Monday, November 28, 2011

My First Quilt

Bonnie Hunter, over on Quiltville, had photos and the story of her first quilt, and is asking for us to post photos of our first quilt and its story too.  If you visit her here, you can see lots of first quilts.

It took a bit of digging in the blanket chest, but I finally found this beauty!  (If you double click the picture, it will biggify so you can really enjoy it!)

This is the first quilt I ever worked on.  This was back in 1969 or 1970, I believe.  My sister and I had a lot of scraps leftover from all the clothes we had sewn, and one summer we decided it was time to make a quilt from those scraps.  I really don't remember how we did it, but we must have used some kind of a template, because those squares are all the same size.  We put in everything we had.  A lot of cotton fabrics (including kettlecloth, anybody else remember that stuff?), corduroy, wool and even some velvet from a prom dress that my sister made.  Somewhere in the midst of the making of this quilt, I got married and left home, so my sister actually finished this quilt.  There's a couple of rows that are offset from the next one.  I think she decided that the quilt needed to be bigger and added those rows later.  There are ties on only two rows that don't go through to the back and that left side just kind of disappears at the edge.  The backing fabric is bright red (still!) and seems to be a decorator weight.  The quilt is funky, but fun! 

You know, I remember most of these fabrics, but many of them I can't remember what the original outfit was! 

Here's a closeup shot.  You can see wool, corduroy, kettlecloth and plain cotton fabrics.  Look at that chocolate brown with the turquoise flowers!  It looks just like the fabrics that are coming out now.  LOL  I remember my youngest commenting that those were cool fabrics, but then he was horrified to learn that we actually WORE them!  In PUBLIC!

So, fast forward about 10 years.  Here is the first quilt that I actually made.  This was made in 1981.  I decided that I was going to make a 9-patch pillow, like I had seen in some country magazine.  Well, when I got out my sewing scraps, there were so many that I wanted to use because of the memories associated with them, that the pillow grew into this quilt!  I had to go buy more fabric to have enough to finish the quilt to a good size.

I remember the kids helping me pick out which fabrics to include and my DH helping me to lay out the squares on the floor.  I backed it with plain white fabric (a sheet?) and I tied it with white acrylic yarn.  Then, Christmas Eve around midnight, my Mom helped me to put on the binding.  Oh that binding!  It is atrocious!  It was that packaged bias binding, in white, there is no batting in the binding, and my corners are all rounded.  The quilt was given to my youngest for a Christmas present that year, and this picture is from today.  It's held up pretty well!  It's faded, except for the poly-cotton squares, and thin in spots, but he still loves it.

Here's a closeup of some of the fabrics.  These are fabrics that I used for clothing, curtains, robes, a cowboy shirt that I slaved over for my DH and even a shower curtain that I made from a sheet.  And that bright red solid poly-cotton?  My oldest picked that out for me to make into pyjamas for him!  I still remember the lady at the store who was cutting the fabric commenting that the kid would never sleep in those because they were so bright they'd keep him awake.  hee hee!

After I made this quilt, I realized how much fun I had had making it, but knew that I didn't know enough to do a better job.  So, right after that Christmas, I took my first quilting class in Adult Education.  And I haven't stopped since then!  It's good to see how far I've come.

Your turn!  Let's see your first quilt!  I dare ya to show it!


  1. There are some gorgeous fabrics in both quilts and, yes, some of them are coming back into fashion, but 100% cotton, not the cotton poly mix, or 100% poly that they were then.

    No I'm not showing my first quilt!

  2. I love a one patch quilt! And the variety of fabrics, that's a true patchwork quilt to me. I'm right now sitting under my first one - saw one in a magazine, went to the fabric store, and started in. I had NO IDEA what I was doing, but somehow it turned out. I still love it, but now I have a little better idea of what to do, lol....

    I'm really, really impressed at how well your blocks are lined up, I cannot do that to this day! What a great job.

  3. It's fun looking at the first quilts and contemplating how far we've come! What wonderful fabrics and memories. Thanks for sharing. Does your sister still quilt?

  4. Oh, Sharon, what a hoot! Your first quilts took me down memory lane. I think I may have had a pair of bell bottoms made from that brown & turquoise print.

  5. ....this was such a cool post!!! Your first quilt was a 'hippy' quilt!! HA!

    I used a little cardboard square template for mine and marked each square with an ink pen and cut them allllll out using scissors!!!

    We've come a l-o-n-g way baby!!!!!

  6. love 'em, particularly that first one. so evocative of the era. and look how liberated! woohoo! don't have photos of my first quilt...

  7. Thanks for showing off your first quilts! They're wonderful and have held up over the years.


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