Wednesday, October 17, 2012

First Quilts

My mom encouraged me to "try quilting". I wasn't sold on the idea until I saw a puff quilt in a JC Penney catalog and I decided I was going to try to make it. It had 3 different colored squares set in a staggered design. I thought it looked simple enough. I had this reversible comforter that had a color on one side that I loved and a color on the other side that I hated. I proceeded to make the top out of burgandy, tan, and brown calico fabric. When the top was all together, I carefully sewed each square down on the side of the comforter that I hated, stuffing each one as I went. Can you believe that it actually fit the top perfectly? Talk about ignorance being bliss. I had no idea what I was doing, which is the typical story of anyone who decides to "try quilting". Was it that way for you? Jump in the deep end; sink or swim!

I wish I still had that quilt. We used that comforter/quilt for quite a few years. It had gotten moldy and I ruined it while trying to restore it. Live and learn.

I saw a book of quilt patterns one day as I was browsing around my local library and decided I really liked what I saw in there. Home it came with me! The juices were flowing and a dozen patterns were chosen out of the book for this quilt. About three blocks were put together and then the whole project was shelved. I had all the material picked out for the entire top, but my enthusiasm wasn't there. Then, I joined a quilting club and was motivated to get this baby done!

This was my first real pieced quilt top. Each section was placed in a monthly theme so I fondly call this one "My Calendar Quilt". Snowmen (for winter), hearts (for Valentine's Day), bunnies (for Easter), sheep (for spring), flowers (May flowers, that is), cows (my parents were dairy farmers and married in June), watermelon (for a picnic), cats (my birthday is in August), apples (for the school teacher), autumn leaves (just cause they're so pretty), turkeys (for Thanksgiving), and four symbols of Christmas. The blocks have all been sewn down but there is still much more free motion quilting that needs to be done on it.
If I had to do it all over again, I would probably do things exactly the same. Would you? Sometimes you have to learn things your own way. Yes, it helps to have a mentor show you the ropes but when you are sitting at your machine, all alone, that is when the real learning happens and your style is formed. I'm glad I listened to my mom and gave quilting a try, and so is she.

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