First Quilt Ever

Sometimes it’s wise to pause in the headlong rush to completion and busyness and take stock of where you are before you jump off the cliff again, and summer is often a good time to do just that.  I’ve mentioned before that I began to photograph all my quilts.  First I had to make a list, and as people talked to me, I would pencil in another and another.  It’s like forgetting one of the children, but I think I’ve about got everyone.

Occasionally I’ll post about them, and as I do, I’ll catalogue them on my page Quilt Gallery–Body of Work.  Here’s the first quilt I can ever remember making: a whole cloth quilt made from some densely woven Holly Hobby print.

I was pretty clueless about this quilting business, but I had slept under handmade quilts on occasion so our family was not bereft of something original.  I picked out this fabric, layered it over a plain yellow backing with some lumpy batting and put it in a hoop and stitched around nearly each figure.

Why lumpy quilt batting?  They were all lumpy in the early 1970s–big polyester wads that you had to unfold and unfold and smooth out and then stitch fairly closely so it wouldn’t shift in the washing of the quilt.  Decorative edges were the norm; this one has 2″ eyelet ruffling with rounded corners.  I’m pretty sure I stitched it onto the top, then folded the backing over to meet it and whipstitched the edges together.  I wrote about this in an earlier post, and defend its homeliness.

The back.  So different than what’s au courant now.

And here’s the place where I couldn’t figure out how to stop or start–a nice little nub of thread under one of Holly’s shoes.  I think it was about another 5 years before I really figured out that beginning/ending of the thread thing.

I realize that looking at my first quilt is like that old saying about my child’s precious and lovely, and yours is coarse and picks its nose, but I hope that by showing this, you’ll be realize that everyone is somewhere on the quilting spectrum–from beginner to master quilter.  This is where I began, and if you post or write about your first quilt, come on back here and leave a comment so we can see how far you’ve come!


Gone Fishin’

Not really, but I just returned from a family reunion in Zion National Park in Southern Utah.  This was just after the rainstorm, and the Watchman Mountain was reflected in a puddle.  It is glorious waking up to, and going to sleep to this sight, as our campground is just below its colorful beauty.

Not only was the place beautiful and with wonderful people, which were made all the better when I discovered that an in-law (the wife of one of the young cousins) loves to quilt!  I dragged out the quilt I had on my sleeping bag to show her.  “Brights,” she said.  She likes the Reproduction fabrics, a more subdued palatte than the one below.  I keep this quilt in the car as it’s smaller.  It was really cold that first night (43 degrees) so I was glad I had brought it along.

This was a mystery quilt done by my guild, and I had a stash of fabrics from Me and My Sister Designs, which all worked together just fine. I have never named this one, but generally refer to it as “the bright mystery quilt.”

True confession: I generally HATE mystery quilts.  I’ve done several and I feel totally constrained by not knowing how the fabrics will work together, or where the darks/lights/colors will end up.  Some of the rows in the above quilt worked okay, and some didn’t.  Maybe that’s why I keep this in my car!

100 Quilts

Catrina, Day of the Dead Quilt • 2008

My apologies if this should arrive in your mailbox; I’m fixing up old posts and I never know what they are going to do!

Black and White and Catrina All Over

I was in a Black-and-White challenge for my guild back in Virginia some time ago and the challenge arrived near October, when the Day of the Dead was on my mind. I printed off the ancient Catrina drawing, took my cues from discussions of Day of the Dead altars (always four levels, with food, marigold blossoms, offerings) to gussy up the quilt. I sent it off to the challenge, but wasn’t entirely happy with it.

Quilt #66 • 25 1/2″ square

So I gave her a Spring Cleaning when it came back. I found milagros from a store in Phoenix, took off most of the offerings and hung the silvery charms around the quilt. Better, but as usual, still not satisfied. It will have to do for now. Here are photos of the back, and other details.

Again, my apologies–just ignore.
It is interesting to note that in these early quilts, I have a lot of learning to do!