I began sewing more years ago than I want to admit, and like Debra have made almost everything. About ten years ago, as I was becoming ready to stop teaching, I happened across a pattern for a quilted vest. I made myself one, loved it, made more for gifts, made more and sold them, and then began to make vests, jackets, purses, and hats for sale. I did this intensely for about five years, selling at shows and in boutiques, but the assembly-line nature became unpleasant to me. In 2005 my husband took a sabbatical, and our traveling gave me another reason to stop the "business" and make only what I want to make.
Since then I've focused on quilting. I don't have a particular style; the colors and the beauty of a design are what appeals to me. Most of my color schemes are taken from nature, although I also like to borrow the color plan of a painting I particularly love. I like traditional quilting, especially piecing, but try to design my own settings and combinations of blocks. I always feel like a fraud calling myself an artist or an art quilter, since I have no art training at all. But if art quilts can be defined as personal and non-traditional, an attempt to respond to a beautiful scene or object, or to combine shapes and colors that appeal, then I make some art quilts also.
I'm looking forward to the give and take of a group like this, and the shared interest in creativity, stretching the boundaries a bit. There's very little of that in my "real life" circle of quilting friends.
My quilting adventures and misadventures are chronicled on my blog outofthebasement; there are more pictures of some of my work on my Stitchin Fingers page.