When Did You First Start Quilting?

Girl Quilting Everyone discovers quilting at different moments in their life, and over time it slowly becomes an important part of who we are. It’s very common for people to find their love for quilting later in life, but some have been developing their skills for many years. Regardless of when you started, these moments are special because it’s through quilting that we develop special relationships with family and friends.

We were curious about when our members first started quilting, so we asked the question on Facebook. Here’s a taste of our favorite responses!

“I was 45. I grew up with my mother hand sewing her quilt tops. Then a friend of mine started quilting using her sewing machine, which got me into it. My mother was in her 80s then and I was able to cut her pieces with my rotary cutter, which she used to cut with scissors. I wish she was still here to see some of the quilts I have made.”

– Deborah

NQC FB Quote 2

“I guess you’d call it beginner quilting. We were poor. I sewed scrap pieces of material together to cover a wool blanket we had been given because it was so itchy! Some pieces were oblong, some were square. I sewed them together and then attached them to the blanket. We didn’t have top sheets, so I used some of the materials we were planning to give to our rag man. I guess it was an original “Blanket of many Colors!” LOL Necessity is the Mother of Invention.” I was seventeen at the time.”

– Barbara

NQC FB Quote 3

“I was 24 years old when I was pregnant with my first child. Grandma made each of us a quilt when we were kids and I was thinking of her when I made my first. I started by sewing doll clothes when I was younger, like this little girl.”

– Una

NQC FB Quote 5

“Can’t remember when I first started but I remember grandma had a turned singer, which she still has somewhere for me. It’ll definitely be kept as a display piece one day. I also remember my other grandma making us beautiful dresses, which we would have to leave behind. On our next visit they would always be too small and we would make new ones. I still make my own patterns and clothes. I even made a Bob or two over the years :) thanks to both grandmas.”

– Gemma

NQC FB Quote 6

“I learned hand quilting around the Amish frame when I was 7. My mom then taught me to embroider at 8 and I began quilting at 13. I am now 70 years old and use all of these techniques every day.”

– Anita

NQC FB Quote 4

“I started sewing at 9 but was interested in quilting at age 16. I really got into it around my 30’s and now being 60, I still love doing it to this day.”

– Elizabeth

NQC FB Quote 1

“I sewed my first garment when I was 12 years old. I then started making a patchwork quilt a couple of years later with leftover scraps from making skirts & dresses, which turned out to be the first of many unfinished projects.:) I completed my first quilt about 24 years ago for my son when he moved from a cot to a big bed. I have just given him another quilt to keep him & his lovely partner warm.”

– Deirdre

Now it’s your turn: when do you start quilting? Let us know in the comments!

Share tips, start a discussion or ask one of our experts or other students a question.

Make a comment:
characters remaining

11 Responses to “When Did You First Start Quilting?”

  1. Janet

    I learned to piece quilt tops at age10 from a neighbor girl my age. Figured out how to add backing and hand quilted not long after. Used moms old singer electric machine to make easy simple dresses and got my first machine at 17 yrs.

  2. Shirley Williams

    <strong>Ticket 36143 (continued)</strong> I have never quilted before and I am 78 years young and I want to learn . Where can I find written instructions on making a quilt? I need specific instructions. Can I download some directions?

  3. seekersoflife1

    I started about the time I was 58. So I’d say about a year.

  4. Shirley

    I didn't start quilting till I was 40,when I got my first Bernina. The machine dealer offered a free quilting class and I was hooked. I learned to sew on an old singer treadle machine when I was 9. By the time I was 15 , I was making all our school clothes for my two sisters and me. I've been sewing along time now,but I still love it. As someone once said "My soul is feed with needle and thread". Amen to that!

  5. Erin

    I still remember my Grandmother teaching me to use a very small Singer. It was a hand crank machine that also required clamping to the table. We sat on my bedroom floor with the machine C-clamped to my child-sized table. I was about 5 years old. I still have that little Singer.

  6. Sandi Christ

    I stated quilting November of last year...58 years young...6 quilts later I'm hooked...always looking for another project! !

  7. Meta dlouhy

    WW2, bombed-out, Mum bought a sewing machine, made all my clothes from remnants and scraps, I was best dressed at school. I learned at her side and made some of my outfits into adulthood. No quilting 'till a lady I worked with showed me a log cabin baby shower gift she had made and I was expecting my first great-grandchild...the fireworks flew... Been quilting for ten years, love it, can't think of a better hobby to carry one through into senior years still having great fun.

  8. Rusty

    It's all my husbands fault and I must say he has bragged ever since. I started sewing when I was five and mother decided I would not swallow the needle. Made my own clothes since high school. Had never had a ready-made dress till I was 17 and I was appalled at the shabby workmanship after my mothers garments. At fifty my husband had worn our wedding quilt from my grandmother to shreds and said he had to have another. Now my grandmother made quilts strictly by hand even though she was a commercial seamstress, and I did every thing by machine. I offered to teach him how to sew, but he just kept nagging until one day he found an ad in the paper for a machine quilt class. So anything to shut him up and of course buy material. I took the class thinking I would make him a quilt and then get back to garments. No told me quilts are like pringles. You can't do just one. That was thirty years ago. Now I buy clothes and make quilts.

  9. Alice

    I started to sew when I was 12. I taught myself. My great grandmother Alice who died the year I was born 1957 and I was named after was a seamstress during the depression , although I never met her I believe i inherited every bit of her talent. I have been quilting for 16 years, as old as my first born grandchild!!?

  10. Jeanne Pittman

    I started quilting at age 70, after a lifetime of admiring quilts. I had no quilters in my family but I did receive a beautiful hand-sewn quilt for Christmas when I was 16. My mother had had a friend make it for me. I sewed my own clothes and I hand-tied colorful sheets into quilts for years but decided, after I retired, that maybe I wasn't too old to start REAL quilting. I'm still a rank beginner but am enjoying it very much. I guess you never are too old to learn something new.