still have the treadle machine I learned on. My picture is my current project."
"This is the first quilt I made for my daughter Aubrey, for her 7th birthday last year. She saw this fabric I had bought and thought it was so beautiful. She told me she really wanted me to make her a quilt with it."
-Jill, AccuQuilt's Art Director
"I inherited my love of quilting from my grandma. We're in IN, shes was in AR. Every year summer vacation was spent with her. Unfortunately, i never got to quilt with her. She would get out all the quilts she made & spread them on the bed so we could see what made. Loved looking at her quilts! She would be so happy if she could see what I've made! When I got a rotary cutter & mat I thought she would have loved the time saving of that. Several years ago I got an Accuquilt cutter. Oh my, what she could have with that!!! She passed away in 1995 but through quilting she is kept very near & dear. ❤️"
"My friend, Janet, was my mentor as I learned how to quilt. She started me with a pillow, then on to a baby quilt and my grandson’s bed quilt. My granddaughter made her first quilt with my guidance when she was 12. Janet has passed but she still guides me from above."
"I inherited my love of quilting from my mother, my grandmother, and my great grandmother. As a child I remember my Mom and grandmother quilting on a star quilt for someone in the family. I remember loving that quilt. I also remember hinting very hard, that I would love a star quilt like that except for it being 'Blue'. Well a few years later my Grandmother made me a 'Blue' Star Quilt. It’s my favorite, and knowing how much time was spend quilting it, by my grandmother and my mother, it is one of my very favorite keepsakes, and quilting memories.
"I also have a 'Log Cabin' quilt my great grandmother hand stitched for my Dad for him making some cemetery markers for her. And I also have my mother’s first quilt she made-'A Double Wedding Ring' and hand quilted when she was just just 16 years old. She gave it to me before she passed away. I also have the 1st 'Star' quilt I made, that my Grandmother, my Mother, my Aunt, and my husbands grandmother all helped me hand quilt. So many memories, and so many hand stitches. I think I was born to carry on this tradition. I love making quilts and quilting them as well. Now I’m working on a 'Cathedral Window' quilt with my AccuQuilt round rag quilt die."
"My mom gave this to me. Her mom had given it to her. We do not know the story behind it. It was lovingly hand embroidered and is in wonderful condition. My love of quilting came after I got married and wanted to make my home warm and cozy with quilts."
"Not sure if I can get thru this, but here goes. My love of quilting was shared by my dear sister Vivian Strom. I saw quilts she made and was in awe. She shared her knowledge and even coached me thru a few patterns. She also was the one to give me the push to quilt my own quilts using my own machine. It was just meandering, but the more I did the more I improved. I made and quilt the in the picture attached for my sister Vivian. It's just a simple disappearing 9 patch quilt.
But if you look closer at the picture you will see that the top of the quilt has a saying. "What Cancer Cannot Do". I found the sayings printed on like a fat quarter at a quilt show that both of us and another sister had attended years ago. I had not planned on using the printed fabric saying for my sister, as she had not yet been diagnosed with cancer. Fast forward a few years, and I felt compelled to make this for my sister with her favorite colors. The back was a cotton tweed of the same brown, teal green & orange colors that were on the front, and I knew she would just love it. (you know us quilters, we stress about the back just as much as the front).
You see, there are many miles that separated us. My sister lived in Allison Park PA, & I in Dubuque, IA. While we did not see each other often, we still share photos of our quilts with each other, but I kept this quilt a secret from her. I made it in 2017, and sent it out via FedEx. After she received it, I waited quite a few days for her to call or text. She was overcome. You see, my sister is one of those that does so much for others, and never expected to receive anything back. I lost my sister just a few weeks ago to cancer during this Covid 19 pandemic. Would love to make more quilts to honor my sister, and I believe this fabric cutting system would help me do just that. Thank you."
"This year was all about quilting and teaching my two sons to quilt and enjoy it. When my youngest son finished his first quilt we had a quilting bee at my mom's house. The picture below includes my sons ages 8 and 10, myself, my mom (who taught me to quilt when I was about 8 years old), my mother in law, and my grandmother tying his quilt.
"Together we made a beautiful quilt and memories to be cherished for several lifetimes."
"I am mainly a self taught quilter - my Mom sewed many of my clothes when I was little and I tried to sew clothes...I really did, but I was a tomboy who liked being outside and a farm girl who was expected to bale hay, feed pigs, and milk cows so that really didn't leave a lot of time for sewing anyway. But I knew how to sew, and my mom's sewing machine didn't seem to run very well for me. Now I know that it was likely operator error, but at the time my mom couldn't believe the cuss words that came out while I was sewing. She still thinks it is hilarious that I quilt now since my relationship with a sewing machine back then was tenuous at best. And I still don't like sewing clothes."
