I started going to quilt shops and quilt shows and bought myself a sewing machine, a Brother Super Ace.
Over the next couple of years I made bed quilts for my 2 sons, a lap quilt for my MIL, a quillow for the friend who introduced me to quilting, a couple of fleece backed, flannel, snuggly things for me and hubby to cuddle under, on the sofa and a pair of cot quilts, one for a friend and one for my new niece. Well I had to really. :) I also played with a couple of wall hangings, neither of which worked particularly well and a sofa throw made from an extra curtain, to hide a horrible stain.
Gradually I learned about accurate cutting, seam allowances, pressing and starching and pinning and got to the point where I could look at my first quilts and see where I'd gone wrong. I really enjoyed the piecing but totally hated the quilting. I'd got very little room, a tiny desk and a small sewing machine. Hauling the bulky quilts through was hard enough just doing straight lines across. I couldn't imagine trying to do free motion quilting.
Then came the big challenge. My Mum and Dad's Ruby Wedding Anniversary was coming up and it was decided that a bed quilt would be a very nice gift. I picked a Roman Stripes pattern and set to, piecing the top. It was by far the biggest thing I ever done, even the top seemed unwieldy. When it came to quilting it I had such a hard time. My shoulders were on fire from hauling it through the machine and I think I did some lasting damage to my poor machine.
The quilt itself was beautiful, certainly the best thing I'd ever done but the pattern really needed some kind of quilted motif in the blank triangles. Sadly I couldn't afford to have it professionally quilted on a long arm machine so it's just got straight lines.
I really needed another solution if I was going to carry on with this hobby.