Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sewing Room Sunday: My First (Finished) Quilt

The great thing about being a new blogger is that you still haven't seen all my old stuff! I love seeing my friends' first quilts, so I thought you might like to see mine!

In 2004, having dabbled with quilting while never actually making a quilt, I signed up for this "Friendship Star Scrap Quilt" class. What attracted me to it was that each participant was asked to bring a certain number of light squares of a specified size, along with a certain number of smaller dark squares. They were to be packaged in two bundles- one to use in your own quilt and one to trade with someone else in the class. 

I didn't have a stash back then, and had mostly been sewing dresses for Mabzie, who was five at the time. So my scrap packets were populated by small florals and novelty prints in every color imaginable, but I was very excited as I prepared them. I was hooked on scrap quilting before I even started! I'm glad I asked advice from my friend, Kit, who told me that, although the instructions had only specified "cotton fabric", and although corduroy is indeed made of cotton, it does not belong in a quilt.

Imagine the dismay of the poor lady who had to trade scrap sets with me. She had perfectly color-coordinated hers all in beautiful blues! I'm pretty sure she didn't use any of my fabrics, because at the next week's class, when we all brought back our finished quilt tops, hers was all blue. Imagine that! Although very pretty and well constructed, hers looked like a planned quilt and, to me, violated the spirit of the exercise. We were supposed to see how any old scraps put together in the right way can make an appealing quilt! And I did...

Making this quilt was so much fun! The half-square triangles were put on as rectangles, flipped and trimmed. Then everything was put together in strips. I absolutely loved watching the star pattern emerge from the darks and lights. I was totally hooked! Scrap quilts are still my favorites to make and to look at.

Of course, I had no idea how to quilt a quilt, but I did know you had to use batting to make a sandwich. So I put batting between my quilt top and a piece of denim. Then, I machine quilted following the star pattern. I though it looked pretty good, but I started and stopped with backstitching- just like garment sewing- because that's all I knew how to do! I can't really say my machine quilting has improved all that much since then...

I knew you had to bind it, and I knew JoAnn Fabrics sold stuff in packages called bias-binding, so I bought some in brightyellow and sewed it on, front and back, all in one fell swoop. Here's a close-up of the joining... I have learned to do that quite a bit better.

I keep it hanging in my cottage, and I think I always will because it makes me smile every time I look at it, and because it reminds me how far I've come. I'm sure I'll be making fun of my 2012 quilts sometime around 2020!

Do you still have your first quilt?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it was a quilt as you go class @ Sew Biz back when you made templates & hand quilted! Each block was a different technique & I was soooo excited :)


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