I was catching up on my Bloglovin feed and stumbled ion this post over at Don’t Call Me Betsy. She’s had a wonderful idea, to share our older, even pre-blog quilts. And since I started way back in 1998 (or maybe even 1997), I have a LOT of pre-blog quilts. So I thought I’d jump right in!
And what better place to jump right in than my first quilt, ever?
I was a senior in college, and an Art History/History double major. I became intellectually interested in quilting after learning about its importance in women’s and African American history (and later about its role in American Indian cultures as well.) So I found a class at a local community art center, and dove in.
With no machine. That’s right, I didn’t even own one, and the entire class was done by hand. In retrospect, I think our teacher was a little bit scared of machines. I didn’t know any other way, so piecing every stitch by hand made sense to me… And there was no rotary cutting- I didn’t learn about that until later. There was template plastic and sharpies and fancy fabric scissors.
It was a class sampler style, from a book who’s title I have since forgotten. Some of the blocks have names I still remember- Ohio Star, Churn Dsh, Dresden Plate. We learned appliqué and circles and more. It was a very thorough introduction.
After we assembled the top, again 100% by hand, we learned how to baste and hand quilt. I still have my original hand quilting hoop! But I don’t think I’ve used it since the turn of the century…
Laugh away at this next revelation: I was SO sad when I first saw batting. I thought my quilt was going to be poofy like a comforter, not basically flat. Sigh. I sucked up my disappointment when the people in the shop (somewhere in Cambridge, MA next door to a Pepperidge Farm Outlet store, and yes that was EVIL) convinced me that trying to hand quilt the puffier polyester batting would be a nightmare. Bless them.
I think I even still have some leftover bits of these fabrics stored away. Of course, since we learned how to do everything the RIGHT way, they were all pre-washed and ironed- which I rarely bother with any more.
What’s impressive, if you know me at all, is how very very ME these colors are. In fact, it still sits folded on a chair in our bedroom, because it still works in our bedroom. (Yes, you can see the fold lines in these photos, which means I should move it more!)
I still have trouble believing that my first project was a success. Trust me, there were several in line after this one that totally were not. And I promise to share at least some of those as well. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to seeing what YOU all are going to share!