NORTH FORSYTH — Unlike many who practice the tradition, Diane D. Knott didn’t learn about quilting from her mother.
“My mom sewed on a button when absolutely forced to,” Knott joked.
But the north Forsyth resident did have a great-grandmother and distant relatives who were quilt makers.
She obtained one of those quilts, which was hand-stitched in the 1930s, about 17 years ago, while pregnant with her oldest child, Kelly. The beauty of the intricate design of the piece, combined with her maternal feelings, inspired Knott to try her hand at the craft.
“I wanted to make a baby quilt and it just sort of snowballed from there,” Knott said. “[My great-grandmother’s quilt] was so beautiful and I thought, ‘I want to do something like this for my child.’”
She signed up for a class and read up on the craft. In the years since, Knott has made countless quilts.
“People always ask me, ‘How many quilts have you made?’ I don’t know. I couldn’t possibly keep track,” she said.
She found she had such a passion for quilt making that she eventually quit her job as a substitute teacher to pursue the craft from her home studio.
“It really is a full-time job,” she said, noting that one quilt can take more than 40 hours to complete.
Besides sewing quilts, Knott also creates her own original patterns.
She has had her work published in national quilting publications several times.
Most recently, her unique work has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens’ “American Patchwork Quilting” 2014 calendar, in Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine, and on the cover of the summer 2014 edition of Easy Quilts magazine.
“I have this one-woman workshop thing going on here,” she said. “It’s still evolving and I’m seeing where it’s going. I hope to publish a book next year.”
Knott said one of the main aspects she enjoys about the craft is its infinite possibilities.
“Quilt making is one of those things that you can’t ever do them all, you can’t ever make them all,” she said. “There’s always something that needs to be tried or explored or some other design or color combination or pattern that needs to be done.”
While she spends a lot of time in her home studio trying new things, Knott also likes to socialize with other quilters. She’s very involved with the Piecemakers Quilt Guild, which meets at 1 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Cumming.
Through the group, she and the other members work on pieces for various charitable causes, such as nursing homes or children’s organizations. Also, she often leads workshops to help others learn about the craft.
“I think that’s my favorite part of quilting,” she said. “It’s not just the stitching, but the connections you make with other people and the connections you form through that common bond of stitching and wanting to learn and pass on the same skills.
“It’s really, really special.”