I have been inspired by quilting forever. One of my most prized possessions is an heirloom quilt I've had since I was about five years old (pictured above). It was made by my great grandmother whom I was named after, Elizabeth Nome (Nome--meeh) and comprised of her old wing dresses. She lived in a small home on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation in Parker Canyon. She wore braids, a silver watch, round glasses and floral dresses. Always dresses. This quilt has meant a lot to me and will always be a part of my life. It lives on my bed and occasionally my couch and is still beautiful after all these years. In almost all of the creative things I do and even more so in my recent daily life, I try to channel her energy. I even like that our house is small because it reminds me of hers.
Top Left: Great Grandma, older sister, me, and dad in a tipi.
Top right: Great Grandma and I in her home.
Process pics from my first attempt at creating a quilt.
Needless to say, I have finally started quilting! I've been threatening to make one of my own for at least 10 years now. Not sure why it's taken so long, but I feel ready now. I am so inspired by their differences, traditions, origins, and functions. The possibilities seem endless from the color of fabric and thread to the design and dimensions, even down to hand quilting vs. machine quilting.
This first attempt hasn't been easy, but it's been a lot of fun figuring everything out. The biggest challenge has been relearning how to use my sewing machine (for the machine-piecing). In the beginning, I had to rethread it after every square which was becoming unbearable, but I think I have everything under control now. Everyone has to start somewhere I guess.
One of the best things that has happened in the process so far was my discovery of a a small shop. I was searching for a specific thread and after calling several shops in Seattle, I was finally able to locate it at "Okan Arts," a small independently owned shop that specializes in Japanese fabrics run by a wonderful woman named Patricia. She had me bring my quilt top project to see what I was working on and ended up giving me a ton of tips and pointers on it. Turns out I made several mistakes and was able to fix them all after visiting her. Her passion for quilting was evident and truly inspiring. I strongly recommend her shop if you're ever in the market for fine fabrics, threads or quilting classes.