Camile (Simplify) and Carrie (from Miss Rosie's and La Vie en Rosie) are having some fun with some story telling on the journey of a quilt maker and we are to talk about our first quilt so I'm joining in the parade of quilts and sharing my journey.
I never thought I'd find love in cutting up beautiful fabric and sewing it back together to make something like a quilt.
I actually had never known what a quilt was until I was well into my twenties. At the age of 24 I had never clasped my eyes on a quilt. Then one day, many years later, I was at JoAnn's Fabric and saw an issue of American Patchwork and Quilting with a cute little wall hanging on the cover. I picked that issue up and opened a world of possibilities.
I held onto that issue for a few months while I researched what this quilting thing was all about. I searched on the internet (fairly young thing at the time) and read a few books from the library before I invested some money in basic equipment to make that cute wall hanging. I didn't follow any rules (no 1/4' seam allowance on this one), the binding was a mess (I think you can see it on the bottom left corner) and I used heavy fusible interfacing (heat n bond) to get the applique in place (this made doing the buttonhole stitches VERY difficult). I made it as a Christmas present that unfortunately was not appreciated as it should have been.
My next quilt was bigger and I designed it myself. It was made from basic beginner blocks but I used colors in a way to emphasize the center star. I made it for my daughter and quilted it so close it ended up being stiff.
This quilt was appreciated, used and loved. Almost 10 years later my daughter took it with her to college even when it barely covered her lap. I called this my first 'real' quilt since it was large enough to be used.. I have learned since then that size has nothing to do with what makes a piece a quilt (especially seeing some of the minitures that get displayed in some of the quilt shows I have attended)
I find it funny that my last quilt was made for my daughter too. I have made many quilts for other people during the years I have been quilting, I have taken many classes and taught a few of them myself and I also saw my name published acknowledging my help in testing patterns for Bethany Reynolds of the Stack n Whack fame (I was one of her test rats for her third book) but for all the quilts I have made, the latest was important to me because it was the first piece I had finished in over four years (maybe more since I was on a serious quilting hiatus).
It was a Rag Quilt I intended to give my daughter for her 20th birthday. Two years later I gave it to her when she came home from graduating college. I wanted to give her something big enough to wrap around herself during the cold winter months in Rochester, NY so I selected flannel as the backing and used batting to make it heavy. The applique was done on machine and I used a lite heat n bond to make a softer end product now that I learned that the fusible nature is just to keep the piece in place while you applique around it.
I didn't think she would give it much use now that she was home here in TX (since it's warm here and the flannel would make it hot to sleep with) but she has slept with it every night since she got it and I know this piece will be just as loved as the first quilt she received.
What about your first quilt? How much has your quilting changed since that first stitch?