Friday, January 05, 2007

My First Quilt

I posted most of this over on the About Quilting forum but then decided it really belongs here - so here it is, in an expanded version:

I started quilting very late in 2002 - the first weekend in either November or December, I believe it was. My first quilt was done using Jodi Barrows' Square in a Square ruler. My girlfriends and I had gone to a craft show where it was being demoed...
The class was called 'Perfect Points' and my friend Julia (who is also my office partner) wanted to go see that demo. She had been trying to get me to learn to quilt..but I had been really resistant up to that point.."Why would anyone cut up perfectly good fabric into little pieces, just to sew it back together again" was my whine every time she mentioned quilting. The lady doing the demo had the RIGHT answer - "Why, it's to make it more beautiful!"...and shockingly, that made absolute sense to me...She showed how to sew strips to the sides of a square, lay down the ruler in the right places, and whack off anything that stuck out...seemed easy enough to me.. I muttered under my breath "I think I could do that", my 3 girlfriends HEARD me and as one, turned towards me with looks on their faces like I had grown another head!
They all bought the book and the ruler at the show - me, I was a little more reserved and said I would like to try it first before buying (it still being a shock to my system that I even was considering quilting,after all)...so my girlfriend who has a very nice big quilt studio invited us over to learn to use the ruler.
I am anal enough that I wanted to make something I could use, if I was going to invest the time to do it..so I decided to make a lap quilt. I used the pattern that came with the ruler as my starting point - it was blue squares with red points and red squares with blue points...but that seemed odd to me, so I decided I wanted solid colored stars.
I had in my possessions, thanks to the generosity of my parents, a brand new sewing machine, a rotary cutter, a huge mat and the proper ruler... amazingly - I originally planned on using them for garment sewing...but just had not gotten to that, what with the kids having to be toted here and there and working full time and cats and dogs...yanno...all that stuff...

So..off to my girlfriend's house I go, new sewing machine in hand, and three 2-yard pieces of fabric from WalMart - I certainly wasn't going to spend a lot of money on fabric if I didn't know if I even LIKED quilting - that I had DH pick out. He picked a raspberry, a dark blue and a golden tan with little gold stars on it - went together very nicely!

My friends showed me how to use the rotary cutter (mine was still in its package!) and how to line up fabric and how to chain piece and how to figure out where my 1/4 mark was on the machine. I busily sewed and sewed and pressed and whacked off the pieces that stuck out - we were there for 4-5 hours...and had almost all of the blocks made by the time we left...just had a couple more to do...

Went home, started putting rows together and had the top finished by the next evening. Decided to use fleece for the back and had it quilted by the next weekend...AND...there has been no stopping me since...

We shall however, never discuss quilt number 2, which remains tucked away in my quilting room...and which if I need a dose of humility, I drag out to see if I can fix..I haven't gotten rid of it because my sister says she LIKES it...so someday, if I ever figure out what to do with it, it may find its way to her house.

My cats love to sleep on my lap under my Stars quilt. It's seen a lot of use since it was created and still looks great - even if it is just $2 a yard fabric from WalMart!

7 comments:

Jane Ann said...

Suze, I had NO idea until reading this post that you are somewhat new to quilting too! (I think I stuck my timid toe in about a year or so behind you.) What a great narrative.

sophie said...

That's an incredible first quilt ... all those perfect points :-)

Carol said...

It's absolutely beautiful. I love the colours.

Debra Spincic said...

Super quilt! I have some quilts from WalMart fabric too and they are still going strong like yours are doing.

DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

It is so interesting to learn the who, what, when and why a person starts to quilt. You were lucky to have a friend to show you how to quilt. Your first quilt is outstanding and your points are perfect. I have the book and template by Judy and I need to get it out and use it.

Teresa Suek said...

Suze,
Your comment about my house design came to me without your email. Pop me an email and I will send you one back regarding the house designer.

tsuek-at-myclearwave.net

Sewing Up A Storm said...

Suze I started in the revere from you. I began by doing it all by hand and now do most of it by machine at least when I can! You did a great job on your first quilt!