Monday, August 15, 2011

The Journey Begins With a Single Stitch

my first quilt
Last week I got to thinking about my quilting Journey.  Now the quilt above is actually my second quilt.  My first quilt was a small 36 inch square wall hanging that took me about a year or so to complete.  This quilt is queen size and took just as long.  How did I get here?

I was long fascinated with quilts and how pretty and colorful they were.  I loved how they were made from scraps or old worn out clothing.  I always said I would like to make a quilt some day.

I began by checking out books from the local library on quilting.  At that time, there weren't a lot in the library.  Georgia Bonesteel had written a couple about her technique of lap quilting.  This is quilting blocks or small sections of a quilt separately and then later, putting them all together.  It makes quilting portable.  Since I thought all quilts were large bed size quilts, I thought this was a great idea.

I studied her method avidly for awhile and then finally drew on graph paper, my idea for a quilt.  We lived on Amelia Island then and so I had to wait until we drove to Jacksonville to shop for fabric.  I loved calicoes and there was only a Hancocks to shop at, so it was what I bought.

can you tell how worn it is?

I didn't prewash...the green bled.

my "signature"
I cut with a rotary cutter, since the technique was explained in the book.  I was able to make the blocks fairly quickly, sewing on a card table in the corner of our bedroom.  I used muslin for the back, and double the batting for a full "fluffy" feel and look.  I hand quilted each block and ended up adding the extra border to make it fit the bed.  By the time I finished it, I was worn out.  But happy to have done it.

Looking back, I can't believe I picked this design for a first quilt and all the other crazy things I did as a novice, with no one to ask whether It was right or even if it was possible.  That has been my method ever since, so when I say I am self taught, I mean it.

There were so many quilt blocks I wanted to make, so my next quilt was a sampler.

my signature in the block

another queen size
This was 3 years later (1996) and I had learned a lot and even taken a class or two to try out some techniques.  I also took a hand quilting class to learn to correctly do the hand quilting stitch.  Lordy when I think back to that first quilt and all I didn't know.

This is where my journey started and I am planning to document all my quilts with their full stories.  I think it will be nice to remember, any maybe some day someone else would like to know all this stuff. 

But now on to my weekend.  I finished one more block, did some yo yos and napkins.

I think this makes 18

I cut out lots more strips for blocks

I am saving the selvedges...planning a give away.
Now for the count: quilt along blocks-22
                               yo yos-171

Such good progress!  Have a great week.

1 comment:

  1. Very impressive for a first quilt! Gosh, you should see mine, LOL! aybe I'll blog about it soon. It was quite a fiasco.


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