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beginner quilter

Heritage, Creativity and Love by Kathreen Ricketson–a Sew, You've Always Wanted to Quilt guest post

I am thrilled and honored to introduce my first guest poster on flax & twine, Kathreen Ricketson. She and I have worked together many times. I have guest posted on and contributed to various Action Packs, a fabulous craft magazine for 7 – 12 year olds, over the past couple years. When I first conceived of this quilting series, she was one of the first people I thought of. I asked her to tell me what quilting means to her. I am honored to bring you Kathreen Ricketson’s lovely musings on the role of quilting in her life.
Kathreen Ricketson is a quilter, maker and mother. She is the founder of and has written two books on quilting and four books on kids crafting. She is also the founder and editor of Action Pack Magazine for kids.
Heritage, creativity and love

I don’t really think of myself as a quilter. Which is funny because I make a lot of quilts and have written two books on quilting. I think of myself as a maker and designer and artist who happens to enjoy the medium of working with quilts. Making quilts, sewing and crafting is more to me than a pastime or hobby or even a business, it is a link to my heritage as a woman. My mother is a crafter, as was her mother her mother before her. They were thrifty women whose job was to raise a family and keep a tight household budget, while at the same time making sure their children and husband were dressed nicely and had good healthy food to eat. They were proud of their role as homemaker, but it was hard work too. They sewed and then mended all their own and their families clothing, they knitted sweaters and hats, they baked all their food from scratch, they grew their own vegetables, kept chooks for eggs and meat as well as managing the budget and the house repairs and they did it all without all the fancy technology that we use today. I find it fascinating and inspiring just thinking about it. Imagine spending a whole day laundering the sheets or using a treadle sewing machine to make dresses and suits for the family or saving all those flour and feed sacks to make a quilt!

Lately I have thinking about the importance of the role of the homemaker. It seems to have been discarded in recent years, being a stay-at-home mother has been a difficult role to be proud of. Our life has become so rushed, so busy, so full, that those ‘old fashioned’ skills of being thrifty, making-do, home-cooking, gardening, sewing and mending are being lost. Which is why I do what I do, why I blog about craft and work from home and make my own laundry powder and why I sew and design quilts.

But that’s not the only reason I make quilts. I am driven to create. I am an artist and need to make or design or create something every single day – or else I get tetchy and bored and restless. Making quilts is a wonderful creative outlet for someone who is interested in art, design, fabric, sewing and textiles and I am grateful to have found this way of releasing my creativity. I love to explore colour and line, I love to learn new skills and I love the feeling of fabric.
There is something else too. Quilts embody love. Quilts are warmth and comfort, they are tradition and community, they are home and family. When I make or design a quilt I think about all those things and hope my quilts embody those ideas. I want the quilts I make to be used, to be cuddled in, to be thrown on couches and to be hidden under by small children.
So for me I guess I made quilts for those three reasons above: Heritage, creativity and love. That is what quilting means to me.

Many thanks, Kathreen. For more exciting quilting posts to come, keep checking the Sew, You’ve Always Wanted to Quilt gallery here:

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