“Like many addictions, it started out innocently enough. Being of a crafty bent, I decided, sometime in the 1980s, to make a quilt. I had bought a magazine which included a pattern so simple, it could be ‘COMPLETED IN ONE WEEKEND!’ It seemed too good to be true! I bought yards of various blue fabrics and got to work. There wasn’t much actual ‘quilting’ involved – just sewing very large squares together – and so it did go very quickly. I had made my first quilt. Ugly as sin, but there it was.
“Weeks went by and I felt the urge to try another. A little more challenging this time – I decided to try making a ‘lap quilt’ where you piece and quilt the blocks first, and sew them together afterward. I bought some rose and baby blue fabric. I used templates and handquilted everything. And proudly displayed the finished quilt on my bed for all to see and admire.
“The weeks between urges to quilt were getting less and the urges were becoming stronger. I began to wonder if I was heading down some slippery slope, but I was having so much fun that I didn’t question myself too much. When the urge hit, I’d find a fabric ship, just waiting to sell me something. And every time I went, it seemed there were more beautiful fabrics in colors and prints than I could have ever imagined. Patterns, magazines and books were popping up everywhere. And wonders of wonders, there was this amazing new invention called the rotary cutter, which made the whole process so much quicker and easier.
“Soon, I wouldn’t even be finished with one quilt and the urge would hit to start another. As soon as I had a bit of cash, I’d buy more fabric. My stash was growing. My self-control was all but gone. The more I quilted, the more I wanted to quilt. I experienced something akin to panic when I found myself without a needle in my hand. I began to plan vacations around quilt shops and quilt shows I wanted to visit. I made new friends – quilting friends. I converted the basement into my sewing studio. I quit my office job so I could make quilts all day. Needing to support my habit, it was just a matter of time before I started designing my own patterns and began selling them through my website. In 2003, ‘Country Quilts’ was born.
“Now, several years and many patterns and quilts later, my addiction has only grown. My days are spent stitching, and my nights are spent dreaming of stitching.
“My name is Cheryl.
“And I am a quilt-aholic.”
Cheryl is the author of Welcome Home: Surround Yourself with Country Warmth. Visit her website at www.countryquilts.ca and her blog at www.cheryl-countryquilts.blogspot.com.