Custom Longarm Machine Quilting

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Story of My First Quilt

I know a lot of people are just starting to get into quilting, or are thinking about starting to get into quilting, and are wondering if it really is as hard as it looks or seems. Well, the answer is not always. Yes, some patterns are trickier than others, but the more you do it the easier it gets, and the more addicting it is. Plus, the proud feeling you get upon completing something beautiful and unique is one that I look forward to with every quilt. That's why I thought I would share the story of my first quilt with everyone.

Before 1999 I knew absolutely nothing about quilting or sewing. I had grown up in a home where the majority of our clothing was homemade by my mom, yet I had never sewn or quilted or made anything by myself.

I don't remember who came up with the idea, but one of the members of my local church youth group thought it would be fun if we all made quilts for a personal progress project.

For months we picked out designs, transferred them to fabric with iron-on Sulky pens (I still have mine), and colored them in. Towards the end of the year they handed out instructions on how to piece the quilts together. My mom suggested I ask my grandma for help, since she was a quilter and had helped my mom and her sister handquilt comforters. Grandma showed me how to piece the blocks together, and my mom helped me finish sewing the quilt top, and then loaded it on to the quilting frame for me.

All of the other girls in the youth group had tied their quilts with yarn on activity nights. I didn't like the way they looked, so I asked my mom if we could handquilt it. Over the next few weeks I spent almost all of my free time in our basement quilting that quilt. It turned out really nicely, considering I had never done a quilt before. Yes, there were some mistakes, but everytime I look at the quilt I remember my learning experience, and how I have only gotten better since then.

Over the years my first quilt has taken quite a beating. Some of the stitching has come undone, and the color has faded, but everytime I look at it I remember how proud I was when I finished it, and when I showed it off on an activity night.

Me, showing off my completed quilt in 1999:

My very first quilt, as it appears today. You can tell it is a little faded, especially on the "Precious Moments" blocks, and if you look closely you'll see that some of the quilting is either missing or has looped.

Note: I used a small satin ribbon for the quilting in all of the solid blocks, and regular white thread in the printed blocks. Also, the two blocks on the second row are backwards. I actually didn't notice this until I posted the picture, but Divine Nature should be on the left, and Individual Worth on the right.