All about me....Part 1

Did you ever wonder whether you were born with the quilting bug? Sometimes I wonder; when did I first know quilting was my destiny?

I remember as a little girl, probably about 6, watching my cousin play with her fabric swatches she got in the mail. I was so enthralled watching her. All I wanted to do was touch the fabric. It’s funny how a small moment in time stays in your memory.

Next came 7th grade Home Economics. I made a dress that I wore one time to school. I absolutely adored sewing but never continued with it.

When I was 15 came the gift that is etched into my memory. I was at my Grandma’s house enjoying her homemade molasses cookies and tea. She said to me, “Barbie come upstairs with me, I want to show you something.” So up the stairs we traveled and into a small bedroom. She opened up the dresser drawer and pulled out not one, but two amazing quilts. “I want you to have these. Your mothers’ pajamas, when she was a little girl, are in this one, as she pointed to the scrappy quilt.”

My mouth hit the floor. And thinking back all those years ago, I keep wondering, how did Grandma know about me and my future love of quilting? Of course I wasn’t old enough to think to ask her questions about the history of the quilts and to this day, I don’t have any more information on them. I was showing the quilts one day at a trunk show and a woman told me the name of the block that the scrappy quilt was made from. It is called Castle Wall.

Then the absolutely most wonderful thing happened. I received a Singer Sewing Machine for High School Graduation. Now gift giving doesn’t get better than that!!! I called my Aunt Florence and asked her to give me sewing lessons. I made the cutest little pale blue jumpsuit you’ve ever seen. And of course, never wore it!

Jump ahead to 1985 when my daughter was an infant. Out comes the sewing machine and I decided to try my hand at some quilting. I didn’t have a clue, so I just cut squares and pieced. Looking back, I am pretty amazed at what I created, a Christmas tree skirt!

Castle Wall

My first quilting project - a tree skirt

I jumped from one crafty thing to the next. I always said to myself that I would decorate my house entirely from my own hands. I even painted a floor to ceiling mural of My Little Pony, in my daughter’s bedroom. I taught ceramics for 7 years, did tons of cross stitch, painted in oils, took lessons in watercolor and did commission work with my paintings for a while.

Then the sewing machine once again emerged from the closet around 1995 and I started making dolls and doll dresses for the American Girl doll. I sold these dresses along with oil paintings on wood at local craft shows.

American Girl Doll Clothes

It didn’t take long for boredom to set in. I still knew I wanted to sew, but what?

You guessed it! And this is where the story begins……

I bought my first quilting magazine in Aug of 1997. I sat out on the porch on a beautiful summer day and read it from cover to cover. I realized right then and there, that there was no end to what you could do with quilting. I started sewing every little pattern I could get my hands on. I considered them all practice, so as fast as I could make them, I turned right around and sold them at craft fairs for mere pennies. I even did a postage stamp baby quilt…..and sold it for $12! What was I thinking???

Here is a picture of my very first quilt that I designed. I made this one month after I started quilting. First I designed the center and put it together. So far, so good. Check out those corner blocks!

My first quilt that I designed

Then like all good designers, I designed the outside second…… Did I tell you I didn’t measure anything? I positioned the outside around the inside with a nice gap in between and then it hit me…..How in the world do I fill this in?

That’s when my first mantra was born: Mistakes are valuable learning tools.
Well, I muddled my way through the quilt and presented it to my son. He’s been under that quilt for 12 years now and just recently gave it back. It will now be a proud part of my trunk show.

I joined my neighborhood guild one month later. Within that month I designed my second quilt. This one was a success and we used it to support The Ronald McDonald House. I called it Twilight Two Step. It will be available in pattern form very soon.

December came along and I became president of the guild. I served 2 years for them.

Come spring it was once again time to do craft shows. It was in May at a show that I was approached and asked if I teach. This little shop was looking for a beginning quilting teacher and I jumped at the opportunity even though I had only been quilting 9 months.

Twilight Two Step

Part 2…coming soon

On the personal side: I married my best friend, Grant, 30 years ago. We started dating 35 years ago when we were in high school. Along the way, we adopted 2 children, Chris who is currently 29 and Marie who is 24. We are empty nesters except for our biggest baby, Murphy. He is a malte-poo and boy does he have attitude!

Chris, Grant and Marie

Chris, Barb and Marie

Barb Sackel

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