"My mother was a meticulous seamstress who made all manner of things. 30+ years ago she made a bed quilt for my then 2 year old daughter. She had no specialty equipment- no long arm quilter, no computerized embroidery machine, no die cutters. Just fabric, thread, scissors and a basic sewing machine. Every time I looked at the quilt with the dozen machine embroidered clowns all exactly the same I marveled at the skill it took to complete.
"The quilt was loved to death! Literally, tattered beyond any restoration and I finally had to make a decision. I selected the best clown I could find, cut it out, re-backed and bound it as it’s own little mini quilt and gave it to my now grown daughter as a memento which she still loves. 20 years ago mom passed away. While I can never match her precision, I never stop trying. I don’t have a picture of that quilt, but this is one I made for my grandson."
"This is my first quilting experience with my mom. We did a Quilt in a Day project at church making log cabin quilts. It was my introduction to quilting!
"This is my daughter's first quilt. She made it over Christmas vacation in 2019.
"And this is a UFO. My mom and I each started our own block of the month sampler when I was 14 or 15. We each got to 6 blocks but didn't get a chance to finish it. My mom passed away when I was 19, and my dad gave me these unfinished blocks that I've taken with me everywhere I've moved. California to Massachusetts to Texas and finally Nebraska. I always had this vision of finishing them somehow, and they are a great memory of quilting with my mother. I hadn't quilted in over 15 years but being at AccuQuilt brought me back to the craft.
"Since being introduced to the products in 2018, I've made 6 bed quilts, 3 wall hangings, and have various PIGS laying around. Being under quarantine has me going back to this unfinished project and before the end of the quarantine, I will have this 20+ year old project finished - even though my mom has been gone for 17 years. Mother's day has been difficult since losing her, but it's definitely better when surrounded by positive memories and a craft she taught me that I still get to enjoy!"
-Joy, AccuQuilt's Chief of Staff
"My quilting inspiration comes from my mother and aunt and our trips together. My mother taught me how to sew when I was very young and now we sew when get together. We take 'girls' trips and often we sew a project while away together all over the country.
"My pictures highlight my quilt for my mother in law using the Accuquilt kite die, our trip to Yosemite, an embroidered quilt wallhanging for my mother made in Arizona and my mother and aunt wearing their quilted jackets made on our trip to Hershey Pennsylvania."
"My Mother-in-law is an avid quilter and she’s made many quilts for my husband and I, including an enormous king-sized wedding gift, and multiple baby quilts. It’s such a huge part of her life, and I attempted to make my own during a girl’s weekend with her and my 2 sisters-in-law a few months ago. It was a ton of fun, really nice to try a new craft, and have her show me the ropes! I’m excited to be able to try another one!"
-Blair, AccuQuilt's eCommerce Manager
"My mom and my grandmother both quilted. My Mom had Alzheimer's and she could not remember much but when I was quilting she would tell me things to do and how they used to do it. I miss her so much she passed five years ago and I still use her old Necchi machine some."
"When my daughter, Dana, wanted to make her first quilt, she decided to make a Hunter Star quilt with Christmas fabric. Without the GO! Die, this would not have been a great choice, but she's done a great job on it - and she's even making it king-sized! Here she is sewing the blocks together with the "help" of her daughter Eleanor. Always important to start them young!"
-Erica, AccuQuilt's B2B Marketing Specialist
"My Grandmother was the constant in my life growing up. I played under her quilt frame and she taught me embroidery and crochet. I still have an appliqué quilt she made me when I was 5. My mom gave me a Double Wedding Ring quilt top pieced by my Great Grandmother and Grandmother. It was stored in a brown paper bag in a plastic bin. I had had it for 30 years at least before I had it hand quilted. It is beautiful and I recognize fabric from clothes my Grandmother made me, my sisters, and cousins when we were kids. There are fabrics from the 20's through late 1960's and include feed sacks, men's shirting, drapery, and ties. This quilt means the world to me. It takes center stage in my sewing room. I feel connected to my Grandmother as I sew. Thank you for letting me share my story."
"My mom made this quilt for me when I was one and my favorite colors were pink and green. I will give it to my daughter when she gets a big girl bed this year."
-Stephanie, AccuQuilt's Digital Marketing Manager
"I have sweet memories of playing under the quilt frame at my great grandmothers and grandmothers (kids played with the empty wooden spools). As the wives of farmers they made everything, and not with a pattern! My grandmother has been gone for 35 years so when I retired 10 years ago I decided to try quilting in her honor. I have found a hobby for a lifetime & am sharing this hobby with my grandchildren! My grandmothers would have loved Accuquilt since so many of their quilts were appliqué!"
We've so loved reading all your stories and learning how so many quilters are finding a love for sewing, quilting and making. We are so inspired by you, your families and your creativity. To keep sharing your stories, find us on Facebook and Instagram. Tag @AccuQuilt and #AccuQuilt so we see your post!
From everyone at AccuQuilt, Happy Mother's Day!