Saturday, August 17, 2013

How I started quilting

Each month on Block Lotto Sophie suggests a topic or question for the weekend update. This month's question is "How did you start quilting?"

I suspect I am like many who drifted in and out of quilting without actually creating a quilt. My mother is a quilter and I can distinctly recall many quilts that she started but not many that she finished. I still go into her studio and dig out the blue fan blocks that she started piecing by hand out of Laura Ashley prints - I think I was 7 when she started that one.

My story is much the same. I have always sewn and done crafts since I was taught to use a sewing machine at age 9. I had a part time job at Joanne's while in university and made many of my clothes. I started my first quilt when I went to stay with my parents while they were living in Cyprus - this was when I was 21. I was bored out of my mind and thought it would be a good activity to make a quilt (between getting sunburned at the beach and hanging out with the Marine guards from the embassy). I drafted a block using graph paper and cut out the templates using plastic. I bought some fabric locally and stole some from my mother's stash. I chose yellow and blue - I seemed to find a lot of them and they were my university colours.

I managed to make about 4 of these blocks and the fabrics, templates, and finished blocks followed me back to the USA, around the country, and eventually to New Zealand.

Meanwhile, I had started and finished my first quilt in 2010. This one for my bedroom to go with the new wallpaper that I had put on the panels behind my bed. Although this is my first finished quilt, it is not the first I started, so it only half counts as my first.

At about the same time, a week before my cousin was coming to visit, I tried to clear out the closet of the guest room. I found 5 unfinished quilts - some of them baby quilts for children ready to go off to college. I vowed to get them all finished in the year.

November 2010 was when I finished that first started quilt. I thought the colour scheme was ghastly, so I added some green to the mix. Those first blocks were terrible too, but I was determined to keep them. The finished quilt is queen sized and is made up of 25 12" blocks. I did not know how to speed piece the HST so each triangle was cut and sewn in a pair (I have learned much since then).

The one pink star was to introduce the pink from the backing fabric.

Although my tastes have changed, I love this quilt. It lives at our beach house and I am happy to see it every time we are there. Must be time for another visit (if this horrible rain ever stops).


  1. Thanks for sharing your quilting beginnings. I love the one pink star in your star quilt. It's fun to look at those first projects and see how our tastes and abilities have changed over time.

  2. LOVE that star quilt. I might steal that idea. It would make a lovely scrappy quilt ... which I like most. Except that yours really doesn't look so scrappy but more sophisticated.