{WHY} I make my own stuff

I’m joining in on the {WHY} fun with Julie of Stitched in Color. She asks, “Why make your own? What got you started?  What keeps you going?  Why is it worth it?”

I make my own stuff because it’s so much more personal and heartfelt than something that was mass produced (whether in the U.S. or overseas).  I mostly enjoy coming up the idea for the project and jotting something down on paper (or my computer screen) and seeing it come about by way of my two hands.  It is an amazing feeling to go from having a quilt design to seeing the quilt hanging in a room.  Knowing everything about that project came only from my mind is what gets me excited.  I also love seeing the look on people’s faces when I give them a handmade gift. ::smile::  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside because they automatically assume it took me foreeeever to make… sometimes this is true but other times it may be a quick project and they are floored when they see you made it yourself.

I started quilting a little less than 4 years ago.  I was a second year law student and was in desperate need of a creative outlet.  At the time I was making and decorating cakes like this one…

and I loved it because it was an edible work of art.  That was also the downside to it.  You eat it.  Once it’s gone, it’s gone. I wanted to make something that was both functional and long-lasting.  So, I asked my mother to teach me how to sew.  She taught me how to thread the machine and stitch straight on an old Singer from the 1960s.  I was immediately hooked!  I grabbed an old pair of jeans form the closet and within minutes turned it into a purse with all kinds of embellishments.  It was so much fun!

One week later during final exam week I was driving around town looking for a coffee shop to study at and as I drove in one plaza I saw a sign that said “Sewing classes.”  I just about died because it was a Sunday and they were closed! AH!  Instead of studying, I drove back home and looked up the store’s website.  And yes, first thing Monday morning I was there again inquiring about classes.  Soon after I made a Christmas stocking and a pillow sham.  While in the store one day, one of the employees saw how enthusiastic I was about sewing and mentioned that I should try quilting.  I was like, “what is quilting?”  I grew up in Miami, FL and my family is from the Caribbean= hot weather= traditionally, no quilts needed.

I took a basic nine-patch quilt class and was obsessed!  In typical Vanessa fashion, I didn’t follow directions and added some different blocks into the quilt… and a quilt designer was born!

This is my first quilt ever!  I have come a loooooong way since then. :o)
I love designing, quilting, and teaching people that quilting is so much fun and easy to do! I quilt because it is everything I want all bundled up into one beautiful project and it’s worth it for all of these reasons and more…

Quilts are:
-multi-purpose (wallhanging, play mat, blanket, etc)
-a way to express your emotions (love, sympathy, etc)
-for everyone from babies to great-great grandparents
– family heirlooms
– so much fun to make!
Why do you quilt?

4 replies on “{WHY} I make my own stuff

  • B. Martin

    I took my first quilting class from you. I fell in love with making purses that were better than the rave quilted purses that cost a fortune. A person whoused to pedal her grandmothers old singer sewing machine from age 5, after your class I fell in love with quilting and startd teaching myself. Thanks for that first class in which we made the quilted tote bag.!!!I love your tutorials.

  • Cathi Moody

    Keep up the good work, you’re wonderful. I met you with my daughter in February. 2016 at quilt con, Pasadena. You’re so pretty and I liked meeting you. Keep doing the videos. They’re the best around; up there with Ginny Byers on Craftsy.


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