Author: Lisbeth Polavarapu, 2021 VP of Philanthropy
I have been crafty my entire life. I cannot remember a time when I was not making stuff.
There is a home video of me (on 8mm film reel) at around 5 years old darning a pair of socks. I look so happy and excited.
I remember knitting and crocheting doll and barbie clothes, doing cross stitch, embroidering, you name it. When I got a little older I started playing around with my mom’s sewing machine too.
My crafty inspiration mainly came from my grandma’s sister who was a seamstress by trade, and was always sewing, knitting or crocheting something. I’m lucky to have some of her sewing supplies and her button collection and love it whenever I can incorporate one of them into a project.
Quilting however, was not something I knew anything about. It was not common in Norway where I grew up, and I don’t remember ever seeing a quilt.
After graduating from college at Iowa State I moved to California in 2000. Around 2002 I bought a sewing machine, got a fat quarter pack and a learn-to-quilt booklet from Walmart. I don’t remember what inspired me to start quilting, but I remember watching Simply Quilts on PBS, learning from online quilting discussion boards, and later attending classes at PIQF.
My first ever quilt blocks, and my first (mini) quilt.
One of the first quilt blocks I made from the same booklet became a pillow.
I was looking for quilty friends and came across messages about SVMQG starting up at The Intrepid Thread in 2014. I joined the second or third meeting of the guild, I think, and I have been a member ever since. For two years I was treasurer, and currently I am VP of philanthropy.
Discovering modern quilting was an eye opener for me. As an engineer and a quilter I find it freeing to do my own thing, and not always follow the rules.
Through the guild I’ve had many opportunities to create mini quilts. I love this format for trying new things.
I made this quilt in 2016 for my mom’s 70th birthday. It is made to look like one of the shelves in her library. Definitely one of my favorite quilts.
I still knit, crochet, cross stitch etc. but quilting is my main creative outlet now. I love all the steps of the quilting process, but hand sewing down the binding is my absolute favorite. Possibly because it is the last step.
I’m so happy to be a member of this guild. I have learned so much, and I’m continually inspired by all the creativity, fun and friendship.
Many thanks to Lisbeth for sharing her crafty story with us!
Check back each month for more Member Spotlight blogs where we’ll feature one or more of our guild members who will introduce and tell us a little bit more about themselves and their quilting journey.
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