January 29, 2009

Before I got married at the tender age of 36, I never really had a hobby. I was too busy getting through college, then working one or two jobs supporting myself. After I married Dana and we headed off to Gambier (a tiny academic village in the middle of nowhere, Ohio), I finally had the luxury of not having to scrabble, and I cast around for a hobby.

The first thing I took up was folk-art painting. There was a series of classes at a (this is funny) quilt shop in Columbus so I made the 50-mile drive each way and really enjoyed it. I absolutely LOVE that tole painting, Pennsylvania-Dutch whatever the correct term is, look. After that, I spent a lot of solitary hours in the extra bedroom painting on a variety of wooden objects. I never could get any good at the scrollwork, though… instead of graceful and elegant, my scrolls always looked lumpy and drunken.

Somewhere along the way I was having lunch with a friend and another friend of hers. This other friend mentioned the quilt shop in the next town over, and how they had beginning quilting classes, and even taught appliqué. To this day I remember how my eyes got all round and I thought, ‘ooooh, appliqué.’

I made my way over to that shop and signed on for a beginning quilting class in the evenings. (My thinking was, my new husband leaves me alone to go back to his office in the evenings, this will be my revenge :). But, I was the only student so we switched the class to daytimes so that the teacher, who was also the owner, could mind the store at the same time. So I had a private lesson.

Okay, I’m coming to the moral of the story. A lady from Gambier whom I had previously met saw me at the quilt shop and announced that she was taking me to the next guild meeting. I didn’t know which end was up but it was nice, and I got a ticket to go see Georgia Bonesteel speak. Then, the next month, I got a phone call from somebody who said they were coming by to give me a ride. I hung up the phone and said to Dana, ‘Well, somebody’s coming to pick me up. I don’t know who it is, but if a car stops outside the house I’m going to get in.’

You can see where this is going. Instead of sitting alone painting on wood, I was becoming introduced to the vibrant, social world of quilting. It was just what I needed as a newlywed in a new town. Though I absolutely love the way it looks, folk-art painting didn’t stick with me. Quilting stuck.

Here’s a wall plaque of mine from my “folk art period,” from Tole Red Two by Annie Richardson.

Pattern from Tole Red Two by Annie Richardson

Painted plaque by Kay Mackenzie

Little Folk wall quilt by Kay Mackenzie
Here’s a fabric rendition I made years later. I call it Little Folk.

Thanks for listening,
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs


One Response to “Quilting stuck”

  1. Carrie P. on January 30th, 2009 1:27 pm

    Funny story. Like your little rendition done in fabric.