Once upon a time, Amanda was studying for a PhD in Classical Archaeology. She went as far from home as she could. She studied ancient languages and Classical literature and became more than a little obsessed with Homer's Odyssey. She studied material culture (the remains of human activity in the archaeological record), art history, and modern ethical questions about how to deal with what was dug up. She excavated in Israel and studied ceramics in Rome, and then, she decided head back to the U.S. and found a job teaching Latin and history at an independent school in New York. There she met and married her best beloved, making a new life different from her academic one—both careers equally valid and rewarding in different ways.
It wasn't until a visit with her grandparents in 2002 that Amanda discovered quilting, and even then, it was almost accidental. Her decision to leave her PhD program in Classical Archaeology was fresh and she felt she had head space to examine options for doing something besides studying. As with many modern quilters, there was nobody around in her childhood who could teach quilting skills.
It was Amanda’s Grampa Johnny, in truth, whose love of quilts and textiles influenced her decision to head down to the local quit shop with Gramma that day.
Amanda’s Grampa spoke with such love and affection for quilts and the "beautiful clothes back then". Both of her grandparents told stories about all "the kids" (Amanda’s parents, aunts, and uncles) making their outdoor gear on the same 1947 Singer machine that was in the guest bedroom where Amanda was staying. All of these stories were wildly appealing to her and she wanted to carry on that legacy of making things with the same machine as all the people before her.
Her quilting journey is about all of these things: family and traditions, modern and traditional techniques, ancient and contemporary histories, and how we include all of these in our craft.
By the author:
Inspired Free-Motion Quilting (contributor)