I Say…Come, Let’s Quilt

colleen-mainBy Colleen Winterburn 
Published: Sept 9, 2015


AS THE beautiful long summer days come to an end, I begin to contemplate my preferred activities for the cooler months ahead. Well, alongside cycling and hiking, the beauty of the fall lures me to the comfort of quilting.
Quilting dates back to the early years, long before European settlers came to North America. In those times, people used padded fabrics for their clothing, bedding and also armor. When the Dutch and English settlers arrived in the New World, the padded items took on a new direction known as quilting. Quilting as we know it today is basically a cloth sandwich which has three layers, comprising of a decorated top, a fabric on the back and a filler in the middle. Today, we have such a vast assortment of styles, methods of constructing quilts, wonderful colorful fabrics, threads to meet every need and unlimited resources to allow your creative artistry to flow.  For a quilter, the selection of the fabrics, the pattern chosen and the construction of the finished item is her artistic canvas.  With each project I finish, I am warmed with a feeling of satisfaction and pride.
Sewing has always been a part of my life, from a youth making 4-H sewing projects and creating garments for family. Now my machine is a good working friend in creating quilts as a hobby. I was first introduced to this fascinating creative pastime years ago in a Squamish store called ‘Nothing Finer’.  I was intrigued with the quilted items showcased in the store and when invited to participate in a Learn to Quilt Class, I had no preconceived idea that I would find such enjoyment in the textile world. When a group of like-minded women formed the Squamish Quilter’s Guild in 1996 to share joint interests in their art of quilting, it was a natural for me to be a part of this organization.  Over the years the Guild has been a source of new ideas, valued friendships and inspiration on Guild days. I along with other members enjoy a lovely big room at the Sandman Hotel, on the first Wednesday of each month to spread out large projects and receive sewing support. Setting the firstWednesday of each month aside just for my interest is a treat, joining others for a day of fellowship and sharing the latest tips and tricks of quilting. 
The creative pastime of quilting is very much alive as witnessed by the hundreds of Quilt Guilds across the country and around the world. In our technical world of gadgets and apps for just about anything, you can be plugged into the latest trends in quilting also, or you can pause, plan out your project slowly and  tag your unique piece of art with your own identity. For me, finding spare time in my sewing area to ponder and create my next project has a calming effect . It slows my world, unplugs my worries and provides happiness to my soul. Whether I’m using new fabric, scraps left from a previous item or repurposed fabric, the finished items always have the same feeling — accomplishment.  My ability to increase knowledge is important to me and I have registering for an art workshop on October 7 at Sandman Hotel presented by Carola’s Quilt Shop, with an evening Trunk Show of completed quilts.
Years ago many people quilted all their projects by hand, whereas today, many quilt by machine highlighting colorful threads in beautiful designs. Quilting by machine takes patience and practice and I look forward to a class in free motion quilting on October 8 to enhance my quilting skill.
Whether travelling or reading a quilting magazine, my interest is always piqued in new ideas and trends in the world of quilting textiles. Our quilting guild shares our activities on our website https://squamishquilters.wordpress.com/ Come visit us, first Wednesday every month.