Several members of my family have quilted or do quilt. My Grandma Irene Shindlebower and Grandma Mabel Gansberg, my Sis Linda, and others. Quilting is one of those historical, generational skills and art forms that delight and fascinate me.
In anticipation of the January 21st release of The Quilted Heart, three novellas in one book, I’m starting a Quilters and Quilts Series, which will feature a guest quilter and quilts every Monday through the months of December and January.
I’ve invited quilter and reader-friend, Linda Finn, to kick off the series. Please share this post with friends and family who enjoy anything to do with quilts and quilting and quilters.
MONA: How old were you when you started quilting?
LINDA: I was 29 years old.
MONA: Who influenced you to become a quilter?
LINDA: I would have to say it was my grandmother Ruth Fisher’s love of quilting. Although she didn’t’ start till she was older, she learned fast and was very good at quilting. I have the very first sampler quilt Grandma Fisher made.
My grandmother Ruth Mae Fisher (Kells) also made Grandpa’s Farm Quilt for my grandfather Henry Raymond “Ray” Fisher.
My great-grandmother Bertha Louise Kells made my Aunt Nancy Davenport’s baby quilt.
My mother quilts when she has the time, but I don’t have any quilts she’s made as they were made for others. Quilting was passed from Great-Grandmother to Grandmother to Mom and then to me. I think it was caught more then taught.
MONA: I love that last line, Linda–caught more than taught. It delights the historical researcher and writer in me. Girls would sit at their grandmothers and mothers knees and “catch” the art of quilting. What was your first quilting project?
LINDA: My first project was actually a wall quilt for Margo, a neighbor in New Hampshire. She had gone to Lancaster on a Bus Tour and picked up some fat quarters while there and wanted something to remember her trip by. So I made her a flying geese patterned quilt.
MONA: How many quilts have you made?
LINDA: Two. One for Margo and one baby doll quilt. But I have a desire to quilt more. Quilts and other quilted projects.
MONA: Do you have a favorite pattern ?
LINDA: I have always loved Amish quilts, Broken dishes is one of my favorites.
MONA: What is your favorite part of the quilting process? (planning, working on patterns, cutting, piecing, stitching….?)
LINDA: I enjoy the planning, cutting, stitching of them, I guess it’s the artist in me.
MONA: Sounds like you enjoy most every phase of the quilting process. Have you learned any life lessons from quilting?
LINDA: I think the biggest thing is feeling like Grandma Ruth and I are somehow connected by more then blood. She loved Amish things and she loved country living. I believe quilting is one of the lost arts ! Like baking, cooking, canning, soap and candle making.
MONA: What bit of advice would you give someone who wants to start quilting?
LINDA: Look at books or online to see the patterns. You can get free lessons online as well and there are many sites that offer free patterns. Also, see if you have a Mennonite, Amish neighbor, someone who quilts near you, or a guild.
MONA: Are there websites, Facebook groups, or magazines that you’d recommend for quilt enthusiasts?
LINDA: My favorite pattern site: Quilters Cache. Quilting at about.com has excellent learning ideas and patterns: http://quilting.about.com/od/quiltpatternsprojects/u/quilt_patterns.htm. Fons and Porter is an excellent magazine and has free patterns:
Thanks so much for sharing your quilting history with us, Linda!
We’d love to hear from you! Is there someone special in your family who quilted?