My paternal great-grandmother was a quilter. I still have faint memories from my very early childhood of visiting her house and seeing a big, wooden quilt frame set up in her living room for hand quilting.
Great Grandma Estelle made my sister, brother and myself quilts from fabrics we definitely recognized - they were also used by my mom in making clothes for us. Because of these warm memories, I've always had a fondness for quilts. My Grandpa Bob made me a hanging quilt rack for my bedroom and I loved it - I probably asked for it in the first place. :) I remember displaying my quilt that had come from Grandma Estelle and being proud of it.
Flash forward several years to when my husband and I were newly married. My sister Emily made a quilt for us. She is a couple of years younger than me and I was 22 at the time. Emily knew how to make a quilt because our small, rural high school had offered a class in quiltmaking. It wasn't available when I was a student, but there was enough interest in Emily's class to have it be a home ec option. I believe it was called Independent Quilting. Now that I look back on it, I think it's pretty incredible that our school offered that class! It really changed the course of my life if I'm being honest, and I didn't even take the class.
My sister gifting us this quilt introduced the possibility that I could also make quilts. Emily helped me with shopping to get my initial quilting supplies and when I was ready to start my own quilt project we sewed blocks together, going through Eleanor Burns's Log Cabin Quilt in a Day book. It was the same book she followed in making the quilt above for us.
Her gift opened a door for me that I've never cared to close. It ignited this inspiration and passion that is still going strong ten years later.
Thank you, Emily!