A little something different to show today. Leanne at Devoted Quilter is having a My First Quilt link party and so this post is about my first quilt, which I still have. It happens that I came across it a little while ago while trying to empty more boxes. We are really trying to get rid of a lot of things and just generally clean out 30 years of stuff that never should have moved here, so we keep finding all kinds of things that we thought were lost. This quilt is one of those things. Here it is:
Wow. Just wow. What a wonder in pastels. These are simple squares alternated with Rail Fence blocks to make a simple pattern. I made this quilt in 1989 on a very old machine while we lived for a time in Texas. That machine did not move with us back to Wisconsin. I can't really remember why I made it, but I had a toddler daughter in 1989/90, plus an older daughter, so it was definitely for one of them. Or maybe it was a play mat for the kids? Honestly, I don't remember.
|There is no quilting in the border at all! I guess I thought it was quilted enough without it.|
This quilt measures about 48 by 56 and was machine pieced and quilted with about eleventy billion mistakes. It is made of 100% cotton fabrics and has a cotton batting. I know for sure that all of the materials came from a store called House of Fine Fabrics, which was soon to be swallowed up by the JoAnn behemoth. At the time, though, it was a lovely store where one of my daughters once hid in the center of a circular fabric table and I nearly lost my mind looking for her. I was near sobbing by the time she came out of hiding. Ah, memories!
|Would you call that a quilting design?|
All the people in my family sewed, and I had been sewing for a while myself, so at least I knew about 1/4 inch seams, matching and nesting seams, and how to bind quilts. Nevertheless, there are lots of mistakes here. In my defense, machine quilting was just getting started. Most quilts prior to that time had been made by hand and hand quilted, or tied with yarn, and free motion quilting didn't really exist, which led to things like this:
|Big wrinkles in the backing! But don't you love the fabric?|
Yikes! For all the mistakes, this quilt was used and loved, and isn't that what we make quilts for? I know the kids used it for a long time for various reasons, including, apparently, painting:
It also appears in some family pictures on the sofa or wrapped around a sick child, and in one photo it's being used as a cape. It's obviously very versatile!
|My, what big stitches you have!|
The quilt has held up remarkably well and only has one small hole in it. After I pulled it out of the box, I washed it and it came out just great. After I stitch that hole closed it will be ready for a whole new generation to drag around, cuddle up with, and use to become superheroes. I'm making them keep it away from the paint this time, though.
In addition to my first quilt, I found something else in a box recently-- my first quilt book, which is a total scream. This is it, by Judy Martin:
This book was published in 1988, which means it was right up to date when I made my first quilt. There are no rotary cutters, acrylic rulers, or half-square triangles in this book. Instead, she offers an easy method for cutting quilt pieces:
In case you can't read that, it involves cutting quilt pieces by pinning paper patterns to layers of fabric and then cutting them out-- just like you would if you were using a dress making pattern. Hey, this was cutting edge! Of course, there are block diagrams--and pattern pieces to trace and pin to your fabric.
Kind of makes you want to kiss your rotary cutter, doesn't it? The best part is that I used this book and used the templates for a couple of years. Then I found an Eleanor Burns book, and shortly after, Trudie Hughes's Template Free Quiltmaking, and someone invented rotary cutters and rulers and it was off to the races. I still love Judy Martin, though, and have many of her other books--where she definitely uses better methods!
I hope you all have enjoyed this trip down memory lane, and that you'll go over and check out some other "first quilt" stories at the link-up, and maybe consider telling your own stories. We want pictures! We've all come a long way, haven't we?
Sharing at Devoted Quilter, and at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.