I am pleased to have And I Quilt personality, Kelsey Cooley, join us on the blog this week. Kelsey is a CPA, a daughter, and she QUILTS! Her Mom, Janie, introduced her to the art, and now the two are regular quilting buddies.
Kelsey joins us from Dallas, Texas, and she shares just why she quilts. And she has some very good whys!
The Reason Why I Quilt
I became a quilter while I was in college and what began as a pastime soon became more. I am now a part of a unique community of quilters, I discovered an outlet for my creative side, and quilting brings a soothing comfort to my soul.
Quilting allows me to be able to share something special with others. Growing up, I always knew that Mrs. Susan, my mom’s dear friend, was a quilter, but I had not yet discovered that I would also enjoy putting together different fabrics and piecing them together with a pattern. When Mrs. Susan, my mom, and I put together a quilt in a weekend, I was hooked. Not only did I learn the process of piecing a quilt top, I was able to laugh and spend precious time with my loved ones.
Soon after, Mrs. Susan introduced my mom and me to a bi-annual retreat where I soon realized that age disappears when you share something so unique. I was able to meet many different women with many different styles. These women have been quilting for many years and it is so much fun to sit and sew all weekend and share stories with each other. We give input to each other about different fabric choices and quilting techniques. We also keep up with each other and our families throughout the year in our private Facebook group. I never anticipated that I would have a community with this group of people. It is one thing that I cherish every day.
Spending hours selecting the perfect fabric and pattern, piecing a top, quilting the final product, and finally seeing the recipient’s face when they open your gift is the main reason why I do what I do. By nature, I am a task-oriented and analytical person whose favorite subject is math. Recently, I realized that while growing up I was always searching for a more creative outlet, but never was able to find my craft until I discovered quilting. Picking out fabrics allowed me to flex my creative muscles. By learning more about color theory, I have been able to push myself to use different color ways to create unique quilt tops.n
Quilting breathes life into the quilt. At first, I solely pieced tops and paid to have them quilted. At times, I still consider having other people contribute to a specific quilt’s journey, but I wanted to learn how to do it as well. I started with ruler work on the Avanté and graduated to the Pro-Stitcher (highly recommended). Whether it is a subtle pattern that lets the quilt top shine or something more intricate that brings the quilt to life, quilting can bring out the beauty of a pieced top. I have enjoyed picking out quilting patterns just as much as picking out coordinating fabrics. What is even better is that my mom and I share an HQ machine, so we get to put our heads together and come up with a final masterpiece. It is so satisfying to see the finished product and know that I completed it from beginning to end.
Living in the Texas climate, a quilt is not used for physical warmth very often. However, I find wrapping myself in a quilt warms my soul. When my favorite season, fall, does finally appear, I enjoy sipping warm coffee on a crisp fall morning with a quilt wrapped around me while watching Gilmore Girls.
Quilting is personal. It allows me to be a part of a unique, treasured community, where I can broaden my creativity; and I find comfort in it whether I’m physically wrapped in a quilt or shared moments that I can wrap myself in.
Thanks so much Kelsey! It’s so fun getting to know our And I Quilt personality and all quilters. What are your WHYS for quilting? Please share in the comments. And be sure to watch Kelsey’s full length video. You can find it here.
by Mary Beth Krapil