I love to hear about my customers quilting story, I was thrilled when Lis agreed to write hers, I hope in the future to have many more quilting stories to bring to you.
I made my first patchwork in 1975. A pram/crib blanket and a matching border for the curtains in the nursery. I also had a pair of patchwork pants and a ditto vest in the 70s (pants from a shop, vest homemade). One thing all these objects had in common was that the patches were all squares and there were no quilting!
I also remember seeing a quilt in the making in a friend of a friend’s house back in 1980, when I lived in New Delhi. The lady I visited was an American whos husband worked for Radio America in New Delhi. When walking through the house we passed a room where an Indian lady sat on the floor working on a huge, square quilting frame. I didn’t even walk into the room to take a closer look, just kept walking. What an ignoramus, I was! It took 6 years before I realized what I had missed! Tsk tsk…
At that time – in 1986 – I took a week long course at Kerteminde Husflidshøjskole, where Lis Ahrenkiel was teaching. I admired Lis Ahrenkiel for her skills and deep knowledge of Danish arts and crafts and the course lived up to my expectations and more. Not only did I learn several different patchwork techniques, I also met experienced quilters who introduced me to the patchwork/quilting community that had already existed in Denmark for years. It’s not an exaggeration to say that that course changed my life.
In 1987 I started teaching patchwork and quilting myself. In September 1987 I offered a course on “Quilting, a Mental Health Craft” at AOF Als. For the next 5 years 13 women came to my studio every Thursday evening during the winter. And when I stopped offering the course, they kept showing up every Thursday until I moved to another city.
This group of wonderful women became the founders of the Nordborg Quiltegruppe which still exists. Over the coming years we organized a great number of events and projects: the very successful Nordborg Træf 1991, Danmarkstæpperne, that was shown at the Nordisk Quilte Træf, Oslo 1994, we presented a group quilt to Nordborg Rådhus, traveled to the Quilt Con in Salzburg in 1988, spent a weekend in a summer cottage every year etc, etc. and 3 of us (Grete Lindgaard, Bitten Carl and me) edited Kludemagasinet for years.
The Americans saw Europe as a market for teaching in those years and I was an eager student at courses in Denmark and abroad. I have taken classes from famous quilters like Michael James, Jinny Beier, Mary Coyne Penders, Dorle Stern-Straeter et. al. and of course Danish quilters like Charlotte Yde, Lisbet Borggren and others.
When Brenda asked me to write about my quilt life, I dug into my UFO chest to take look at projects that have been tucked away for years and when I look at those and think back on all the things I participated in, I realize that my main focus has been on the community aspects and on acquiring personal skills more than producing quilts. It seems I have more UFOs than finished quilts, unless I have forgotten some of the quilts that I have brought to thrift shops over the years. I seem to loose interest when my quilts are 2/3 done and prefer to start a new one instead of hanging in there and finishing the project. There are all sorts of quilt genres/techniques – often begun after the courses I took – but not a single one is a copy. They are all my own designs.
In 2001 I moved from my farmhouse on Als and started a new job that made a time consuming hobby impossible. I took a hard decision and stored all my fabrics and tools in moving boxes. Now – 20 years later and retired – I unpacked my treasures and started quilting again. And my (second) quilt life has taken a new turn, thanks to Brenda asking me to take a stroll down memory lane. It got me started working on my UFOs! (Thanks, Brenda!). I finished an Amish quilt a couple of days ago and I’m close to finishing quilting my very first quilt, an ugly sampler quilt. It has been tucked away in the UFO chest for more than 20 years and is definitely not a beauty.
Both quilts present an important learning process. The Amish quilt is a bit too dark for my taste, but the hand quilting I’ve done on it is quite interesting and I’m rather pleased with that. The best I can say about the sampler quilt is that it’s an example of how to rescue a quilt top from total disaster.
There are still some UFOs that deserves to be finished, however I do not plan to stop creating new quilts. At the moment I’m working on reconstructing traditional BowTie Quilts and Nine Patch quilts. I start out with a traditional block quilt and then try to reconstruct it in the next quilt. If you’re interested, you’re very welcome to see more pictures of my quilts on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/lizart) and an Instagram (#lisfaurholt) or follow my blog (http://faurholt.blogspot.com/index/), where I talk about what I’m doing and remembering.
Finally a bit about the quilt that Brenda has quilted for me: it’s a throw quilt for my daughter. Her taste is very classic and the quilt design reflects that. I have written about the process, the reflections and choices we made at my blog from February 23rd 2020 when it got started until now, when it’s finished with Brenda’s awesome quilting.