Monday, October 12, 2009

Bloggers Quilt Festival--My First Quilt



This post is part of the Bloggers Quilt Festival. Click on the image to the right to see the other participating blogs

I have been sewing for as long as I can remember. Whether by hand or machine (or even carefully wound through those little plastic grids) stitching seemed to always be woven into the fabric of my life. At 11 I took a sewing class at (the now defunct) House of Fabrics with my best friend. We made draw string bags and pajamas and an apron. I remember practicing our stitch work on patterns printed on paper and being appalled that we would sew paper.

It was in House of Fabrics that I first saw quilts. Oh, how I wanted to quilt. But I was intimidated, I didn't understand how it all went together, and other interests carried me away. I was in college when I discovered that our on campus "Craft Center" (which taught all sorts of amazing handcrafts like woodworking and stained glass and weaving) offered quilting classes. At the encouragement of my then boyfriend (now hubby) I took a deep breath and plunked down my money. For the next 10 weeks or so, I spent one night a week ironing, cutting, and piecing. It was magic. Our instructor was a lovely lady, full of practical advice and my class was primarily made up of other women in the sciences, looking for an outlet.

My First Quilt

By Christmas, I had finished my first quilt top and back, but it would be the second quilt I would actually quilt (I decided to make a gift for my Grandma first). The front was a "crazy quilt" stack n'whack; the back, large pieced squares. (It took me a long time to understand why anyone would want just a plain back on a quilt.)

My First Quilt--Back

For the quilting, I carefully chalked out three large hearts connected with sharp, geometric lines. The border was filled with diamond shapes. Looking back, it seems pretty fancy for one of my first quilts! At the time it seemed too simple even as it was and I wondered if I would ever be any good. And sure, it isn't perfect, but it's perfectly functional.

My First Quilt--Fabric Detail

Seven years later, as I jump back into quilting after a four year hiatus, looking back on that first quilt I can see how much I have grown. How much more forgiving of myself I am. How much more patient I am with the process and the mistakes. I am even looking at my current work in progress as a "learning experience", something I could not have embraced when I first began.

13 comments:

  1. Love the story and your quilt turned out nicely. I have used some of the same fabrics too.

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  2. I'm always so impressed that people can make such beautiful quilts.

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  3. Very cool. Love the story. I like the cow fabric - my daughter would love a quilt made out of that. :) Yay for getting back into quilting, hope it goes well for you. And thanks for the comment on my blog. Maybe we'll figure something out about this finger thing. We'll see.

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  4. It is beautiful :)

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  5. Joy in the journey, right? I love that about quilting- always a new thing to try, something new to learn! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. So called crazy quilts really require a natural and good eye...yours works! There is a lot of balance and it is pleasing. Fabrics tell on us when we have left things in the drawer for a time... I like this era...

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  7. Very nice colors I liked the way it turned out. Great Job

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  8. Very nice and cheerful

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  9. Oh yes, never underestimate perfectly functional, those are the best things in life. You did a great job on this quilt and your current wip looks like it is going to be fun!

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  10. Lovely! I like the quilting and the colors you used are great!

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  11. Such a FUN story!!! I am glad you are still quilting! : ) It's a wonderful journey isn't it?! Thank you for sharing your gorgeous quilt! Enjoy your current project too!

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  12. Wonderful crazy quilt. Love the colors. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Great story and love this crazy quilt! it is a beauty!

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