Like many quilters of my generation, I began sewing by making doll clothes, then my own clothes, and eventually my family’s clothes, custom ballroom dance costumes, and both my daughters' wedding dresses. When my last child left the nest in 1989, I started watching Elenor Burns on PBS and caught the quilting bug. With no family history or background of quilting, I went in search of a local quilt shop that offered beginner quilting class where I learned the construction of four basic blocks, hand piecing, and hand quilting.
A good number of years passed with little or no growth in my skills, techniques, or knowledge of what "quilting" encompassed in the 1990s. I firmly believe this was because of a lack of interaction with other quilters via classes, bees, or guilds. Around 1999, I was invited to join a bee that met near my home and that began my true love of all things quilty and the camaraderie that comes with it. In 2000, I discovered the Houston International Quilt Festival - held just an hour's drive from my home - and I haven't missed one since; taking about 120 classes along the way (and now I've taught there for three years!) I next joined a guild and attended classes hosted by the guild as well. New skills were learned, new techniques were explored, and a myriad of exciting teachers and classes, and techniques happened.
In 2011, an opportunity arose to purchase Quilting Adventures, a company that hosted 3, 4, and 5-day quilting retreats. So, my daughter and I did just that. This new adventure gave me the opportunity to research the many varied techniques of incredibly talented teachers while selecting instructors for the retreats. The business also introduced me to hundreds of eager, talented, and generous fellow quilters. During this time I met and studied with Louisa Smith and made a quilt from her book, “A New Twist on Strips and Curves.”
In 2017, Louisa was booked for a retreat with Quilting Adventures and during that class, a lovely friendship blossomed. Just as Quilting Adventures was closing, Louisa was cutting back on her teaching and also wanted to pass on her template and teaching business. I purchased Louisa's template business and have been manufacturing, promoting, and selling her templates and teaching classes using them, including Louisa's original Strips 'n Curves technique, since 2018.