Throwback: 2008

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Sharing my first quilt on Gen X Quilters  this week got me thinking a bit about my first quilts, and how far I’ve come. I don’t think I have ever shown a picture of this quilt on my blog before–In late 2007 I fell in love with a quilt my sister-in-law A made out of Flea Market Fancy using this pattern. That Christmas, we were in Utah and my mother-in-law bought me some fabric (Blossom by Urban Chiks). We added in some solids from her stash and away A and I went, planning and chopping and altering the pattern. I did then what I do so often now–cut out the quilt without making a test block. I don’t recommend that, folks. It never turns out quite right. Or, looking on the bright side, it’s an excellent way to improve your improv skills.

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Somewhere along the way, I messed up the math, but I still liked the result. This baby is big–bigger than twin but just shy of queen. And it’s the first quilt I made all. by. myself. I cut it out. I bought cheap solids. It languished at my house for some time. I originally had the prints paired with a white solid instead of cream, and it was taped up on the then pink (!) walls of our basement with blue painters tape and man! It was an ugly sight.

The quilt travelled back to Utah for a vacation before it was finished.  The part that makes me smile most is the quilting. I begged my mother-in-law to quilt it for me, but she (wise woman!) said I had to learn sometime, and this was the quilt to learn on. Besides, aything else I quilted would be smaller and much easier to handle. I’m so glad she did, or I might have never tried free motion quilting. I stayed up half the night to quilt it on her very nice machine before we went home to Virginia (I had a cheap machine with tension troubles back then).

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The quilting is atrocious. Atrocious! But we use it every day in our no longer pink basement, and it makes me smile. Look how far I have come! I have since drunk the Angela FMQ kool-aid (I have bought 3 copies of her new book Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters) and recommended the book to everyone I know. It’s that good! And thankfully, my free motion quilting has improved a bit since 2008!

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8 Comments

  1. Posted August 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    So fun to go back in time! It was a beautiful quilt, even if this was before you know what you know now. I recently found a WIP quilt from almost 20 years ago. My fabric choice is iffy. I want to finish it just to have it completed. But I can’t stand to look at the fabric. Ha!

  2. Posted August 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    All I can say is I hope my FMQ improves half as much as yours because I am really struggling with it! LOL You give me great hope :) I have to say though, I really like your first quilt!

  3. Posted August 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I’d be W-A-A-A-A-Y too embarrassed to show my first quilt on my blog – it was truly atrocious!!! But I made it when I was 17, didn’t know anything about quilting, and certainly didn’t know anything about quilting fabrics, so I guess I can be excused. But it was so bad it kept me from trying anything else quilt-y for about 35 years! Yours is pretty and obviously well loved – thanks for sharing!!!

  4. Posted August 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I have just started quilting after storing my sewing machine for more than 20 years. I just inherited my grandmother’s 40 year old Bernina and I love it! I have quilted 2 quilts on it. I’m definitely ordering the book you just mentioned! Do you remember what pattern you used for your quilt? I love it!

  5. Posted August 7, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I’d say it is pretty damn good for a first FMQ experience!!! Thanks for sharing this blast form the past. I have Angela’s book in my Amazon wishlist :-)
    Cheers!
    -k

  6. Posted August 8, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    This gives me so much inspiration! I just really started quilting in January of this year, and while I have quilted a few quilts, I haven’t attmepted any FMQing. I am so excited to practice and learn! Thanks!!

  7. Posted August 9, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    It’s a little frightening to look at our first quilts, but also fun to see how far we have come. Your new quilting is beautiful. I hope to be there some day too, but so far I’m too chicken to try. I have Angela’s book, but haven’t given it a go yet.

  8. Posted August 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    We were just discussing first quilts at our guild meeting the other night. We’re going to do a show and tell of what we’ve got at out next meeting.

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