But when I first got here nearly three years ago, knowing very few people, I decided to join a hand-quilting group to help make friends. Quilting is extremely popular in this area, one of the local schools even has it on the curriculum for boys and girls.
This led me to eventually take a quilt making course and the end result a few months later was this sampler lap quilt. For me this was a truly remarkable achievement, up until this point I had never mastered a sewing machine and chose to sew any repairs by hand as a result!
I found the process of piecing the quilt extremely challenging, especially the 1/4 inch seams everywhere, a few of mine were not that exact! I loved getting to select my colours and fabrics, then deciding which blocks to attempt, each week increasing how difficult they were.
My favourite and the most difficult of the blocks, was the Jacobs Ladder above. It may have caused me a few headaches but the end result made it all worthwhile. I learned how to bind it and even did the mitred corners, which is something many quilters leave to others. But I had an excellent teacher and she insisted we did it all ourselves, for which I am grateful.
The ladies in the group who taught me hand-quilting, actually hand-quilted this for me. I wanted them do it for two reasons; it would have taken me months and it made my first quilt more special, knowing my new friends all had a some stitches on it.
The satisfaction I felt at the end and pure astonishment that I had actually made this thing of beauty, are still with me today when I look at it. I have not had the time to piece another quilt since, but I have the fabric and may well take the time over the winter to make another.
The hubster, appreciating what a huge achievement this was for a former career girl who had no clue about sewing, gave me this quilt stand for my next birthday.
Just writing this piece has made me want to go and drag out all the quilting fabric I have and start work on another - be warned, quilt making's addictive!