How I Became a Quilter – Creekside Quilt Studio

How I Became a Quilter

Posted by Tracey Harty on

Welcome to Creekside Quilt Studio! I'm Tracey Harty and in recent years my interest in piecing quilts has become an obsession. So why not make it my gig?

Here's how I got started:

Around 1997, I visited a friend in Wyoming who had a quilt hanging above her stairs. At that point in life, I had been sewing toddler clothing and simple Halloween costumes. I was intrigued by her quilt and she said she had made it. I was amazed and wanted to know how a person could do such a thing. She showed me a new book where she got the pattern. It’s called “Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!” and I promptly searched it out.


Then I jumped in to make my very first quilt—self-taught—since I had a baby niece on the way. It’s a simple quilt, with nine-patches and blocks. But the border! Check out the pieced children. I can’t believe I attempted that on my first go but it worked. Then I actually hand-quilted it as well, teaching myself yet another technique.





I had now caught the bug and ventured over to my neighborhood quilt shop, Piper’s Quilts & Comforts in the Sugar House area of Salt Lake City. (I miss that store.) I went on to take several lessons there, culminating with a row-by-row quilt designed to teach a fair number of quilting techniques in one project. This was a very useful, year-long effort. I learned a lot of basics and found my favorites. The store owners have since shut their doors and gone online, but wrote a book with this pattern.


Fast forward to the last few years where I’ve found the time and motivation to begin regularly quilting in earnest and improving my skills. At another local, and now defunct, quilt shop, Elaine’s Quilt Block, I was told of a new sewing and quilting education network based at My Girlfriend’s Sewing Machine & Education Center in Sandy, Utah. This new shop sold both Baby Lock and Janome sewing machines and started “Sew Fun Club,” where we’d meet monthly and learn new patterns and skills, share our own projects, win prizes and shop for notions and other goodies.

I then purchased a really nice Baby Lock Soprano sewing machine, and that has made my quilting journey all the better. (It makes such a difference time-wise to have built-in features like automatic thread-cutting and needle pivoting.) The shop also had an extensive class catalog—they were all about education—and I had a strong desire to not only take classes but to work there. Which I eventually did!  I enjoyed leading some classes, teaching people how to use their new sewing machines, and making quilt samples for the shop. And then the coronavirus pandemic hit, we shut down for a few weeks, and I just couldn’t bring myself to go back to work out in the world.  

So I started Creekside Quilt Studio.

My goal is to eventually teach lessons from my home and inspire the love of sewing and quilting in both young people and adults. Subscribe to my newsletter to stay up to date about classes and more.

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  • Thanks for sharing Tracey!
    You are “sew” amazing 😁😁😁!
    Wishing Creekside Quilts all the best!
    I ❤️ my Bag!

    Jill Greenwood on
  • Tracey. What a great story. Your work is beautiful. Love seeing it on Facebook. Keep up the great work

    Mary Ellen Keough on

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