Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My First Quilt

What was the first quilt you ever made? And more importantly, where is it? In the closet? In the rag bag? On the wall? In your son's room? In the landfill? On your bed? Who taught you how to quilt? Your mother? An aunt? Granny? Did you learn through home ec class back in high school... or at the local quilt shop? Or, maybe, like me, you are self taught. As a teacher by profession, I am used to learning through books. My first quilt was a rail fence quilt featured in Alex Anderson's "Learn to Quilt" book. I have been sewing since I was five years old, but only garments and later dolls and home decor. I remember the first time I saw Alex on HGTV's Simply Quilts. I was home from teaching for 6 weeks after my hysterectomy. I was laying on the couch after a week in the hospital and was watching HGTV and Simply Quilts came on. I was immediately hooked. This was waaaay before TIVO, so as a full time teacher up until then, I was never home during the day and had never seen it before! I loved that show and have probably seen every episode several times... and even recorded some on the old VCR tapes to keep. My first quilt was a small rail fence with no batting inside because I was making it for a table cloth, not a blanket. It is in my living room on a table with family photos on it. My sense color value was my biggest problem. But, it was my starting point and I love to look at it and realize I have learned allot since then.

My next quilt was a watercolor quilt. Talk about learning allot....WOW! The process took awhile for me to "get". I hung a big piece of flannel on the dining room wall and arranged the 2" squares and was able to walk through the doorway into the kitchen and see it from a distance. It looks great and is hanging on the wall in my living room over the couch. But DON'T flip it over and look at the back! YIKES!! More pleats than a parochial school uniform skirt! I made it before I learned about using a walking foot. What a discovery!! Thank goodness!! No more pleats!

I've finally finished cutting and fusing all the zillion tiny pieces in the "Thyme for Stu" wall hanging. I've got a blister on my cutting finger!! It looks great, but will definitely take a while to quilt. Mckenna Ryan suggests you use clear thread and make the quilt sandwich and stitch down the edges of all the zillion fused pieces so it is quilted as you do that. I'll work on that on Saturday when bee is at my house. Still pondering what to make for lunch for bee... any suggestions? Leave me a comment and share your first quilt stories! God Bless! Polly


  1. Can't say that I remember when I made my first quilt, let alone what it was. I'm sure it must have been when I was only allowed to "hand stitch" because I was considered too young to use Grandma's Singer. I was ALWAYS intriqued by her Singer, threads, needles, yarns and fabrics. She was my first inspiration to create. She had me making doll clothes, blankets and "little things" at the tender age of 6/7.

    My inspiration has only grown (as I have...LOL). And even to this day, I'm still on a learning/sharing quest that excites me as much now as it did at that tender young age.

  2. I was a self taught - got a Nancy Zieman book and watched PBS shows.

    The very first one I made came about for my mom's 60th birthday in 2002. I didn't start off too easy. I made a picture quilt for her of the family....included pictures of me and my sister with husbands, grandchildren, Mom's parents, and Mom's sister & her boys, and the whole family together.

    I actually printed the pictures onto iron-on fabric sheets, ironed onto white muslin, and then sewn into the window block/sashing between. It's done in purples and lilacs. I quilted just straight lines, like you Polly - no walking foot.

    My parents and sister live in CA (I'm in Ohio), so I sent to my sister and I was on the phone when she opened it at her surprise party.

    On my blog - I have the picture of this one, and a series of quilts I have made.


Thank you sooooooo very much for taking the time to leave a comment! I am always happy to know that someone is reading my ramblings!! Polly :-)