My name is Raymond K. Houston. I am the author of Knotty Celtic Knots. I am a middle-aged, African-American male.
I am largely self-taught.
I taught myself how to sew while a sophomore in high school because a classmate dared me. I learned that sewing clothes wasn’t all that difficult; I sewed clothing for my parents and six siblings. I taught my father how to sew; he took over sewing for the family when I left home.
I taught myself how to quilt in 1976, America’s Bicentennial, not because it was patriotic, but because it was “Americana.” My first quilt was machine-pieced and hand-quilted, and took four years to complete. After my first quilt, I adopted simple grid-quilting on my sewing machine: the quilting took much less time, and the quilts were durable enough to withstand a washing machine when dirty.
I taught myself about color theory, symmetry, and fabric dyeing in the 90s because I wanted to get creative with my quilting. Color theory encouraged my love of bold colors; symmetry inspired me to design original patterns; and fabric dyeing freed me from fabric stores (though I still occasionally buy commercial fabric).
I taught myself about Celtic knots in the past couple of years.
Why did I take up Celtic knots? I’ll tell you THAT next time . . .