Tuesday, July 14, 2009

First Quilt Parade

The First Quilt Parade is on at Camille's blog and Carrie's.

This is not my first quilt, but the third, and the first one I took or saved a picture of. I had to scan a photograph to get this, so the quality isn't that great. I made this in 1988 and called it Ronnie's Sunshine Quilt. It was for a friend's new baby boy. It was cut with scissors from cardboard templates. I did a good job of that, and it made the piecing very accurate. Then I hand quilted it. It took a LONG time, and I didn't really like the quilting process, even though I enjoyed embroidery and cross stitching at the time.

My real first quilt was made from flannel and was a quilt as you go log cabin pattern for another friend's baby. It was kind of mushy and lumpy. But as a handmade gift, you couldn't beat it. The second quilt I made was for my own first baby in 1980, and was simply squares made from scraps of clothes and things I had made over the years in high school and college, with mostly pinks, blues, yellows and purples. I still remember many of the pieces even though the quilt is long gone. I stitched in the ditch on every square. Then after a couple of washings, the batting came apart at the stitching lines and wadded into lumpy, unpleasant balls in each square. I was quite disappointed in it, which is why I was willing to give hand quilting a try later.

After I made the Sunshine quilt, I made two more similar ones for my niece and nephew, my sisters' babies. Then I made a couple more things when I belonged to a quilt guild, and drh bought me a large frame for hand quilting. I'm sad to say the first quilt I put on that frame was never finished and I sold the frame a few years later. I guess kid activities, making family clothing, and volunteer work kept me busy enough through those years.

My most recent quilt is the blue/white/black table runner I just finished. I also have my Mod Sampler ready to put on the quilting frame, hopefully today, and then that will be my most recent quilt.

I've learned that I don't like hand quilting, and using templates isn't something I'd do again. Rotary cutting is wonderful. I don't like triangles; I don't like doing the math to work out a pattern, but I also would rather do that than buy a pattern. I really like fabrics - shopping for them, washing and pressing them, arranging them, enjoying them as I work the piecing and quilting, making sure I have good quality materials. I decided I have to not fret so much over the designs and colors, and just go with my instincts so I can start and finish things. I learned that it's okay to work a few minutes at a time if that's all I can do that day. I love my long arm quilting machine even more than I thought I would. I really like looking at others' work for inspiration and just entertainment. So those are lots of things I've learned over the years.

1 comment:

Eileen said...

Oh yes. I know exactly what you mean about the lumpy bumpy batting.. but that's what we had to puc in quilts back then! And like you, I cut everything with scissors, tracing around cardboard templates cut from cereal boxes. And never even heard of machine quilting!
Your quilt you pictured is really lovely.