Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Start Of It All

Polly and I were asked to tell a little bit about how we became "Minick and Simpson".

Well, first of all, we have the same parents (but completely different childhoods) and that gives us that initial, important link. The "different childhoods" is because there is a 16 year difference in our ages. What that meant to me was, while I had a sister and 3 brothers, I spent a good deal of my childhood as an "only child." Best of both worlds, so to speak. In my solitude, I sought out needlework. By the age of 6 I was stitching and embroidering linens and Christmas ornaments. By the time I was 14 I had dabbled in many, many things. It was at this time that I saw an antique quilt in a magazine and lightening struck. I wanted a quilt. No one in our family made quilts or even had one, that I knew of. I tried to figure it out. (and I will say, I am still trying to figure it out)

These were the days before the internet, before quilts shops, before quilting magazines, and before 100% cotton fabric was widely available. It was the era of polyester double-knits. I purchased my fabric at the local 5 and dime one 1/8th of a yard at a time. This was the result.As you can see, it was also before acrylic rulers and rotary cutters. I cut out each patch, by eye, with scissors. This quilt survived High School, College, roommates, a husband, and several pets. It now lives out it's destiny in the bottom of Bill's closet - as a bed for cats. The batting is a thick polyester that will survive a millennium and it was tied with yarn, as this was the general consensus among the quilt savvy of our town. It will not fall apart, to my great dismay. We all have to start somewhere.

I kept keeping on. I have been a quilt maker since that day. As my skills grew, so did the resources available to me.

Airedale Quilt from Folk Art Friends by Minick and Simpson
Wool Wheels by Laurie Simpson
Pieceful Journey by Laurie Simpson
We quilters today are blessed with an abundance of wonderful patterned fabric in 100% cotton and a plethora of tools. Several hundred quilts later, I can't wait to start my next quilt. I will never make all the quilts that I want to make, but I can try.

Laurie

14 comments:

Gayle said...

I wish I'd saved MY first quilt! It was made of rainbow colored solids - I ripped the strips and made a courthouse steps quilt. Actually hand quilted it, but it pretty much fell apart eventually.

PamKittyMorning said...

I love that old yarn tied beauty!

Cathy said...

The motto at my daughter's school is Finimus Pariter Renovamusque Labores, Latin for "we finish our work only to begin again." The kids joke that it means "there will always be homework" but I think it could apply to quilters too.

Janet said...

How funny, my sisters are 13 and 16 years my senior, and I feel the same way about growing up with the same parents but in a different household and as an "only child"! Also, I prefer to call myself a "surprise".

You and your sis do great things together!

jfquilts@gmail.com

suz said...

My guild used to do a first and most recent at the beginning of the guild season. We had a wonderful quilter who created her own patterns and was known for intricate designs, so it caught us all off guard when she brought in her polyester, double-knit, eyeballed pattern quilt. OMG - we all sat laughing for a good 5 minutes once the shock wore off! It deserved to be on Ami Simms worst quilts list.
Your first quilt isn't all that bad! I think they are called "liberated" quilts now.

Vicky said...

We're also blessed with wonderful designers like you and Polly! That quilt is a keeper!

Sedjo said...

You are as gracious as you are generous! Thank you for teaching and inspiring all of us. I really love the "Pieceful Journey". Is that pattern still available or is it new?

Minick and Simpson said...

Sedjo -

The pattern for Pieceful Journey was published in McCall's Quilting - in 2 subsequent issues: Nov/Dec 2007 and Jan/Feb 2008. Sorry, but I don't have any more copies of those issues.

Laurie

patchworksails said...

IT WAS THE DAYS OF NO RULERS, NO CUTTERS, AND NO PATTERNS WITH STRIPS THAT MADE QUILTING A PLEASURE TO ME. IT GIVES ME SOMETHING INSIDE THAT I MISS WITH ALL THE TOOLS AND THE KEEP IT FLYING THROUGH THE MACHINE "ATTITUDE" ...IM NOT OLDER THAN 40 SOMETHING BUT I LOVE THOSE WONKY NOT PERFECT QUILTS THAT TOOK TIME TO CUT OUT , HAND PIECE AND THEN QUILT !!!I LIKE YOUR QUILT VERY MUCH ...IZZY

Pookie said...

I wish my first quilt had that much character! What a treasure! I love that it's also pretty much red, white, and blue!

Cyn said...

Love the first quilt as it is a reflection of its time and your quilting journey.

I love seeing what you have come up with for us and what you will develop next! Keep on traveling on your quilting journey. :-)

Thanks for sharing your story.

Cynthia

Ter'e said...

You two girls are the cutest sisters I have ever met. Well, the Olson sisters are pretty cute too. (I think Polly knows Jane). You two are just blessed to have one another!!!!! Frick and Frac with 2 mediums!!!!!

Delightfully talented, both of you!

I, too, just love "The Pieceful Journey". Gorgeous!!!!!

pat sloan said...

your first quilt is amazing.. amazing you still have it.. I have mine too!!!

You know nobody in my family quilted.. but I sure wish I'd been bitten by that bug sooner...

ps... I am the oldest and my youngest brother is 14 ys younger than me!

diegoagogo said...

I love the old hand tied quilt! I especially love that there is a turquoise square that looks like a fabric you could get off the shelf today. My first bit of quilting was not basted in any way?? Who knew you had to PIN the layers?? You should see the back of that quilt LOL
I think it's Maya Angelou who says "When you know better, you do better".
Aren't we lucky to be able to do better today? Thanks for being brave and sharing :)
Lush
Sydney, Australia

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