Jann’s Basics Quilting

This is an excerpt from my new quilting book. I’m having so much fun putting it together. I’m going to need pictures and notes from quilters, telling how they got started quilting and how they are sharing this beautiful handcraft. These will be going in the book.




Quilting was beginning to be a lost art form being passed from the older women in the community to the young women or millennials. It is beginning to make a comeback. My dream is to write this in a way to entice and make a book that is easy to understand for those wanting to learn this beautiful craft.

I can show you how to dispel the fears of seeing racks and racks of quilting material, how to choose materials, and start. How long have you wanted to try your hand at quilting? Are you afraid it will be too difficult?

Quilting isn’t as hard as you might think. At twenty I first learned how to quilt. My mother had made a cross-stitch pattern quilt top for a wedding gift for us. An older woman at our church did the majority of the quilting, but let me make some of the tiny, even stitches.

Eight years later, when our oldest daughter was two-years-old my husband Jim and I decided to redecorate her room with a “big girl” bed. She picked blue for her color. Jim painted her room. Then I set to work making a twin-size quilt, matching curtains, and a dust ruffle. I used sheets to make everything, thinking they would be sturdier material for a young child’s room. It made it thicker and harder to sew through, I found out later this wasn’t a good choice.

I found Grandma’s Flower Garden, a beautiful hexagonal pattern, in a magazine, and started my new venture. Using a pattern piece from the magazine made it easy to trace each piece on the material.

As a novice with no one to help me, I just plowed ahead. I cut each piece out by hand.

Next, I pencil marked a stitching line of one-quarter inch from the cut edge of the material on each piece. Then I prepared to compose the pieces.

I hand stitched the top pieces together in the evenings while watching TV. This took a while, but I enjoyed learning a new craft made with love for our daughter.

5 years later, I quilted a cross stitch top my mother made for my sister, then one she made for my brother. Cross-stitch pattern and quilting lines were all printed on the fabric. These were easy since I didn’t have to do all of the piecing like on our daughter’s quilt.

Several years later I found a quilt pattern, bought my material and set out again. This time I learned ways to make the process much easier.

A lot of people piece together and quilt on a sewing machine. Of course, I chose to do it all by hand. Later found it was one of the hardest patterns in the book. Because hand stitching takes much longer it was three years later when my quilt was ready to go on my bed.

Learn from my first experiences in quilting. You can make it much easier on yourself by choosing a pattern for your first quilt that is a beginner’s level project.




Don’t forget to share your stories with me. Also, send me ideas of things you’d want to have in a beginner quilting book. Email me at jannwmartin@gmail.com

Do you know the early origins of knitting?

Do you know the early origins of knitting?


Knitting became a valuable way to make garments for the nomadic people. With them always traveling it didn’t require taking along heavy equipment like a loom.


In the 11th CE in Egypt they found the oldest knitted articles. They are socks made from a very fine gauge of yarn. Made with a short heel row, it was necessary to use the purl stitch. Colorful yarns were also used. Because of the complexity of the knitting people could have been knitting even further back in time.

This was fascinating to me. I had no idea that knitting started that long ago.



The historians believe knitting originated in the Middle East. Using the trade routes, the craft was shared in Europe and then across the ocean to the Americas.


I found this in Wikipedia:

Early European knitting

The earliest known knitted items in Europe were made by Muslim knitters employed by Spanish Christian royal families.[6] Their high level of knitting skill can be seen in several items found in the tombs in the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas, a royal monastery, near Burgos, Spain. Among them are the knitted cushion covers and gloves found in the tomb of Prince Fernando de la Cerda, who died in 1275. The silk cushion cover was knit at approximately 20 stitches per inch. It included knit patterns reflecting the family armory, as well as the Arabic word baraka (“blessings”) in stylized Kufic script.[7][8] Numerous other knit garments and accessories, also dating from the mid-13th century, have been found in cathedral treasuries in Spain.


There is a painting portraying the Virgin Mary knitting: Madonna Knitting, by Bertram of Minden 1400-1410


The English Queen Elizabeth I wore silk stockings. They were more decorative, felt softer, and were a finer stocking than those made of wool.


Many Britons knitted with a fine wool and exported them to the Netherlands, Germany, and Spain. Knitting schools came into existence and this became a form of income for the poor people in the area.


In Ireland they developed the Aran sweaters, which used the cable stitch. These were made in the early 20th century.


In Scottish history the shepherds could be found watching their flocks and knitting to help pass the time. In the 17th and 18th centuries Fair Isle techniques were created. They made beautiful colorful patterns.


The fishermen in the islands wore these sweaters during the bad weather to keep them warm. The natural oils in the wool provided a protective barrier against the bitter cold winds while they were out fishing.



Learning all of this history of knitting was fun. I look forward to more research and of different types and styles of knitting.


What are your questions or comments?


6 Unexpected Benefits of Knitting

6 Unexpected Benefits of Knitting 


There’s an article online about the benefits of Knitting. I have always known that knitting was something that was calming for me. Also a need to do something with my hands in the evening while sitting and watching TV. There is a feeling of accomplishment and not just wasting time.

How much time do you put towards knitting? Is it just an occasional project, or something you miss if you don’t have a project? For me, I almost have a feeling of withdrawal if there isn’t something to knit.

Here are the benefits: Knitting gives a sense of pride.

1.Knitting gives a sense of pride.

a. When a project is finished you have something tangible to show-off.

b. You have a special item to give as a gift.

2, Knitting can be a form of meditation.

a. After you have mastered your craft, it can be very relaxing.

b. I pray for the person I am knitting for throughout the project.

3. Knitting can relieve depression or stress.

a. The calming effect of knitting can help settle your nerves (unless it’s a very difficult pattern 😉 )

b. By making something and praying for someone it can help pull you out of a feeling of depression.

4. Knitting helps our motor skills

a. Using our eyes and hands together can help with an illness such as Parkinson’s.

b. It also is a distraction from problems or pains.

5. Knitting stimulates our brains.

a. This can help us to stay healthier and have a better memory.

6. The movement of knitting can help you with:

a. Arthritis

b. Tendinitis

Does this give you have more reason to have knitting projects? It does for me. 😉



The article I found was on Lifehack.org an article by Kathryn Harper.